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Yoga Vashisht

May 29, 2011

YOGAVASHISHT - PART I

CHAPTER 9
RAMA TALKS ABOUT GIVING UP LUXURIES OF LIFE

Shri Rama continued with his talk with Rishi Vishwamitra.

Rama: Hey Revered Rishi! Just as water cannot stay upon a leaf, exactly in the same manner Laxmi cannot stay permanently with anyone. It is difficult to control air, but a knowledgeable person can control air also. It is very difficult to control lightening; but it is possible to control lightening also. But, when Laxmi decides to leave a person, no one can stop her.
A person who is constantly has desires to enjoy the luxuries and is slave to temptations of desires; his life is worthless. A person who, derives knowledge from the scriptures; yet is unable to give up desires, is carrying that knowledge like a burden.

Hey Rishi! The mind of the man is like the unlimited sky. The man has to control his mind with aid of the sense organs. If he is unable to control the mind, then in that case, his mind, as well as the body, becomes a yoke of that person. This life is meaningful only when the person achieves the ultimate status of peace and tranquility; otherwise this life is futile and of no use. The person, who is careless about controlling his desires, dies again and again and keeps drifting from one life to another, without achieving anything. A person who has blessings of Laxmi, yet he is entangled in the labyrinth of desires and satisfying the sense organs, is a fool. A frog, trapped in the mouth of snake, has desire of catching flies to fill his belly. Exactly in the same manner the man, who is a morsel in the mouth of Death, keeps thinking of satisfying his passions and desires.
Youth is like strong current of a river. Soon this youth turns into old age, which by itself is source of many miseries. The body becomes weak, and life keeps creeping to wards death. The Death keeps looking at the man just as a sensuous man keeps staring continuously at a beautiful woman. If the man considers the worldly possessions as true and real and tries to search for happiness in his wealth and belongings; such a person will never achieve spiritual bliss.

Hey Sage Vishvamitra! This universe is like the colorful rainbow, which is beautiful indeed, but does not provide any purpose. In the same way this universe is nothing but illusion. Therefore, realizing this world as an illusion, I have decided to become nir-vasana (Desire-less).

END OF CHAPTER 9

TO BE CONTINUED

May 25, 2011

YOGAVASHISHT - PART I

CHAPTER 7 & 8

RAMA TALKS ABOUT VAIRAGYA (DETACHMENT)
AND DESCRIBES BAD QUALITIES OF GODDESS LAXMI THE GODDESS OF WEALTH
AND DESIRES AND EGO

Rama started telling Rishi Vishwamitra about how he got Vairagya.

Rama: Hey Rishi! I will tell you everything right from the beginning. I am born in the family of Raja Dasrath, I have studied all the four Vedas, I have remained a Brahamchari (Celibate) and I have observed all the rituals as prescribed. One day it came to my mind that I must visit holly places. I sought permission from my father and went for pilgrimage to visit Tirthas (Holy Places). I visited all the Tirthas like Kedarnath, had bath in Ganga River, and performed all the rituals. This entire pilgrimage lasted for twelve months. My return from pilgrimage was celebrated in the entire city for seven days. I used to eat only once after having morning bath and I also performed Sandhya (Evening Rituals). After a few days I started feeling uneasy. I started telling my self “Hey my foolish Mind! What will you get by ruling this kingdom? This world is nothing but an illusion. What ever is seen in this world is creation of mind only. Nothing is real. When everything is illusion, why should I desire anything? All the men keep pursuing the pleasures of life. They are like a deer in the desert, running after water in the form of mirage; which is not there at all. Ultimately the deer gets tired and falls and dies.” Hey Rishi! Enjoing sense objects are like snakes. A man stung by these snakes is reborn again and again, and never achieves Moksha (Liberation). I have meditated and contemplated upon this very deeply, and I have come to the conclusion that all sense objects are transitory and not permanent, and the persons who get entangles in these sense objects are the fools of highest order. This is the reason I have given up all the comforts and luxuries of life. All these so called pleasures of flesh and body are in fact torture. Man is always full of ego and is proud about his body which gives him pleasures of senses; but this body is gets destroyed in a moment; it is not permanent. A man who is constantly running after pleasure is a fool. His talk and deeds are just like a hollow bamboo, through which the air passes and makes noise; nothing beyond it. Hey Rishi! Laxmi(Goddess of Riches and wealth, also consort of Lord Vishnu) is cause of great misery. Till wealth is not there the man keeps striving for it. To get wealth man commits many sins. Once man becomes wealthy, all the good conduct like contentment, Dharma (righteousness), magnanimity, fairness, compassion get destroyed. When a man is devoid of these good qualities, he invites huge miseries. How can such a man be happy? All good qualities remain in the man till he has not blessed by Laxmi (Wealth). Once a man becomes wealthy and is blessed by Goddess Laxmi, his miseries start. When Laxmi arrives all good qualities depart. Man can talk politely only till he has not got Laxmi. When Laxmi arrives, courtesy, respect and politeness leave and callousness and harshness makes home in mind of the man. When Laxmi arrives, she blesses man with many comforts, luxuries and pleasure. But when Laxmi departs the man keeps burning with desires, needs and wishes. Thus the man is born again and again without achieving Moksha (Liberation). Those who desire Laxmi are totally ignorant. Just as wave strikes the shore and goes back, the lightening is momentary, in exactly the same way the pleasures of life are momentary, and not permanent. Good qualities remain with the man till he is not infected with desires. When a man gets infected with desires all the good qualities depart. When Laxmi blesses a man she also blesses him with lot of ego and pride. A man who is brave and wealthy and full of good qualities, who never indulges in self praise is very rare. Also a powerful man who never condemns any one is also very rare. Goddess Laxmi rides an owl. And owl represents Moha (Attachment). Hey Rishi! Laxmi is very beautiful, but she is cause of all the miseries.
Hey Rishi! I consider Laxmi to be cunning, deceitful and fraudulent and untrustworthy. This exactly is the reason why I have decided not to indulge in pleasures of the body, and not to strive for Laxmi.

