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Yoga Vashisht

August 22, 2011

YOGAVASHISHT PART-II CHAPTER 6



CHAPTER 6
RISHI VASHISHIT TALKS ABOUT PURSHARTH (EFFORTS)

Next day when the court of Raja Dasrath gathered; Rishi Vashisht continued telling Rama, about the qualities of Pursharth (Efforts).

RISHI VASHISHT: When a person puts in Pursharth to achieve the riches of this world, the mind encounters many worries and experiences grief. The mind fails to achieve stillness. However, you need not be disheartened O Ramji. You can free yourself from the cycle of birth and death by Pursharth done bravely and with determination. No god will come for your rescue. A person who has relied upon gods, he has lost everything, which includes Dharma (righteousness), Arth (money), Kama (pleasures of life) and Moksha. This person is lower than the lowest.
Whosoever has established himself in wisdom has done only with Pursharth. No one can achieve success without Pursharth. Even Guru Brihaspati had to put in lot of efforts to become Guru of god Indra, who is Raja of all gods. Shukracharya had to do Pursharth to become Guru of Asuras. The effort that serves some purpose, or to achieve a goal is called Pusharth.
O Ramji! When a person goes to visit far way Tirth Sthan (holy places), he has to keep travelling. If he sits down and becomes lazy, he will never be able to reach the Tirth Sthan. You can satisfy your hunger only when you eat food. Can you kill your hunger without eating? You can achieve your desired goal only by Purshartha. Nothing can be accomplished by sitting idle.
O Ramji! In this royal court of Raja Dasrath awe have lot many enlightened Gurus and Rishis. You can ask them; whether I am correct or not.
O Ramji! One has to constantly keep a watch over the demands of sense organs. One has to act according to the instructions enshrined in the scriptures. One should never do anything which is contrary to what is said in the scriptures.
O Ramji! Look at the persons who are very affluent and who possess remarkable amount of knowledge. They have achieved all this with their Pursharth. And those who gave up Pursharth have acquired the birth of lower forms of life like snakes, lizards, ants, and flies.
O Ramji! I advise you to act according to the sayings of enlightened souls and instructions of the scripture. By doing so, you can get rid of all the maladies of the world and life.
O Ramji! Lord Vishnu, in various incarnations has killed so many beings. But those actions do not get attached to Lord Vishnu as sins. The reason for this is that Lord Vishnu has reached the highest status though Pursharth. You can also get across the ocean of this world only through Pursharth. Hence there is no need to depend upon gods and waste precious time.

Rama asked a question.
RAMA: O all knowing Rishi! You say that there is no god. But, in this world it is believed that even a Brahmana (Priest) is also god. What ever happens happens with help of gods.

RISHI VASHISH: O Ramji! One has to suffer for the bad deeds done in the past. Karma is all powerful. No matter with what name you may call it, be it ‘god’ or ‘Purshartha’ it is one and same. Pursharth is the only god. The word ‘god’ has been coined by idiots, for idiots. Just as you do not see anything in the sky, similarly there is no god and is empty just like sky.

RAMA: O Rishi! You say that god is nothing, and is empty like sky. You agree that in the world the word god is popular. You also say that Pursharth is god. Therefore it implies that god is there.
RISHI VASHIST: O Ramji! I am telling you all this to permanently remove the notion and impression of god from your mind. Pursharth is your god. Vasana, which is the present consciousness formed from past Karmas, is in the mind. Whatever the mind of the man desires gets through Purshrtha. But at the same time one has to obtain the fruits of good or bad deeds done in the past, which may be happiness or sorrows. Therefore it is proved that Pursharth is not different from Karmas. Pursharth and Karmas (deeds done in past) are interrelated. Hence it is further proved that the cause for happiness and sorrows is Pursharth only. There is no god.
O Ramji! Please think over this matter.
RAMA: O great Rishi! When sorrows and happiness is controlled by Vasnas, or past Karmas; hence there is nothing that a man can do. A man does not have a will of his own. O Rishi! Please tell me some method to get rid of the effects of deeds of past. My past deeds have made me very weak.
RISHI VASHISHT: It is true that a person has to face the effects of his Vasanas and Karmas. But an intelligent person; with Pursharth can reverse and nullify the effects of past bad deeds. When you determine to be in the company of enlightened persons, when you study the scriptures and do your deeds as directed, your bad Vasnas will get dissolved.
O Ramji! Now understand, how to recognize the good and bad deeds of past. When your mind is constantly dragging you to the path contrary to the path as directed in the scriptures; when your mind entices you and drags to luxuries of life; then you should understand that your past deeds have been bad. But, when your mind urges you to be in the company of enlightened souls; when you develop aversion to the luxuries of life; then you should comprehend that your past deeds have been good.
O Ramji! From what you told Rishi Vishwamitra, it is clear that your past deeds have been good. For this reason you will be able to grasp the Shastras very quickly. You are alive. You are not an inanimate object.
O Ramji! I bless you to master the Brahma Vidya (knowledge of Brahma) with your Pursharth.



