Maha Ramayana Of Valmiki
Translated by Vihari Lala Mitra (1891)
Edited by Thomas L. Palotas (2013)
Published by Handloom Publishing Shivabalayogi Seva Foundation
E-Text Source: yogavasishta.org
PDF Source: archive.org
This section opens with a description of the mental state of Rama on his return from pilgrimage. King Dasharatha summons Rama into the presence of the sages Vasishta and Vishwamitra. Vasishta asks Rama to explain the reasons for his melancholy state of mind and his indifference towards all worldly affairs. Rama responds by relating the thoughts and reflections that had been troubling his mind and giving him no peace. His words and attitude reveal the awakening of a burning detachment (vairagya). However, Rama has serious doubts about the soundness of his conclusions about life, so he asks his guru for instruction.
Vasishta begins his teaching and all the legendary saints and yogis gather in King Dasharatha’s hall to listen to this heavenly dialogue.
Introduction: Sutikshna & Agastya; Karunya & Agnivesya; Suruchi & Divine Messenger; King Arishtanemi, Indra & Valmiki
Hail the Eternal.
1. Om, salutation to that Reality from whom all beings proceed, by whom they are manifest, upon whom they depend, and in whom they become extinct.
2. He is the knower, the knowledge and all that is to be known. He is the seer, the act of seeing, and all that is to be seen. He is the actor, the cause and the effect, therefore salutation to He who is all knowledge himself.
3. Salutation to He who is supreme bliss itself, from whom flow the dews of delight both in heaven and earth, and who is the life of all.
4. One Sutikshna, a brahmin whose mind was full of questions, went to the hermitage of Agastya and respectfully asked the sage,
5. “O great sage! You are informed in all the ways and truths of virtue, and know all the scriptures with certainty. I am in a great doubt, and I pray you will kindly remove it.
6. Tell me, in your opinion, whether liberation results from a man’s acts or his knowledge or both?”
7. Agastya replied:— As the birds fly in the air with both wings, so the highest state of emancipation is attained through both knowledge and acts.
8. Neither our acts nor knowledge alone produces liberation, but both together are the means.
9. I will recite to you an example from old traditions, a story of a brahmin named Karunya, who was learned in the Vedas in the days of old.
10. He was the son of Agnivesya and accomplished in the Vedas and all their branches. After finishing his studies with his teacher, he returned to his own home.
11. He remained a skeptic at home, reluctant and impassive to do anything. When his father Agnivesya saw his son so slack in his duties, he upbraided him for his good.
12. Agnivesya said, “My son, why do you not discharge your duties? Why are you not observing the daily rituals and the injunctions of the holy scriptures?
13. Tell me how can you succeed in anything if you remain inactive? How can you attain salvation? Tell me why you are not doing anything.”
14. Karunya replied, “The offering of daily oblations, and performance of morning and evening devotions during life, are inculcated in the Veda and law as the active duties.
15. But it is neither by acts or riches, nor by means of children that one obtains his liberation. It is solely by self-denial that the great souls taste the ambrosia (of emancipation).
16. Tell me my father! Which of these rules am I to observe? Doubtful of this I have become indifferent to acts.” After so saying, Karunya held his silence. His father seeing him quiet, continued speaking.
17. Agnivesya said, “Hear me, My Son…”
18. “My Son, Let Me Tell You A Story… When you have fully considered its meaning, you may do as you like…”
Agnivesya Started Speaking…:—
19. There was a lady named Suruchi, the best of the apsara nymphs, who was seated on the mountain peak of Himalaya, surrounded by peacocks.
20. Here kinnaras inflamed by love sported with their mates, and the fall of heavenly streams (Ganga and Yamuna) served to cleanse the gravest sins of men.
21. She saw a messenger of Indra making his way through the sky. Then Suruchi, this most fortunate and best of apsaras, addressed the messenger.
22. Suruchi said, “O you messenger of gods, tell me kindly from where you come and what place are you going at present?”
23. The divine messenger replied, “Well have you asked, O pretty browed maid, and I will tell you all as it is. The royal sage, King Arishtanemi, has given his realm to his son,
24. and with religious indifference to the world, has set out to the forest to practice asceticism. He is performing his austerities on the Gandha-madana Mountains.
