[Advaita-l] Yoga Vasishta -- Best form of worship
Dr. Sanjay Verma
sanjay1297 at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 30 04:18:26 CST 2004
Happy New Year to one and all,
The following is an excerpt from Yoga Vasishta (a
dialogue between the great sage Vasishta and his
puipl Rama). For more information on the Yoga
Vasishta, I've provided two URL's at the end that
offer some historical and spiritual context for
Yoga Vasishta 6:29:75-132
Hear now another view of spiritual light, for
dispelling the darkness of delusion; as it was
revealed to me of yore, in a cavern of mount
Kailasa (The former seat of my devotion).
There is a mountain peak, bright as the collected
mass of moon-beams, and penetrating the vault of
heaven, where the god with the semi-circular moon
on his forehead delivered this doctrine to me for
appeasing the miseries of the world.
This mountain peak is famed by the name of
Kailasa, on which the god Hara- the consort of
Gauri, wearing the crescent moon on his head,
holds his residence.
It was to worship this great god that I had once
dwelt on that mountain long ago; and constructed
my hermit-cell on the bank of the holy stream of
Ganges (which ran down by its side).
I remained there in the practice of ascetic
austerities, for the performance of my holy
devotion; and was beset by bodies of adepts,
discoursing on subjects of sacred Shastras.
I made baskets for filling them with flowers for
my worship, and for keeping the collection of my
books in them; and was employed in such other
sacred tasks, in the forest groves of Kailasa
While thus I had been passing my time, in
discharging the austerities of my devotion; it
happened to turn out once on the eight day of the
dark fortnight of the month of sravana.
And after its evening twilight was over, and the
sun light had faded in the face of the four
quarters of the sky, that all objects became
invisible to sight and stood rapt in their saint
It was then after half of the first watch of the
night had passed away, there spread a thick
darkness over the groves and wood lands, and
required a sharp sword to sever it.
My intense meditation was broken at this instant,
and my trance gave way to the sight of outward
objects, which I kept looking upon for sometime;
when I observed a flaming fire suddenly rising in
the forest to my view. It was a bright as a big
white cloud, and as brilliant as the shining orb
of the moon.
It illumed the roves on all sides, and struck
with amazement at the vision.
As I viewed it by the sight of my understanding,
or the mental vision which was glowing in my
mind; I came to see the god Siva with the
crescent of the moon on his forehead, standing on
the table land and manifest to view.
With his hand clasping the hand of Gauri, he was
led onward by his brace attendant Nandi waling
before him; when I after informing my pupils
about it, proceeded forward with the due
honorarium in my hand.
Led by the sight, I came to the presence of the
god with a glad-some mind; and then I offered
handfuls of flowers to the three eyed-god from a
distance, in token of my reverence to him.
After giving the honor which was worth of him, I
bowed down before the god, and approached him;
when he cast his kind look upon me, from his
moon-bright and clear sighted eyes.
Being blest by his benign look, which took away
all my pain and sin from me; I did my homage to
the god that was seated on the flowery level
land, and viewed the three worlds lying open
Then advancing forward, I offered unto him the
honorarium, flowers and water that I had with me,
and scattered before him heaps of mandara flowers
that grew there about.
I then worshipped the god with repeated obeisance
and various eulogisms; and next adored the
goddess Gauri with the same kind of homage
together with her attendant goddesses and
After my adoration was over, the god having the
crescent moon on his head spoke to me that was
seated by him, with his speech as mild as the
cooling beams of the full moon.
Say O Brahman, whether your affections are at
peace within yourself, and have found their rest
in supreme spirit, and whether your felicitous
feelings are settled in the true object of divine
Whether your devotion is spading unobstructed by
demons of your passions, and whether felicity
attends on you.
Have you obtained the obtainable one, that is
alone to be obtained, and are you set above the
fears, that incessantly hunt after all mankind?
After the Lord of the gods and the sole cause of
all created beings, had spoken in this manner; I
replied to him submissively in the following
O Lord! There is nothing unattainable, nor is
there anything to be feared by anyone who
remembers the three eyed god at all times in his
mind; and whose hearts filled with rapture by
their constant remembrance of you.