BRIHASPATI STATUE
NOTE ON BRIHASPATI:
Bá¹›haspati is the son of Rishi Angirasa (according to the Rig Veda 4.40.1) and Surupa according to the Shiva Purana. He has two brothers named Utathya and Samvartana. He has three wives. His first wife Shuba gave birth to Bhanumati, Raaka, Archishmati, Mahamati, Mahishmati, Sinivali, and Havishmati, his seven daughters. His second wife Tara gives birth to seven sons and a daughter. Through his third wife Mamata, he has two sons, Kacha and Bharadwaja.
He attained his position as the Guru of the Devas, by performing penances on the banks of Prabhas Tirtha. Lord Shiva granted him this position, as well as his position as one of the Navagrahas (Nine Planets). Planet Brihaspati is Planet Jupiter. Thursday in India is known as Brihaspat.

NOTE ON PRABHAS TIRTHA:
Prabhas Patan, known popularly as Somnath Patan, is situated in Gujarat (Saurashtra), 7 km. from Veraval. This is a place of pilgrimage, or Tirtha, of the most popular Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva, i.e., Somanath
According to tradition, here, Krishna is supposed to have left His mortal body at the end of Krishna avatar (Avatars), enacting the drama of being killed by a hunter who mistook Krishna for a deer and shot him




PICTURE OF SHUKRA - VENUS
NOTE ON SHUKRACHARYA:
Shkracharya was a descendant of sage Kavi. The Devi-Bhagavata Purana refers to his mother as Kavyamata. The feminic natured Shukra is a Brahminical planet Venus. He was born on Friday hence, Friday is known as Shukravaar (Day of Shukra) in India. He went on to study the Vedas under the rishi Angirasa but he was disturbed by Angirasa's favoritism for his son Brihaspati. He then went to study under rishi Gautama. He later performed penance to Lord Shiva and obtained the Sanjivani mantra (a formula that revived the dead). He married Priyavrata's daughter Urjaswathi and they had four sons — Chanda, Amarka, Tvastr, Dharaatra and a daughter by name Devayani.
During this period Brihaspati became the Guru of the Devas. Due to the hatred he bore towards Vishnu for what he perceived as the murder of his mother as she had given shelter to some Asura whom Vishnu was hunting, Shukracharya decided to become the Guru of Asuras. He helped them achieve victory over the Devas and used his knowledge to revive the dead and wounded among them.
The fact is that the Devas and Asuras were among two sections of Aryan kings and rishis out of which one section was worshiping deities called the Devas and the other, deities called the Asuras. These Deva-Asura differences were aggravated to such an extent that at a later period, his descendants and followers had to leave Sapta Sindhu(presnt day indus valley comprising os Sindh and Punjab) and settle elsewhere, probably in Iran. The priests of the Ahura-worshiping sect of Ahura Mazda of Iran are called Atharvans. Shukracharya was a strict worshiper of Agni. One can see that the followers of Ahura Mazda, present day Parsis in India, still worship Agni or Fire.
Devayani was the daughter of Shukracharya, who was rejected by the son of Brihaspati, Kacha. She later marries Yayati who founds the Kuru dynasty. In the time of the Mahabharata, Shukracharya is mentioned as one of the mentors of Bhishma, having taught him political science in his youth.


END OF CHAPTER 5 of PART II


TO BE CONTINUED


August 19, 2011

YOGAVASHISHT PART - II - CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 5
RISHI VASHISHIT TALKS ABOUT PURSHARTH (EFFORTS)

Rishi Vashisht continued with topic of Purshartha (Efforts)

