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Yoga Vashisht

February 17, 2007

YOGAVASHISHT - PART I

CHAPTER 5

After listening to the request of Rishi Vishwamitra, Raja Dasrath went into state of shock. He could no speak for some moments. After gathering some courage, he started talking to Rishi Vishwamitra.

Raja Dasrath: Hey great Rishi! What did you say? Rama is a child as yet. He has not learnt the skill of using weapons. He is used to sleeping on the bed of flowers. He has not seen a battle field till now. He has not fought a battle. How do you expect Rama to fight demons Khur and Dushan? Can you imagine a lotus flower fighting a stone? Hey Rishi! Now I am an old man. I am father of four sons. Amongst them Rama is the eldest, and he is only sixteen years old. I love Rama more than my life. I cannot imagine being away from him even for a moment. If you take away Rama with you, it may not be possible for me to live any more. Rama is not dear to me only. He is loved extremely by his mothers, and his brothers Laxman, Shatraghun and Bharat. If Rama goes away with you, I am sure we all will die due to his separation. Now! If you intend to kill all of us, you may take away Rama with you. Hey Rishi! My love for Rama is much more than love for my wives, my kingdom or for my other three sons. But, if you desire I can accompany you along with best of the soldiers and my huge army to fight the demons. However! In case I have fight Ravana, brother of Kubera and son of Vishrava, I may not be able to fight him. It is not that only I am afraid of Ravana; but even Indira, king of gods, is afraid of him. In olden times, I was not afraid of any body in three worlds. I could concur humans, celestials, demons and the entire netherwold. But now I am old, and my physical strength has also reduced, therefore I am not in a position to face Ravana. At this moment Ravana is the most powerful demon. Nobody has the ability to fight him. Under these circumstances, how do you expect Rama to face these demons? One more thing. At the moment Rama is not well. He has stopped eating. He has lost his vitality and strength. He has forgotten to enjoy life as crown-prince. I am not aware what is bothering him.
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NOTE ON RAVANA

Ravana was born to sage Vishrava. His mother was the Asura princess Kaikesi. Ravana was the eldest of Kaikesi's children, given the name Dashananda at birth. He was given the gift of protection, by his father sage Vishrava, which made him appear to have ten heads, simultaneously increasing his intelligence and strength ten times. His brothers were Kumbhakarna and Vibheeshana. Ravana had a half brother Kubera. Kubera was son Sage Visharva, through other wife. Ravana, through his mother, was related to the demons Maricha and Subahu. Kaikesi also produced a daughter, Chandranakha (the one with the beautiful nose), although later she was dubbed the infamous Soorpanakha. Kubera, half brother of Ravana, is said to have performed austerities for a thousand years; in reward Brahma, the Creator, gave him immortality and made him god of wealth, guardian of all the treasures of the earth.


Ravana was known for his virility. Ravana had three wives; and Mandodari was his fovorite. (Mandodari got her name from Mandore, present time Jodhpur. Her father Mayasura ruled Mandore). Mandodari was renowned for her wisdom and grace as well as beauty. In addition to his three wives, Ravana maintained a harem, populated with women whom he captured in his many conquests. Ravana forced himself upon any woman who rejected his advances. Two significant encounters occurred that would shape the course of the Ramayana.

The first was the molestation of the sage-woman Vedavati. Vedavati had been performing penance with the intention of winning Lord Vishnu for a husband. Ravana met her at her hermitage, her beauty enhanced by the austerities she had performed. She, however, rejected his advances. Ravana proceeded to forcibly take her, upon which she prophesied that she would return to the mortal world as the cause of his death. She then created a pyre and let herself be consumed in it. She was re-born as Sita, thus becoming Vishnu's (as Rama) wife, and the cause of Ravana's defeat.
The other was the molestation of the Apsara Rambha, who was betrothed to Kubera's son Nalakuvara. Since Kubera was half brother of Ravana, Rambha became daughter-in-law of Ravana too. Rambha pleaded with Ravana to let her go as she was almost like his daughter-in-law, as Nalakuvara was his nephew through his half brother Kubera. Ravana was enamored of her grace and beauty, and even this plea did not deter him. Kubera's son, Nalakuvara then cursed Ravana's heads to fall off, if ever he forced himself upon any woman. This curse is said to have kept Sita chaste, while she was in Ravana's captivity for nearly a year.