25. I am now coming from there after discharge of my errand, and returning to Indra’s palace to report the matter.”
26. Suruchi said, “Tell me, my lord, what has taken place there? I am humbly very curious. You should not cause me the pain of anxiety.”
27. The messenger replied:— Hear me, gentle maiden… I will describe everything as it has occurred.
28. On hearing that the king was practicing the utmost rigors of asceticism in that forest, Indra, the lord of gods, asked me to take this heavenly car and proceed at once to the spot.
29. “Take this car,” said Indra, “bearing the apsaras equipped with all their musical instruments, and furnished with a band of gandharvas, siddha spiritual masters, yakshas and kinnaras.
30. Convey them,” said Indra, “with all their string instruments, flutes and drums to the woodland mount of Gandha-madana.
31. There, having placed King Arishtanemi in the car, bring him to the enjoyment of heavenly delight in this city of Amaravati, the seat of immortals.”
32. The messenger added:—
Receiving this instruction from Indra and taking the car with all its equipment, I proceeded to that mountain.
33. Having arrived at the mountain and advanced to the king’s hermitage, I delivered the orders of the great Indra to him.
34. Hearing my words, O happy lady, King Arishtanemi reluctantly spoke to me saying, “I wish to ask you something, O messenger, which I hope you will answer.
35. Tell me what good and what evil are in heaven, so that I may decide whether I want to settle there.”
36. I answered, saying, “In heaven there is ample reward for merit, conferring perfect bliss (to all); but it is the degree of merit that leads one to higher heavens.
37. By moderate virtue, one is certainly entitled to a middle station. Virtue of an inferior order leads a person to a lower position.
38 But one’s virtue is destroyed by impatience at the excellence of his betters, by haughtiness to his equals, and by joy at the inferiority of others.
39 When one’s virtue is thus destroyed, he must enter the abode of mortals. These and the like are the effects of good and evil in heaven.”
40. Hearing this, O good maiden, King Arishtanemi answered, “O divine messenger, I do not like heaven that has such conditions.
41. Henceforth I will practice the most austere form of asceticism and abandon this my unhallowed human frame in the same way as a snake abandons his time-worn skin.
42 Be pleased, O messenger of the gods, to return with your heavenly car to the presence of the great Indra from where you came. Travel in good fortune.”
43. The celestial messenger resumed:—
Thus being bid, I went, O good lady, to the presence of Indra. When I reported the matter, Indra was struck with great wonder.
44. Then the great Indra again spoke to me with a sweet voice saying, “My messenger, go again to that king and take him to the hermitage of Valmiki.
45. Valmiki is well acquainted with every truth. Tell him my errand, which is to instruct the dispassionate king, saying,
46. ‘O great sage! Plead with this king who is humble and dispassionate and dislikes the enjoyments of heaven
47. so that this king, who is aggrieved at the miseries of the world, may gradually come to attain his liberation.’ “
48. I went and explained my mission to the royal hermit, then took him to sage Valmiki. I delivered great Indra’s charge so that the king may practice for his final liberation.
49. Sage Valmiki welcomed the king with gentle inquiries regarding his welfare.
50. The king replied, “O great sage, you are informed in all the truths of religion. You are the greatest of those who know the knowable. The very sight of you has given me all that I desired, and therein is all my welfare.
51. Great sage, I wish to learn from you how I may escape the miseries that arise from one’s connection with this world. I hope you will reveal this to me without reserve.”
52. Valmiki said, “Hear me O king! I will relate the entire Ramayana to you. By hearing and understanding you will be saved even while in this life.
53. O great and intelligent king, listen as I repeat the sacred conversation that took place between Rama and Vasishta relating the way of liberation, which I well know from my own knowledge.”
54. The king replied, “O best of sages, tell me precisely who and what this Rama was. What was his bondage and how did he become free of it?”
55. Valmiki said, “Vishnu was cursed to take the form of a prince with an assumed ignorance like that of men of little understanding.”
56. The king said, “Tell me who was the author of that curse, and how it could befall Rama, who was the personification of consciousness and joy, and the very image of wisdom.”
57. Valmiki replied:—
Sanatkumara, who was devoid of desires, had been residing at the abode of Brahma, to which Vishnu, the lord of the three worlds, was a visitor from Vaikuntha.
