Sri Yoga Vasishta (Maharamayanam): Set of 5 Volumes - English Translation Only


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About the Book

1. Book of Nirvana (Part I)
2. Book of Nirvana (Part II)
3. Book of Beginnings and Creation (Utapatti) (Book II)
4. Book of Being and Becoming and Book of Tranquility and Repose
5. Book of Dejection and Book of Seeker


About the Author

Born in 1928, Prof. P.N. Murthy graduated in Machanical Engineering from Annamalai University in 1949 and later pursued aeronautical engineering at Indian Institute of Science and University of Iillnois, Urbans, USA. He obtained Ph. D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics at University of Illinois in 1962. He taught Aeronautical Engineering in IISC Bangalore and IIT Kanpur. He was the head of the department of Aeronautical Engineering in IIT Kanpur during its formative years. In 1982 he moved to Tata Consultancy services to start a research centre in systems engineering and Cybernetics at Hyderabad. He was the head of the centre till 1996 when he relinquished the Job to become Advisor, Tata Consultancy Services. During his Long career he published nearly 100 technical papers in various journals covering aeronautical subject and complex societal problems. During his tenure at TCS he developed a method called ‘Multimodelling’ (now called DIKSUCHI’) to help resolve complex societal problems. At presents he is involved in promoting Adult Literacy through a computer based method called CBFL. He is one of the principle initiators of his program.

As a student activist he participated in the 1942 Quit India Movements. He participated in the progressive literature movements and authored several short stories, philosophical essays and one act plays in Telugu. One of his novels ‘GALI BUDAGALU’ in Telugu has been reissued in 2004, after forty years.

He received the millennium award of American Biographical Society in 2000.

He is a member of several professional bodies and participated in several national and international conferences. He is one of the founder-directors of Engineering staff college of India, a unique continuing education center of practioners of profession people.

He is nominated by the Combridge Biographical Society as one of the top 100 Engineers of 2008. He is the member of the Governing Council of SEED and ReD, NGO.



Viswamitra, the great sage of many spiritual attainments and achievements, comes to the court of Dasaratha, King of Ayodhya, to request for the help of his son Prince Rama for protection his sacrificial site from the ravaging onslaughts of the Rakshasas (demons). Dasaratha, the aged king, was initially hesitant to send Rama to the battlefield. He pleads with Viswamitra Rama only sixteen years now. He does not have the experience of a battle, and least of all, with the ferocious Rakshasas. I shall come instead with all my armies. Viswamitra concedes that Dasaratha is an experienced battle scarred warrior of significant successes. Even so he cannot replace Rama who, though young, is highly skilled in warfare. He requests sage Vasishta. The Guru of Raghu clan, the dynasty of Dasaratha and Rama, to intervene on his behalf. Sage vasishta explains to Dasaratha that Rama is no ordinary person and suggests that he accedes to the request of Sage Viswamitra. Unable to counter Vasishta, since the word of a Guru is like command, Dasaratha agrees to send Rama and tells Rama to accompany Sage Viswamitra. But Rama was averse to undertake the expedition even though he is a dutiful son. He has just returned from a pilgrimage to various holy places of India and the result of the tour was a conviction that there is very little to commend the pursuing of activity in an ephemeral world. Thus starts the famous dialogue between sage Vasishta and Rama. This dialogue was recorded by Sage Valmiki as Vasishta Maharamayana. The span and spread of this dialogue is voluminous sunning into 32000 slokas (couptets) in Sanskrit divided into six books:

I. Book of despair and dejection of Rama.
II. Book of nature and behaviour of a seeker.
III. Book of Creation.
IV. Book of being and becoming.
V. Book of Tranquillity and Repose.
VI. Book of Nirvana.

Of the 32000 slokas, nearly 16000 constitute of books of Nirvana. And it is also like a summary of all that has to be conveyed by Vasista to Rama.