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Rishi Vishwamitra: Hey Raja Dasrath! Kindly remember your utterances. You promised that you will fulfill my request. Now you are going back on your promise. You are like a lion, yet you want to run away like a deer. I may remind you that in your entire clan of Raghuvansh, there has not been a single person who has not fulfilled his promise. However! If you wish not to keep your promise, it does not matter. I will go away. But this act of yours does not befit you. I will go back empty handed. Remember; a person goes empty handed only from that house, where there is nothing to give. May you prosper and rule your kingdom. I will see what is to be done next. I will face my problem, myself”.

END OF CHAPTER 5
TO BE CONTINUED

February 15, 2007

YOGAVASHISHT - PART I

CHAPTER 3 & 4
RAMA THE TEENAGER

When Rama came back from pilgrimage, his age was sixteen years. One day Rama went to meet his father Raja Dasrath, in his court. At that time Raja Dasrath was busy listening to the Court Guru, Rishi Vashisht. After Raja Dasrath got free, he told Rama “Rama! You should be going for hunting in the jungle. You are a prince; hence you should be perusing your princely pursuits”. On the advice of his father, Rama started going for hunting along with his brothers, friends and soldiers of his army. In a few days time, he got bored out of this activity of hunting animals. He started thinking and contemplating. He realized that sense objects of this world are of no use for spiritual evolution. Rama decided to give up all the pleasures supported by the sense organs of the body. He stopped eating, drinking, laughing, meeting his friends. This affected his health. He became thin and lean, lost all the charm and glow on his face. Thus his all the desires dropped one by one and he became devoid any wishes and needs. His friends and servants used to remind him that he has to take a bath. Then only he took a bath. Similarly for the activities of eating, offering prayers etc. he needed constant reminders and requests. This matter got reported to Raja Dasrath. Raja Dasrath got concerned and went to his son Rama. Rama on seeing his father approaching him, went forward and touched feet of his father and sought his blessings, but did not speak anything. Raja Dasrath Said “My son! What bothers you? Why are you so sad? “. Rama replied “Father! I have no problem”. Once again he went into silence. Raja Dasrath could not find anything from Rama, regarding his silence and sadness. He tried to consult his ministers and officials. After due consultations, they arrived at a solution. Let us get Rama married. But to arrive at decision, Raja Dasrath consulted Rishi Vashisht. Rishi Vashisht said “Hey Raja Dasrath! You need not worry. Rama is sad due to some thing which may be very vital. Ultimately everything will work out fine”.

NOTE: Vishwamitra belonged to a dynasty of kings. King Gadhi was his father. Vishwamitra was also called as Vishwaratha. He had several wives such as Haimavati, Shalavati, Drishadwati, Renu, Madhavi and so on. He had nine sons and their names were Madhuchchanda, Kati, Yajnyavalkya, Panina, Galava, Mudgala, Sankruti, Devala and Ashtaka. A nephew of his, by name Shunahshepha is also a famous figure in the Puranas.
For complete story of Vishwamitra go to
http://members.tripod.com/~srinivasp/mythology/storyVishwamitra.html

