QUOTABLE QUOTES FROM YOGAVAASISHTHA
Yogavaasishtha is a philosophical treatise written by the great Sanskrit poet and scholar Vaalmiki. The original treatise comprises of 30,000 slokas. It is written in the form of a dialogue between sixteen year old Raama and the great sage Vasishtha. The book is one of the best discourses on monism, propounding that everything in the universe is a projection or manifestation of a singular consciousness. It is also a beautiful book even only in terms of its poetic charm.
Given below is a small selection of quotes from this great work.
उभाभ्यामेव पक्षाभ्यां यथा खे पक्षिणां गतिः।
तथैव ज्ञानकर्माभ्यां जायते परमं पदम्
Ubhaabhyaameva pakshaabhyaam yathaa khe pakshinaam gatih
Tathaiva jnaanakarmaabhyaam jaayate paramam padam
Just as birds require both their wings to fly in the sky, similarly man needs both Jnaana (knowledge) and Karma (action without attachment to the fruits thereof ) to attain the highest goal of his life
क्षणमानन्दितामेति क्षणमेति विषादितां ।
क्षणं सौम्यत्वमायाति सर्वस्मिन्नटवन्मनः॥
Kshanamaananditaameti kshanameti vishaaditaam
Kshanam saumyatwamaayaati sarvasmin natavanmanah
The mind of a person is full of joy one moment, sad the next moment, and calm after another moment like the person acting out a character in a play manifesting different emotions in quick succession.
द्वे हुडाविव युध्येते पुरुषार्थौ समासमौ ।
Dwe hudaaviva yudhyete purushaarthau samaasamau
There is a conflict going on between two unequal entities, namely, the result of actions in a previous birth and the result of actions during this birth. The fight between these two is like the fight between two fierce birds or animals. In this fight, the one which is weak will surrender to the one which is strong.
परं पौरुषमाश्रित्य दन्तैर्दन्तान् विचूर्णयन् ।
शुभेनाशुभमुद्युक्तं प्राक्तनं पौरुषं जयेत्॥
Param paurushamaashritya dantairdantaan vichoornayan
Shubhenaashubhamudyuktam praaktanam paurusham jayet
One should, by Herculean effort and gnashing one’s teeth, gain victory over the bad effects of the past karma by the good karma done during this birth.
मूढैः प्रकल्पितं दैवं तत्परास्ते क्षयं गताः।
प्राज्ञास्तु पौरषार्थेन पदमुत्तमतां गताः॥
Moodhaih prakalpitam daivam tatparaaste kshayam gataah
Praajnaastu paurushaarthena padamuttamataam gataah
Daivam or destiny is a figment of the imagination of the fool. Putting their faith in destiny they go from bad to worse. The wise men, by Herculean effort, attain the highest position or state.
अपि पौरुषमादेयं शास्त्रं चेद्युक्तिबोधकं।
अन्यत्वार्षमपि त्याज्यं भाव्यं न्यायैकसेविना॥
Api paurushamaadeyam shaastram chedyuktibodhakam
Anyatwaarshamapi tyaajyam bhaavyam nyaayaikasevina
Knowledge, even if it comes from an ordinary person, is to be accepted if it stands the test of reason. Any thing which cannot stand the test of reason is to be rejected. One should always go by logical reasoning.
युक्तियुक्तमुपादेयं वचनं बालकादपि ।
अन्यत्तृणवत्त्याज्यं अप्युक्तं पद्मजन्मना॥
Yuktiyuktamupaadeyam vachanam baalakaadapti
Anyattrinamiva tyaajyam apyuktam padmajanmanaa
On should accept the words of even a child if what he says is logical and stands to reason. Anything other than this should be rejected as a bundle of grass even if it is said by Brahma himself
तपसैव महोग्रेण यद्दुरापं तदाप्यते
Tapasaiva mahogrena yadduraapam tadaapyate
Only by the most severe tapasya (penance) one can attain what is normally unattainable.
सर्वः संकल्पवशात् लघु भवति वा गुरु।
Sarvah samkalpavashaat laghu bhavati vaa guruh
Whether one is respected(guru) or not respected (laghu) depends entirely on what one determines or decides in his mind.
यथाऽवध्यवधात् पापं वध्यत्यागात् तथैव हि ।
Yathaavadhyavadhaat paapam vadhyatyaagat tathaiva hi
The sin of letting off a person who deserves death is the same as the sin of putting to death one who does not deserve death.
न किञ्चित् दीर्घसूत्राणां सिध्यत्यात्मक्षयादृते ।
Na kinchit deerghasootraanaam siddhyatyaatmakshayaadrite
The one who plans interminably and never comes to a conclusion will achieve nothing except one’s own downfall.
अनुद्वेग श्रियो मूलम्
Anudwega shriyo moolam
Not getting easily agitated is the root cause of wealth.
न तदस्ति प्रिथिव्यां वा दिवि देवेषु वा क्वचित्।
पौरेषेण प्रयत्नेन यन्नाप्नोति गुणान्वितः॥
Na tadasti prithivyaam va divi deveshu vaa kwachit
Paurushena prayatnena yannaapnoti gunaanwitah
There is nothing in this world or in heaven that a person of character cannot achieve by sheer human effort
अपूर्वाह्लाददायिन्य उच्चैस्तरपदाश्रयाः ।
अतिमोहापहारिण्यः सूक्तयो हि महीयसाम् ॥
Atimohaapahaarinyah sooktayo hi maheeyasaam
The sayings of great men delight our hearts as never before, contain words of great import and effect and dispel all our delusions and misconceptions.
