Vasistha's Yoga is a contemplation on the philosophy of non-duality to explain the nature of Reality Itself. Contemplation is a very helpful tool for transforming the mind because it questions our assumptions about life, the universe and God. As we let go of all our assumptions, our mind becomes free of duality, i.e. ideas of me and you, this and that. According to Vasistha's Yoga, this contemplation is one of the paths to freedom from suffering. It is also called the path of the jnani or the path of Knowledge.
Vedic philosophy suggests that the universe is made up of three gunas or modes of nature: tamas, rajas, and sattva guna. Tamas represents darkness and inertia. Rajas represents movement and activity. Sattva represents goodness and meditation. Everything is made up of a combination of the gunas. These gunas are constantly changing, so the entire universe is constantly changing. If something is always changing, then it is temporary and therefore, not the Ultimate Reality. Sage Vasistha states that ANY thought in the mind is not the Absolute Truth, so ALL thoughts must be let go or surrendered. Letting go means not taking the thoughts to be Real or, for that matter, important. When EVERY thought is let go, the Final Truth is realized: Aham Brahmasmi. I am Brahman. In other words, there is only Brahman, only God. No more objectification. No longer experiencing oneself to be the mind. Just pure consciousness. The world within the mind dissolves in the fire of this realization, and all suffering ceases. There is no individual to suffer anymore since the very idea of individuality (identification with ego) is dropped.
Vasistha's Yoga is a conversation between Vasishta and Ram. Ram asks the sage question after question about the nature of Reality, especially for the benefit of the thousands of people who are attending this great gathering called satsang. Vasishta advises Ram to consider the universe as a rope instead of a snake. The human mind worries because there are so many fears in duality. In a dark room, when one touches a rope, it is considered to be a snake and therefore, terrifying. When the light is turned on, one sees the rope and loses all fear. The same thing happens when one realizes that everything is Brahman, pure consciousness, Truth. One knows that "I am everything." Indeed, the name "Ram" means "I am everything." Ram is the incarnation of "everything," the embodiment of that realization, and even today, millions of people worship Ram as the "Supreme Being."
Vasishta's Yoga helps the mind to cancel itself out. The book presents a conundrum that the mind cannot solve. When the mind let's go of thought, the consciousness is free. As the wind brings the clouds to the sky, it also blows away the clouds. Similarly, the mind has created its prison, and it can also sweep away its prison simply through a contemplation about the nature of Reality. Using a powerful intellect, one can cut through any thought or emotion and diffuse it. Let us contemplate ourselves out of suffering and realize the self-luminous being beyond all conception.
Many religions and spiritual traditions suggest that God is Omnipresent. This idea is a wonderful philosophy that is worth considering more deeply. Perhaps if we contemplate the nature of Omnipresence, we may come closer to God! Indeed, if that contemplation helps us to realize God, it would be very good to contemplate it all the time. Omnipresence means existing everywhere - in matter, in energy, in thoughts, mind and emotion, in all universes and dimensions, in time, space, and distance. Everything that one could possibly conceive of - therein lies God. Indeed, everything must be God. Yet our mind seems to perceive the world as a bunch of separate objects that are good, bad or neutral, all based on feelings. Thus arises "problem consciousness." Somehow the filter of the mind has created an experience that is God or not God. Many seekers have walked the path of spirituality, striving to cleanse the filter of the mind which has created good and evil, me and you, this and that. There are two primary ways to purify the mind. One is iti iti; the other is neti neti.
Iti iti means, "This is it, this is it." You could call this idea the path of love. Look for ways to experience everything as God. Find the magic and beauty in everything, and everything becomes an aspect of God. Develop appreciation and gratitude for every aspect of creation, even the things that the mind has determined to be bad or evil. This appreciation becomes so powerful that the object begins to develop a "Presence." One feels the Presence in more and more things until the entire world becomes one vast Presence. That Presence is felt within the body and mind and outside the body. Thus, one's entire experience becomes God, and "problem consciousness" falls away.
Neti neti means "not this, not this." You could call this idea the path of peace. Consider that everything the mind presents is not the Absolute Truth and therefore, not important. Through this contemplation, the mind easily lets go of worries, fears, anger, greed, hatred, etc. because none of it is important! The mind is constructed of dualities which have been programmed according to family and society. This mind is founded upon a feeling of "I" versus the rest of the world. Empty the mind of all concepts and ideas of what self, life and God is. Consider your experience of existence right now, and then let go of it all, treating these feelings like clouds passing across the sky. The sky does not hold onto the clouds. When there are no more labels, concepts, and ideas, the filter of the mind has dissolved, and the Self becomes luminous. The Presence of God reveals Itself. There are no more words.
If God is Omnipresent, then where are you? And who are you? This question itself is the crux of the philosophy. You cannot exist as a separate entity within the context of Omnipresence. Let us enjoy the game of God together and solve this great Conundrum.