Here comes first volume of the most awaited book “YOGA VASISHTHA VOL-I”, the eternal wisdom imparted to Sri Rama by His guru Sri Vasistha. It contains sublime and most inspiring teachings that ignite a blazing fire of dispassion in hearts of spiritual seekers. It is an irony that many people in India are unaware of this nectarine wisdom.
Pujya gurudev Shri Swami Jyotirmayananda published this book a long back in 1977 in USA and only some close Indian devotees of Swamiji were fortunate to read it. Since long its Indian edition was in demand. We are pleased to published first of expected six volumes for all those who are really interested to get guidance from the profound wisdom of sage Vasishtha.
Yoga Vasishtha is a rare scripture that provides insight into nature of Brahman, purpose of one’s existence and techniques of self improvement.
Original text is profound and voluminous like an ocean, but Sri Swamiji has brought out pearls and rubies of immortal wisdom for seekers of the eternal truth.
We are sure that reading this Jewell of all scriptures will transform countless souls and lead them on the path of spiritual enlightenment.
Back of the Book
Yoga Vasistha can bring a complete transformation in human personality; even like the beggar of old fairy tales who turned into a king when a charmed golden ring fell into his hand; just so, whosoever holds this book, turning the pages with an inquisitive mind and a heart searching for truth, will discover the infinite beauty of his inner Self. Yoga Vasistha in its broad spectrum encompasses topics such as: the mysteries of the soul, death and reincarnations, the psychic powers, the mystic energy known as Kundalini, the subtle operations of the unconscious mind which bring about repeated embodiments, and the techniques of spiritual enquiry and meditation. The book written by sage Sri Swami Jyotir Nanda, presents you with the key to heavenly bliss and perfection; and every page of this book is filled with his blessings.
Introdution The Yoga Vasistha Maha-Rilmayana, one of the greatest of all Hindu scriptures, is virtually unknown in the West, due to the scarcity of its English translations. This vast work of approximately thirty-two thousand verses (sixty-four thousand lines) supplements the epic poem, the Ramayana, which is more popularly known throughout India and the world. In the Bala-Kanda section of the Ramayana, it is stated that Sri Rama was given spiritual instructions by Sage Vasistha . Yoga Vasistha is that teaching. Whereas the Ramayana describes the epic life and adventures of Sri Rama, the Yoga Vasistha presents his inner realization in detail for those who wish to intensify their spiritual life and deepen their understanding. The Yoga Vasistha is also known by the following names: Maha-Ramayana, Uttar Ramayana, Arsha Ramayana, Jnana Vasistha, Vasistha Ramayana, and Vasistha. Whatever you choose to call it, it is the earliest detailed work of Yoga- Vedanta. 'and gives a magnificently detailed exposition of the subtleties and insights of that philosophy with a majestic sweep that has never been equalled in any metaphysical work since. It was written by the great poet Valmiki (probably about 500 B.C., although maybe much earlier) in the form of dialogue between Sage Vasistha and his pupil, the young prince Rama. Every kind of exposition is employed in its sequence - didactic instruction, answers to doubts, parables, and stories within stories, Many key points of this metaphysical instruction are touched upon over and over again, with increasingly deeper meanings. Therefore, the work appears to move in vast spirals, culminating in the Self-realization of Sri Rama. The interlocking system of stories within stories enhances the vision of worlds within worlds, and of the infinitely complex world of the mind, itself arising within the Cosmic Mind. In the opening stage, Sri Rama relates his growing awareness of the transiency of life and of all worldly aims. A great Vairagya (dispassion) arises, which later develops into Mumukshuttwa (longing for spiritual emancipation). Subsequently, he is fully enlightened by Sage Vasistha. In the process, every aspect of Yogic and Vedantic teaching is beautifully and fully developed. Yoga Vasistha is divided into the following six chapters: 1) Vairagya Prakarana (Dispassion) At Sage Vasistha's request, Sri Rama describes the cause of his mind's unusual melancholy state. He elaborates upon the transiency, essencelessness, and changing nature of all objects in this world. These vivid descriptions of the vanity of all worldly pleasures, and of the emptiness of all worldly glories. are meant to promote Vairagva (dispassion), which is the first basic requirement for treading 'the path of wisdom that leads to Self-realization. 