While Raja Dasrath was in consultation with Rishi Vashisht, Rishi Vishwamitra arrived at the court of Raja Dasrath, and told the guards at the door of the palace to announce his arrival to the king. On hearing name of Rishi Vishwamitra, king jumped up from his throne and started walking to the gate of his palace to greet the great Rishi. King was followed by Rishi Vashisht, his ministers and other officials. Rishi Vishwamitra had a great aura around his face; he had long tresses, a long bamboo in his hand; he was glowing like flames of fire. On seeing the Rishi, Raja Dasrath fell at the feet of Rishi Vishwamitra. King led Rishi to his court hall and made him sit at an appropriate place. King said “Hey Rishi Vishwamitra! I am really a lucky man. Now I will also be counted amongst pious men, by virtue of meeting you. You have done great favour to me and my entire kingdom, by coming here to me. You are a great person. You have two great qualities. You are a Khatriya (Royal race), yet you have all the qualities of Brahmanas (Priests). You are the only person who could become a Brahmana, from a Khatriya. No body has a power to do so. You are complete in yourself with all the qualities”. Thereafter the king performed all the rituals of honouring and worshiping the great visiting Rishi. This was followed by Rishi Vashisht offering his respects to Rishi Vishwamitra, and in turn Rishi Vishwamitra offered respects to Rishi Vashisht. Having completed all the formalities of welcoming the great Rishi, Raja Dasrath said.
Raja Dasrath: “Hey great Rishi! I am really very happy to see you in my court. This happiness cannot be described in words. This happiness is something like meeting a deceased loved one, once again. Kindly let me know the purpose of your visit here. I am capable of fulfilling any order that you may give me. God has given me everything, please ask for any thing that you may desire, without any hesitation”.
Rishi Vishwamitra: Hey Raja! You are a great king. You too have two qualities. One!You belong to Raghukul family. Two! You have Rishi Vashisht as your Guru, and you follow him meticulously. Now please listen to the purpose of my visit to your court. I propose to complete a ritual of ten nights awakening. But when I start this ritual, Rakshasas (Demons) named Khur and Dushan come and disturb me. They drop bones, flesh and blood in the sacred fire. The entire area becomes filthy and polluted. When I move to some other place to complete the ritual, they follow me there too. Therefore I need your help to kill them. You may laugh at me, that I have come to you for such a simple task. I am myself capable of eliminating them, by just one curse on them. But the curse is not possible without being angry. The very purpose of this Yagya (Ritual) is to forgive. Forgiveness is the greatest quality. Forgiveness and anger cannot coexist. Therefore I need your help. Hey King! I request you to allow your son Rama to accompany me, and kill these demons. Thereby my Yagya will be successful. You may feel that Rama is a child. But I know that Rama is a great warrior like Indira, the king of gods. Just as a small deer cannot stand in front of a lion, similarly these demons will not be a match for your son Rama. Thus by allowing Rama to accompany me, your esteem will increase, and my Yagna will also be concluded. I am confident that your son Rama is quite capable of achieving anything. There is nothing in these three worlds, which your son Rama cannot do. I will be personally responsible for his wellbeing and security. I and your Guru, Rishi Vashisht, who are aware of past present and future, know capabilities of your son Rama. No other person has the capability of knowing this. Hey Raja Dasrath! A job which is done at a proper (auspicious) time can be achieved with little effort; but a job which is done at improper (inauspicious) time cannot be completed even after putting in lot of effort. Khur and Dushan are ferocious demons. But they are nothing in front of Rama. Just as light of stars cannot be seen when sun is shining; or a snake cannot stand in front of an eagle; in the same way Khur and Dushan will not be able to stand in front of Rama.

When Raja Dasrath heard Rishi Vishwamitra, he became very restless, and fell silent.

NOTE ON YAGNA: In Hinduism, Yagya is a ritual of sacrifice derived from the practice of Vedic times. It is performed to please the gods or to attain certain wishes. An essential element is the sacrificial fire - the divine Agni - into which oblations are poured, as everything that is offered into the fire is believed to reach the gods.
There are 400 yagyas described in the Vedas. Of these, 21 are theoretically compulsory for the Twice-Born (Brahmin, Ksatriya and Vaisya). They are also called nityakarmas. The rest of the yagyas are optional, which are performed kamyakarma (for particular wishes and benefits).
Out of the 21 nityakarmas, only the Agnihotra and the Aupasana are to be performed twice daily, at dawn and dusk. The remaining ones have certain allotted frequencies over the course of the year. The more complicated the yagya, the less frequently it is performed. The most complex ones need to be performed only once in a lifetime.



END OF CHAPTER 3 & 4.

TO BE CONTINUED

January 30, 2007

YOGAVASHISHT - PART I

CHAPTER 2
STORY OF LORD RAMA STARTS

(Dialogue between Rishi Valmiki and his disciple Rishi Bharadvaja)

Bharadvaja: Hey my Guru Valmiki! Kindly tell me in detail how
Rama lived on in totally detached manner?

