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Yoga Vashisht

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