न कालमतिवर्तन्ते महान्तः स्वेषु कर्मसु
Na kaalamativartante mahaantah sweshu karmasu
Great men do not procrastinate in carrying out their actions.
भविष्यं नानुसन्धत्ते नातीतं चिन्तयत्यसौ ।
वर्तमाननिमेषं तु हसन्नेवानुवर्तते ॥
Bhavishyam naanusandhatte naateetam chintayatyasau
Vartamaana nimesham tu hasannevaanuvartate
Great men do not ponder over the future or think of what is buried in the past but focus on the present moment, accepting it cheerfully.
चिन्तनेनैधते चिन्ता त्विन्धनेनेव पावकः।
Chintanenaidhate chintaa twindhaneneva paavakah
One’s worry becomes magnified the more one’s thoughts dwell on the cause of the worry just like fire burns brightly with fuel. Once you leave thinking of the cause of worries, the worry automatically dies down as fire devoid of fuel.
न स्वधैर्यादृते कश्चिदभ्युद्धरति संकटात् ।
Na swadhairyaadrite kashchidabhyuddharati sangkataat
One cannot extricate oneself from difficulties without courage in oneself
अन्तस्तृष्णोपतप्तानां दावादाहमयं जगत् ।
Antastrishnopataptaanaam daavadaahamayam jagat
Bhavatyakhila jantoonaam yadantastadbahih sthhitam
For those whose insides are burning with trishna (greed or intense desire) the whole world is like a wild fire. For all beings what is inside is reflected in the outside also, meaning the external world is perceived according to the state of the internal world.
अर्धं सज्जनसंपर्कात् अविद्याया विनश्यति ।
चतुर्भागस्तु शास्त्रार्थे चतुर्भाग स्वयत्नतः ॥
Ardham sajjanasamparkaat avidyaayaa vinashyati
Chaturbhaagastu shaastraarthhe chaturbhaaga swayatnatah
Half of one’s ignorance is destroyed by the company of wise men, one-fourth by reading and discussing the shastras with others and the remaining one-fourth by own effort.
व्याचष्टे यः पठति च शास्त्रं भोगाय शिल्पिवत्।
यतते नत्वनुष्ठाने ज्ञानबन्धुः स उच्यते ॥
Vyaachashte yah pathhati cha shaastram bhogaaya shilpivat
Yatate natwanushtthaane jnaanabandhuh sa uchyate
One who reads the Sastras and expounds them to others only for material gain like a sculptor but does not practice what he preaches is the worst kind of jnaani (knower)
अज्ञोऽपि तज्ञतामेति शनैः शैलोऽपि चूर्ण्यते ।
बाणॊऽप्येति महालक्ष्यं पश्याभ्यास विजृंभितम् ॥
Ajnopi tatjnataameti shanaih shailopi choornyate
Baanopyeti mahaalakshyam pashyaabhyaasa vijrimbhitam
The power of practice is such that even an ignorant person becomes a knowledgeable one slowly and steadily, even a hill becomes completely powdered and an archer’s arrow strikes the bull’s eye (reaches its ultimate destination)
यात्यनभ्यासतो दूरात् स्नेहो बन्धुषु तानवम्॥
Yaatyanabhyaasato dooraat sneho bandhushu taanavam
One who is not a friend becomes one’s friend when there is existence (practice) of proximity between the two. The affection between friends diminishes when there is no practice of affection because of the distance separating them.
यो यादृक् क्लेशमाधातुं समर्थस्तादृगेव सः।
अवश्यं फलमाप्नोति प्रबुद्धोस्त्वज्ञ एव वा ॥
Yo yaadrik kleshamaadhaatum samarthastaadrigeva sah
Avashyam phalamaapnoti prabuddhostwajna eva vaa
The more effort one can put in, the more will be one’s achievement which will also be commensurate to the effort. One will certainly achieve his goal whether he is ignorant or knowledgeable.
ना यथा यतते नित्यं यद्भावयति यन्मयः ।
यादृगिच्छेच्च भवितुं तादृग्भवति नान्यथा ॥
Naa yatthaa yatate nityam yadbhaavayati yanmayah
Yaadrigichchhechcha bhavitum taadrigbhavati naanyathhaa
(naa=narah) What one puts in one’s efforts for , what one thinks, what one identifies oneself with and what one wants to become – these will determine what one will become ultimately.
अद्यैव कुरु यच्छ्रेयो वृद्धः सन् किं करिष्यति।
स्वगात्राण्यपि भाराय भवन्ति हि विपर्यये॥
Adyaiva kuru yachchhreyo vriddhah san kim karishyati
Swagaatraanyapi bhaaraaya bhavanti hi viparyaye
Do good things today itself; If otherwise what will one do after one becomes old when even one’s own physical body becomes a load on oneself
तातस्यकूपमिति ब्रुवाणाः क्षारं जलं कापुरुषाः पिबन्ति ।
Tatasya koopoyamiti bruvaanaah
Kshaaram jalam kaapurushaah pibanti
Inferior men drink salty water from the well saying the well was dug by their father. (They are too lazy to dig a new well for getting sweet water but cover up their laziness by showing false respect to their father)
आयुषः क्षण एकोऽपि सर्वरत्नैर्न लभ्यते।
नीयते तत् वृथा येन प्रमादः सुमहानहो ॥
Aayushah kshana ekopi sarvaratnairna labhyate
Neeyate tat vrithhaa yena pramaadah sumahaanaho
Even a minute of your life you cannot get by giving all the diamonds in the world. If one wastes that precious minute he is committing a big blunder.