Yogavasishtam is one of the important texts of Indian spiritual tradition. It expounds almost all strands of spiritual experience and thoughts that span the wide range of the tradition. It is one of the thoughts that span the wide range of the tradition. It is one of the most ancient expositions containing many important thought patterns of even the famous Bhagavad Gita. In Yogavasishtam, the story of Arjuna and the ‘Yoga of disinterest and detachment’ correspond to the Bhagavad Gita.

The text of Yogavasishtam represents the typical dialogue between a teacher and a student in great detail. The exposition extents to over nearly twenty days, almost every day from sunrise to sunset. The audience consisted of a wide range of people starting from common people with simple interest to learned sages and gods. The setting seems to be in the vast palace gardens in a recess of cleared ground flanked by huge tall trees with crowns of dense foliage with the sky as canopy. This may be the reason why Vasishta draws heavily from the analogy of tree cloud apart from the idea of mirage. The exposition is such that all propositions and hypotheses are explained in great detail with illustrative stories and logical elaborations. Yogavasishtam contains its own annotations and commentary and hence the enormous length.

This attempt at translation of this great work is at the instance of my Guru, Sri Shiva Balayogi Maharaja. Several years ago, in a rare moment of communion and compassion, he suggested ‘why don’t you translate Yogavasishtam into English. There is no unabridged version of it in English. You know Telugu, English and some Sanskrit. Initial reaction of mine was a shudder ‘Do you really mean it, Swamiji? Where am I and where is that great book?

You mean you need inspiration and support. Don’t worry. I am there’.

For years I could not pick up the necessary courage even though Swamiji gave me the unabridged Telugu translation of Yogavasishtam, unning into four volumes and nearly 5000 pages. The Telugu translation was done by Swami Purnananda and Swami Vidyaprakasanandagiri of Vyasa Ashram, Erpedu, Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh, India.

I read these volumes twice from cover to cover. The magnitude of the task was staggering. However, recently my Guru conveyed to me to the task was staggering. However, recently my Guru conveyed to me his blessings and encouragement a year ago. I started the translation. The inspiration was, therefore, always flowing through the pen. I am presenting this to the public. I expect to finish the stupendous task in about two years with his Grace. Failed Some times. Even so, I hope the translation did not suffer much.

There is another angle to it. We all believe that Swamiji was Vasishta and what is in Yogavasishtam is what he said. He is speaking again to the world.


Book of Dejection and Book of Seeker


  Preface V
  Preface to book of Beginnings IX
  Acknowledgements XI
  Publisher's Note XIII
  Book of Dejection  
1 Prelude-1 3
2 Prelude-2 10
3 Pilrimage of Sri Rama 13
4 The Daily Routine of Sri Rama 16
5 Making known the Thinning Down (of Rama) 18
6 The Arrival of Viswamitra 20
7 The Request of Viswamitra 24
8 Reply of Dasaratha 27
9 Consoling by Vasista 31
10 The Distress of rama 34
11 Consoling by Rama 39
12 Grief of Rama 43
13 (Rama's) contempt for wealth 46
14 (Rama's) Contempt for life 49
15 (Rama's) Abhorence for Egotism and self-Conceit 52
16 The Wickedness of Mind 55
17 The Discomfiture of Desire 59
18 (Rama's) Abhorence for the body 65
19 (Rama's) Censure of childhood 71
20 (Rama's) contempt for youth 74
21 (Rama's) dislike for women 78
22 (Rama's) censure of old age 82
23 The calamity of time 86
24 The Dalliance of Time 90
25 The Dalliance of Lord of Death 91
26 The Desicable Pastime of Gods 94
27 On the Transience of hostility towards beatitude and salvation 99
28 On the Incessant perversity of all aspects of Life 104
29 On the Perishablitiy of everthing 108
30 Rama's Prayer for a teaching 110
31 On the queries of Rama 113
32 On the Praise by Celestial beings 116
33 The gathering of celestial and eathly beings 118
  Book of Seeker  
1 The Nirvana of suka 125
2 Viswamitra's request 130
3 On cycles of creation 134
4 On personal effort 139
5 Firm Assertion of Personal effort 142
6 On Repudiation of Fate 147
7 Reiteration of personal effort 153
8 Repudiation of Fate 157
9 Inquiry into Personal Action 161
10 The Descent o Spiritual Knowledge 166
11 Attributes of a teacher and questioner 171
12 On the Greatness and Majesty of Truth 179
13 On Peace and Quietude 183
14 On Inquiry into truth 193
15 On Contenment and Joy 200
16 On Principled conduct of life 203
17 On the Various Books of Yoga Vasistam 207
18 On the Value of Examples and Illustrations 214
19 On the Ultimate Authority (For Knowledge) 223
20 On the Right Conduct of Life 228