Rishi Valmiki: This is a very important question which you have asked. What ever is seen in
this world, in fact is not there at all. Nothing is made. It is visible only because of our ignorance. Once we contemplate upon it and when we know the reality, the whole world disappears. We see that sky is blue. Even that is a deception. This blueness of the sky also vanishes once we look at it with detachment. Hey Bhardvaja! One cannot reach the ultimate state, till our body is not completely deprived of all sense objects and desires. When we view this universe without the aid of our sense objects, we will see that every thing is a huge vacuum. When we see this universe without the sense objects, we see the pure light where only the Atman exists.

Hey Bharadvaja! This universe is just an illusion, and considering it as an illusion is true liberation. The man keeps wandering from one birth to another, because of unlimited desires and wishes. The burden of this life is due to the desires only. Once the desires are given up, the ultimate state that is Moksha is achieved.

Desires may be considered as a statue, whose name is ‘Mind’. When the mind gets totally under control, and all the desires have vanished, the Atman gets liberated.

Desires are of two types, pure and impure, or dirty. The living being considers his ‘body’ as ‘himself’, and thus ego is developed. This ego gives rise to unlimited desires, and the desires so created are the cause of endless cycles of birth and death.

If you listen to this story of Shri Rama, with reverence and total concentration, and try to adopt its sayings in your day to day tasks and chores, your life will become totally detached and you will reach that state where only Pure Atman dwells.

This world is a figment of your imagination. It is better to assume this world as an illusion, and forget it. Forgetting the world is a sure path to deliverance.

The prime cause of bondage is the desires. When desires get destroyed, reaching the final destination is easy. Because of desires alone the man keeps wandering like a nomad, from one life to another.

This body that you see is manifestation of desires only. The body is made of five elements. Desires are the thread of a necklace. When the thread of necklace breaks, the body also does not remain. The beads also get scattered. Therefore root of all the sorrows are impure desires, and a person with pure and good desires, is able to forget this world, because his determination does not allow the senses to overpower him.

NOTE: In Indian philosophy it is believed that human body is made of five elements. 1. Earth (Prithvi) 2. Sky/Vacuum (Aakash) 3. Water (Jal) 4. Fire (Agni) 5. Soul or Spirit (Atman).

For an ignorant (Agyani) the desires are the cause of his birth. But the desires of knowledgeable person (Gyani) do not become the cause of his birth. A seed which is full of juices of life sprouts into a sapling. But a dry seed does not become a sapling. Similarly, an Agyani who is anxious about the fruits of his desires and karmas (action) is born again and again. But the desires of a Gyani are empty of expectations; therefore, he is not born again and again.

Gyani is living a normal life in this world. He eats and drinks, walks and sleeps, gives and takes, and performs all the other obligations and duties of his life. All this happens with due to functioning of his five sense organs, but his actions do not form bonds. (Five senses are Hearing, Seeing, Touch, Smell and Taste). He constantly dwells in the state of non-duality (Advait). But contrary to this an Agyani, whose desires are laced with his ego, takes birth again and again. The same Agyani, when he drops his sense of self, escapes the cycle of birth and death.

Hey Bharadvaja! What I am going to reveal to you, is the dialogue between Rama and his Guru (teacher) Rishi Vashisht, and it is worth contemplating upon, because it is the complete source of Gyan (knowledge).

One day Rama came back from his school. He was restless. He wanted to visit holly places and temples of renown. He went to his father Raja Dasrath. Rama sat down near feet of his father and said “Father! I wish to visit holy places and holy temples. Kindly allow me to go. This is the first time that I have made a request like this, which will take me away from you for some time, and deprive me of serving you. But kindly do not say no; and allow me to go.

At that time, Rishi Valmiki, the chief priest of the king also happened to be there. Rishi Vashisht said “Hey Raja Dasrath! It seems Shri Rama has developed a very strong desire to go to pilgrimage. I suggest that you may give him some ministers, some priests, soldiers and some retinue, so that Shri Rama can perform his rituals at the pilgrimage, with complete devotion. Raja dasrath accepted the advice of the chief priest, and called the astrologers to find out some appropriate time for Rama to depart for the pilgrimage.

