The Yoga Vasishta by Valmiki recounts the teachings that Sage Vasishta imparted to Prince Rama of Ayodhya, when he was most anguished about the purpose of his life.Vasishta’s teachings helped prepare Rama to face the ups and downs of life in a way that made him known as Marayada Purushottam, the ideal man. Young people, in responsible positions, are no different than the prince. They, too, are anxious to make something of their lives.Yoga Vasishta offers three important teachings that can prepare one for the life ahead, says Raghunandan, who has recently published The Wisdom of Vasishta: A Study On Laghu Yoga Vasishta From A Seeker’s Point Of View.
Have A Goal
“These days everyone is after goals, and in achieving our goals, somewhere we lose ourselves.The most important thing Yoga Vasishta reminds us is, ‘look, have a goal, pursue it, but enjoy the path, too. Walk towards enlightenment and enjoy the path and you will get enlightened,” he says. Raghunandan’s new book – which scholars say is a ‘trans-creation’ of the famous Yoga Vasishta – has been inspired by The Gospel of Ramakrishna.
1.The first teaching: “Often, when we are seeking an external goal, all our attention is on it.The one who is pursuing the thing, gets lost somewhere. He gets disturbed, there is stress.These can be avoided if we were to pay attention to what is happening inside. Hence, when you get up in the morning, pray a little; that is, look within. This is what Yoga Vasishta says and when you start the process of looking within, you will notice there is a principle within which keeps guiding you.”
2.The scripture teaches harmony: There is so much disturbance and violence in the name of religion, language and all that, but the problem arises when we let our tendency to differentiate come in the way of our thinking. “The Yoga Vasishta talks about two types of tendencies in men: bhog vasana, the tendency to experience; bhog does not mean only enjoyment; and the second and more basic tendency is bhed vasana – tendency to differentiate. Whenever you create bhed, ‘difference’ in your mind – that ‘I am different from him’, the problem starts,” says Raghunandan. He gives a simple example. When we are walking on the road, we see a hungry child suffering from malnutrition,we extend ourselves to that child, include that child into our consciousness. But often when we are seeking a goal, all our attention is on us and the goal, which cuts us off from the rest.
(To be continued)
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