The "Yoga Vasistha" is one of the most popular and influential ancient Hindu texts. It is divided into six books comprised of more than 29, scriptures that contain a dialogue between and stories of Vasistha, a Hindu sage, and Rama, the seventh incarnation of the Hindu god, Vishnu. The sixth book of the "Yoga Vasistha" contains portions on yoga practice as well as describes the state of enlightenment and bliss. Learn More Yogapedia explains Yoga Vasistha Although the true author and time of creation is unknown, many believe the "Yoga Vasistha" was composed between the 6th and 14th centuries.
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This monumental work is one without a second in Sanskrit literature. Vasishtha, the great sage, taught the principles of Vedanta to his royal pupil, Sri Rama, the victor of Ravana and hero of the epic, Ramayana. He narrated beautiful and interesting stories to illustrate the principles. The book is written in the language of Valmiki. It is the crest-jewel of all the works on Vedanta. It is a masterpiece. A study of the book raises a man to the lofty heights of divine splendour and bliss.
It is really a vast store of wisdom. Those who practise Atma Chintana or Brahma Abhyasa or Vedantic meditation will find a priceless treasure in this marvellous book. He who studies the book with great interest and one-pointedness of mind cannot go without attaining Self-realisation. The practical hints on Sadhana are unique. Even the most worldly-minded man will become dispassionate and will attain peace of mind, solace and consolation.
The Yoga Vasishtha was once one of the most widely read books in India. It greatly influenced the general philosophical thought. It is a comprehensive, deep, systematic and literary philosophical work of ancient India. The name is derived from the sage Vasishtha.
Though the book is called Yoga Vasishtha, it treats of Jnana only. Practical Yoga is dealt with in two stories. The word "Yoga" is used in the title of this work in its generic sense. It is known by the name Jnana Vasishtham also. Rishi Valmiki, the author of the Ramayana, compiled this remarkable book. The former is a big book containing 32, Granthas or Slokas or 64, lines. The latter book contains 6, Granthas. The Yoga Vasishtha contains a system of ancient philosophical thought unique in its kind.
This is a valuable heritage from the hoary past of this sacred land known as Bharatavarsha or Aryavarta. The system of thought that is presented in this book is a highly valuable contribution not only to Indian philosophical thought but also to the philosophical thought of the world at large. Those whose minds are turned from this world, who have become indifferent towards the objects of this world and who are thirsting for liberation, will be really benefited by a study of this precious book.
They will find in this book a vast mine of knowledge and practical spiritual instructions for guidance in their daily life. The Yoga Vasishtha first enunciates a doctrine in its various aspects and then makes it very lucid through interesting stories. This is a book for constant study as many times as possible. It must be read and re-read, studied and mastered. The Yoga Vasishtha deals with the subject of effecting union of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul amidst all the trials and tribulations of life.
It prescribes various directions for the union of the Jivatman and Paramatman. The nature of Brahman or Sat and the various methods of attaining Self-realisation are vividly described in this book. The main enquiry regarding the final beatitude or summum bonum is beautifully dealt with. This book embodies in itself the science of ontology, the knowledge of the Self, the principles of psychology, the science of emotions, the tenets of ethics and practical morality, discourses on theology, etc.
The philosophy of Yoga Vasishtha is sublime. Its Division and Doctrine The book consists of six Prakaranas or sections, namely: 1. Vairagya Prakarana on dispassion or indifference ; 2. Mumukshu Prakarana on longing for liberation 3.
Utpatti Prakarana on creation or origin ; 4. Sthiti Prakarana on preservation or existence ; 5. Upasanti Prakarana on dissolution or quiescence ; and 6.
Nirvana Prakarana on liberation. According to Yoga Vasishtha, this world of experience with various objects, time, space and laws, is a creation of the mind, that is, an idea or Kalpana.
Just as objects are created by the mind in dream, so also everything is created by the mind in the waking state also.
Expansion of the mind is Sankalpa. Sankalpa, through its power of differentiation, generates this universe. Time and space are only mental creations.
Through the play of the mind in objects, nearness seems to be a great distance and vice versa. Through the force of the mind, a Kalpa is regarded as a moment and vice versa. A moment of waking experience may be experienced as years in dream. The mind can have the experience of miles within a short span and miles can also be experienced as a span only.
Mind is not anything different and separate from Brahman. Brahman manifests Himself as mind. Mind is endowed with creative power. Mind is the cause of bondage and liberation. The doctrine of Drishti-Srishtivada is expounded in the Yoga Vasishtha. You begin to see and then there is creation. This is Drishti-Srishtivada.
This world does not exist at all in the three periods of time. This is Ajativada or non-origin of the universe. This is a most inspiring book. Every student of Vedanta keeps this book for constant study. It is a constant companion for a student on the path of Jnana Yoga.
It is not a Prakriya Grantha; it does not deal with the Prakriyas or categories of Vedanta. Only advanced students can take up this book for their study. Moksha According to Yoga Vasishtha Moksha, according to Yoga Vasishtha, is the attainment of the essence of the bliss of Brahman through knowledge of the Self.
It is freedom from births and deaths. It is the immaculate and imperishable seat of Brahman wherein there are neither Sankalpas nor Vasanas. The mind attains its quiescence here. All the pleasures of the whole world are a mere drop when compared to the infinite bliss of Moksha. That which is called Moksha is neither in Devaloka nor in Patala nor on earth. When all desires are destroyed, the extinction of the expansive mind alone is Moksha.
Moksha has neither space nor time in itself; nor is there in it any state external or internal. If the illusory idea of "I" or Ahamkara perishes, the end of thoughts which is Maya is experienced, and that is Moksha. Extinction of all Vasanas constitutes Moksha.
Sankalpa is only Samsara; its annihilation is Moksha. It is only Sankalpa destroyed beyond resurrection that constitutes the immaculate Brahmic seat or Moksha. Moksha is freedom from all sorts of pains Sarva-Duhkha Nivritti and the attainment of supreme bliss Paramananda Prapti.
Births and deaths generate the greatest pain. Freedom from births and deaths is freedom from all sorts of pain. Brahma Jnana or knowledge of the Self alone will give Moksha. The quiescence produced in the mind by the absence of desires for objects is Moksha. Moksha is not a thing to be achieved. It is already there. You are in reality not bound.
You are ever pure and free. If you were really bound you could never become free. You have to know that you are the immortal, all-pervading Self. To know that, is to become That. This is Moksha. This is the goal of life. This is the summum bonum of existence. That state of non-attraction of the mind, when neither "I" nor any other self exists for it, and when it abandons the pleasures of the world, should be known as the path that leads to Moksha.
The Absolute, according to the Yoga Vasishtha, is Satchidananda Para Brahman, who is non-dual, partless, infinite, self-luminous, changeless and eternal.
He is the ultimate substance. He is the unity behind the subject and the object of experience. He is one homogeneous essence.
BRIHAT YOGA VASISTHA PDF
This monumental work is one without a second in Sanskrit literature. Vasishtha, the great sage, taught the principles of Vedanta to his royal pupil, Sri Rama, the victor of Ravana and hero of the epic, Ramayana. He narrated beautiful and interesting stories to illustrate the principles. The book is written in the language of Valmiki. It is the crest-jewel of all the works on Vedanta.
The Yoga Vasishtha
The full editions contain over 29,,  to a few with 32, verses,  and in some editions about 36, verses. But the writer seems to have been endowed with extraordinary poetical gifts. Almost every verse is full of finest poetical imagery; the choice of words is exceedingly pleasing to the ear. What is this universe?