RISHI VASHISHT: O Ramji! Chitta (Conscious Mind) of a person dwells constantly in desires. When a persn’s Chitta keeps dreaming only and does not put in any efforts to fulfil the desires; such a person will never achieve happiness.
O Ramji! Purshartha, the effort is of two types. The first is which is done, according to Shastras (Scriptures). The second is one which is done against the directions given in Shastras and by whims and fancies of a person.
O Ramji! Anubhava (Experience) brings knowledge. And knowledge leads one to Anubhava. Anubhava also creates memory. This shows that a person gets what he strives for. A person, who has power due to his past karmas, does Pursharth as commanded by Shastras.
Sanskaras are impressions derived from past experiences that form desires that influence future responses and behavior. There are two types of Sanskaras; auspicious and inauspicious. Auspecious Sanskaras are from Purab (North). Inauspicious Sanskaras are from Pashchim (South). Hence Sanskaras of North are more potent and powerful.
Though a person tries to remains in Satsang (company of learned), studies the scriptures yet he keeps flying back to the tree which is this world (This refers to re-birth). The Atma is not at rest.
A person with Pashchim Sankaras, which are weaker, can also achieve his goals, by remaining in company of learned (Satsang), by studying scriptures and putting in efforts as prescribed.
O Ramji! Whether one is having Sankaras of North or South, should not give up Pursharth. In short one can conquer the effect of Karmas (Past deeds) by putting in right type of Pursharth.
Now pay attention to qualities of Pursharth. According to persons who are knowledgeable, who are experts of Brahm-Vidya (Knowledge of Brahma) putting in effort with determination is called Pursharth. Pursharth is required to gain knowledge of Atma. With this knowledge one can get across the ocean of this world. What ever is achieved is achieved with Pursharth only. No god can help you in this.
If a person refuses to do Pursharth, with a belief that, what ever happens, happens with will of God; is an idiot. One should shun company and friendship of such a person. It necessary that a person must discharge duties assigned to him, and at the same time engages himself in good deeds. One must remain in company of enlightened souls. One must have discrimination of good and bad. It essential, that at the end of the day, one should recollect the good and bad deeds that he has done during the day. One must practice Santosh (satisfaction), Dhiraj (patience and tranquillity), Vairagya (detachment and renunciation) and slowly increase all these qualities. For doing this one needs Purshartha. By doing Purshartha to increase the said qualities, one reaches the ultimate state of Sat- Chit-Anand, the Bliss.
O Ramji! A person should try to give up attachment for wife, sons, daughters, relatives and Laxmi (wealth). One must boldly snap the ties and face the ocean of this world and try to swim across the ocean. Just as a trapped lion, with his muscle gets free from the strong ropes of the trap, in the same way a brave person swims across the ferocious sea of this world. This act of snapping the ties and reaching the goal of Sat-Chit-Anand is called Pursharth.
One has to do Sadhana (spiritual practice). What ever one has achieved by Sadhana is only through Pursharth. Nothing is possible without Pursharth. Just as one cannot extract oil out of a stone, similarly to obtain anything without Pursharth is an erroneous belief.
Therefore O Ramji! You should not depend upon gods for anything. You should depend only upon yourself and your Pursharth. One who gives up Pursharth, cannot please Laxmi (goddess of wealth). Laxmi will also dump him. A person who gives up Pursharth and acts as per his whims and fancies will never find happiness.
O Ramji! You should practice writing with the pen of intelligence with ink of your good thoughts, on paper of your mind. Writing the true thoughts in this fashion is called Pursharth. When you practice this sort of Pursharth, it will not be possible for you to get trapped into nets of this world.
O Ramji! One dwells in company of enlightened persons, and also does study of the scriptures; yet does not put in efforts to contemplate upon the interpretations of the scriptures; he will not be able to reach the ultimate goal. A person who possesses Amrit (potion of immortality), but does not drink it; will not become immortal.
O Ramji! Agyanis (not knowledgeable persons) waste their entire life. In childhood a person is innocent and ignorant; in youth he is mad after sense pleasures like women and wine; and in old age he looses all the energy, and is not able to do anything. Thus, the entire life is wasted. And finally he takes shelter of gods. Person, who takes shelter and support of gods, sows the seed of his own destruction.
O Ramji! I have thought a lot upon this subject. A person, who procrastinates, leads a life of animals. Hence, I suggest to you to depend entirely upon your own efforts, and nothing else.