Book of Nirvana (Part I)


  Publisher's Note V
  Preface IX
  Acknowledgements XIII
1 Description of the day's routine 1
2 The concept of repose 2
3 On oneness with Brahman 7
4 On annihilation of mind 9
5 The Description of Rama's repose 10
6 The majestic power of delusion 12
7 The Great Power of ignorance 16
8 Teaching on the Charm of the creeper of Ignorance 21
9 The Repudiation of Ignorance 24
10 Healing of Ignorance 26
11 On the yoga of liberation while in the life 31
12 Resolving the doubts about the liberated while in life 39
13 On the yoga of inquiry through knowledge 42
  Story of Bhushunda  
14 The Glory of the peak of meru 43
15 Seeing Bhushunda 45
16 The meeting of vasishta and Bhushunda 45
17 Description of the person of Bhushunda 47
18 Description of the activities of the mothers 48
19 Acquisition of an abode 51
20 Understanding the real nature of Bhushunda 54
21 The story of his long life 57
22 Description of his long life 62
23 On spurning the desire for tranquil attention 66
24 Inquiry about prana 69
25 Description of Samadhi 73
26 The causes of long life 79
27 End of the story of Bhushunda 83
28 Yoga of the supreme Purpose 84
29 Description of the Immanence of the supreme self in the word 92
  The Story of the worship of Siva  
30 Inquiry into the consiousness Devoling towards the World of Activity 103
31 The Oneness of mind and prana 112
32 The Journey of the body 117
33 The delusion of one as many 122
34 The Teaching of the supreme Lord 126
35 The Greaatness of Mahadeva 129
36 The Glory of the supreme Lord 132
37 The Dance of the Law 134
38 External worship 137
39 The method of God-Worship 140
40 The Nature of Gods 146
41 The illusory nature of the world 148
42 One called the surpreme self 153
43 The Glory of repose and Tranquility 157
44 The ascendance of mind 160
45 The Story of Bilwa tree 163
46 On the inside of a stone 167
47 The majesty of consciouness 170
48 The oneness of Brahaman and self 174
49 The yoga of inquiry into the flux of the world 176
50 The Yoga of discrimination between images 180
51 Inquiry into the Sense Objects 184
  The Story of Arjuna  
52 The story of Avatars of nara and Narayana 191
53 Advice and Teaching to Arjun 194
54 Initiation into self knowledge 200
55 On Jivahood 204
56 On the Mind 208
57 The repose of Arjuna 212
58 Fulfillment of Arjuna 213
59 Realization of Self 215
60 Yoga of Power and personalities 220
62 The Story of world as a Dream 222
  The Story of Jivata  
62 The world of the begger and the hundred Rudras in dream 225
63 The story of hundres Rudras in Dream 229
64 The story of attaining Gunahood 236
65 Dismay over the knowledge 239
66 The changing world of the mendicant 241
67 On oneness with Brahman 244
68 On striving for the great silences 248
69 On the Union of mind and Prana 251
70 The questions of betala 257
71 On the answer to the first question of betala 259
72 On the demolition of betala's Questions 261
73 End of Betala Story 262
74 Instruction to Bhagiratha 263
75 Nirvana of Bhagiratha 267
76 The Desent of Ganga 269
  The Story of Choodala  
77 The Dalliance of Sikhidhwaja 271
78 The Enlightenement of Choodala 275
79 The Attainment of Self by Choodala 280
80 The play of the five subtle elements 283
81 On (Mystic)Fire and Moon 291
82 On the yoga of the gaining of Siddhis 303
83 The story of kirata 306
84 The Mendicancy of Sikhidhwaja 309
85 On the Yoga of Inquiry into happiness 314
86 The Birth of Kambha 326
87 The enlightenment of Sikhidhwaja 328
88 The story of manikach 333
89 The story of the mahout 335
90 On accomplishment of the wish Giving dimaond 338
91 The meaning of the story of the Mahout 341
92 Giving up everything 343
93 The enlightenment of Sikhidhwaja 347
94 The enlightenment of Sikhidhwaja 353
95 On the tranquility and repose of Sikhidhwaja 360
96 On the enlightment of sikhidhwaja 363
97 The enlightenment of Sikhidhwaja 368
98 The enlightenment of Sikhidhwaja 370
99 The enlightenment of Sikhidhwaja 373
100 The supreme bliss of Sikhidhwaja 376
101 Exhortation to Sikhidhwaja 379
102 The Tranquility of Sikhidhwaja 385
103 The return of Kumbha 387
104 On the Behaviour of the one Liberated While in Life 392
105 Kumbha becoming a woman 396
106 The Marriage of Leela 401
107 The arrival of Indra 406
108 The seeing of the real form of Choodala 408
109 The manifestation of choodala 412
110 Nirvana of Sikhidhawaja 418
111 Exhortation of Kacha 421
112 Preserving sky in the story of the mythical person 425
113 The story of the Mythical being 428
114 On the Supreme Purpose 430
115 On the three vows 433
116 On the Characteristics of Slippery Mind 437
117 The Dialogue between ikshvaku and manu 439
118 The Dialogue between ikshvaku and manu 440
119 The Dialogue between ikshvaku and manu 442
120 The Seven 'Bhumikas' (bases) 444
121 The Dialogue between ikshvaku and manu 446
122 The Exhoration of Ikshvaku 448
123 The distinction between the knower of Truth and the ignorant 450
124 The Story of the Hunter 451
125 On the steadiness in the Turya state 454
126 On the nature of the supreme Purpose 456
127 The commandments to Bharadwaja 465
128 The waking up of Rama 471