Rama, after taking blessings from his father and mother, left for pilgrimage, along with his brothers, ministers, knowledgeable priests, soldiers and lot of wealth, horses, elephants etc. Shri Rama went round the whole world, bathed in all the holy rivers, distributed alms to the poor, performed rituals at holy places like Kedarnath, Badrinath, visited holy mountains like Himalaya and Sumer, and came back home after a year.

END OF CHAPTER TWO
TO BE CONTINUED

January 25, 2007

YOGAVASHISHT - PART I

CHAPTER 1
Agastya Rishi had one disciple named Setekshan. One day Setekshan got a doubt in his mind. He went to Agastya Rishi, his Guru, to clarify the doubt. With all the humility Setekshan asked “My Guru! My teacher! You know every thing about Vedas and you are the ultimate authority on the matters concerning this world and the world beyond. Kindly tell me, how to achieve Moksha (Liberation). Whether actions (Karmas) are important or knowledge (Gyana) is important, or both are necessary to achieve Moksha?” Agastya Rishi replied “Hey Brahmana! Moksha cannot be achieved by Karma alone, nor it can be achieved by Gyana alone. Both are required to reach the state of Moksha. Just as a bird needs both the wings to fly, similarly Gyana and Karma, both are required to attain Moksha.” Agastya Rishi continued. He said “I will enlighten you, by narrating to you an ancient story. In olden times there was a Brahmana named Karna. His fathers name was Agna-Vishaya. Karana went to his Guru and studied all the four Vedas and acquired other related knowledge. When Karana came back home, he stopped doing all the Karmas (actions), in other words he stopped doing any thing, including, eating and bathing. The father Agna-Vishaya got worried and asked his son the reason for stopping all the actions. Karana replied “Father! In Vedas, at one place I read that a man should continue doing all the actions like worship, eating, bathing etc till he is alive. But at another place it is said that Liberation cannot be had neither with money, nor by having sons, nor by doing any actions(Karmas). Now! I am in doubt. You are my father, and you are a very knowledgeable man. So, kindly enlighten me. Tell me what is correct and what is not correct”. Father replied “Son! I will tell you a story, of ancient times. After you hear this story, you may decide the course of action that you may take. Agna-Vishaya, the father, started telling the story of ancient times to his son Karna. In olden times, on peaks of Himalayas, there was abode of gods. Among the gods, there was an Apsara (a fairy) named Suruchi. Once, Suruchi saw a guard of Indira, the king of gods, passing by. Name of the guard was Devadatta.
Suruchi: Devadatta! Kindly tell me from where you are coming, and to which place you are going?

Devadatta: Hey Apsara Suruchi! I am had been to King Arshtam, who has renounced his kingdom, and has become an ascetic after handing over control of his country to his son. He has given up all the desires and pleasures of this world. Now he is sitting in a cave at Gandhamaadhan Mountain, and meditating. After visiting King Arshtam, now I am going back to my master Indira, to tell him what I have seen

Suruchi: But Why had you gone to King Arshtam?

Devadatta: When my master Indira came to know about austerities of King Arshtam, he ordered me to go to King Arshtan with Apsaras, musicians, horses, elephants Vimanas (Vehicles to fly in, may be airplanes), and bring him to abode of gods, with all the respect and reverence. I went to King Arshtam, as ordered, and requested to accompany me in the Vimana and come to Heaven, the abode of gods. When the king heard my request, he said “first tell me about the heaven, its good and bad things (Guna and Dosha), after knowing the Gunas and Doshas of heaven, I will decide, whether I should accompany you or not”

NOTE: Here we see fererence to "Travel by Air". What sort of airplanes were there, what was the technology, what was their shape, what fuel was used, is any body's guess. In ancient sculptures some carvings are seen. Please go to the following link for pictures and further information on Vimana. http://www.hinduwisdom.info/Vimanas.htm

Pictures of Flying Macines of Ancient Times

(Now Devadatta tells King Arshtam about Gunas and Doshas of Heaven)