Rishi Valmiki who was narrating this to Rishi Bharad waj, said that when Rishi Vashisht finished saying these words, it was evening. All the persons in the court of Raja Dasrath, bowed to the King and Rishis and left the court hall and went back to their homes for bath and Sandhya (Evening prayer). Next day after sun rise they again came back to the court hall to listen to Rishi Vashisht.
END OF CHAPTER 5 -PART II
TO BE CONTINUED

August 16, 2011

YOGAVASHISHT PART II - CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 4
RISHI VASHISHIT TALKS ABOUT PURSHARTH

RISHI VASHISHT: O Rama! There is hardly any difference between Deha-Mukti (Liberation with Body, while living) and Videha-Mukti (Liberation without Body, after death). Liberation is called Mukti or Moksha. It is the end of the soul's journey, and therefore it is the ultimate goal and destination for each individual, and the goal of Creation itself. after the soul dissociates from the body, the most important aspect of the experience is Infinite Bliss. Therefore, while there is a difference in the eternal experience of the souls who gain Liberation during life and the experience of souls who gain Liberation after death, the most important aspect of the experience is the same i.e. the eternal experience of Infinite Bliss. Still water without a ripple is water; and wave is also water. In the same way Deha Mukti and Videha Mukti are same. Outwardly you will not be able to see the difference between the two. However, the person who are ignorant and do not see Atma in everything, do see the difference between the two. Those who are knowledgeable do not see any difference between Deha-Mukti and Videha-Mukti.
O Ramji! When the wind blows it can be felt. But when the air is still, it cannot be felt. Yet in both the situations air is there. When a living person becomes unaware of his body and attains the state of Bliss, he is called Deha-Mukt. But when a person loses his body, he is called Videha-Mukt, . For a knower, they both are the same.
O Ramji! Now I will talk about Pusharth (Efforts). Whatever a man achieves, is through Pursharth only. Even to break a straw some effort is required. Without Pursharth nothing is achieved. Many persons say that that what God desires will happen. This is sheer nonsense.
O Ramji! When a person starts some work with thinking and determination; does not give up in the middle; is bound to succeed. It is necessary to understand determination. According to the scriptures and sayings of great thinkers, when a person uses his intelligence and uses his efforts for good of everyone; is called determination. With determination and effort it is possible to achieve everything. Persons who set their goals with determination and execute the plan with boldness will be able to conquer the three worlds and rule like Indra, the king of gods. One who acts with determination and puts in effort and acts for the good of the world is really brave. The person who acts contrary to these laws is a fool.
O Ramji! The element which is called Atma, is pure knowledge. Atma with Pursharth can achieve status of Brahma. All those persons in the past who have achieved their goals have done so only with Pursharth and knowledge of Atma. Atma is the element which is common to all and it activates the intelligence. It makes possible for one to ride the Garuda (Mount of god Indra) and become Vishnu the perfect man (Purshotam).
O Ramji! If a person desires to grind Sumer Mountain to powder, it is possible with Purshartha. Please listen to a very important aspect of Purshartha. One day a person does something bad, and on the next day he feels sorry for the bad deed, and corrects his steps and does it right; his bad deed is written off. Even a person, who is disabled physically and is not able to put forward his hand to get Charna-Amrit, can break the earth into pieces with Pursharth.

NOTE :
This chapter seems to be a lesson in modern Project Management. Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. It can be seen that in this chapter all these aspects are covered.

NOTE ON INDRA:



INDRA

GARUDA

In Hindu myth, INDRA is married to Indrani and is the father of Arjuna through Kunti of Mahabharata. Indra rides Garuda, a large mythical bird or bird-like creature.
14 Manvantaras make up a Kalpa, a period corresponding to a day in the life of Brahma. Every Manvantara has 1 Indra that means with every Kalpa 14 Indras change.
In the Rig Veda, Indra is the king of the gods and ruler of the heavens. Indra is the god of thunder and rain and a great warrior, a symbol of courage and strength.
He under whose supreme control are horses, all chariots, the villages, and cattle;
He who gave being to the Sun and Morning, who leads the waters, He, O men, is Indra. (Rig Veda 2.12.7)
Indra is described with more human characteristics and vices than any other Vedic deity.
Story of Gautama's curse
Indra tricked Ahalya, the wife of Gautama Maharishi, in the guise of the saint into letting him make love to her. He was punished by Gautama with a curse that one thousand vaginas would cover his body in vulgar display, and that his reign as king of the gods would meet with disaster and catastrophe. The curse of the maharishi was something like this. "Your body will be covered by that which you desired so much". Gautama later commuted the curse, upon the pleading of Brahma, to one thousand eyes instead.
Due to this sin Indra's throne is supposed to remain insecure forever. He is repeatedly humiliated by demonic kings like Ravana of Lanka, whose son Indrajit (whose name means victory over Indra) bound Indra in serpent nooses and dragged him across Lanka in a humiliating display. Indrajit released Indra when Brahma convinced him to do so in exchange for celestial weapons, but Indra, as the defeated, had to pay tribute and accept Ravana's supremacy. Indra realized the consequences of his sin, and was later avenged by the Avatar of Vishnu, Rama, who slew Ravana to deliver the three worlds from evil, as described in the epic Ramayana.

