is such a great, glorious and extraordinary text that anybody who comes
under its influence will undergo a metamorphosis which will make his life
supremely joyous and blissful. It deals
essentially with Jnaana, spiritual knowledge. Three paths to realisation of the Ultimate
Reality, Karma Yoga ( path of selfless
action), Bhakti Yoga (path of
devotion) and Jnana Yoga (path of knowldege) are generally
recognised. The emphasis in Yoga
Vaishtha is on Jnaana
aided by selfless action without
the sense of doership as a means to purifying
the mind, an essential pre-requisite on the spiritual path. The word ‘Yoga’ in Yoga VasishYha is used in the generic sense of spiritual practices. ‘Vaasishtham’ means orignating from sage
Vasishtha who imparts this knowledge to youthful Rama who had developed extreme aversion to all
worldly duties and things after
pondering over their futility and evanescence.
Valmiki, the Aadi Kavi (the very first
poet), who wrote Ramayana. While the
Ramayana has captured the heart of the
masses not many are familiar with Yoga Vaasishtha except
a few who are treading the spiritual path adopting the Path of
Prakaranas. They are :
Nirvana Prakarana on Sapta
Bhoomikas, the seven stages which all
spiritual aspirants on the path of Self-Realisation have to pass through.
ultimate purport of the Sastras and go to Asramas (hermitages) of realised
sages and have discussions with them on Vedanta and the techniques of self-realisation.
will help him get rid of the negative aspects of Samsara and develop Vairagya,
dispassion. Thus he will be just passing
his time without fear, care and concern, irrespective of whether he is on a
rock or in a nice bed.
aspirant on the spiritual path, with supreme peace and tranquility reigning in
his mind, will be peacefully spending his time with the unique joy of Asamsanga
whether he be in a city or a forest.
sastras and by doing good deeds, this ‘animal’ called man, will have a
wonderful vision of the Reality, Atman,
in an easy and natural way.
third bhumika, the aspirant becomes awakened and experiences flashes of
the Self. Asamsanga is of two
types. Hear from me the difference
between the two types of Asamsanga.
श्रेष्ठ एव च।
न च बाधकः ॥२४॥
मम कर्तृता ॥२५॥
far superior. The ordinary type of
detachment consists in the cultivation of ideas such as ‘I am not the enjoyer,
I am not the doer; I am not conditioned, nor do I condition others’.
Whether I am having sukha (joy, happiness) or dukkha
(sorrow, misery), how can their agency be attributed to me?
are but fatal diseases. In reality they
are not enjoyments, All wealth is but a
source of infinite danger. All unions
are for separations. Everything
ultimately brings about mental agony, physical pain and anxieties.
“time” is projecting things like a magician.
Whatever is there in the world as an entity will be destroyed by it,
absorbed back by it. Those who thus
reflect and develop detachment towards samsara are of the ordinary type.
वा प्राक्तनं मम।
practice of this asamsanga and by association with Mahaatmaas (great and noble souls), all the bad traits
within the mind will vanish
of the Mahaatmaas one gets
into the closing part of the third bhoomika.
using one’s own will power and effort, the
be had as clearly and vividly as an aamalaka(gooseberry), kept in the
is doing everything. All happens because
of my past Karma.” Thoughts about the meaning of these phrases will then
definitely be thrown away.
supreme Asamsanga when one gets
established, with utter quiet and
peace, in the ultimate cause of the universe which is beyond the ocean of samsaara.
न च चेतने ॥३२॥
without, neither below nor above, neither in the eight directions nor in the
sky; it is neither in the material objects nor again in Soonya
(emptiness), neither is it in the inert things nor in the conscious mind.
called the supreme unattached state, which is the ultimate refuge of all
things, by whose power all things are revealed, but which itself cannot be
revealed by anything, which cannot be thought of, which has neither an origin
nor an end and which is supremely peaceful.
blissful and satisfying, it is the off-shoot of all virtues and good acts. It is hiding on the top of the flame called
Chitta. Realising this state will bring
an end to all troubles, tribulations and obstacles to peace and bliss in life.
or state wil bear the fruit of supreme unattachment when the lotus bud of
Viveka, discrimination, blossoms forth with the sunrise of Vichara, reflection
conact of pure souls, combined with the accumulated effect of noble deeds , as
happens in the case of a ripe palm fruit which falls down when a crow casually
rests on it.
पाल्या प्रयत्नतः ॥३७॥
bearing traces of pure bliss, shooting up by coming in contact with souls, has
to be protected, nourished with effort, using the water of Viveka,
systematic Vichara, this joy,
which is an infinitesimal fraction of the bliss of the Self, has to be
developed, just like the farmer taking care of the young offshoots every day.
growth, it (subhechchaa) proves to be the source for the birth of the
other Bhoomikas. By effort, then,
Sadhaka will reach the second and the third Bhoomikas.
bring forth the supreme Asamsanga, wherein the sadhaka relinquishes
the mind itself absolutely, so full of thoughts, feelings and imaginations.
वैतरां च वा।
some doubts for clarification by Vasishtha:
by those who are unintelligent in nature, born in bad families, who do binding
worldly Karma, who are of low
character and who have never come across saints and yogis? Moreover, O
Bhavavan!, if a person dies having reached the first, second or third Bhoomikas,
what will be his future fate?
प्रथमात्र भूः ॥४३॥
has all the evils in him, will have to struggle through hundreds of births
until the time as he does not reach the first jnaana state (bhoomika)
समुदेति हि ॥४५॥
and saintly persons, a critical study of life in the world will start in him
and as a result, Vairaagya will develop in him. This will occur as easily and naturally as
the palm fruit falling down due to the crow’s perching on it.
man starts having Vairaagya, then definitely he has come to the first
Bhoomika. Then alone samsara, worldly life, perishes for him. This is the quintessence of the purport of
all the sastras.
is established in the first, second or third bhoomika, will get the effect of his evil deeds
exhausted in proportion to the stage he is in.
celestial aeroplane and go on to the cities of Devendra, the king of Devas and
also to the caves of the divine mountain Meru.
He will have a happy life there with his consort.
योगिनो भुवि ॥४९॥
enjoyment (when the sankalpa life gets exhausted) they will again be
born in the Earth in much better circumstances and become yogis with
most of their sins and merits exhausted through their experiences.
the families of persons who are wise, wealthy, good and pure and who will
cherish virtues as precious possession.
They will then continue the pursuit of the path of jnaana, since
they had already been following this path (in their previous life)
he left off at the time of death, he will continue his Jnaana nishtha
again, rising to the subsequent higher stages.
three bhoomikas belong to the jagrat or wakeful state, as the
sense of difference between oneself and the things of the world prevails in
nishtha, the maximum attainment in the first three stages will be Aaryataa.
Aaryataa is so great, sublime and noble a state that
even idiots, seeing an Arya, would aspire to attain Mukti through his
inspiration. They would be greatly
inspired by his personality.
इति स्मृतः ॥५४॥
fit to be done and would leave things that ought not to be done. They will be established always in a natural
and normal state. Such men alone are
इति स्मृतः ॥५५॥
will be according to Aacharas (codes of
conduct), according to the sastras, according to the changing circumstances and
also as inspired from within.
manifests in the first bhoomika, (शुभेच्छा), it
grows and blossoms in the second bhoomika Vichaarana (विचारणा) and takes the sadhaka to the level of
self-realisation in Asamsanga (असंसङ्ग) in the third stage.
second or third bhoomika, he will be going to and enjoying long, in the realms
which are generally attained by people who practise intently different systems
of religious disciplines and will reincarnate on earth again as a jnaana yogi.