Devadatta: Hey King Arshtam! In heaven there are all the luxuries. Mortal human beings can achieve these luxuries of heaven only after doing good Karmas. People of very good Karmas enjoy all the luxuries of heaven, those with a few good Karmas enjoy some luxuries, and people with less good Karmas enjoy little luxuries of heaven. These are Gunas of heaven. Now listen to Doshas of heaven. When a person sees some others who are enjoying better luxuries, they feel envy. When a persons sees other persons having similar luxuries, he feels anger. When a person sees other persons having less luxuries than him, he feels arrogance. All these are negative qualities. These all the persons in heaven are having some or the other negative quality. There one more Dosha in heaven. When the Karmas of a persons are exhausted after enjoying luxuries of heaven, he is sent back to this world of birth and death. They are not allowed to stay a moment more than the period allotted based on the amount of good karmas.

King Arshtam: Hey Devadatta! I do not want your heaven. I am not fit for heaven as yet. I will go for a still more austerities, and I will give up my body, as a snake gives up his old skin. Kindly go back with your Vimanas and Apsaras and other objects of luxury. Kindly convey my respects to your master Indira.

Devadatta: Hey Apsara Suruchi! When king Arshtan told me this, I went back to heaven and narrated the whole episode to my master Indira. Indira became very happy, and said that King Arshtam has developed firm desire to attain Moksha. My master ordered me take King Arshtam to Rishi Valmiki , and request Rishi Valmiki on behalf of Indira to initiate Arshtam as his disciple, and grant him the ultimate knowledge to help him to attain Moksha. Then I went back to to King Arshtam, and took him to Rishi Valmiki. Rishi Valmiki welcomed us, and after asking our wellbeing, asked King arshtam to ask for any thing that he desired.

(Following is dialogue between King Arshtam and Rishi Valmiki)

King Arshtam: Hey Rishi! I am indeed lucky have your Darshan (sight). I just want to know, how to set myself free from bondage of this world, and desires.

Rishi Valmiki: To across the ocean of this world and its bondage, there is no means other than Ramayana. By listening to Ramayana, and contemplating upon it, you can achieve the state of detachment. In Ramayana there is dialogue between Lord Rama and Rishi Vashishta. This dialogue has a definite solution to achieve detachment and finally Moksha.

King Arshtam: Revered Rishi! Kindly tell me who was Lord Rama, and how he achieved detachment.

Rishi Valmiki: Lord Vishnu is the ultimate knower of knowledge of Advaita (non-duality). Loerd Vishnu was cursed, and due to that curse he had to take birth on this earth as an ignorant.

King Arshtam: Kindly tell me who cursed Lord Vishnu, and why? Kindly tell me in detail.

Rishi Valmiki: Once in Brahmapuri, city of Brahma, Sanatkumar was sitting in the court of Brahma, the creator. At that time Lord Vishnu, the sustainer of the universe, entered the court of Brahma. Every body present stood up, and paid due respects, and worshiped Lord Vishnu. But Sanatkumar kept sitting. Lord Vishnu observed this, and said to sanatkumar “Sanatkumar, you are proud of being passionless, but that very passion will bring misery to you. You will be known as Swami Kartik”. Sanatkumar replied to Lord Vishnu “Vishnu! You also are very proud of being knowledgeable about every thing. For some time you will continue to be all-knowing, but after some time you will become ignorant and live life of an ordinary ignorant person”. King Arshtam! This was the first curse to Vishnu from Sanatkumar. Now listen about the second curse. Once, wife of Rishi Bhrigu went missing. This caused lot of unhappiness and sadness to Rishi Bhrigu. Seeing this condition of Rishi Bhrigu, Lord Vishnu laughed at Bhrigu. Rishi Bhrigu got angry and cursed Vishnu. Bhrigu said “ Vishnu! You have made fun of me, hence I curse you, that you will also suffer due to separation from your wife”. Now I will tell you about the third curse. While Vishnu was in the ferocious incarnation of Narasimha, half man and half lion, he saw wife of Brahmana Devasharma taking bath on the banks of River Ganga. Form of Narasinha was very frightening, and as jest Narasimha tried to frighten wife of Devasharma. Due this the lady died. Angered by this Brahmna Devasharma cursed Narasimha, the incarnation of Vishnu and Said “Hey Vishnu! You have separated my loving wife from me. You will also suffer due to separation from your wife”.