Hey Rishi! Ignorance is also a big enemy. I have restrained this enemy. Ignorance is also responsible for all the miseries of life. Till there is ego and pride, there cannot be an end to the sorrows. I have given many charities, I have performed all the prescribed rituals, I have prayed a lot; yet I have done all this with a sense of ego. Thus all good deeds done by me are squandered and wasted and hence fruitless. Ego is the root cause of all the sorrow. Happiness comes only when ego is destroyed. I am Rama, but that is not correct. I don’t know who am I? I don’t have any desire. When there is no ‘I’, then who will desire? Desires are born only because there is ‘I’; and that is ego.

Hey Rishi! I am not able to concentrate upon good company and sayings of learned persons, because my mind is occupied with hatred, anger,

END OF CHAPTER SEVEN AND EIGHT

TO BE CONTINUED

May 24, 2011

YOGAVASHISHT - PART I

Chapter 6

Because of refusal of Raja Dasrath, to allow Rama to go with Rishi Vishwamitra; the Rishi became furious. Due to fury of his anger earth started shaking till a distance of five hundred million yojanas.
NOTE: Yojana ia a vedic unit of length. At some places it is said that a yojana is equivalent to about 13 kilometers. At some other places a yojana is said to be two miles; that is about 3.2 kilometers

Seeing Rishi Vishmamitra in a rage, Rishi Vashisht got upset and also became fearful.

Rishi Vashisht: Hey Raja Dasrath! All the ancestors of your Akshavaku family have been very truthful, and always have kept their promise. In my presence you promised Rishi Vishwamitra that you will fulfill his desire. What has happened to you now? Are you trying to back on your word? Please allow your son Rama to go with the Rishi. He will take good care of Rama. In front of Rama no body is strong enough to stand. In front of his enemy Rama will appear to be manifestation of God of Death. I will tell you some thing about power of Rishi Vishwamitra. Rishi Vishwamitra is married to two daughters of Daksha Prajapat, named Jaya and Sabhaga. Both Jaya and Sabhaga have five hundred sons each, and all these sons have been born with the sole purpose of eliminating Rakshasas. One should not have any fear, who has protection of Rishi Vishwamitra. Therefore I advise you to send your son Rama with the Rishi, without any hesitation. There is no possibility of any harm coming to your son Rama. Just as darkness cannot linger when the sun rises, exactly in the same way all the evils fade away in presence of Rishi Vishwamitra. Hey Raja! You are born in Ikshavaku family; and your name is Raja Dasrath. If people like you cannot be true to their word; then how do we expect ordinary mortals to remain firm on there Dharma (Righteousness)? People follow actions of their leaders like you. Hence! Please take my advice, and let your son Rama go with the Rishi. Please come out fear of Rakshasas (Demons). Even if God of Death personally appears in front of Rama, he will have no power to hurt Rama, in presence of Rishi Vishvakarma. But! If you do not allow your son Rama to accompany the Rishi, you will face a great misfortune. You have performed so many good deeds, like excavating wells and canals, you have constructed dams and roads, for convenience of your citizens; all the reward of these good deeds in the netherworld will be nullified. You have performed so many Yagnas (fire rituals), so many Pujas (worships), you have observed austerities and fasts, you have bathed at holy places, you have given tremendous amount of money in charity; you will loose reward of all these good Karmas (actions) in the world beyond. For a wise person like you it is advisable, to give up anguish and attachment for Rama. Hey Raja! If your intentions were not to allow Rama to accompany the Rishi; you should have uttered your words after giving them some thought. When a person speaks without thinking; ultimately faces unhappiness.

