The Supreme Worship

This consciousness (the Self) is to be worshipped by one's own consciousness, not by material substances - by waving of lamps, lighting incense, offering flowers or even food or sandalpaste.

Consciousness is attained without the least effort, and is worshipped by self-realization alone. And the Self is not realized by any means other than meditation.

Meditating with form such as upon an object, sound, breath or mental image is both external and dualistic worship, since there exists the division of the subject (the one that meditates) and object (that which is meditated upon).

I shall now declare to you the internal worship of the Self which is the greatest of all purifiers and which destroys all darkness completely.

This is of the nature of perpetual meditation - whether one is walking, or standing, whether one is awake or asleep, in and through all one's actions one should contemplate this supreme consciousness which is seated in the heart and bring about, as it were, all the modifications within oneself.

This is both internal and non-dualistic worship, since there is no subject and object division when your awareness remains aware of awareness, when consciousness remains conscious of consciousness.

This is the supreme meditation, this is the supreme worship: the continuous and unbroken awareness of the indwelling presence, inner light or consciousness.

While doing whatever one is doing - seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, or talking - one should realize one's essential nature as pure consciousness. Thus does one attain liberation.

One should worship the bodalingarh (the manifest consciousness or self-awareness) which sleeps and wakes up, goes about or stands, touches what is to be touched, abandons what should be abandoned, enjoys and abandons pleasures, engages in varied external activities, lends value to all actions and remains as peace in the vital organs in the body (deha-lingam). This inner intelligence should be worshipped with whatever comes to one unsought.

Remaining firmly seated in the stream of life and its experiences after having bathed in self-knowledge, one should worship this inner intelligence with the materials of self-realization (direct self-awareness of your inner awareness).

This worship is performed day and night perpetually, with the objects that are effortlessly obtained, and are offered to consciousness with a mind firmly established in equanimity and in the right spirit, for consciousness being spirit cares only for the right spirit.

Consciousness should be worshipped by means of all enjoyments that the body enjoys, through eating, drinking, being with one's consort and such other pleasures. Consciousness should be worshipped with the illnesses one experiences and with every sort of unhappiness or suffering one experiences.

Consciousness should be worshipped with all of one's activities, including life and death and all of one's dreams. Consciousness should be worshipped with one's poverty and prosperity.

Consciousness should be worshipped even with fights and quarrels as well as with sports and other pastimes, and with the manifestations of the emotions of attraction and aversion. Consciousness should be adored with the noble qualities of a pious heart - friendship, compassion, joy and indifference.

Consciousness should be worshipped with all kinds of pleasures that are granted to one unsought, whether those pleasures are sanctioned by the scriptures or forbidden by them. Consciousness should be worshipped with those that are regarded as desirable and others that are regarded as undesirable, with those that are considered appropriate and others that are considered inappropriate.

For this worship one should abandon what is lost, and one should accept and receive what has been obtained without effort. One should engage oneself in this worship at all times, established in supreme equanimity in regard to all the percepts, whether they be pleasant or unpleasant. One should regard everything as good and auspicious (or one should regard everything as a mixture of good and evil).

Realizing that everything is the one Self (consciousness), one should worship the Self in this spirit. One should look with equal vision upon that which is pleasant and beautiful through and through, and that which is unendurably unpleasant.

Thus should one worship the Self.

One should abandon the divisive notions of 'This I am' and 'This I am not' and realize that 'All this is indeed Brahman' - the one indivisible and infinite consciousness. In that spirit one should worship the Self.

At all times, in all forms and their modifications, one should worship the Self in and through all that one obtains. One should worship the Self after having abandoned the distinction between the desirable and the undesirable, or even while relying on such a distinction (but using them as the materials for the worship).

Without craving and without rejecting, that which is effortless and naturally obtained may be enjoyed. One should not get excited or depressed when faced with insignificant or significant objects, just as neither sky nor space is affected by the diverse objects that exist and grow in it.

One should worship the Self without psychological perversion, with every object that is obtained purely on account of the coincidence of the time, place and activity - whether they are popularly known as good or bad. In this procedure for the worship of the Self, whatever article has been mentioned as being necessary for the worship is of the same nature as all others (as consciousness), though the expressions used are different.

Equanimity (an equal eye) is sweetness itself and this sweetness is beyond the senses and the mind. Whateve is touched by that equanimity instantly becomes sweet, whatever its description or definition may be.

That alone is regarded as worship which is performed when is in a state of equanimity like that of space, when the mind has become utterly quiescent without the least movement of thought, when there is effortless absence of perversity.

Established in this state equanimity, the wise man should experience infinite expansion within himself while carrying out his natural actions externally without craving or rejection. Such is the nature of the worshipper of this intelligence (consciousness). In his case delusion, ignorance and ego-sense do not arise, even in a dream. Remain in this state, experiencing everything as a child does.

Worship the intelligence (consciousness) that pervades this body with all that is brought to you by time, circumstances and environment, and rest in supreme peace, devoid of desire. Whatever you do and whenever you do it (or refrain from doing it) - all that is the worship of the Lord who is pure consciousness. By regarding all that as the worship of the Self, the Self is delighted.

Likes and dislikes, attraction and aversion are not found in the Self independent of its essential nature; they are mere words. Even the concepts indicated by words like 'sovereignty', 'poverty', 'pleasure', 'pain', 'one's own' and 'others' are in fact worship of the Self, for this 'conceiving' intelligence is the Self.

Knowledge of the cosmic being (consciousness) alone is the proper worship of the cosmic being. It is that Self or cosmic consciousness alone which is indicated by expressions such as 'this is world.'

Oh, what mysterious wonder it is that the Self, which is pure consciousness or intelligence somehow seems to forget its own nature and comes to regard itself as the jiva (individual). In fact, in that cosmic being which is the reality in everything, there is not even the division into worshipper, worship and the worshipped.

It is impossible to describe that cosmic being who supports the entire universe without division; it is impossible to teach another concerning it. And, we do not consider them worthy of being taught by us who consider that God is limited by time and space.

Hence, abandoning all such limited concepts, abandoning even the division between the worshipper and the worshipped (Lord), worship the Self by the Self (consciously remain conscious of your consciousness).

Be at peace, pure, free from cravings. Consider (consciously) that all your experiences and expressions are the worship of the Self.

Thus should one worship the Self at all times through this perpetual meditation (awareness remaining aware of awareness).

(Concise Yoga Vasistha pg 299 - 301)