This great book called Yoga Vashishta is a dialogue between Vashishta Rishi and Lord Rama, the most revered deity of Hindus. In this Yoga Vashishta, Vashishta Rishi is the teacher, and Lord Rama is the seeker or the student. Geeta, the most sacred book of Hindus, is also a dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, one of the Pandavsa of Mahabharat fame. In Geeta Lord Krishna is the teacher, and Arjuna is the seeker. Here the question arises, why Loerd Rama, who is incarnation of Vishnu, the sustainer, is a seeker. In fact Lord Rama being God Himself should be all knowing. Then where is the need for Lord Rama to sit at the feet of Rishi Vashisht, and seek knowledge? The reason is that Vishnu got incarnated as Lord Rama, with a curse of being ignorant. This is very interesting story which will come in due course of time, as we proceed with the translation of Yoga Vashishta.
A line, about Rishi Vashishta. Rishi Vashishta is one of the Sapta Rishis (Seven Sages) Vasishta, Agasthya, Kaushika, Sukara, Narada and others. Rishi Vashishta is son of Brahma, the creator. By virtue of being the son of Brahama, he becomes the teacher of Rama. Also Rishi Vashishta is the Kings Guru, in the court of King Dasrath, father of Lord Rama.
Yoga Vashishta is the ultimate book of philosophy. Now a day the science is talking about “The Unified Theory”. ‘What are we and everything around us made of?’ This is the question of The Unified Theory and this question has troubled our ancestors since ages. Till date, scientists have not managed to get a proper understanding of what actually are the fundamental constituents of matter. In my understanding this Yoga Vashishta is THE UNIFIED THEORY. According to Yoga Vashishta “Nothing is made, therefore nothing can be destroyed”. This sentence is repeated hundreds or may be thousands of times in Yoga Vashishta. There is tremendous amount of repetition in the book. The reason for repetition is to hammer down the real truth in the minds of ignorant. An attempt is made to present a free translation of this great book. Also an attempt is made to avoid the repetition as far as possible. But I do not know how far will it be possible?
One more thing needs to be mentioned. In Hindu literature, it will be seen that every thing is fully argued with pure logic. Just because a master says something, therefore it has to be accepted. This is not correct. The seeker has to apply his mind and accept, what he feels is correct. At several places, in this book also Rishi Vashishta tells Lord Rama to think and act accordingly. In Geeta also Lord Krishna tells Arjuna as follows.
Thus the “Wisdom” which is greater secret than all secrets,
Has been declared to you by Me; having reflected upon it fully,
You now act as you choose. (Geeta XVIII.63)