The popularity of this book appears to be due to the fact, that it is a happy combination of terse Upanisadic thought clothed in the story form. It is believed by some that Sage Valmiki wrote the Ramayana for the purification of mind and to create a mood of seeking in the society. It is well known, that the story of Sri Rama, gives an exemplary ethical and moral behaviour in an individual, and a glimpse into the ideal culture, through the description of Ayodhya. For only on a strong ethical and moral foundation can one hope to build the super-structure of spirituality.
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Purchase a print copy of the complete, translation of Yoga Vasistha Maharamayana , revised in modern English. The only complete English translation of the Sanskrit work was a two-volume set by Vihari Lal Mitra printed in , long out of print and existing copies scarce. We asked Swamiji about it and he complained that it was not as good as the original because in shortening and adapting the original, Venkatesananda had made too many alterations.
We read the abridgment anyway, and even in that form the book was mind-altering. Like the earlier The Concise Yoga Vasistha, these works are extremely well written, intelligent and inspiring.
His modern English is excellent. Swami Jyotirmayananda gives occasional podcasts on Yoga Vasistha and he has written a six-volume summary of its essence. The Concise abridgment is about a twenty-five percent condensation. Mitra knew Sanskrit and read the commentaries. He was also an excellent scholar in Western spiritual poetry and literature.
Those who do not read Sanskrit can only give second hand evaluations, but his translation may reflect the poetical qualities in which the Sanskrit of the Yoga Vasistha was written. Indian scriptures were first meant to be heard and only in later ages to be read. Obviously a lot of meaning since the ancient times of the Treta Yuga has been lost. Some criticize Mitra for taking liberties and augmenting the text. Currently there is a collaborative, volunteer project to prepare a completely new English translation of the original Sanskrit Google Group Yoga Vasishtha.
The English is very poor. But worst of all, it constantly paraphrases and amplifies the text it ought to be translating. But it is all we have for a complete translation. The result is Yoga Vasistha of Valmiki published in India four volumes in For example, Arya writes, Mitra misleadingly translates samadhi as hypnosis or trance. There are other English translations, abridgments and commentaries available in India. Vidvan Bulusu Venkateswarulu translated the complete six books of Yoga Vasistha, but not the supplemental second part of the sixth book on Nirvana.
His complete translation was published over twenty years ago in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, but is also out of print. Swamiji told us in the United States that he would have a new English translation prepared by a devotee in India working with the edition Swamiji himself had read, twice. This edition contains parallel Sanskrit and Telugu text. The devotee was Prof. Murthy, an engineering professor educated in Telugu and English who knew Sanskrit.
In a draft introduction to the Book on Nirvana, Prof. Murthy wrote how Shivabalayogi encouraged him to prepare a new translation. Devotees all believe that Swamiji was Vasistha and what is preserved in the Yoga Vasistha is what he said thousands of years ago. We hope that through this translation, he is again speaking to the world. The translation suggests that the Sanskrit verses are terse with little in the way of flow connecting or developing concepts. Perhaps this is driven by the slokas couplets in which the Sanskrit text is composed.
This staccato flow of the text is also apparent in Mitra, but somewhat less because he added and amplified.
Or it may be that Prof. He also omits some of the detailed descriptions, so in some ways, it is incomplete. On the other hand, he included one reference to vidyadhara demigod love making which the Victorian prude Mitra omitted.
Project Gutenberg makes out-of-print books whose copyright has expired available to the public as e-books without charge. However, we still have no readily available complete translation in print outside of India. Jay is making his edit available on his Inner Guide website. He has made a study of Yoga Vasistha and its various English translations, going verse by verse comparing them.
I am grateful to Jay for much of the information about English translations in this web page. To my taste, Jay had not gone far enough.
I found myself editing the text on my computer just to be able to understand what Mitra was writing. It was the only way I could read the translation. This quickly evolved into the idea that I would print my own copy of the complete Yoga Vasistha. In a little over a year, I went through two rounds of edits. For those interested, this complete, unabridged, but revised Mitra translation is available at Yoga Vasistha Maharamayana.
The Concies Yoga Vasistha Swami Venkatesananda
The full editions contain over 29,,  to a few with 32, verses,  and in some editions about 36, verses. But the writer seems to have been endowed with extraordinary poetical gifts. Almost every verse is full of finest poetical imagery; the choice of words is exceedingly pleasing to the ear. What is this universe? It is this true enquiry alone that generates Jnana knowledge.
The Concise Yoga Vasistha
Practise righteousness dharma , not unrighteousness. Speak the truth, not an untruth. Vashishtha dharmasutra , an ancient text, and one of the few Dharma -related treatises which has survived into the modern era. It is written in the form of a dialogue between Vashishtha and prince Rama of Ramayana fame, about the nature of life, human suffering, choices as the nature of life, free will, human creative power and spiritual liberation. He has also contributed to many Vedic hymns and is seen as the arranger of Vedas during Dwapara Yuga. Mythology[ edit ] A Vashishtha statue in granite stone.