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Books > Hindu > Yoga Vasistha (Volume I: Vairagya Mumukshu Utpatti)
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Yoga Vasistha (Volume I: Vairagya Mumukshu Utpatti)
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Publisher’s Note

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.

Preface

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.

 

Contents

 

 
VAIRAGYA PRAKARANA
 
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
5 Rama’s Dejection 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
31 Spiritual Questions 100
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
 
UTPATTI PRAKARANA
 
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
 
ILLUSTRATIONS
 
  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
Sample Pages











Yoga Vasistha (Volume I: Vairagya Mumukshu Utpatti)

Item Code:
IDC367
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2006
ISBN:
8185883491
Language:
english
Size:
8.4" X 5.4"
Pages:
306 (17 B/W Illustrations)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 395 gms
Price:
$25.00   Shipping Free
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Publisher’s Note

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.

Preface

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.

 

Contents

 

 
VAIRAGYA PRAKARANA
 
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
5 Rama’s Dejection 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
31 Spiritual Questions 100
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
 
UTPATTI PRAKARANA
 
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
 
ILLUSTRATIONS
 
  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
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