58. The lord god Vishnu was welcomed by all the inhabitants of the Brahmaloka as well as by Brahma himself, except by Sanatkumara. The god Vishnu addressed Sanatkumara,
59. “Sanatkumara, it is ignorance that makes you forsake your desires for fear of rebirth, therefore you must be born under the name of Sara-janma to be troubled with desires.”
60. In return, Sanatkumara denounced Vishnu by saying, “Even as all discerning as you are, you shall have to sacrifice your omniscience for some time, and live as an ignorant mortal.”
61. There was another curse pronounced upon Vishnu by the sage Bhrigu who, seeing his wife killed by Vishnu, became incensed with anger and said, “Vishnu you shall have also to be deprived of your wife.”
62. Vishnu was again cursed by Vrinda to be deprived of his wife, on account of his beguiling her (in the form of her husband).
63. Again, when the pregnant wife of Devadatta was killed from fear on seeing the man-lion figure of Vishnu (Narasimha),
64. the leonine Vishnu was denounced by the husband who was sorely afflicted at the loss of his wife.
65. Thus cursed by Bhrigu, Sanatkumara, Devadatta and Vrinda, Vishnu was obliged to be born on this earth in the figure of a human being.
66. I have explained to you the causes of all the curses passed on Vishnu. Now I will tell you other things, and you will have to listen carefully.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
STORIES IN YOGA VASISHTA
BOOK I: ON DETACHMENT
In this opening story of Yoga Vasishta, sage Agnivesya tells his son, Karunya the story of what Indra’s heavenly messenger told the nymph, Suruchi, and it is the story of King Arishanemi who declines the offer of Indra’s heaven because it is impermanent. Indra instructs the king to go to the ashram of sage Valmiki in order to attain liberation by listening to Yoga Vasishta. (I.1.19)
BOOK II: LONGING FOR LIBERATION
Shuka as a child obtains the highest truth, but is uncertain of it. His father, sage Vyasa, sends him to the royal sage King Janaka for instruction. Shuka becomes sage Shukadeva. (II.1.6-45)
Brahma Teaches Vasishta
Brahma reveals the nature of creation to his mind-born son, Vasishta. (II.10.10-44)
BOOK III: ON CREATION
Leela and Saraswati (Padma’s body on the shrine) — Queen Leela and King Padma lead an idyllic life, but as they age Leela fears he might die first, in which case her own life would be intolerable. She does tapas to Goddess Saraswati and obtains the boon to have her husband’s spirit always with her. She and the goddess astral travel and time travel to see the couple’s prior life as simple brahmins when her husband sees a lavish royal hunting party, creating a desire in him to possess the wealth of an empire. That desire manifests after King Padma dies and the queen and goddess see another reality in the deceased king’s mind. He is now King Viduratha ruling a vast empire with a second Leela as his wife (III.15-30) — The Great War : Leela and Saraswati witness the great war between King Viduratha and his enemy King Sindhu. (III.31-39) — Viduratha Awakens : Leela and Saraswati awaken Viduratha who remembers his past lives, including as the brahmin who wanted to possess the wealth of an empire. (III.40-41) — Viduratha Killed : In the end, Sindhu wins, Viduratha is killed, and Sindhu rules. (III.43-51) — Back to the Shrine; Nirvana : Saraswati instructs both Leelas, they return to King Viduranatha’s tomb in the shrine, King Viduranatha-Padma is brought back to life in front of the two Leelas, and both Padma (Viduratha) and the first Leela attain nirvana. (III.52-59) — There is a twist on the ending in Book VI, part 2. (VIB.156-157 )
Karkati — Karkati (“Crab”) is a female demon (rakshasi) who performs powerful tapas and obtains the boons to become Vishuchika (“Cholera”) and Suchi (“Needle”) so she can feast on mankind. Unsatisfied, she does tapas again to regain her original form and learns from a king and his minister how to eat lawful food. (III.68-83)
The Ten Aindavas (Sons of Indu) — Indu and his wife perform tapas and receive the boon of having ten sons. After their parents die, all ten complete tapas and attain the boon to become God the Creator, the sole God of the Universe, at the same time. (III.86-87) — (See also VIB.178.26-48 )
The Adulterous Lovers — Libertine Indra and Queen Ahalya, are discovered by King Indra who seeks to punish them. Despite torture, the two lovers refuse to abandon each other. Cursed by sage Bharata, they die and reincarnate together over many lifetimes until they perform tapas and attain liberation. This story illustrates the power of belief. (III.89-90)
