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.
4 TO 7
three bhoomikas subhechcha,
Vicharana and Asamsanga ignorance will completely dissipate. Then jnaana will dawn and settle itself firmly in the mind
like the rising of the full moon.
when they will start seeing the whole manifest phenomena as nothing but the
expression of Brahman, which is indivisible
or end, they would be entering the fourth Bhoomika.
have perfect Advaita (non-dual) vision.
The perception of Dvaita (duality) will not be there. They then see the world as in the dream.
wakeful consciousness, while the fourth is similar to the dream. In the later stage of the fourth bhoomika,
the mind will perish like a cloud in the sarat season, autumnal days.
alone, the sadhaka is said to have reached the fifth stage. With the total
dissolution of the mind, the world delusion will not arise in him.
stage, which can be called sushupti, deep sleep, unmovingly will he
remain established in the blissful state of Advaita experience. All notions of duality and multiplicity would
completely vanish. Either awake, or in
Samadhi, the jnaani would ever be in the transcendental
एवास्ते पञ्चमीं भूमिकां गतः ॥६४॥
the fifth stage, he will be free from all the toils and tribulations arising on
account of the feeling of duality. He
will be always blissful and awakened within.
As regards the reactions of the mind, such as sukha and dukkha,
he will be completely oblivious to
them as in deep slumber.
तिष्ठन् बहिर्वृत्तिपरोऽपि सन्।
नित्यं निद्रालुरिव लक्ष्यते ॥६५॥
dwelling by introversion, in the pure consciousness, he will yet be active,
like any other man. He will be always peaceful and appear as though asleep (due
to the mind’s non-reaction and poise).
all vasanas, he will gradually fall into the sixth state called Tureeya.
jnaani in the sixth bhoomika can be brought down to the level of body-consciousness only if
other people make efforts. That state is
one where the material world is seldom cognised, if at all, for short periods,
now and then, as ripples (thoughts) arise on the Pure Consciousness of samadhi. He may be like a day dreamer, often with eyes
open, but the eyes will not see. There will not be much of external
consciousness in him. Even if he is beaten, he will not be able to recognise
that state, the jnaani cannot fix
whether he is embodied or otherwise; he will be without the ‘I’ notion, yet
acting, simply without thoughts, beyond
the notions of duality and oneness.
this state, unaffected by the knot of ahamkara and free from all doubts,
he is indeed a Jeevanmukta (for
the jeevabhava has gone).
Although he would not have attained Nirvana state – Videha Mukti – he is all the same having Nirvana for he does not any more cognise his body. His
body will be like that of lamp in a picture, with just the appearance but with
none of its other features.
is empty within and without, like a pot held in the air; he is also full within
and full without, like a pot immersed in
possesses nothing, yet he possesses everything. Remaining in the sixth stage
for a while, he slips into the seventh Bhoomika.
say that the seventh janaana bhoomikaa is Videha Mukti. It is the
last frontier of the realm of Jnaana.
It is pure peace and cannot be explained by the power of speech. Words cannot describe that state of sublime
quiescence. That is the ultimate stage –
there is nothing more beyond that.
experiencing that state, some call it
Siva, some people say it is Para Brahma, some people say it is Vishnu; and yet
some say it is Soonya – Nothingness.
Some people say it is Pure Energy, some say it is unconditioned Time;
and some say it is Prakruti and Purusha.
The Ultimate Reality cannot be explained by words, but still people call
It by different names
having this realisation, some start thinking about it in different manners, according
to their capacities. Although it cannot
be explained by anybody at any time, still they would be trying to explain it
Rama, I have explained to you the seven stages for your practice. If you do
this abhyasa, you will surely go beyond misery.