I started reading Vasishta‘s Yoga by Venkatesananda back in 2005. I read it cover to cover 3 times. I am still reading it. Deepak Chopra had mentioned Vasishta in one of his books so I searched it out and got it. This is a seriously illuminating work. It is a spiritual text that gives one the explanation of nonduality and examples and exhortations on how to follow this path. I can’t really describe it – you have to read it. It is a bit like reading the Bible but I think the verses and stories speak more clearly to the soul. All of the allegory is based on Brahma. It is soul lifting. It is worth reading the 767 pages over and over.
I think we can say that most of us fear loss. Loss of those we love, loss of things we have – just loss. We struggle with this our whole lives. We particularly fear the loss of our lives. But what if we don’t lose? What if there is nothing to lose – what if we are not living only in this realm? What if we are not awake to what is truly real? Then I think we have already lost. And that’s where we are at. We must find what it is we think we have lost so we can find reality and meaning and depth in this incarnation. The bare bones Why? question.
Vasishta takes us through examples of how to find real. The themes are repeated throughout the text. No notions becomes your watch word. We can understand that through forming thoughts and desires and wants in our minds we create. No notions. Another way of saying be here now. Of saying empty your mind. Be still not on the outside but inside. Shut off the whirling thoughts in the mind. Let it be at peace. That the mind is the Creator. The mind does not need to create because everything already IS. It is Brahma.
One of the stories Vasishta tells concerns an old man living on a hill. He is poor but he has a loving wife and food and he is content. One day he sees the King riding on the road below their home. He has the most beautiful elephants to ride and he is all bedecked in finery and flowers. The old man, named Vasishta, says to his wife “Oh how wonderful it would be to have all of those elephants and finery and flowers and all those followers to love and follow you.” And then he dies.
Next we are taken to the palace where the King has died. His queen is in such despair she tells the servants to lay out the King’s body and cover it with flowers so that she may keep him near. She is heart-broken. There follows a more involved story which cycles back to the queen and her spiritual guide. The guide shows her the old house of Vasishta. And shows her herself and her husband. And the queen understands ………… her husband’s wish to be the King was granted. But they both died. And although she can remember 30 years on the throne she knows those same 30 years were spent in that old house with her loving husband, Vasishta.
The concept of creating our lives through our thoughts is not new. But telling us not to do this was very new to me. To have no notions or thoughts or desires. To just be, recognizing that in this unreal world, you are not you but a part of the unlimited creating Being. That you must carefully tread in your lila (the play of your life) and play your role well was new to me. That living without notions is freedom. True freedom from the dissatisfaction and constant wants of the small mind. That reality is not the world-focused existence. That nonduality means that there are not good and bad just reality. That nothing must or need be considered separate or less than. That we are already what we seek.
So what is death? What is it to fear? To me the worst that can happen is that we find another vehicle to come back to this world in. That we do it all over again. Maybe we will do it better. Or with different tools and helpers. But we will always be with Brahma. A part of Brahma. A whole ocean of Being. One.
Edgar Cayce, in one of his many psychical travels, explained to us that when God created man in his image He created a fixed number of souls. These souls reincarnate on the wheel of life over and over and over until they evolve and understand the God concept of loving thy fellow man as thyself and understand life as service to other beings. Then the soul can rest in grace for eternity or reincarnate at will to be a teacher and guide souls back Home. Back to being. Back to One.
Ah Vasishta would say – a man with no notions ………. only live with no notions.