Deluded Men Punish Themselves — Men in a desert, club themselves, fall into pits and jump into thorny brambles. They rest in shady groves, then resume the self-punishment. (III.98-99)
Three Non-Existent Princes — An old nurse makes up a story of three princes who never exist. (III.101)
King Lavana, a Magician and a Horse — The magician appears in King Lavana’s court and manifests a magnificent horse. The king mounts the horse and disappears for a couple of hours. Upon his return, the king explains that he had passed a lifetime married to a tribal woman, raising children. When his tribal family died in a great famine, he was preparing to immolate himself when he woke up, found himself back in his court, and realized the magician had put a spell on him. (III.104-109)
BOOK IV: ON EXISTENCE
Shukra Falls in Love with a Nymph — Shukra, the son of sage Bhrigu, had performed tapas but falls in love with a fairy nymph. He pursues her to Indra’s heaven and ends up getting lost in repeated incarnations until he does such severe tapas by the Ganges River that his body perishes. Bhrigu uses his yogi powers to look for his missing son, finds the dead body, and complains to Yama, the god of death. Yama explains the nature of reality to sage Bhrigu, then awakens Shukra who restores his original body and becomes the guru of the demons (Shukra, Venus). (IV.5.7-IV.16)
Dama, Vyala and Kata — The demons Dama, Vyala and Kata (who become known as Bhima, Bhasa and Dridha) are created by the demon-king Sambara in order to defeat the gods in war. Having no prior birth, the three lack ego and are invincible. The defeated gods obtain Brahma’s counsel to foster ego in the three demons, and the demon armies are defeated. The three demons experience innumerable reincarnations until they attain liberation as a sparrow, a gnat, and a parrot when they overhear a king’s minister telling the story of their war with the gods. (IV.25-33)
Dasura — Dasura does tapas sitting in a kadamba tree. A goddess appears who seeks a son and he gives her the boon. Dasura tells the son the story of the air-born King Khottha (mind) and his grand city. Vasishta interviews Dasura. (IV.48.8-IV.55)
The Song of Kacha — Kacha, the son of Brihaspati (Jupiter, the teacher of the gods), sings of the Spirit abiding everywhere. (IV.58)
BOOK V: ON DISSOLUTION – BECOMING QUIET
King Janaka — King Janaka overhears the divine siddhas (spiritual masters) singing praises of Brahman (the Self), reflects upon the meaning, and attains Self-realization. (V.8-12)
Punya and Pavana — Punya and Pavana are brothers whose devout parents pass away. The elder Punya is enlightened, but the younger Pavana grieves. Punya teaches and enlightens Pavana about reincarnation. (V.19-V.21.3)
Bali, the Demon King — Bali (or Mahabali), a benevolent king of demons, tires of life. He remembers asking his father Virochana about attaining everlasting happiness. Virochana explains that the mind is like a royal minister — subduing the mind, one subdues all. Bali gets instruction from Shukra, teacher of the demons, that all is consciousness and does a thousand years of tapas. Vishnu tricks Bali into giving the world to Indra, then imprisons Bali in a cave. Bali regains his authority and rules as an enlightened king. (V.22.7-V.29)
Prahlada, the Demon King Devotee of Vishnu — Prahlada, lord of demons, is the son of Hiranykashipu who was defeated in battle by Narasimha, the man-lion incarnation of Vishnu. Vishnu is the lord of gods, the enemies of the demons. Prahlada becomes a devotee of Vishnu, as do his demons. Through discrimination Prahlada attains enlightenment and performs tapas for thousands of years, throwing the demon world into anarchy for lack of a ruler. Vishnu awakens Prahlada, explains living-liberation, and Prahlada resumes his governing duties. (V.30-41)
Gadhi — Gadhi the brahmin looses consciousness as he performs his ritual bathing. He wakes up as a child in the womb of a tribal woman. He lives a lifetime among tribals until he outlives his contemporaries, then wanders to a rich city, Kira. There the royal elephant chooses him to be the successor king. After eight years of rule, the citizens discover he is a tribal, so brahmins and ministers immolate themselves in disgust. Gadhi does the same, and as he throws himself on his own funeral pyre, he wakes up and realizes that his entire life as a tribal and a king was a brief daydream. But the dream seemed so real that Gadhi travels to where he lived as a tribal and where he ruled as king. Three times he explores, interviews witnesses, and thinks that it had all really happened. Three times he does tapas to Lord Vishnu who tells him it was just in his mind. (V.44-49)