In due course of time Vishnu was born as Rama, as son to King Dasrath. This Ramayana that I talked about earlier is story of Rama, the incarnation of sustainer of this universe, Vishnu. This story of Rama, which is Ramayana, can set one free from bondage of this world, and leads one to Moksha. Ramayana helps one to get rid of arrogance of this body that is this human form, and acquaints one to the Atman (Soul) and thus leads one to the state of ultimate bliss. Ramayana makes one pure and sinless. Just listening to the narration of Ramayana can make one escape the cycle of birth and death. All Karmas get exhausted and thus a person achieves Moksha.

I narrated this story of Ramayana, for the first time to my disciple Rishi Bharadvaja.

King Arshtam: Hey Rishi Valmiki! I am indeed very fortunate to meet you. Kindly tell me the story of Ramayana in detail as you told to your disciple Bharadvaja.

END OF CHAPTER ONE
Chapter two, is dialogue between Rishi Valmiki and his disciple Bharadvaja
TO BE CONTINUED

January 22, 2007

YOGAVASHISHT - PART I

YOGA VASHISHT
Introduction

This great book called Yoga Vashisht is a dialogue between Vashisht Rishi and Lord Rama, the most revered deity of Hindus. In this Yoga Vashisht, Vashisht Rishi is the teacher, and Lord Rama is the seeker or the student. Yoga Vashisht is based upon 36,000 questios that Rama asks Rishi Vashisht after returning from pilgrimage that fills him with Vairagya. On the other hand, Geeta, the most sacred book of Hindus, is also a dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, one of the Pandavsa of Mahabharat fame. In Geeta Lord Krishna is the teacher, and Arjuna is the seeker. Here the question arises, why Lord Rama, who is incarnation of Vishnu, the sustainer, is a seeker. In fact Lord Rama being God Himself should be all knowing. Then where is the need for Lord Rama to sit at the feet of Rishi Vashisht, and seek knowledge? The reason is that Vishnu got incarnated as Lord Rama, with a curse of being ignorant. This is very interesting story which will come in due course of time, as we proceed with the translation of Yoga Vashisht.

A line, about Rishi Vashisht. Rishi Vashisht is one of the Sapta Rishis (Seven Sages) Vasishta, Agasthya, Kaushika, Sukara, Narada and others. Rishi Vashisht is son of Brahma, the creator. By virtue of being the son of Brahama, he becomes the teacher of Rama. Also Rishi Vashisht is the Kings Guru, in the court of King Dasrath, father of Lord Rama.

Yoga Vashisht is the ultimate book of philosophy. Now a day the science is talking about “The Unified Theory”. ‘What are we and everything around us made of?’ This is the question of The Unified Theory and this question has troubled our ancestors since ages. Till date, scientists have not managed to get a proper understanding of what actually are the fundamental constituents of matter. In my understanding this Yoga Vashisht is THE UNIFIED THEORY. According to Yoga Vashisht “Nothing is made, therefore nothing can be destroyed”. This sentence is repeated hundreds or may be thousands of times in Yoga Vashisht. There is tremendous amount of repetition in the book. The reason for repetition is to hammer down the real truth in the minds of ignorant. An attempt is made to present a free translation of this great book. Also an attempt is made to avoid the repetition as far as possible. But I do not know how far will it be possible?

One more thing needs to be mentioned. In Hindu literature, it will be seen that every thing is fully argued with pure logic. Just because a master says something, therefore it has to be accepted. This is not correct. The seeker has to apply his mind and accept, what he feels is correct. At several places, in this book also Rishi Vashisht tells Lord Rama to think and act accordingly. In Geeta also Lord Krishna tells Arjuna as follows.
Thus the “Wisdom” which is greater secret than all secrets,
Has been declared to you by Me; having reflected upon it fully,
You now act as you choose. (Geeta XVIII.63)