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Yoga Vasistha Maharamayana

Yoga Vasistha home page

Shivabalayogi & Yoga Vasistha

English Translations

The Underlying Story

Timeless & Historical

The Organization of the Book

Similes & Metaphors

The Essence

Stories in Yoga Vasistha

Nirvana & Living Liberated

Personal Effort

Surplus Sections

Humor in Yoga Vasistha

Narrow Attitudes Fellow Feelings

Words & Terminology

Endless Possibilities

Yoga Vasistha Stories

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The Timeless and Archaic
Yoga Vasistha

Some say Rama lived about ten thousand years ago.  Traditionally, he is thought to have lived during the Treta Yuga, the Age of Silver, which lasts over a million years.

We are now in the Kali Yuga, the dark Age of Iron, which lasts almost a half a million years.  In between Treta Yuga and Kali Yuga was the Dvapara Yoga, the Age of Bronze, which lasted over three-quarters of a million years.

Sage Vasistha is an ancient yogi who was born from the mind of Brahma, God the Creator.  Sage Valmiki, to whom the writing of Yoga Vasistha is attributed, is also a yogi of ancient times.  So Yoga Vasistha has its roots in ancient times.

The subject of the book may be exceedingly ancient, but the book itself is set in medieval India.  Vasistha is the name of a family or class of brahmin priests who served royalty in India for centuries.  Valmiki is the name under which another great work was written, the Ramayana, the 24,000 sloka epic of the life of Rama.  Yoga Vasistha is generally believed to have been written down in India some time between the 11th and 14th Centuries AD, only seven or ten centuries ago.  The Ramayana dates back to the last centuries before Christ.  The Yoga Vasistha refers to various schools of Indian philosophy, Buddhism and Christianity (resurrection at the Second Coming), which establish its age in conventional history.

The written Yoga Vasistha and Ramayana are much more recent than the traditional dates for the events they describe, so there is no need to believe that the original Vasistha or Valmiki actually wrote the versions we have now.  The Yoga Vasistha itself teaches that time and space do not really exist and even Sage Vasistha and Sage Valmiki, the original ones, have incarnated as themselves many times over.

Among many other qualities, Yoga Vasistha is a book written by priests in the service of royalty designed to teach princes how to live and rule.  It abounds in stories of enlightened rulers, the wars they waged, and the lands they ruled.  It constantly praises the brahmin caste and encourages the royal caste to donate generously to all brahmins.

The style and context of Yoga Vasistha are dated.  It includes brahmin social values are that are questionable or simply prejudiced.  But even with its brahmin gloss, which actually is a small part of the book, the content is clearly and overwhelmingly timeless and universal:  we create our own reality.

 

 

 

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