After listening to the Court Guru, Rishi Vashisht; Raja Dasrath became composed. He ordered one of his servants to bring Rama to the court. The servant came back and reported that Rama is very sad and he is sitting in his room. The servant said “I requested him several times to come to the court. He said yes. Yet he kept sitting without moving”. On hearing this, Raja Dasrath summoned some close friends of Rama.

Raja Dasrath: You all are his close friends. Please tell me the reason of sadness of Rama. What is bothering him?

Friend of Rama: Hey Raja! We are not aware of the reason behind this condition of Rama. Ever since he has returned from the pilgrimage, he is in deep some thoughts. He is neither interested in good food that is cooked by his mother, nor he is interested in any other luxury of life. He becomes very angry when we insist upon him to start enjoying the material possessions. Beautiful women go to him, but he considers them like any other mortal being and does not pay any attention to them. In fact he gets angry at these beautiful women. Hey Raja! Our friend Rama is neither interested in food, nor clothes, nor ornaments nor ruling this kingdom of yours. He is sitting in his room in lotus pose with his chin in his hand. He considers all the objects of comfort and luxury as illusions. Obviously he is worried about some thing. When any one approaches him to and asks him about his condition, he says “what you consider to be luxury is in fact a torture. What in your opinion are possessions for comfort are illusions like mirage in desert.” Hey Raja! Whenever he speaks, he says only one thing that he does not find anything which can give him comfort. When we try to tell him something funny to make him laugh, he does not even smile. He says that neither the kingdom is real, nor brothers are real and nor this universe is real; everything is an illusion. He says that all human beings are like cattle who tied to the stake with ropes which are made of desires and expectations. Now we have come to understand that our friend Rama is interested only in achieving the ultimate Nirvana. Now we are afraid that he may loose his life as he has refused firmly to even eat and drink. We may tell you one more thing Raja Dasrath. This problem is not only with your son Rama, but the same problem is with your other sons Laxman, Shtrughan and Bharat.

After listening to this strange description of all the sons of Raja Dasrath, Rishi Vishwamitra talked to Raja Dasrath.

Rishi Vishwamitra: Hey Raja Dasrath! I think you are very lucky man, because your son is in the state of mind of Vairagya (detachment). Now listen to me carefully. Bring your son to me, and I will help him in overcoming this ailment. I will explain the things to him, and he will understand. He will achieve the ultimate status and thus he will consider iron, sliver, gold and stones as one and same thing. He will get ultimate satisfaction in his mind, and thus he will perform all the duties that are allotted to Khatriyas (Kings), yet he will remain untouched by all the attachments of the world. Now please bring your son Rama to me at the earliest.

Rishi Valmiki, who is narrating this story to Bharadwaj, said:

Rishi Valmiki: Hey Bharadwaja! After listening to Rishi Vishwamitra, Raja Dasrath asked his officials and servants to bring Rama, Laxman and Shtrughan to the royal court immediately. He did not call for his son Bharat, as Bharat had gone to his the house of his mothers’ parents. Thus Rama was brought to the royal court. Rama saw that his father Rja Dasrath, Rishi Vishwamitra, Rishi Vashisht and all other people had a sad look on their faces. Rama at first went and bowed before his father and touched his feet. Thereafter he paid his respects to all the Rishis and Brhamans other seniors. Raja Dasrath kissed forehead of Rama. Raja Dasrath told Rama that you cannot achieve the ultimate status of Nirvana or Moksha (liberation) by giving up the sense objects and giving up all the actions (karmas). You can achieve your goal only through guidance of your Guru Rishi Vashisht. There after Rishi Vishvamitra asked Rama to describe in detail his desire. After listening to you, I will lead you to such heights where there cannot be any grief or sorrow. Hey Bharadwaj! After hearing Rishi Vishwamitra, Rama became very happy the way a peacock becomes happy after seeing the clouds, and starts dancing. Rama became confident that now with guidance of Rishi Vishwamitra. He will be able to achieve the ultimate height where he will get Moksha.

END OF CHAPTER SIX

TO BE CONTINUED