Uddalaka — Uddalaka practices discrimination, meditates in samadhi, and practices pranayama breath control. The story is an occasion to explain some aspects of pranayama. (V.51-55)
King Suraghu — King Suraghu of the Kiratas (indigenous peoples of the Himalayan foothills) receives instruction from sage Mandavya, practices self-inquiry, and attains Self-realization. (V.58-60)
King Parigha — King Parigha of Persia, disheartened by a severe famine, performs tapas and becomes known as Parnada (“Leaf-eater”). He wanders about and meets his old friend, the now Self-realized King Suraghu of the Kiratas and they discuss enlightenment. (V.61 to 63)
Bhasa and Vilasa — The two friends grow up in the ashram of sage Atri, then wander off to perform severe austerities but without gaining true knowledge. They meet again as old hermits, converse, and finally attain liberation. (V.65-66)
Vitahavya — Vitahavya abandons his practice of puja and yagna (ritual worship and fire sacrifices) and practices self-inquiry. He attains samadhi and performs tapas in a cave for such a long time that his body becomes inert and is covered in deep mud and clay. The sage devotionally bids farewell to the various aspects of his body and attains liberation. (V.82-87)
BOOK VI – PART 1: ON LIBERATION
Bhushunda — Bhushunda is an ancient, Self-realized crow who has survived countless cycles of creation and dissolution. Vasishta visits Bhushunda who tells the story of his birth. He was one of twenty brothers born when the crow Chanda mated with seven swans who are the divine vehicles of god Brahma. Bhushananda describes numerous creations and dissolutions, many Creators, Shivas and Vishnus, and many incarnations of the personality of Vasishta, Rama and other sages and avatars. Underlying reality, he explains, is the principle of vital air, and this becomes an occasion to elaborate on pranayama. (VIA.14-27)
Shiva Instructs Vasishta — Shiva instructs Vasishta on the best way to worship God, which is internally as empty consciousness. He explains that consciousness has forgotten itself, and that creation really exists as divine consciousness. (VIA.29.85-VIA.42)
Parable of the Bael Fruit (Wood-apple) as Creation. (VIA.45)
Parable of a Carved Rock as the Soul. (VIA.46)
Arjuna and Krishna — This is the Yoga Vasishta version of the Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna and Krishna are dual incarnations of Vishnu. Vasishta describes how Krishna instructs Arjuna to perform his duty with detachment and go into battle, and how Arjuna attains enlightenment. (VIA.52.8-VI.58)
The Hundred Rudras — The story begins with a mendicant who dreams numerous incarnations until a swan dreams it is Rudra (Shiva). This enlightened Rudra restores the mendicant’s body and they proceed to awaken each of the intervening dreamed incarnations, becoming the one Rudra with one hundred forms. (VIA.62-65)
The Vetala and the Prince — A vetala (ghost, vampire) threatens to kill and eat a prince unless he properly answers the vetala’s questions. The prince does and the vetala forgets its hunger. (VIA.70-73)
King Bhagiratha — This is the story of how the Ganges River was made to flow on earth. King Bhagiratha ages and tires of his great life. He seeks counsel of his spiritual guide (the ascetic Tritala), becomes a renunciant, and in his wanderings agrees to rule another kingdom which has no heir. He thinks of redeeming his ancestors and performs tapas in order to make the heavenly Ganges river flow and purify the earth. (VIA.74-76)
King Sikhidhwaja and Queen Chudala — The royal couple lead an idyllic life and both pursue spiritual knowledge. Chudala practices self-inquiry and attains Self realization. Sikhidhwaja notices she appears unusually radiant, but when she explains Self realization, he dismisses her as a mere woman. — Astral Travel : Chudala keeps her wisdom to herself and learns the yogic powers of manifesting astral bodies and astral travel. (VIA.77-80). Vasishta explains how such powers are possible. Queen Chudala tries to share her knowledge with her husband, but Sikhidhwaja continues to simply dismiss her as being only a woman. (VIA.83)