Those whose minds are entirely devoted to their
remembrance of you, get the rewards of the
meritorious acts o their past lives; and water
the trees of their present lives, in order to
produce their manifold fruit in future births and
Lord! Your remembrance expands the seed of our
desire, you are the jar of the nectar of our
knowledge, and you are the reservoir of patience,
as the moon is the receptacle of cooling beams.
Your remembrance, Lord, is the gateway to the
city of salvation, and it is your remembrance
which I deem as the invaluable gem of any
O Lord of creation! Your remembrance sets its
foot on the head of all calamities (i.e.,
tramples over them). (Because Siva is called
Samkara for his doing good to all, by removal of
their misfortunes). Having said this to the very
much pleased Siva.
I said thus far, and then bowing down lowly
before the complacent deity, I addressed him, O
Rama, in the manner as you shall hear from me.
Lord! It is by your favor that I have the
fullness of my hearts content on every side; yet
as there is one doubt lurking in my mind, I will
request you to explain it fully to me.
Say with your clear understanding, and without
hesitation and weariness, regarding the manner of
the adoration of gods, which removes all our sins
and confers all good unto us. (The query was
quite appropriate as the Tantras of Siva treat
principally of such formularies).
The god replied: Hear me, O Brahman, that are
best acquainted with the knowledge of Brahma,
tell you about the best mode of worshipping the
gods and the performance of which is sure to set
the worshiper free. (i.e., from the bonds of the
world all at once).
Tell me first, O great armed Brahman, if you know
at all who is that god, who you make the object
of your worship, if it be not the lotus-eyed
Vishhu or the three-eyed Siva neither.
It is not the god born of the lotus Brahma, nor
he who is the lord of the Tridasa (thirteen
classes of god) the great Indra himself; it is
not the god of winds, Pawan, nor the god of fire,
nor the regents of he sun and moon.
The Brahman (called an earthly god bhudeva) is no
god at all, nor the king called the shadow of any
god, is any god likewise, neither I or you the
ego and tu (or the subjective self and the
objective unself) are gods; nor the body or any
embodied being, or the mind or any conception or
creation of the mind is the true god also.
Neither Laxmi the goddess of fortune, nor
Sarasvati the goddess of intelligence and true
goddesses, nor is there any one that may be
called a god, except the one unfactitious god,
who is without beginning and end, that is the
How can a body measured by a form and its
dimensions, or having a definite measure be the
immeasurable deity! It is the inartificial and
unlimited Intellect, that is known as the Siva or
the felicitous one.
It is that which is meant by the word god Deva
Deus and that is the object of adoration; that
it the only ens or on, est or Este or Esten, out
of which all other beings have proceeded and in
which they have their existence, and wherein they
subsist with their formal parts.
Those unacquainted with true nature of the
falitous Siva, worship the formal idols and
image; as a weary traveler thinks the distance of
a mile to be as long as the length of a league.
It is possible to have the reward of ones
adoration of the Rudras and other gods; but the
reward of meditation of the true god, is the
unbounded felicity of the soul.
He who forsakes the reward of true felicity, for
that of fictitious pleasures; is like one who
quits a garden of mandara flowers, and repairs to
furze of thorny karanja plants.
The true worshippers know the purely intellectual
and felicitous Siva, to be the only adorable god;
to whom the understanding and tranquility and
equanimity of the soul are the most acceptable
offerings than wreaths of flowers.
Know that to be the true worship of god, when the
Deity of the spirit (or spiritual Divinity), is
worshipped with the flowers of the understanding
and tranquility of the spirit. (Worship god in
spirit and with the contriteness of your spirit).
The soul is of the form of consciousness, (and is
to be worshipped as such), by forsaking the
adoration of idols; Those that are devoted to any
form of fictitious cult, are subject to endless
Those knowing the knowable one are called as
saints; but those slighting the meditation of the
soul, betake themselves to the adoration of
idols, are said to liken little boys playing with
The Lord Siva is the spiritual god, and the
supreme cause of all; He is to be worshipped
always and without fail, with the understanding
You should know the souls as the intellectual and
living spirit, undecaying as the very nature
herself; there is no other that is to be
worshipped, the true puja is the worship of the
spirit (God is to be worshipped in spirit only).
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