The Sage Vasishtha said: When the sage Vitahavya had subdued his heart and mind by the power of reason, there arose in him the qualities of universal benevolence and philanthropy.

 Rama asked: Why do you say, O Sage, that the quality of benevolence sprang up in the mind of the sage, after it had been wholly absorbed in itself through the power of reason?

 Tell me, O wise one, who is the best of speakers, how can the feelings of universal love and friendliness arise in the heart which is wholly cold and quiet, or in the mind which is entranced in the divine spirit?

 Vasishtha replied: There are two kinds of mental extinction; one is the mind's quiescence in the living body; and the other, its absorption after the material body is dead and gone.

 The possession of personal mind is the cause of woe, and its extinction is the spring of happiness; therefore one should persevere in eroding the core of this mind in order to arrive at its utter extinction.

 The mind that is caught in the net of the vain desires of the world is subject to repeated births, which are the source of endless woes.

 He is reckoned as a miserable being who thinks much of his person, and esteems his body as the product of the good deserts of his past lives, and who accounts his foolish and blinded personal mind as a great gift.

 How can we expect the decrease of our distress as long as the mind is the concubine of the body? It is upon the letting go of this mind that the world appears to disappear before us.

 Know the mind to be the root of all the miseries of life, and its desires as the sprouts of the forest of our calamities.

 Rama asked: Who is it whose mind is extinct, and what is the manner of this extinction; how is its extinction brought on, and what is the nature of its annihilation?

 Vasishtha replied: O sustainer of Raghu's race! I have already spoken of the nature of the mind; and you, O best of inquirers, will now hear of the means of extinguishing its impulses.

 Know that mind to be paralysed and dead, which is unmoved from its steadiness by pleasure and pain; and remains as unshaken as a rock at the gentle breath of our breathing.

 Know also that mind to be as dull as dead, which is devoid of any sense of separateness from others, and which is not degraded from the loftiness of its universality to the meanness of personality.

 Know that mind to be dead and cold, which is not moved by difficulties and dangers, nor excited by pride and giddiness, nor elated by festivity, nor depressed by poverty and penury, and, in fine, which does not lose its serene temperament at any reverse of fortune.

 Know, gentle Rama, this is what is meant by the death of the mind and the numbness of the heart; and this is the inseparable property of living liberation.

 Know mindfulness of the personality to be foolishness, and unmindfulness of the same to be true wisdom. It is upon the extinction of separative mental affections that the pure essence of the mind comes to light.

 This display of the intrinsic quality of the mind after the extinction of its emotions, and this temperament of the mind of the living liberated person, is regarded as the true nature of the mind.

 The mind that is suffused with benevolent qualities has compassion for all living beings in nature; it is freed from the pains of repeated births in this world of woe, and is called the living liberated mind -Jivanmukta manas.

 The nature of the living liberated mind is said to be the intrinsic essence of mind, which is replete with its holy wishes, and exempted from the doom of transmigration.

 Thesvarupa manasor embodied mind is what has the notion of personality as distinct from the body; and this is essentially of the same nature as the mind of those that are liberated in their lifetime.

 But when the living liberated person extinguishes all separateness in his mind, becoming within himself as joyous as moonbeams by virtue of his universal benevolence, his mind then becomes so expanded and extended that it appears to be present everywhere at all times.

 The living liberated person, being unmindful of himself, becomes as cold-hearted as a plant growing in a frigid climate, with mild virtues like wintry blossoms.

 Thearupa manas, or impersonal mind, of which I have told you before, is the coolness of the disembodied soul that is altogether liberated from the consciousness of personality.

 All the excellent personal virtues and qualities which reside in the embodied soul are utterly lost and absorbed into the disembodied soul, upon its liberation from the consciousness of personality.

 In the case of disembodied liberation, the consciousness of personality being lost, the mind also loses its formal existence invirupa, or formlessness, whereupon there remains nothing of it.

 There remains no more any merit or demerit in it, nor beauty or deformity; it neither shines nor sets any more; nor is there any consciousness of pain or pleasure in it.

 It has no sense of light or darkness, nor perception of day and night; it has no knowledge of space and sky, nor of the breadth, height, or depth of the firmament.

 Its desires and efforts are lost within its essence, and there remains no trace whatever of its entity or ity.

 It is neither dark nor bright, nor transparent as the sky; it does not twinkle like a star, nor shine forth like the solar and lunar lights. There is nothing to which it may be compared in its transparency.

 Those minds that have freed themselves from all worldly cares and passed beyond the bounds of thought, rove in a state of freedom, as the winds wander freely in the region of the air.

 Intelligent souls that are serene and still, steadfast in perfect bliss, above the torments ofrajasandtamas, assuming vestures of vacuous form, find their repose in the supreme felicity of union with the Divine.

Yoga Vasishtha Maharamayana
Sthiti Khanda XC