2)Mumuksu Prakarana (Aspiration for self-realization) This section details upon the qualifications that are necessary before one can seek immortality. One should not rely on destiny, but rather, gain an insight into the fact that the Self in him is the ceaseless source of all energy and creativity. He should befriend one of the four gatekeepers of Liberation (serenity, contentment, spiritual enquiry, and good association). With the help of that one gatekeeper, he will automatically befriend the other three, and finally, enter into the blessed palace of Liberation. 3) Utpetti Prakarana (The Origin of the World-process) Utpatti Prakarana is an exposition on how the world evolved from the Absolute and is ever rooted in the Absolute. In fact. the world .15 an appearance sustained by the limitations of the mind. When these limitations are overcome by intuitive wisdom, it becomes non-existent. 4)Sthiti Prakarana (The Sustaining Reality of the Self) This section explains how an aspirant, having attained knowledge, can abide in Brahman, even though the world continues to appear. The underlying Reality behind the ego-sense in man is the Absolute. When the illusion of duality is negated by wisdom, a Yogi lives and sports in Brahman. The Self is realized as the creator as well as the enjoyer of the unrverse. 5) Uossheme Prakarana (Quiescence of the Mind) Herein Yoga Vasistha deals with the stupendous experience of peace that results from spiritual Enlightenment. The characteristics of a Self-realized Sage are described in glowing terms, This section also gives instructions for the removal of Ahamkara (egoism), for the promotion of equal vision, and for the attainment of absolute detachment from the world-process. 6) Nirvana Prakarana (Liberation) This voluminous section is divided in two parts: In the first, entitled Purva Bhaga, the Yogi discovers his essential nature. He realizes his true identity as Brahman, the underlying Reality behind all individual beings, as well as the universe. He becomes all that is. In this section, Sri Rama enters into divine ecstasy. In the second part, Uttara Bhaga, Yoga Vasistha presents the beatific vision of Nirvana (Liberation), which is the extinction of all cravings. Sage Vasistha describes his own personal experiences of Samadhi and of the majestic vision of the entire universe being nothing but the Self. In conclusion, Sri Rama attained enlightenment. But instead of turning away from the practical duties of the world, he prepared himself to perform them even as the great Divinities who create, sustain and destroy the world - with a spirit of absolute detachment.
Yoga Vasistha can bring a complete transformation in human personality; even like the beggar of old fairy tales who turned into a King when a charmed golden ring fell into his hand; just so, whosoever holds this book, turning the pages with an inquisitive mind and a heart searching for truth, will discover the infinite beauty of his inner Self.
Yoga Vasistha nourishes the soul and awakens a yearning for freedom and an exquisite peace unknown before.
This unique book par excellence has been long awaited by advanced Vedantins and Yogis of India, because it is only available in rare editions of the last century. And it is what the enquiring mind of the West has been desperately needing since they heard he remarks of Schopenhauer, “In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life; it will be the solace of my death.” There are a few publications at present which are not sufficient to portray the total beauty and wisdom of Yoga Vasistha.
H.H. Sri Swami Jyotir Maya Nanda, internationally known lecturer and writer of over fifty books on Yoga and Vedanta philosophy, has been interpreting and commenting on Yoga Vasistha for almost 25 years: first in India for 9 years at the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy, Sivananda Ashram, Himalayas; in Vedantic conferences in Amritsar, Ludhiana, and other parts of India, and also in Dehradun Women’s College. Since coming to the west, Swamiji had been lecturing in Puerto Rico for six years, followed by his weekly lectures here in Miami. Available on tapes and cassettes, these lectures are an undying treasure.
We are presenting an abridged version of Yoga Vasistha in two volumes. The first volume contains: Vairagya Prakarana, Mumukshu Vyavahara Prakarana, and a portion of Utpatti Prakarana.
After a brief encounter with Yoga Vasistha, the reader will feel that all other books of philosophy have become like old crumbs on the table, while Yoga Vasistha stands like the sweet, vitalizing elixir of life.
If I could have only one book for some extraordinary reason to read for the rest of my life, I would choose Yoga Vasistha; just as King Shah Jehan had the choice of only one type of food-grain while he was imprisoned for life, and he chose the chickpeas (garbanzo beans) because of its nourishment and adaptability to a variety of tasty dishes.
Yoga Vasistha encompasses in its powerful literature the dramatic stories of the inner states of the mind, and like a brilliant advocate, presents its brief with a convincing voice and expert phrasing, and with its mystic strategy convinces the mind to undermine its fancies and imaginations leading to the realization that the world lies within the mind.