END OF CHAPTER 4 of PART II
TO BE CONTINUED

August 12, 2011

YOGAVASHISHT PART II - CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 3

RISHI VASHISHT DESCRIBES UNCOUNTABLE UNIVERSES

RISHI VASHISHT: O Ramji! Now I am going to tell you the discourse which was told to me by my father Brahma. Please listen to it with complete attention.

RAMA: O My Guru! I know you will surely tell me about the method of achieving Moksha. But, before that, a doubt has cropped up in my mind. Kindly clarify that first. You said that Sukhdev achieved Moksha and he was liberated from the cycle of birth and death. Kindly tell me why was his father Rishi Ved Vyas not relieved from the cycle of birth and death.

RISHI VASHISHT: O Ramji! You can see the rays of light coming from the sun. Besides this in the universe there are vibrations which cannot be seen. These vibrations create universes and the universes are countless. With passage of time the vibrations weaken, and thus the created universes also dissolve. In this process several universes are created and destroyed simultaneously. The process of creation and destruction goes on endlessly.

RAMA: It is correct. I am aware of existing universes. But, what about the universes which have been in the past, and which are going to come into future? Is there any count of these universes?

RISHI VASHISHT: O Ram! I said countless. Countless means several Crores. (1 Crore = 10 Million). It simply means that Crores of universes were created in the past. Crores of universes will be created in future. Crores are in the process of creation at present. There cannot be any count. Listen to reason for this. Each individual has his own universe. When a person dies and leaves his body, he comes back according to his karmas. He sees the illusion and realizes the existence of basic elements of Jal (water), Prithvi (Earth), Akash (Space) Agni (fire), Vayu (Air). With illusion of realization of these basic elements he creates his own universe. Thus, each individual sees his own universe with realization of the elements. Again when he dies, he comes back to another universe. Thus! Every individual has countless universes. Hence it is impossible to keep count of universes of Brahma, who is the creator. A child turns round and round, and when he stops he sees everything moving around him in circle. A person riding a boat feels the trees on the shore are moving. In dream one sees strange universes. In the same way, due to illusion one sees various universes. In fact nothing is created. There is only one eternal Atma which is steady within itself. Due to illusion this one eternal Atma seems many. This happens due to lack of knowledge. O Ram! You asked about Rishi Ved Vyas. I have seen Ved Vyas in thirty two forms. Ten times he was same. Twelve times he was in different forms which were astonishing. In future also there are going to be eight Ved Vyas who will recite Mahabharata. After that he will drop the body permanently and become free of cycle of birth and death. At that time, I, along with Rishi Valmiki, Rishi Bhrigu, Rishi Angra and many others will become free of cycle of birth and death.
O Ram! Certain creations are similar to each other; and certain creations are different. Men, Devatas (gods), animals, birds, are created some time in the same form, and some time in other forms. All these changes happen due to birth and death. But in reality there is neither death nor birth. No one comes and no one goes. It is all illusion and illusion is result of no knowledge. Anyone who cares to research this subject will not be able to reach any conclusion. Nothing can be achieved by knowing alone. O Ram! One who is born with pure Atma, one who has purged of all desires, one who has stilled his Atma does not have desire of achieving anything; not even the desire of being free from the cycle of birth and death. This sort of person is always steadfast in non-duality. Therefore Rishi Ved Vyas does not possess desire of getting rid of cycle of birth and death.

NOTE:
This is a very important chapter. It is interesting to see that this narration is by Rishi Valmiki. Also this narration is a history which is being told by Rishi Valmiki to Rishi Bharadwaj. Yet in the text we see the name of Rishi Valmiki. Therefore it will not be proper to analyses this text in the usual time frame. Here time frame looses its relevance. Rishi Vashisht says “I have seen Ved Vyas thirty two times”. This shows that these great Rishis have been taking birth in various forms in various eras which might be separated by Kalpas. Following table will clarify the time frame envisaged in text like Yoga vashisht.