  Preface V
  Preface to book of Beginnings IX
  Acknowledgements XI
  Publisher's Note XIII
  Book of Stithi  
1 On the refutation of birth 1
2 Explanation of the source of sustenance (of illusion) 4
3 On the infinites of the word 7
4 On the seed of continuance (of illusion) 10
5 The tripping of Bhargava 12
6 Descriping of the mental fields of Bhargava 14
7 Youthful union of Bhargava with Apsara 17
8 On the many biths of Sukra 20
9 The corpse of Bhargava 23
10 On time 25
11 Visualising of nature of samsara 32
12 On the birth and spreading of Samsara 40
13 Consoling Bhrigu 43
14 On the many birth of bhargava 46
15 Do not grieve, Bhargava 51
16 The resurrcetion of Sukra 56
17 Mingling of the mental fields 59
18 The Fragmentation of life 63
19 Investingation into waking, dream, sleep and beyond states 71
20 On the configuration of mind 76
21 Doctrine of intelligence 78
22 On repose in Supreme state 86
23 On the Glory of city of Body 92
24 On the Existence of mind 99
25 On the birth of dama, vyala and kata 102
26 On the battle by dama, vyala and kata 106
27 The advise of Brahma 110
28 On the renewed fighting by the three 115
29 The fall of Asuras dure to the utter confusion 118
30 The many births of Dama, Vyala and Kata 121
31 Refutation of Exitstence and non-existence 123
32 On good Behavior 129
33 Inquiery into Egotism 135
34 The end of the story of dama, vyala and kata 144
35 Description of Tranquility 148
36 On the form of consciousness - sun 156
37 On the shape and state of Ranquility 160
38 On Tranquility 162
39 All are one