Nothing is more inspiring and soul-stirring as when the mind lifts itself from the quagmire of false perceptions of the senses, and sees the contents of waking, dream and deep sleep as the refractions of the Light of Consciousness filtering through the layers of egoistic illusions.
The awe-inspiring awakening of the knowledge that “You are not this body, not this mind, and not this intellect” is uplifting and produces a vital change in the overall perception of the world. it is for this reason Sages warn immature aspirants against the wrong interpretations of this grand philosophy; they emphasize the fact that the wisdom of the Yoga Vasistha must be received under the guidance of an illumined teacher. For those who are endowed with a mighty strength of intellect, and intense dispassion, Yoga Vasistha brings for them the clouds of mystic understanding that bursts into the flood of unique bliss.
Due to the unfortunate lack of knowledge of Yoga Vasistha, the intelligentsia of the West have been unable to realize the vast treasure of profound knowledge that lies hidden in this great work. Because of this reason, the wisdom of Vedanta has not been deeply understood and assimilated by them.
Yoga Vasistha in its broad spectrum encompasses topics such as: the mysteries of the soul, death and reincarnations, the psychic powers, the mystic energy known as Kundalini, the subtle operations of the unconscious mind which bring about repeated embodiments ad the techniques of spiritual enquiry and meditation.
With his deft hand and eloquent pen, Sri Swami Jyotir Maya Nanda gives to the world his most memorable writing which has been guarded as a secret mystic wealth by the Sages of India for a long time.
The greatest literatures of the world have always incorporated in their writings parables, illustrations, and stories to bring about a striking impression, even like that of a lightning flash, upon the sleeping mind in order that it may awaken sharply to the light of the truth. Yoga Vasistha abounds with these.
It is to be noted that humor and wit permeate the writings and lectures of Sri Swami Jyotir Maya Nanda. They are like the green creeper adorning the tree of liberation. A studious reader will meet for the first time a challenge to his intellect to discover the secret wealth of the Self, and to explore the mysteries of the mind.
This book, written by Sage Sri Swami Jyotir Maya Nanda, presents you with the key to heavenly bliss and perfection; and every page of this book is filled with his blessings.
May the golden sun of your eternal Self rise from behind the horizon of distractions and mental limitations and encompass you in the greatest beauty and sublime love which are the very essence of your real Self.
|1||Prologue (Sutikshna and Agasti, etc…)||20|
|2||Brahma Urges Sage Valmiki to Compose Yoga Vasistha||34|
|3||The Nature of Wisdom (The Pilgrimage of Rama)||38|
|4||The Daily Life of Rama||42|
|6||The Arrival of Vishwamitra||43|
|7||Vishwamitra’s Request for Rama||45|
|8||Dasharatha is in Distress||47|
|9||Vishwamitra’s Request for Rama||48|
|10||Rama’s Distressing Condition||50|
|11||Sri Rama Is Brought to Vishwamitra||51|
|12||The Reason for Rama’s Distress||52|
|13||Denunciation of Wealth||54|
|14||The Vanity of Life||57|
|15||Denunciation on Egoism||59|
|16||Denunciation of the Mind||60|
|17||Denunciation of Craving||62|
|18||Denunciation of the Body||64|
|19||Denunciation of the Childhood Stage||68|
|20||The Evils of Youth||70|
|21||Denunciation of Sex and Passion||73|
|22||Denunciation of Old Age||75|
|23||Denunciation of Time||79|
|24||The Transitoriness of the World||83|
|25||The Dance of the Time-Spirit||83|
|26||The Evils of Perishability||84|
|27||Denunciation of all Objects That Obstruct Self-realization||87|
|28||The Transient Nature of All Sense Enjoyments||91|
|29||The Essencelessness of All Objects||95|
|30||Request for Spiritual Instructions||97|
|32||Sri Rama Is Praised by the Siddhas||103|
|33||Sri Rama Is Praised by the Sages||103|
|1||Sri Shuka Goes to King Janaka||105|
|2||Sage Vishwamitra Requests Sage Vasistha to Instruct Sri Rama||110|
|3||The Nature of the World-process in the Three Periods of Time||112|