There are 1,000 cycles of Mahayugas in one day of Brahma.
• One cycle of the four Yugas is one Mahayuga (4.32 million solar years)
• As is confirmed by the Gita statement "sahasra-yuga paryantam ahar-yad brahmano viduh", meaning, a day of Brahma is of 1000 Mahayugas. Thus a day of Brahma, Kalpa, is of duration: 4.32 billion solar years. Two Kalpas constitute a day and night of Brahma
• A Manvantara consists of 71 Mahayugas (306,720,000 solar years). Each Manvantara is ruled by a Manu.
• After each Manvantara follows one Sandhi Kala of 1,728000 solasr years. It is said that during a Sandhi Kala, the entire earth is submerged in water.
• A Kalpa consists of a period of 1,728,000 solar years called Adi Sandhi, followed by 14 Manvantaras and Sandhi Kalas.
• Probably, Sandhi Kala is the flood described in Matsya Purana of Hindus, and flood described in Genesis in Bible and also in Quran.
From the above it will be seen that it is impossible for human mind to interpret the events in Yoga Vashisht with the time frame known to humanity today.
END OF CHAPTER 3 of PART II
TO BE CONTINUED





August 9, 2011

YOGAVASHISHT PART - II - CHAPTER 2

Rishi Vishvamitra after narrating the story of Sukhadeva told Raja Dasrath;

RISHI VISHWAMITRA: O Maharaja Dasrath! Just as Sukhdev was a person with unpolluted and intelligent mind; exactly in the same way your son Rama also possesses a mind which is pure and unblemished. To still his senses Sukhadev did not require any guidance; in the same way Rama also does not require any directions from me. He has overcome the desires which are enjoyed behind a curtain. What is necessary to know, your son Rama already knows it. Now! The only thing which is required is some effort to still the vibrations of the mind; to achieve the complete silence of senses.
O Maharaja! A person with knowledge is not affected by the predicaments of body and mind; in the same way desires for the luxuries and comforts of life cannot even touch Ramachandra. Persons with desire for luxuries and passions, becomes weak because attachments are produced. What destroys the desires is called Moksha. As the desires to enjoy the luxuries of the life increase, the man fall deeper and deeper in the mire and gets soiled. But! A person who keeps reducing the needs becomes illuminated on the path of spirituality. The ultimate aim is to reach the state of Sat-Chit-Ananda (Absolute Truth – Pure Consciousness – Eternal Bliss). Sat-Chit-Ananda leads one to union with divinity. Just as it is not possible for any tree to grow on Mount Meru, in the same way no desire or craving or yearning will take root in the mind of a person with true knowledge.
O Raja Dasrath! Now Rama needs complete silence of senses. This can only be achieved under the able guidance of revered Rishi Vashisht. It is also proper to seek guidance of Rishi Vashisht, as he is the family Guru of your Raghuvanshi family. In the past also many Raghuvanshis have attained knowledge. Rishi Vashish is respected as knower of past present and future.
Rishi Vishwantra turned his face to Rishi Vashisht and said:
RISHI VISHWAMITRA: O revered Rishi Vashisht! I am sure you remember the quarrel which we had. To surmount our disputes you had given a discourse at mountain Brahma-Mandranchal, so that there will be always peace in the world and all the desires will be surmounted. Kindly tell Rama the same sacred words. Rama is truly worthy of such knowledge. Milk of a cow is sacred, yet when it is stored in an animal hide, it becomes polluted. Rama is a vessel which is fit to obtain the knowledge which you possess, as it will be useful. There is no point in giving knowledge to person who is unfit to receive it, as it will be a waste.
Rishi Valmiki said to Bharadvaj: On hearing these words from Rishi Vishvamitra, Narad Muni and Rishi Ved Vyas were pleased and agreed with Rishi Vishwamitra that his suggestion was perfect. In reply son of Brahma, Rishi Vashisht said:
RISHI VASHISHT: No one is capable of saying no to the directions given by the learned Rishis. Therefore I humbly accept the advice given by you. My father Brahma had taught me in this subject. I remember every word of it. I will repeat the same sacred words to Rama, which will dissolve all his doubts

STORY OF QUARREL BETWEEN RISHI VISHVAMITRA AND RISHI VASHISHT:
Rishi Vishwamitra is considered to be one of the most revered rishis (sages) of the ancient India. As per the holy Puranas, there have been only 24 Rishis in India who have the Gayatri Mantra. It is believed that Sage Vishwamitra is the first saint of the 24 saints, and Sage Yajnavalkya the last. He also claims the distinction of being the author of the majority portion of the Mandala 3 of the Rig-Veda.
Before becoming a Rishi, Vishwamitra was Raja Kaushika. One day, Raja Kaushika along with his army passed by Ashram of Rishi Vashisht. At that time Vasisht was performing a Yagna (Fire sacrifice). He was in deep meditation. After completion of the sacrifice, Vishisht appropriately honoured the Raja and requested to accept his hospitality. Raja thought that there will much inconvenience to Rishi Vishisht in entertaining him because he was having a large army, Raja Kaushika decided to go with modesty. But considering repeated requests of Vishisht, Kaushika accepted his hospitality for a few days. Rishi Vishisht invoked cow Kamdhenu and requested her to arrange for six types of dishes and all kinds of easements to facilitate the joy for the Raja and his army. Accepting his request the cow Kamdhenu made all the arrangements as requested. The Raja and his army were satisfied very much with the hospitality of Rishi Vishisht.

