1. Book of Nirvana (Part I)
2. Book of Nirvana (Part II)
3. Book of Beginnings and Creation (Utapatti) (Book II)
4. Book of Being and Becoming and Book of Tranquility and Repose
5. Book of Dejection and Book of Seeker
Born in 1928, Prof. P.N. Murthy graduated in Machanical Engineering from Annamalai University in 1949 and later pursued aeronautical engineering at Indian Institute of Science and University of Iillnois, Urbans, USA. He obtained Ph. D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics at University of Illinois in 1962. He taught Aeronautical Engineering in IISC Bangalore and IIT Kanpur. He was the head of the department of Aeronautical Engineering in IIT Kanpur during its formative years. In 1982 he moved to Tata Consultancy services to start a research centre in systems engineering and Cybernetics at Hyderabad. He was the head of the centre till 1996 when he relinquished the Job to become Advisor, Tata Consultancy Services. During his Long career he published nearly 100 technical papers in various journals covering aeronautical subject and complex societal problems. During his tenure at TCS he developed a method called ‘Multimodelling’ (now called DIKSUCHI’) to help resolve complex societal problems. At presents he is involved in promoting Adult Literacy through a computer based method called CBFL. He is one of the principle initiators of his program.
As a student activist he participated in the 1942 Quit India Movements. He participated in the progressive literature movements and authored several short stories, philosophical essays and one act plays in Telugu. One of his novels ‘GALI BUDAGALU’ in Telugu has been reissued in 2004, after forty years.
He received the millennium award of American Biographical Society in 2000.
He is a member of several professional bodies and participated in several national and international conferences. He is one of the founder-directors of Engineering staff college of India, a unique continuing education center of practioners of profession people.
He is nominated by the Combridge Biographical Society as one of the top 100 Engineers of 2008. He is the member of the Governing Council of SEED and ReD, NGO.
Viswamitra, the great sage of many spiritual attainments and achievements, comes to the court of Dasaratha, King of Ayodhya, to request for the help of his son Prince Rama for protection his sacrificial site from the ravaging onslaughts of the Rakshasas (demons). Dasaratha, the aged king, was initially hesitant to send Rama to the battlefield. He pleads with Viswamitra Rama only sixteen years now. He does not have the experience of a battle, and least of all, with the ferocious Rakshasas. I shall come instead with all my armies. Viswamitra concedes that Dasaratha is an experienced battle scarred warrior of significant successes. Even so he cannot replace Rama who, though young, is highly skilled in warfare. He requests sage Vasishta. The Guru of Raghu clan, the dynasty of Dasaratha and Rama, to intervene on his behalf. Sage vasishta explains to Dasaratha that Rama is no ordinary person and suggests that he accedes to the request of Sage Viswamitra. Unable to counter Vasishta, since the word of a Guru is like command, Dasaratha agrees to send Rama and tells Rama to accompany Sage Viswamitra. But Rama was averse to undertake the expedition even though he is a dutiful son. He has just returned from a pilgrimage to various holy places of India and the result of the tour was a conviction that there is very little to commend the pursuing of activity in an ephemeral world. Thus starts the famous dialogue between sage Vasishta and Rama. This dialogue was recorded by Sage Valmiki as Vasishta Maharamayana. The span and spread of this dialogue is voluminous sunning into 32000 slokas (couptets) in Sanskrit divided into six books:
I. Book of despair and dejection of Rama.
II. Book of nature and behaviour of a seeker.
III. Book of Creation.
IV. Book of being and becoming.
V. Book of Tranquillity and Repose.
VI. Book of Nirvana.
Of the 32000 slokas, nearly 16000 constitute of books of Nirvana. And it is also like a summary of all that has to be conveyed by Vasista to Rama.
Yogavasishtam is one of the important texts of Indian spiritual tradition. It expounds almost all strands of spiritual experience and thoughts that span the wide range of the tradition. It is one of the thoughts that span the wide range of the tradition. It is one of the most ancient expositions containing many important thought patterns of even the famous Bhagavad Gita. In Yogavasishtam, the story of Arjuna and the ‘Yoga of disinterest and detachment’ correspond to the Bhagavad Gita.
The text of Yogavasishtam represents the typical dialogue between a teacher and a student in great detail. The exposition extents to over nearly twenty days, almost every day from sunrise to sunset. The audience consisted of a wide range of people starting from common people with simple interest to learned sages and gods. The setting seems to be in the vast palace gardens in a recess of cleared ground flanked by huge tall trees with crowns of dense foliage with the sky as canopy. This may be the reason why Vasishta draws heavily from the analogy of tree cloud apart from the idea of mirage. The exposition is such that all propositions and hypotheses are explained in great detail with illustrative stories and logical elaborations. Yogavasishtam contains its own annotations and commentary and hence the enormous length.
This attempt at translation of this great work is at the instance of my Guru, Sri Shiva Balayogi Maharaja. Several years ago, in a rare moment of communion and compassion, he suggested ‘why don’t you translate Yogavasishtam into English. There is no unabridged version of it in English. You know Telugu, English and some Sanskrit. Initial reaction of mine was a shudder ‘Do you really mean it, Swamiji? Where am I and where is that great book?
You mean you need inspiration and support. Don’t worry. I am there’.
For years I could not pick up the necessary courage even though Swamiji gave me the unabridged Telugu translation of Yogavasishtam, unning into four volumes and nearly 5000 pages. The Telugu translation was done by Swami Purnananda and Swami Vidyaprakasanandagiri of Vyasa Ashram, Erpedu, Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh, India.
I read these volumes twice from cover to cover. The magnitude of the task was staggering. However, recently my Guru conveyed to me to the task was staggering. However, recently my Guru conveyed to me his blessings and encouragement a year ago. I started the translation. The inspiration was, therefore, always flowing through the pen. I am presenting this to the public. I expect to finish the stupendous task in about two years with his Grace. Failed Some times. Even so, I hope the translation did not suffer much.
There is another angle to it. We all believe that Swamiji was Vasishta and what is in Yogavasishtam is what he said. He is speaking again to the world.
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