|4||The Glory of Self-effort||114|
|5||The Power of Self-effort||118|
|6||The Negation of Destiny||121|
|7||Predominance of Self-effort||126|
|8||The Illusion of Destiny||129|
|9||The Illusoriness of Actions and the Reality of the Self||131|
|10||The Origin of Sage Vasistha||135|
|11||The Descent of Spiritual Wisdom||139|
|12||The Evils of the World-process and the Glory of Wisdom||143|
|13||Introduction to the Four Gatekeepers The First Gatekeeper: Shama (Serenity)||145|
|14||The Second Gatekeeper: Vichara (Spiritual Enquiry)||149|
|15||The Third Gatekeeper: Santosh (Contentment)||153|
|16||The Fourth Gatekeeper: Satsanga (Good Association)||154|
|17||The General Plan of Yoga Vasistha||157|
|18||The Special Qualities of Yoga Vasistha||159|
|19||Brahman Is Revealed by right Knowledge (Pramana)||163|
|20||The Conduct of Enlightened Sages||165|
|1||The Cause of Bondage||168|
|2||The Ignorant Are Devoured by Death||172|
|3||Brahma’s Creation is Mental in Nature||174|
|4||The Nature of the Mind||176|
|5||The Divine Self Is the Root of the Mind and the world||178|
|6||The Self is Realized Through Wisdom and Not Through Action||181|
|7||The Absolute without the Limitations of the World-process||184|
|8||The Glory of Spiritual Scriptures||188|
|9||The Characteristics of a Liberated Sage||191|
|10||The Paradoxical Descriptions of Brahman||196|
|11||The World as a Mental Illusion||201|
|12||The Creation of the Universe||202|
|13||Brahman Becomes the Jiva (Individual Soul) Through Illusion||204|
|14||It Is Brahman That Manifests as the Universe||206|
|15||The Story of Lila Commences||210|
|16||There is a Tragic End to the Enjoyments of This World||211|
|17||The Spirit of King Padma Enjoys a Different World and Becomes King Viduratha||215|
|18||Both the World of Padma and the World of Padma’s Spirit, Viduratha, Are Illusory||217|
|19||The Story of Vasistha and Arundhati (The Past Lives of Padma and Lila)||219|
|20||Lila Sees the World of Her Previous Birth (Insight into the Illusory Nature of the World)||220|
|21||Teachings of Goddess Saraswati Expounding that All This is the Pure Self||225|
|22||The Way to Destroy the Vasanas of the Mind||229|
|23-26||Lila and Goddess Saraswati Travel with Their Astral Bodies to the World of Lila’s Previous Existence||232|
|27||Lila’s Past Lives||236|
|28-29||Lila Remembers More Details about Her Previews Embodiment in the form of Arundhati||239|
|30-39||Lila Enters into the World of Viduratha and Witnesses a Terrible Battle||242|
|40.||The Nature of the Subtle Body||245|
|41||King Viduratha Wakes Up to Find Two Goddesses Before Him||249|
|42-44||Ignorance Lends Reality to Waking and Dream States||252|
|45||Goddess Saraswati Grants a Boon to Lila (Viduratha’s Queen)||255|
|46-51||King Viduratha Fights with King Sindhu||256|
|52-53||King Viduratha Dies and Lila-2 Reaches the World of Padma: More Illusions of the World-process||260|
|54||The Process of Death, and the Karmas That Determine the Life Span of an Individual||264|
|55||Experiences After Death||268|
|56-58||The Departure of Viduratha||270|
|59||Conclusion of the Story of Lila||273|
|60||The Relativity of time and space||276|
|61||The Vanity of Objects||280|
|62||The vision That Leads to Liberation||283|
|63||Brahman Appears as the World-process through Maya||285|
|64-65||Consciousness Is the Reality Behind the Mind and Objects||286|
|Sage Vasistha Imparts Spiritual Wisdom to Sri Rama||12|
|Swami Jyotir Maya Nanda||16|
|Saruchi and Devadatta||23|
|Brahma inspires Sage Valmiki to write Yoga Vasistha||35|
|The Four Stages of Life||56|
|Life and Death||77|
|Dance of the Time Spirit||82|
|Sri Shuka and King Janaka||106|
|H.H. Swami Jyotir Maya Nanda||138|
|Four Gates to Liberation||148|
|Lord Brahma and sage Vasistha||167|
|Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi||190|
|H.H. Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj||200|
|Lila receives blessing from Goddess Saraswati||212|
|Lila and Goddess Saraswati enter the Palace of King Viduratha||244|
|Lord Rama - The Divine Incarnation of Lord Vishnu||281|
|Sages Descend into the Royal Court of King Dasharatra to Listen to the Teachings of Sage Vasistha||288|