Impressed with the miracle of the cow Kamdhenu and with the idea to get the same, Raja Kaushika said to Vasistha that the cow like Kamdhenu should be the property of the Raja instead of the person residing in forest. So, you please give it to me. I will give you a large amount of wealth in return of the cow. However, the sage declined the offer. Enraged at the refusal of sage Vasisht, he ordered his army to forcefully take the cow to his kingdom. The sage used his yogic powers to bring forth a huge militia of fierce warriors, who defeated the army of Kaushika. Kaushika was captured and brought before the sage, who pardoned him.

The above mentioned incident deeply affected Kaushika and made him realize that power of penance was greater than that of physical strength. He relinquished his throne and began his journey to become a sage, greater than even Vasisht. After undergoing intense meditation and severe asceticism, he was bestowed with the title of Brahmarishi by Lord Brahma himself. He was given the name of 'Vishwamitra' (friend of universe).

Out of this story a very important point emerges. In Hindus there is caste system consisting of Brahmans, Kshtriyas, Vaishyas and Sudras. This caste system is not dependent upon the birth of a person. It can be changed by the work that is being done by a person. Rishi Vishwamitra was a Kshtriya by birth. But! Later by virtue of his hard work and study he became a Brahman
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END OF CHAPTER 2
TO BE CONTINUED

August 3, 2011

YOGAVASHISHT - PART II - CHAPTER 1

RISHI VALMIKI: O Bharadvaj! These words which you heard give great satisfaction and joy to a person. When a person earns good karmas over many lives, then only one gets an opportunity to listen to words like these. Ordinary persons will have no interest in things like this. O Bharadvaj! When Narad Muni finished praise of what was said by Rama, Rishi Vishamitra said as follows.

RISHI VISHWAMITRA: O Sri Ramachandra, you are more learned than most of the knowledgeable persons. What should be known by you, you already know it. Now there is nothing left for you to know. When dirt is removed from the mirror, the reflection is seen clearly in the mirror. But in your case mirror of your mind is absolutely clears. Hence there is no need to teach anything further to you.
O Ramachandra! Just like you there was one Sukhadev, son of Rishi Ved Vyas. Sukhadev was also very intelligent. All that he needed was a bit of guidance. After getting the guidance he also reached the ultimate goal of Moksha.

RAMA: O Muneshwar! I am interested in hearing the story of Sukhadev. How he reached Moksha. Kindly tell me the entire story.

