Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 97
Publication Date: 1909
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This is a translation of the Laghu Yoga Vashishta, traditionally written by the sage Vasistha, one of the teachers of Rama. This is the 'shorter' Yoga Vashishta. This is not an academic or critical translation, but it may appeal to the casual reader. The author of this book, Singh Gherwal, may have been a westerner with a Hindu pseudonym. He states that he is a teacher of Kundalini Yoga. Gherwal wrote a number of popularized books on this and related topics.
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Ram who had acquired a great deal of knowledge, asked his father if he might make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land known as the Sacred Ashrams (Hermitages). His father granted him this wish. When he returned some time later, there was a decided change in his mood. It had been his custom to rise early in the morning and follow the daily ceremonies of his religion, but now instead of practicing his usual habits of worship, he sat in the Padma posture and assumed an indifferent attitude to all things.
Raja Rishi Viswamitra arrived at the King's palace (Ram's father's place). The King saluted the Raja Rishi and paid him great respect. He then bestowed greater marks of honor upon him, by saying: "By thy visit all my sins, misery and unhappiness have been removed. Tell me, what is thy need?"
Therefore, Raja Rishi said: "O King of Kings, true to your Master, Rishi Vashisht, an embodiment (in the cause) of justice, I came seeking the services of your son, Ram. I cannot bear the injustice forced upon me by the Rakshasan, for they do not permit me to do any good work."
The King answered him thus: "My son is indeed very young and is not trained in the art of fighting. He does not seem to be himself at this time and has become indifferent to the world. Life would become bitter and unhappy, to me and my family, should anything happen to my son, Ram. Therefore, in his stead, I will go with thee, and with my army I shall meet the Rakshasan in battle."
Raja Rishi Viswamitra with great anger said: "Tell me truthfully and without faltering, if you, the King, will perform such beastly acts of deception, who will keep his word? I shall go back from where I came to endure (or submit to) the injustice of the Rakshasan. You may live happily with your son and others."
The Rishi Vashisht said: "O King of Kings, keep thy word, for thy sacred duty is to protect thy subjects, and let there be no injustice at any price. Thy son will be safe with the Rishi Viswamitra. Thy son is impassive and unconcerned toward worldly things, and his association with this Great Raja Rishi will be a great enlightenment to him. Send him forth and do not reveal the knowledge of his departure to his brothers. His indifferent state of mind, toward the world and life, is not the result of disappointment in his desires, but is a longing for liberation, which is a stepping-stone toward self-realization. When all the delusions have been removed from his mind, he will attain the highest Brahmic state and will then perform his daily duties, as we are now doing."
Ram came and paid his respect to all. Although his father, the King, tried to persuade him to sit on the throne with him, he refused and sat quietly among the crowd.
Raja Rishi Viswamitra then said to Ram: "O Brave Enemy of Sensual Objects, why art thou drowning thyself in the Ocean of Delusion, which is only fit for the Ajnani (ignorant)? If thou wilt tell us the cause of thy suffering, then thou shalt be relieved of it; thou wilt then be able to attain that for which thou art longing. Therefore, I beseech thee to speak to us the truth."
"O Great Rishi, embodiment of Grace, thou hast allowed me to tell the cause of my suffering, and I beseech thee to please listen to my story. I was born in my father's home (the King's palace), studied and attained an education and gained much knowledge. I have journeyed around the earth visiting all Holy and Sacred places. When I returned from this pilgrimage, I found that my desires for this Universe had ceased; that life was full of delusion, without an iota of bliss within it. This world is illusion from birth to death, and from death to birth. The worldly things are nothing except seeds of all unhappiness (pains). What is wealth or a kingdom? If we are seeking happiness, we find all unreal except Atma. When I try to learn what generates all worldly things, then I have no love for any of it. It is like the traveler who, when he has learned of the unreality of the wave of the mirage in the desert, does not crave it. I am trying to set myself free of the sensual fire, but I am burning within like the old tree which has burned within by heat generated by itself. The load of delusion is pressing me down. I cannot bear it longer. I have tried to please my relatives, that they may not condemn me for my grief, but I cannot find a way out of it, though I have cried from the house-top.
"Wealth causes the mind of men to roam—seeking joy but bringing dangers. I have not seen anyone whose mind does not melt like snow, at the sight of wealth. This wealth not only destroys peace and joy which arises from the spiritual wisdom, but it also produces hate, dishonesty, envy, jealousy and the like. All people, whether rich or poor, wise or foolish, peaceful or warlike, bow down to the degrading wealth. It causes people to be unjust, although it is useless as a flower under the hood of a Cobra.
"The Prana (vital force) is like water pouring from a jar: it is going out of the body with the five senses; it is cutting short the lives of the ignorant. I am not enjoying this life of mine as my body is unreal. It is easy to control the ether, the winds, the waves of the ocean that rise and fall, but it is hard to control Prana (vital force). This body is not permanent. It is like winter cold and summer heat——it comes and goes. If we try to find its fruits, we only find bitter disappointments and sorrows . The life most worthwhile is that of those who have attained the highest Atmic wisdom, blessed with liberation, and freed from sorrows (pains). Life is worthwhile only to those who have freed themselves from rebirth. Others are only lives of folly—lives of the foolish. People without the power of discrimination, find that learning is only a burden to them. The person without peace of mind, finds that his mind is only a burden to him. The person who is full of passion, finds that the Atmic wisdom is only a burden to him. The person who has not found the blissful joy within himself finds that the body, the mind, the egoism and the actions are only burdens to him. Prana stays awhile in the body but often departs when the person is young, like the wise who do not stay in the company of the wicked.