A translation of Yoga-Vâsishta-Laghu by Aiya Narayanaswami - PDF ebook

A translation of Yoga-Vâsishta-Laghu 

A translation of Yoga-Vâsishta-Laghu
A translation of Yoga-Vâsishta-Laghu 

It is intended to give herein a short introduction to, and analysis of, Laghu-Yoga-Vasishta. Of course, the analysis can not be an exhaustive one, as it will have then to run through many pages and form a book of its own.
 There are, as at present known to us, two works by the name of Yoga- Vasishta, the larger one going by the name of Brihat-Yoga- Vasishta, and the smaller one, Laghu-Yoga-Vasishta. 

The term Brihat means great, while Laghu signifies small. Vanish- ta is because of this work emanating from Rishi Vasishta as will be seen later on. Though the book is dubbed with the appellation, Yoga- Vasishta, it treats jnana only though practical Yoga is dealt with in two stories in this work. Even there it says that the pure Raja- Yoga is meant and not Hata-Yoga. 

Rather the word Yoga seems to have been used in the title of this work in its generic sense of including Jnana-Yoga and other Yogas as in the Bagawatgita, Of the two above mentioned works, the smaller one is an abridgment of the bigger and contains about 6,000 Grand- has, whereas the latter contains 36,000. The commentary of the former has the same number of Grand has as the original whereas that of the latter amounts to 74,000 Grand has which with its original is a lakh on the whole. In the abridged text, almost all the words of the bigger one are reproduced verbatim; the work of the author being generally to clip the bigger of its expansive descriptions and so on; so that in the work before us, we have got the quintessence extracted. This work seems to have been undertaken by one Abhinandana, a great pandit of Cashmere.

 The authorship or rather a writership is attributed to Rishi Valmiki, the author of the Ramayana who is said to have related the whole of Yoga- Vasishta to Rishi Bdradwaja as having occurred between Sri Rama and Rishi Vasishta. But of this, later on, larger work seems to have been partially translated by a gentleman hailing from Bengal. But this one, though small, it is named, is yet big enough. 

This work is, in the words of Madame Blavatsky, " meant for the few only/ In the phraseology of this work, it is in- tended neither for those Ajnanis (or the worldly-minded), who welter in the sea of Samsara without being indifferent to the worldly things nor for those higher spiritual personages who have reached a state of adeptship, so as to be above all advice. Hence it is written in the interests of those who have become indifferent to worldly things and crave for spirituality to become a potent factor in their daily lives. Fancy a work like "The Voice of Silence" put into the hands of a worldly person of decidedly materialistic view and he will throw it away in sheer disgust. 

Similarly will this work appear to a person who has not caught a glimpse even of the higher life and principles? A person of true Vairagya, should he wish to have not only some hints thrown on the nature of cosmos, Manas (mind) and Universal Spirit from the idealistic stand-point but also some rules of guidance in his daily practical life towards occult knowledge with the proper illustrations will herein find, in my opinion, a mine of knowledge to be guided by and to cogitate upon. There are some peculiar traits in the feature of this work as contradistinguished from other spiritual works in the Sanscrit literature. As all know, the Vedas and the Upanishads are so mystic in their nature in many places that their real meaning is not grasped clearly and all persons except true occultists rare to find in this world interpret them in different ways, one holding that the Vedas inculcate nature worship, another putting upon them a diametrically opposed view and so on.

 Even in the Ten Upanishads, all the metaphysical leaving aside for the present, as impossible, the occult theories have not been worked out in a systematical manner except in the way of some clues vouchsafed thereupon. Taking the Pur&nas in their dead letter light, our Pandits generally have found them replete with indecent and absurd stories and thrown them into a corner; and hence the nickname of Purdnas has been applied, in ordinary usage amongst us, to anything that is a farrago of fictions and absurdities.

Published in 1896

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