RISHI VISHVAMITRA NARRATES STORY OF SUKHADEV TO RAMA

RISHI VISHVAMITRA: O Rama! Sukhdev was son of great Rishi Ved Viyas. He knew what truth is and what is untruth. Sukhdev was well versed with all the scriptures and Vedas. But he was not aware of Shanti (silence of mind). He had not experienced the bliss or delight of a stilled Atma. He was always in doubt about his knowledge, because he had not witnessed the true happiness. To clear his doubts he went to his father Rishi Ved Vyas, who was living at Sumer Mountain. Sukhdev asked his father to clarify his doubts that he had regarding Atma. Rishi Ved Vyas tried to explain to him the complex problem. Yet, Sukhdeva could not understand it. Rishi Ved Vyas thought that he is my son, so he might be taking me lightly. Hence Rishi Ved Vyas told Sukhadeva to go to Raja Janak, who was a great scholar and a realized soul. He is a person who will be able to get you rid of attachments. After getting this advice, Sukhdev, reached Mithlapuri, kingdom of Raja Janak. Sukhadev went to the main gate of the palace and requested the guard to tell Raja Janak, that Sukhdev son of Riushi Ved Vyas has come to meet the Raja.
When the guard told Raja Janak about sukhadev, Raja immediately understood the purpose of visit of Sukhadev. Raja told the guard to tell Sukhadev to wait. Sukhadev kept waiting at the palace gate for seven days. On seventh day Raja enquired about Sukhadev, whether he was still waiting or he had left. Raja instructed the guard to make Sukhadev wait on the second palace gate. There also Sukhadev waited for seven days. Thereafter Raja instructed the guard to bring Sukhadev into the palace and provide best of food and comforts of the palace. Yet Sukhadev was not allowed to meet Raja. In the palace Sukhadev was treated with utmost respect and provided with all the luxuries. He was taken to the women’s quarters where beautiful women were eager to please him.
Raja Janak enquired, what was the difference in personality of Sukhadev, before and after entering the palace. The guard told Raja that Sukhadev is as he was. Raja was told that Sukhadev was not unhappy due to insult of being kept waiting; nor is he happy after being honoured in the palace. Just as Sumer Mountain does not move due to winds, in the same way Sukhadev is not affected by insults or respect. After hearing this from the guard, Raja ordered that Sukhadev may be granted the audience to meet Raja.
Sukhaved was brought before Raja immediately. Raja Janak, after offering respects due to a Brahmin, offered Sakhadev a place to sit next to Raja. Raja enquired the reason of visit of Sukhadev. Sukhadev said, O Raja! Kindly tell me how this universe was created and how is it going to end. Raja Janak told the same thing to Sukhadev what was told by his father Rishi Ved Vyas. On hearing the same thing, Sukhadev said “O Raja! What you tell me, the same thing was told to me by my father. I also know by what I have studied, that the universe is created by the vibrations of the mind. This will end only when the vibrations of the mind are stilled. But unfortunately I am unable to control the vibrations of the mind. Raja Janak replied “O Sukhdev! What I have told you, and what you know is one and same. You have to concentrate and contemplate upon this knowledge for a very long time, then only you will be able to achieve ultimate happiness and stillness. In fact you have come to me to learn. But the Fact is that you know more than me. I have desires of my body but my Atma has no desire. In your case your body and Atma, both have given up desires.

RISHI VISHVAMITRA: O Ramachandra! On hearing this from Raja Janak, Sukhadev understood. He went to Sumer Mountain and started meditating there in a cave. Sukhadev meditated for ten thousand years in the cave of Mount Meru. Just as the oil lamp is extinguished after the oil is exhausted, in the same way Sukhadev, stilled all his desires and reached Moksha.

NOTE ON RAJA JANAK: According to the epic Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Janakas were a race of kings who ruled Videha Kingdom from their capital Mithila. The Janakas were known to be well-versed in the knowledge of the Atman, and remained free from attachments even while living as householders and rulers. Janaka was not only a brave king, but was also as well-versed in the scriptures and Vedas as any rishi. He was the beloved pupil of Yaajnavalkya, whose exposition of Brahman to the king forms one chapter of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna cites Seeradhwaj Janaka as an illustrious example of the Karma yoga. Janaka was also said to be a Rajarshi having spiritually advanced and reached the state of a rishi, though he was a king administrating the kingdom of Mithila. He was also instructed by sage Ashtavakra upon the nature of the self or Atman; this exposition forms the content of the famous treatise Ashtavakra Gita.
The father of Sita (the wife of Rama) was named Seeradwaja Janaka

NOTE ON RISHI VED VYAS: Hindus traditionally hold that Vyasa categorized the original single Veda into four. Hence he was called Veda Vyasa, or "Splitter of the Vedas," the splitting being a feat that allowed people to understand the divine knowledge of the Veda. The word vyasa means split, differentiate, or describe.
It has been debated whether Vyasa was a single person or a class of scholars who did the splitting. The Vishnu Purana has a theory about Vyasa. The Hindu view of the universe is that of a cyclic phenomenon that comes into existence and dissolves repeatedly. Each cycle is presided over by a number of Manus, one for each Manvantara, that has four ages, Yugas of declining virtues. The Dvapara Yuga is the third Yuga. The present and fourth yuga is Kaliyuga, which started on 23 January 3102 BC. This date is also considered by many Hindus to be the day that Krishna left earth to return to his abode

NOTE ON VIBRATIONS: Quantum physics states that everything in the universe is pure energy, differing only in rate of vibration. Vibration is an integral component of the great continuum of the Universe, manifesting an infinite number of characteristics. Energy is vibration; human beings consist entirely of pure Energy in the form of a physical body, even though the human body and physical surroundings might appear to be solid in accordance with the five physical senses. This precisely what is said above “that the universe is created by the vibrations of the mind. This will end only when the vibrations of the mind are stilled. But unfortunately I am unable to control the vibrations of the mind” Vibrations will continue to
appear in or the other way through out the book Yagavashisht.

END OF CHAPTER 1 of Part II
TO BE CONTINUED