About the Book:
This is a favourite book of spiritual seekers in India these several centuries. Its special appeal lies in its thoroughly rational approach and in its presentation of Vedanta as a philosophy to bridge the gulf between the secular and the sacred action and contemplation and lofty spirituality.
This monumental scripture is the greatest help to the spiritual awakening and the direct experience of the Truth. This is certain. If this is what you want you are welcome to the Yoga Vasistha.
an oft-recurring expression in this scripture is a crow alights on the coconut palm tree and at that very moment a ripe coconut falls. The two unrelated events thus seem to be related in time and space, though there is no causal relationship.
Such is life. Such is creation But the mind caught up in its own trap of logic questions why invents a why and a wherefore to satisfy itself, conveniently ignoring the inconvenient question that still haunt an intelligent mind.
Vasistha demands direct observation of the mind its motion its notion its reasoning the assumed cause and the projected result and even the observer.
SWAMI VENKATESANANDA, who has. been working untiringly for decades to spread the life-giving message of Yoga and Vedanta in East and West, has done a great service to spiritual seekers far and wide by bringing out this translation of the Yoga Vasistha..
The Swami has arranged the verses of the book in such a way as to convert them into arosary of daily thoughts throughout the year, on the lines of his two other books published, namely The Srimad Bhagavatam or Book of God, and The Bhagavad Gita Or The Song of God.
In this book, Swami Venkatesananda has masterfully translated the Yoga Vasistha, the well-known Vedanta treatise in Sanskrit so that it is understood not only by scholars but by laymen as well.
The book, The Supreme Yoga, is a translation into English accompanied by brief expositions, by Swami Venkatesananda of the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, India, of the well-known Vedanta treatise in Sanskrit, The Yoga Vasistha.
The Swami has arranged- the verses of the book in such a way as to convert them into a rosary of daily thoughts throughout the year, on the lines of his two other books published, namely The Srimad Bhagavatam. or Book of God, and The Bhagavad Gita or The Song of God.
The Yoga Vasistha has been a favourite book of spiritual seekers in India these several centuries. Its special appeal lies in its thoroughly rational approach, and in its presentation of Vedanta as a philosophy which dares, like the Bhagavad Gita, to bridge the gulf between the secular and the sacred, action and contemplation, in human life, through a comprehensive and lofty spirituality. The reader will come across passages such as the verse entry for 31 st January, highlighting the importance of reason:
'The remark of even a child is to be accepted, if it is in accordance with reason; but the remark of even Brahma Himself, the creator of the world, is to be rejected like a piece of straw, if it does not accord with reason:
It is this philosophy of a comprehensive spirituality, rational and practical, that man in the modern age needs to rescue himself from his stagnation of worldliness and put him on the high road of creative living and fulfilment.
Swami Venkatesananda, who has been working untiringly for decades to spread the life-giving message of Yoga and Vedanta in East and West, has done a great service to spiritual seekers far and wide by bringing out this translation of The Yoga Vasistha in the wake of his translation of the other two great books.
The Chiltern Yoga Trust of Elgin, South Africa, deserves the silent thanks of readers for publishing these three books of the Swami and helping to broadcast far and wide the life-giving, purifying, and inspiring ideas of Eternal India, Amar Bharat, in her Vedanta.
Scholars speculate about the author of this monumental scripture and such other academic matters: may God bless them with success.
The Yoga Vasistha is the greatest help to the spiritual awakening and the direct experience of the Truth. This is certain. If this is what you want, you are welcome to the Yoga Vasistha.
The text abounds in repetitions which are, however, not repetitious. If you do not like (or need) repetition, then read just this one verse:
"This world appearance is a confusion: even
as the blueness of the sky is an optical
illusion. I think it is better not to let
the mind dwell on it, but to ignore it." (1-312)
This verse occurs several times in the scripture and it seems to be the very essence of the teaching.
If that is not quite clear to you now, read the scripture. The numerous ways in which this truth is revealed will open your mind.
It is wise to read just one page a day. The teaching is revolutionary. The biased mind does not readily accept it. After the daily reading, meditate. Let the message soak through.
An oft recurring expression in this scripture is 'kakataliya' - a crow alights on the cocoanut palm tree and at that very moment a ripe cocoanut falls. The two unrelated events thus seem to be related in time and space, though there is no causal relationship.
Such is life. Such is 'creation'. But the mind caught up in its own trap of logic questions why, invents a 'why' and a 'wherefore' to satisfy itself, conveniently ignoring the inconvenient questions that still haunt an intelligent mind.
Vasistha demands direct observation of the mind, its motion, its notions, its reasoning, the assumed cause and the projected result, and even the observer, the observed and the observation - and the realisation of their indivisible unity as the infinite consciousness.
That is the uniqueness of this scripture which hence declares itself to be supreme:
"Except through this scripture, one cannot gain what is
good, now or at any time. Therefore, for perfect realization
of the supreme truth, one should fervently investigate
this scripture alone." (VI.2-103)
It is, however, the teaching that is supreme; not a book nor a sage. Hence, Vasistha is bold enough to say:
"If, however, one thinks it is not authoritative because it is
of human origin, one can resort to the study of any other
scripture dealing with self-knowledge and final
Whichever be the scripture taught by whomever, and whichever be the path you choose, stop not till the psychological conditioning ceases entirely. Hence, Vasistha exhorts the seeker:
"One should study at least a small part of this scripture
daily. The beauty of this scripture is that its student is
not abandoned to his despair; if something is not clear
in the first instance, a further study of the scripture
makes it clear." (VI.2-175)
A number of friends and publishers have asked for a one-volume version of this great classic. The co-operation of a number of friends, especially Mrs Priya Hart of Israel and Lakshmi of Australia, brought about an 'instant revision'.
In this edition, the .extract from the Laghu Yoga Vasitha has been omitted. In addition, the second part of the Nirvana Prakaranam has also been left out - almost, except for a couple of interesting stories which have been wedged into the first part of the Nirvana Prakaranarn. The first part seems to conclude the dialogue with the great sakti-pata episode and Rama's self-absorption. Though the second part contains some gems, in some respects it seems an anti-climax and after-thought. The gems have been retained. In addition to the two stories mentioned above. some other brilliant declarations have been gathered and added to the end of the volume under the heading "Thus Spake Vasistha". Thus nothing of value has been left out and yet the two volumes of the previous edition have been combined into one!
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