The Lamp of Wisdom

This morning in class I said that, yes, yoga does have a goal. Here is a nectarean description of the highest state:

To all who long and strive to realize the Self,

Illumination comes to them in this very life.


This divine awareness never leaves them,

And they work unceasingly for the good of all.


When the lamp of wisdom is lit within,

Their face shines, whether life brings weal or woe.


Even in deep sleep they are aware of the Self,

For their mind is freed from all conditioning.


Inwardly they are pure like the cloudless sky,

But they act as if they too were like us all.


Free from self-will, with detached intellect,

They are aware of the Self even with their hands at work.

Neither afraid of the world, nor making the world afraid,

They are free from greed, anger and fear.


When the waves of self-will subside

Into the sea of peace that is the Self,

The mind becomes still, the heart pure,

And illumination comes to us in this very life.


When this supreme state is attained,

They neither rise nor fall, change nor die.


Words cannot describe this supreme state

For it is fuller than fullness can be.


From the Yoga Vasistha (3:23–30), a dialogue between young prince Rama, a divine incarnation, and his spiritual teacher, the sage Vasishta. This is a free rendering by Eknath Easwaran.