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Yoga Vashisht

December 10, 2011

YOGA VASHISHT - Part II

CHAPTER 8
ABOUT UPADESH RECEIVED BY RISHI VASHISHT
FROM HIS FATHER BRAHMA

When Rama heard from Rishi Vashish, the reason of getting the Upadesh (knowledge) from his father Brahma, Rama asked a question.

RAMA: O all knowing Rishi! Kindly tell me in detail how the people of Jamboo Dweep became pure and knowledgeable after hearing the Upadesh?

RISHI VASHISHT: O Ramji! Brahma created this universe out of vibrations only. In fact Brahma himself is creation of vibrations. After creating the universe, Brahma created Time, which is in three Kalas, that is past, present and future. After passing away of very long time people started indulging into wrong deeds. They started going against the instructions given in Vedas. In this way, Dharma (righteousness) started disappearing. Raj-Dharma (law of land) started declining. People stated behaving in a manner as they liked, without giving a thought to right or to wrong. This behaviour caused lot of miseries to the entire mankind.

O Ramji! When Brahma saw this situation, he got worried. Brahma immediately called me, Sanat Kumars, and Narad Muni. He told us “O my sons! Go to Bhu-Loka (world) and instruct the people to establish Dharma once again. Those who want to enjoy luxuries and comforts of life; tell them to inculcate good deeds like Jap-Tap (prayers), Ishnan (cleanliness, hygiene, bath), Sandhya (Evening prayer). Those who want to achieve Moksha or ultimate liberation from cycle of birth and death, tell them the methods of gaining Braham-Vidya (knowledge of Brahma). With these instructions Brahma, our father Brahma, sent us to Bhu-Loka (World).

O Ramji! When we three, Sanat Kumars, Narad Muni and I, reached Bhu-Loka we sat together to think upon a plan, as to how should we proceed to fulfil the task entrusted to us. We decide that first we should appoint some one as Raja (King), who should make the people follow the rules of proper and good conduct. We empowered the Raja to penalize and punish the people who do not obey the orders. Therefore it was decided that the Raja should be a person who is very powerful physically and must be man of very high intelligence. He should also be a person who is upright and magnanimous.

O Ramji! We first gave the instructions for learning Brahma-Vidya to the Raja. Hence Brahma-Vidya is also called Raj-Vidya. Having done this, our next step was to create procedures for Jap-Tap(Prayers), Tyaga (Renunciation), Dana (Alms)) , Teertha (visit to holy places), Ishnan (cleanliness and hygiene; literally bath) and other good activities to be performed by the people of the world. We told the people that by doing these Karmas (deeds or actions) you will be happy.

O Ramji! Amongst the people at large we found some rare person who could give up ego and was striving for keeping the mind clean with an intension of achieving Moksha. Generally people were foolish who kept hankering for luxuries of life and were constantly trapped into the cycle of birth and death. Persons who had a pure mind, who worked without any motive, who performed their Karmas without expecting anything in return, were eligible for learning Brahma-Vidya or Raj-Vidya. Thus, we found that those persons performed their Krmas selflessly were more happy and easily achieved Moksha.

O Ramji! By getting Upadesh of Brahma-Vidya lot Rajas and ordinary persons who were well versed in the knowledge of Vedas, have reached the ultimate goal of Moksha.

O Ramji! Your father Dasrath also became knowledgeable in Brahma Vidya. Now you have also reached that stage when you should also be instructed into the sacred knowledge of Brahma Vidya. Your mind is pure naturally. Hence you are Uttam (best) amongst Uttam Purshas (men). (Rama ia also known as Purshottam ; Pursh = man and Uttam = best; i.e. Best amongst all the men)

O Ramji! You have all the luxuries and comforts of life at your command. There is nothing which can make you sad. Yet, on your mind has turned towards Vairagya (renunciation). This is the reason I say that you are Uttam amongst the entire mankind.

O Ramji! When people visit places like cremation grounds, they develop fear and develop detachment and renunciation from pains and pleasures of the material world. But this renunciation of worldly objects is very temporary. Once they come out of cremation ground, they become engrossed with the habits and traditions of the world and forget renunciation. But this is applicable to ordinary persons only. The persons who are noble and relatively superior, who are Shreshtha, hold the idea of renunciation unwaveringly and with unshakable determination. The Vairagya or renunciation which is developed without any cause or a reason is paramount. Just as an elephant feels happy and satisfied after breaking away with the chains, which tied him; exactly in the same way a Gyani (Knowledgeable) achieves his freedom by steadfastly practicing renunciation duly supported by study of scriptures. The persons who have gone ahead with spiritual practice under able guidance of his Guru has surely achieved the goal of breaking the cycle of birth and death and reached the coveted state of Moksha.

O Ramji! When a raging storm arrives, all the trees get uprooted, but the huge Banyan tree remains unaffected; in the same way the thoughtless and unwise persons get trapped in the cycle of birth and death and keep coming back to the world again and again. But a Gyani or a knowledgeable person remains unaffected by the worldly pleasures and relationships.

O Ramji! The persons who have given up the pleasures of life, considering them to be momentary and not everlasting, they cannot be once again enticed into falling back into the mire of the world. But! Those who are ignorant and unaware can never come out of the marsh of pleasures. Superior person is one who cares only for progress of his Atma. That person truly deserves to get the knowledge of Brahma-Vidya (Knowledge of Brahma).

O Ramji! The land is made supple by ploughing. Then only it becomes fit to receive the seed; in the same way I am trying to make your mind agile and alert to give you the ultimate knowledge. A Guru should give knowledge to only that person who is interested only in acquiring the knowledge of Brahma; one who is averse to the pleasures of life; and one who has complete faith in his Guru. True knowledge can only be imparted only when Guru and the disciple, both are Shreshtha (Superior). I find all the qualities in you which are prescribed in the scriptures for a deserving disciple. As a Guru, I am fully proficient and capable of imparting the required knowledge to you. Therefore you will attain your goal easily. Just as colour of turmeric stains white cloth easily, in the same way your clean mind will easily accept the knowledge which I am going to give to you.

O Ramji! I sincerely request you to bend your mind towards me, and have such a feeling (Bhavana) in your mind, so that you are able to receive full benefit out of my Upadesh. I am sure that a disciple like you will soon become a Braham-Gyani.

O Ramji! Now I am going to reveal to you the knowledge you have been waiting for. You should shun the friendship of a person whose mentality is evil and wicked. The door to the Moksha is guarded by four guards. These guards standing at the door leading to Moksha are fast friends. Their names are SUM (Control), SANTOKH (Satisfaction), VICHAR(Right Thinking) and SATSANG (Good/True Company). If you can be friends with these four guards, they will easily let you in and guide you to your destination.

O Ramji! In case you can’t make all four your friends then make three your friends. In case if making three your friend is difficult, you may try to be friends with only two. If that is also not possible you may become friend of only one of them. As I told you earlier that thses four guards are fast friends, hence being friend of any one will make you friend of all four. Where one goes, three others will follow him. Thus your path to wards Moksha will become very easy. Those who have made friends with these four have always been happy and satisfied. Those who have shunned these four friends have always been unhappy and see plenty of sorrows. In your mind is like clear and transparent water. Hence you will have no difficulty in achieving your goal. Due to extreme cold the water turns to ice and does not remain transparent any more, same is the case with persons with less knowledge. He is unable to see through and remains ignorant for ever. Mind of an Agyani or an ignorant person is like a hollow in the tree where sakes live. This sort of person can never achieve peace (Shanti).

END OF PART II Chapter 8
TO BE CONTINUED