Yoga

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Y OG A VA SISHTA SARA
(THE ESSENCE OF YOGA VASISHTA)

An English Translation from the Sanskrit Original

Sri Ramanasramam
Tiruvannamalai 606 603
2005

© Sri Ramanasramam
Tiruvannamalai
First Edition :
Second Edition:
Third Edition :
Fourth Edition :

1973
1985
1994
2005

— 1000 copies
— 1000 copies
— 1000 copies
— 1000 copies

CC No. 1084

ISBN: 81-88018-45-7
Price: Rs.

Published by
V.S. Ramanan
President
Sri Ramanasramam
Tiruvannamalai 606 603
Tamil Nadu
INDIA
Email: ashram@ramana-maharshi.org
Website: www.ramana-maharshi.org

Typeset at
Sri Ramanasramam
Printed by
Sudarsan Graphics
Chennai

PREFA
PREFACE
P REF
This English version of the Yoga Vasishta Sara is based
on a translation made by Swami Sureshananda, an old
devotee of Bhagavan, who has founded an ashram named
‘Vijnana Ramaneeyam’ at Palghat and has translated several works of Bhagavan as well as the Yoga Vasishta Sara into
Malayalam. This was published serially in The Mountain
Path, the journal published by Sri Ramanasramam, during
1969 to 1971 and is now issued in the form of a book for
facility of reference.

SRI RAMANASRAMAM
15th July, 1973
Guru-Poornima.

V.S. RAMANAN
PRESIDENT

INTRODUCTION
INTRODUCTION
I NTR
The Brihat (the great) Yoga Vasishta or Yoga Vasishta Maha
Ramayana as it is also called, is a work of about 32,000
Sanskrit couplets, traditionally attributed to Valmiki, the
author of Srimad Ramayana. It is a dialogue between Sage
Vasishta and Sri Rama, during which Advaita (the doctrine
of non-duality) in its pure form of ajatavada (theory of nonorigination) is expounded, with illustrative stories in between. This vast work was abridged some centuries ago by Abhinanda
Pandita, a Kashmiri scholar, into 6,000 couplets, which go
by the name of Laghu Yoga Vasishta. This is a masterpiece in itself, like the original Brihat.
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi used to refer to Yoga
Vasishta frequently and has even incorporated six couplets
from it in His Supplement to Forty Verses (verses 21 to 27). A further condensation of this work was made long
ago, by an unknown author, into about 230 couplets,
divided into ten chapters, as Yoga Vasishta Sara (Essence
of Yoga Vasishta), of which this translation is presented for Note: An English translation of the Brihat Yoga Vasishta by Vihari Lal Mitra is out of print. Translation of Laghu Yoga Vasishta by K. Narayanaswamy Iyer is available from the Theosophical

Publishing House, Madras-20.

Introduction

the first time. By making this condensation the author
has rendered a great service to all sadhaks. This is indeed
a goldmine fit for repeated reading and meditation.
PUBLISHER

CONTENTS
CONTENTS
CHAPTER

PAGE

1

DISPASSION

1

2

UNREALITY OF THE WORLD

5

3

THE MARKS OF A LIBERATED PERSON

9

4

DISSOLUTION OF THE MIND

13

5

THE DESTRUCTION OF LATENT
IMPRESSIONS

17

6

MEDITATION ON THE SELF

20

7

METHOD OF PURIFICATION

22

8

WORSHIP OF THE SELF

25

9

EXPOSITION OF THE SELF

27

NIRVANA

32

10

ASISHTA
YOGA VASISHTA SARA
Y OGA VASISHT
CHAPTER ONE

DISPASSION
DISPASSION
1. Salutations to that calm effulgence which is
endless and unlimited by space, time etc., the pure
consciousness which can be known by experience only.
2. Neither one who is totally ignorant nor one
who knows it (i.e. Truth) is eligible to study this book.
Only he who thinks ‘I am bound; I must become free’ is
entitled to study it.
3. Until one is definitely blessed by the Supreme
Lord he will not find either a proper Guru or the right
scripture.
4. Just as a steady boat, O Rama, is obtained from
a boatman, so also the method of crossing the ocean of
samsara is learnt by associating with great souls.
5. The great remedy for the long-lasting disease of
samsara is the enquiry, ‘Who am I?, to whom does this
samsara belong?,’ which entirely cures it.

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