The Sage Vasishtha said: Utter disinterestedness towards the world will prevent the resurgence of the personal mind and its attendant ignorance. Whether you are waking, sleeping or in any other living state, you must remember the emptiness of the world and resign all reliance upon it.

  Leave off all selfishness, O Rama, and rely on the dispassion of your soul, accepting whatever offers itself to you without reaching or grasping about. AsMaheshwaradoes all things, yet remains apart from them, so too must you engage in actions outwardly while remaining unmixed with them.

  Knowing the knowable, one discovers oneself as the uncreate soul and evenMaheshwara, but divorced from that soul one only views the spreading world of matter. He who has the sight of the inner spirit is freed from the concerns of the outer world and is not subject to the joys, griefs, sorrows or evils of life.

  He is called ayoginwho is free from passions and enmity, and looks upon gold and rubbish as the same. He is joined withanandain his yoga and disjoined from all worldly desires. He enjoys the fruits of his own actions, not minding what he does not use or gives away. Even-minded in all conditions, he is unmoved by prosperity and adversity.

  He accepts what comes to him and employs all opportunities that offer themselves, without considering his gain or loss, yet remains unmired in difficulties. He is assured of the spiritual essence of the world and does not pine for its physical enjoyments, but is composed at all times.

  The dull mind, in attaining its ends, follows the active Intellect, as the fox follows the lion in quest of meat. As the servile band of the lion feeds on the flesh acquired by its prowess, so the mind dwells upon sensible objects perceived by the power of the Intellect.

  Thus the insatiable mind lives upon the outer world by the sufferance of the Intellect, but as it comes to recollect its origin in the Intellect it recoils to its original state. The mind which is moved and lighted by the heat and light of the lamp of the Intellect becomes extinct without its physical fuel, like a still corpse.

  Know that the nature of pure Intellect excludes all conception of change and pulsation, while the power that has vibration in it is called intellection or mind in the Shastras. The breathing of the mind, resembling the hissing of a snake, is called itskalpana, or imagination. But, by knowing the Intellect as the Ego, it comes to true knowledge of the inward soul.

  The Intellect freed from thoughts is the everlastingBrahman, but joined with thoughts it is styled the imaginative principle or mind. This power of imagination, having assumed a definite form, is termed the willing and choosing mind situated in the heart of living beings.

  With its distinct powers of imagination and volition, it is engaged in acts of discrimination and choice between what it finds agreeable and disagreeable to itself. The Intellect confined in the heart, together with all its thoughts and volitions, forgets its spiritual nature and remains as inert as a stone.

  Thus imprisoned in the hearts of all creatures in this world, the Intellect continues in oblivion of its nature until it is awakened of itself through intuition and the instruction of preceptors. It is awakened by means of guidance derived from the Shastras and gurus, accompanied by the practice of dispassion and the subjection of the organs of sense and action.

  When the minds of living beings are roused by learning and self-control, they either tend towards the knowledge of the greatBrahman, or else they rove at random about the wide world. We must therefore awaken our minds which are rolling in the pit of worldliness, drunk with the wine of error and dulled to divine knowledge.

  So long as the mind is unawakened it is insensible of every truth. Though it perceives sensible things, its perception of them is as false as the fanciful image of a city in the air. But when the mind is awakened by divine knowledge to the vision of the Supreme, it witnesses all things in itself, like the inward fragrance of flowers pervading the outermost petals.

  Though the Intellect has the capacity to know all things in all three worlds, it will have but little knowledge if it lacks the desire to know. The mind estranged from Intellect is as dull as a block of stone, but it is opened by divine light like a lotus bud unfolding under the light of the sun.

  The imaginative mind is as devoid of understanding as a marble statue is incapable of moving. How could regiments shown in a painting wage a battle? How could healing plants emit their light if only lit by moonbeams?

  Who has ever seen bloody corpses run about, or heard pieces of rock in the woods singing musical strains? Can a stone image of the sun dispel the darkness of night, or an imaginary forest in the sky spread its shade on the ground?

  Of what purpose is the exertion of men of stony ignorance led on by error, except to endanger themselves by the mirage of their minds? It is the imagination that displays the non-existent as existent in the soul, as it is sunbeams which exhibit the limpid main in the mazy sands.

  The shallow designate the moving principle in the body as the mind, but know it as the mere force of the vital winds in living beings. Those whose self-consciousness is unruffled by currents of passion and desire know their spiritual souls to be as peaceful as unperturbed streams.

  But when this pure consciousness is fouled by false fancies of this and that, of 'I' and 'mine', then the soul and vital principle are taken together as forming a living being. The mind, vital principle and understanding are but fictive names of unrealities conceived by false thinkers who know not the true spirit.

  There is neither mind nor understanding nor thinking principle nor body, in reality, but only the one Universal Spirit, ever existent and everywhere. It is the Soul which is all this world. It is Time and all its variations. More transparent than the sky, it is as clear as the Void.

  Inapparent through its transparency, it is ever present to our consciousness of it. The Spirit, beyond all things, is perceived by our inward perception alone. Before our consciousness of the Supreme Soul, the mind vanishes into nothing, like darkness in the presence of the sun.

Yoga Vasishtha Maharamayana
Upasama Khanda XIII