Thursday, September 23, 2010

YogA Vasistha

About Yoga Vasistha

It is said that this book alone can lead to spiritual liberation. The conversation between Sage Vasistha and Prince Rama is of that between a great enlightened sage and a seeker who is about to reach completeness. This is amongst those rare conversations which directly leads to Truth.

This scripture provides several understandings, scientific ideas, philosophies, and explains about consciousness, creation of the world, the multiple universes in this world, our perception of world, dissolution of the world and the liberation of this soul, the non-dual approach to this creation.

Just as the blue sky is an optical illusion this entire world and the creation is but such an optical illusion. When the illusion ends in the mind, the world and its miseries too end. The self is the seer of all, the self is the perceiver of all and the self is the experiencer of all. And that self is only one. There is no two, there is no subject, seer and the object. It is all one.

Another oft repeated verse in the text is that of Kakathaliya (coincidence). The story of how a crow alights on a palm tree and that very moment the ripe palm fruit falls on the ground. The two events are apparently related, yet the crow never intended the palm fruit to fall nor did the palm fruit fall because the crow sat on the tree. The intellect mistakes the two events as related, though in reality they are not.

All of creation is the play of consciousness. As an unenlightened person may have a desire for action, and then perceives themselves doing action, the two are unrelated as the crow and the palm fruit. Consciousness is the actor, the action, the process and the witness of action.

The book is divided into 6 parts:

  1. Dispassion
  2. Qualifications of a seeker
  3. Creation
  4. Existence
  5. Dissolution
  6. Liberation

The Yoga Vasishta sums up the spiritual process in terms of the Seven Bhoomikas:

1. Subecha. Longing for the Truth

The yogi or sadhaka rightly distinguishes between permanent and impermanent; cultivates dislike for worldly pleasures; acquires mastery over organs, physical and mental; and feels a deep yearning to be free from Samsara.

2. Vicharana. Right inquiry

The yogi has pondered over what her/she has read and heard and has realized it in his/her life.

3. Tanumanasa. Attenuation or thinning out of mental activities.

The mind abandons the many and remains fixed on the ONE.

4. Sattvapati. Attainment of Sattva

The Yogi at this stage is called Brahmavid or Knower of Brahman.

In the above 4 stages, the yogi is subject to Sanchita, Prabrabdha and Agami Karmas. He/she has been practicing Samprajnata Samadhi or contemplation in which consciousness of duality still exists.

5. Asamsakti. Unaffected by anything

The yogi, now called Brahmavidvara performs necessary duties of own will.

6. Pararthabhavani. See Brahman everywhere

External things do not appear to exist to the yogi, now called Brahmavidvariya, and f unctions are performed only at the prompting of others.

Sanchit and Agami Karmas are now destroyed. Only a small amount of Prarabdha Karma remains.

7. Turiya. Perpetual Samadhi

The yogi is known as Brahmavidvaristha and does not perform his duties either by his will or the promptings of others. The body drops off after approximately three days of entering this stage.


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