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Yoga Vasistha in Poem

By Swami Suryadevananda

Edited by Sivananda-Usha

Dedicated to

Swami Venkatesananda walking among the Redwoods at Muir Woods, California.

Swami Venkatesananda (website)


The Yoga Vasistha is a manual for the sincere spiritual seeker. Through the use of stories and illustrations, Vasistha brings out the most subtle points, not in theory but for practice. The way of bringing out these points inspires the seeker towards their actualization in practice—both in life and the mat—these being one and the same. The opening story of the first chapter sets the stage that both life which includes all activity and meditation or practice lead to the goal like two wings of a bird.

Vasistha makes it very clear that the problem is confusion of the real with the unreal or changing due to the seeming reality of its appearance. Life is the field where this takes place and life must also be the field where this is corrected. Meditation or practice sharpens the instrument which allows for a life where we deal with things as they are, without the interference of thought. This thins the mind and the mind and this thinned mind is ready for deeper meditation so one's true nature can be seen.

Life or activity and meditation or practice feed on each other in a cycle of ridding the mind of its impurities so one's true nature can be seen. This is the task on hand and this mighty scripture is a blazing light on the path.

It took about a year to complete this work which is dedicated to Swami Venkatesananda whose writings and teachings on the Yoga Vasistha have inspired this effort. This work is not intended as a complete poetic rendition but expressing in poetry what I myself found most useful.

This work was completed in the early part of this year but not released in a single eBook. This print friendly version has been set in two columns to save paper and reduce its size. There is also an eBook version in one column with a smaller page size, formatted to work best with electronic readers.

I am most thankful to Sivananda-Usha for her tremendous help with editing this work.

Prayer Before Reading

Salutations to that supreme reality
In which all shine as if independently
In which they exist for a short while
And into which they merge eventually
Salutations to that consciousness
Source of apparent threefold division
Of knower, knowledge and known
Seer, sight and seen; doer, doing and deed
Salutations to that bliss-absolute
Which is the life of all beings
Deriving happiness from the shower
Of its ocean of supreme bliss

Chapter I: Dealing with Dispassion (download pdf)

1. A Seeker's Plight: Work or Knowledge

2. Sage Valmiki's Counsel

3. The Story of Rama Begins

4. Sage Vishvamitra's Arrival

5. Rama's Condition

6. Rama's Observation of Life

6a. Wealth

6b. Lifespan

6c. Egotism

6d. The Mind

6e. The Body

6f. Childhood

6g. Youth

6h. Old Age

6i. Time

6j. Life and Death

6k. Rama's Closing Thoughts

7. Valmiki Said

Chapter II: The Behavior of the Seeker (download pdf)

1. Visvamitra Narrates the Story of Suka

Sage Vasistha's instruction begin...

2. Countless Universes Exist

3. Self-Effort, Fate and Destiny

4. Narrative Dealing with Liberation

5. Four Gate-Keepers to Freedom

6. Study and Experience

Chapter III: Dealing with Creation (download pdf)

1. Secret of Creation

2. The Mind

3. The Supreme Lord

4. Liberated Ones

5. Reality and Appearance

6. Creation

7. The Story of Lila (download pdf of section 7)

...continued on page 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

8. The Mystery of Time

9. Story of Karkati (download pdf of section 9)

10. The Story of Indu's Sons

11. The Story of Ahalya

12. Brahma and Vasistha's Dialogue

13. Vasistha's Instruction Continues (download pdf of sections 10-13)

14. The Story of the Great Forest

15. The Story of the Three Non-Existent Princes (download pdf of sections 14-15)

16. The Story of Lavana

17. Steps of Ignorance and Stages of Wisdom (download pdf of sections 16-17)

Chapter IV: Dealing with Existence (download pdf)

1. Introduction: Dealing With Existence

2. The Story of Sukra (download pdf of sections 1-2)

3. The Story of The Three Demons (download pdf of section 3)

4. The Story of Dashura

5. Kaca's Song (download pdf of sections 4-5)

Chapter V: Dealing with Dissolution (download pdf)

1. Section Dealing with Dissolution

2. The Story of King Janaka

3. On the Inner Intelligence (download pdf of sections 1-3)

4. The Story of Punya and Pavana

5. The Story of King Bali (download pdf of sections 4-5)

6. The Story of Prahlada (download pdf of section 6)

7. The Story of Gadhi (download pdf of section 7)

8. The Story of Uddalaka (download pdf of section 8)

9. The Story of Suraghu (download pdf of section 9)

10. The Story of Bhasa and Vilasa (download pdf of section 10)

11. The Story of Veetahavya

12. Death of the Mind (download pdf of sections 11-12)

Chapter VI: Dealing with Liberation (download pdf)

1. Dealing with Liberation (download pdf)

2. On Brahman (download pdf)

3. Bhusunda's Story: The Way of Yoga

4. The Way of Wisdom and Meditation: Part 1 / 2 (download pdf of sections 3-4)

5. The Story of the Wood-Apple

6. The Story of the Rock (download pdf of sections 5-6)

7 The Story of Arjuna

8. The Story of the Hundred Rudra (download pdf of sections 7-8)

9. The Story of the Vampire

10. The Story of Bhagirath (download pdf of sections 9-10)

11. The Story of Sikhidhvaja and Chudala (download pdf sheet format / booklet)

12. The Story of Kaca

13. The Story of the Deluded Man

14. The Story of Vipaschit

15. The Story of the Hunter and the Sage (download pdf of sections 12-15)

16. The World Within the Rock

17. The Sage from Outer Space

18. The Story of Bhringisa

19. The Story of Iksvaku

20. The Hunter and the Deer (download pdf of sections 16-20)

21. The Seven States of Yoga (download pdf)

Some verses from the Yoga Vasistha in PoemThis graphic has some important closing verses from the Yoga Vasistha in Poem.




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