The popularity of this book appears to be due to the fact, that it is a happy combination of terse Upanisadic thought clothed in the story form. It is believed by some that Sage Valmiki wrote the Ramayana for the purification of mind and to create a mood of seeking in the society. It is well known, that the story of Sri Rama, gives an exemplary ethical and moral behaviour in an individual, and a glimpse into the ideal culture, through the description of Ayodhya. For only on a strong ethical and moral foundation can one hope to build the super-structure of spirituality. Attempt has been made to cover all the stories in six Prakaranas. This book is a study by a seeker, and an attempt to present the philosophy, and practical hints contained in the book, to fellow seekers who are not very familiar with Sanskrit.
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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? It is this true enquiry alone that generates Jnana knowledge. It consists of numerous short stories and anecdotes used to help illustrate its ideas and message.
The text shows the influence of Advaita Vedanta and Saivite Trika school. The traditional belief is that reading this book leads to spiritual liberation.
The conversation between Vasistha and Prince Rama is that between a great, enlightened sage and a seeker of liberation.
On liberation[ edit ] In Chapter 2 of Book VI, titled as The story of Iksvaku, the text explains the state of nirvana liberation as follows, "Liberation is peace. Liberation is extinction of all conditioning. Liberation is freedom from every kind of physical, psychological and psychic distress.
This world is not seen by the ignorant and the wise in the same light. To one who has attained self-knowledge, this world does not appear as samsara , but as the one infinite and indivisible consciousness".
He has reached the state of mind, which sees happiness everywhere. To him, neither sacrificial fires, nor Tapas, nor bounteous gifts nor holy waters have any meaning. He is replete with wisdom and friendly to all. His state is indescribable and yet he will move in the world like anybody else.
His mind will not be bound by any longings after Karmas. He will be indifferent to joy or pains arising from good or bad results. He will preserve a pleasant position in the happy enjoyment of whatever he obtains. He is distant, he is close, he in the one Reality of Atman. The Jivanmukta is beyond Trishna.
He is, not becoming. He does not even long for salvation. He is content. This is the long and short of all the Shastras , that diligence preserves our minds from all evils, by employing them to whatever is good and right. To apply with diligence to whatever is excellent, not low nor mean and not liable to loss or decay, is the precept of parents and preceptors to their sons and pupils.
I get the immediate fruit of my labor in proportion to my exertion, hence I say, I enjoy the fruit of my labor and not of fortune. Activity gives us success and it is this that elevates the intelligent. With birth, death is inevitable. Quotes from his Autobiography "My Transportation For Life":  "All of a sudden I fell upon the Yoga Vashistha, and I found it of such absorbing interest that I have come to regard it ever since as the best work on the Vedanta Philosophy.
The propositions were so logical, the verse is so beautiful, and the exposition is so thorough and penetrating that the soul loses itself in raptures over it. Such a fine combination of philosophy and poetry is a gift reserved only for Sanskrit poets" "When I used to be lost in the reading of the Yoga Vashistha, the coil of rope I was weaving dropped automatically from my hands; and, for hours on end I lost the sense of possessing the body and the senses associated with that body. My foot would not move and my hand was at a stand still.
I felt the deeper yearning to surrender it all. All propaganda, all work seemed such a worthless task, a sheer waste of life. At last the mind and the matter asserted their sway over the body and swung it back to work again" The practice of atma-vichara, "self-enquiry," described in the Yoga Vasistha, has been popularised due to the influence of Ramana Maharshi, who was strongly influenced by this text.
The Concise Yoga Vasistha
Purchase a print copy of the complete, translation of Yoga Vasistha Maharamayana , revised in modern English. The only complete English translation of the Sanskrit work was a two-volume set by Vihari Lal Mitra printed in , long out of print and existing copies scarce. We asked Swamiji about it and he complained that it was not as good as the original because in shortening and adapting the original, Venkatesananda had made too many alterations. We read the abridgment anyway, and even in that form the book was mind-altering. Like the earlier The Concise Yoga Vasistha, these works are extremely well written, intelligent and inspiring. His modern English is excellent. Swami Jyotirmayananda gives occasional podcasts on Yoga Vasistha and he has written a six-volume summary of its essence.
The Concies Yoga Vasistha Swami Venkatesananda
Practise righteousness dharma , not unrighteousness. Speak the truth, not an untruth. Vashishtha dharmasutra , an ancient text, and one of the few Dharma -related treatises which has survived into the modern era. It is written in the form of a dialogue between Vashishtha and prince Rama of Ramayana fame, about the nature of life, human suffering, choices as the nature of life, free will, human creative power and spiritual liberation. He has also contributed to many Vedic hymns and is seen as the arranger of Vedas during Dwapara Yuga. Mythology[ edit ] A Vashishtha statue in granite stone. According to Agarwal, one mythical legend states that Vashishtha wanted to commit suicide by falling into river Saraswati.