Yoga Vashishtha: Part I

Nirvedh – Upadesh (Dejection and Teaching)

Yoga Vashishtha is foremost amongst the philosophical Ramayanas. It is a conversation between Sage Vashishtha and Lord Rama. It gives a true understanding of the mysteries of creation. When Lord Rama was in his youth he went through a period of utter dissatisfaction. He felt depressed and disinterested and questions the very purpose of living in this fleeting world. He had aversions from eating, sleeping, and talking and was spending his time alone. At that time Sage Vishwamitra took him to great Sage Vashishtha and requests him to enlighten Rama. What then follows is a dialogue between Sage Vashishtha and Lord Rama. The main teaching of Yoga Vashishtha is that everything in the world including the things around us is consciousness. Complex universe appears in supreme consciousness just like a dream and this creation is nothing but an illusion fabricated by the mind. All forms and things are the thought products of this supreme consciousness and are unreal just like the objects and visions in a dream. Yoga Vashishtha gives sole importance to this supreme consciousness and it doesn’t shows any inclination towards personal god. All forms including “Brahma”, “Vishnu” and “Shiva” are said to be products of ignorance. It is said that the supreme consciousness is the father of “Brahma”, “Vishnu” and “Shiva” and others. The infinite consciousness alone is fit to be adored and worshiped. It is the omnipresent self of all. According to Yoga Vashishtha the mind is the main culprit which sees all multiplicity when there is only one Omnipresent self. It lays emphasis on the removal of the ignorance of the mind through self-inquiry and gaining self-knowledge wherein one truly experiences the thought “I am the supreme consciousness”.

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