The Parable of the Miser Kirata and the Philosopher’s Stone . In this interlude within the story of Sikhidhwaja and Chudala, Vasishta explains how one can learn something valuable despite seeking trifles. The miser is searching for a lost cowry shell when he discovers the Philosopher’s Stone. (VIA.83.16-24)
King Sikhidhwaja the Hermit; Chudala as the Brahmin Boy Kumbha — Thinking asceticism is the way to attain enlightenment, King Sikhidwaja abandons his kingdom to become a hermit. Queen Chudala, knowing she has to allow her husband to learn in his own lessons, remains home to govern the country in his name, periodically using her powers to astral travel and check on how her husband is faring. She assumes the form of a brahmin boy, Kumbha, who becomes the hermit-king’s spiritual teacher and questions whether the hermit is progressing towards his goal of liberation. (VIA.84-87)
The Rich Man Who Failed to Grasp the Real Philosopher’s Stone — Kumbha (Chudala) tells her hermit-king husband a parable about a rich man who obtains the Philosopher’s Stone (chinthamani). (VIA.88, 90)
A Foolish Elephant Twice Captured — This is also told by Kumbha (Chudala) to teach the hermit-king. (VIA.89, 91)
Sikhidhwaja & Chudala (Kumba) Continued — The king burns all his hermit possessions in an attempt at complete renunciation, and Kumbha (Chudala) explains the real meaning of renunciation and reality, and that God and creation are the same consciousness — The King Attains Samadhi : the king attains enlightenment and gives up his need to live as an ascetic. (VIA.92-103) — A Married Couple Again : Sikhidhwaja and Kumba (Chudala) wander the world together and the queen desires to make love with her husband. The queen, as the boy Kumbha, tells the king that a curse by sage Durvasa makes him become female each night. It is in this form that they are married. (VIA.104-106) — Chudala Tests Sikhidhwaja by making a false Indra appear as if making love to her, he passes the test, Chudala reveals her true form to her husband, and they are reunited. (VIA.108-110)
Kacha — Kacha, son of sage Brihaspati, seeks lasting peace of mind. His father teaches him to understand that there is no such thing as ego (personal existence). Kacha does tapas to attain liberation. (VIA.111)
Aerial Man Building Aerial Homes — A parable describing creation. (VIA.112.15-VIA.113)
Shiva Explains the True Virtues of good action, enjoyment of life, and indifference to the king of the Bhringis. (VIA.115)
Sage Manu Teaches King Ikshaku that creation is an appearance. (VIA.117-122)
The Story of the Hunter and the Sage — A hunter chases a wounded stag and comes across a sage incapable of knowing where the stag had gone. (VIA.124.28-34)
BOOK VI – PART 2: THE LATTER TREASURY
Bhushunda — Bhushunda, the long-lived crow, instructs a vidyadhara demigod who has tired of the world. Bhushunda describes the tree and temple of illusion, and the nature of Brahman. (VIB.5.4-VIB.12) Bhushunda instructs the vidyadhara that the sense of ego is the source of error and the vidyadhara attains liberation. (VIB.15)
Indra’s Rule of an Atomic World — This story is told by Bhushunda to the vidyadhara. Indra, king of the gods, became weak by studying spirituality, and is defeated in war by the demon asuras. Indra hides by making himself minute inside a lotus flower, when he imagines a palace and a universe. Countless successor Indras rule that universe. (VIB.13.5-VIB.14)
Manki — The brahmin Manki, on pilgrimage and crossing a wasteland, encounters Vasishta. Manki complains about life, receives Vasishta’s instruction, and attains liberation. (VIB.23-26)
Vasishta’s Stories: Vasishta’s Search for Seclusion ; A Vidyadhari’s Song ; Her World inside a Block of Stone ; and Her Husband, Creator God Brahma — Vasishta seeks a secluded place in the universe where he does a hundred-year tapas. (VIB.56) Awakening, he hears the sound of a woman singing and explores creation, a network of alternate realities. (VIB.59-60) The song is from a beautiful vidyadhari who grieves because her ascetic, brahmin husband is uninterested in her. She describes their world inside a block of stone. (VIB.64-66) Vasishta and the vidyadhari awaken the husband, a brahmin who is the creator god Brahma, who explains that she is an aspect of his own creation and that creation is about to dissolve. (VIB.69-70) — A Siddha Master Visits Vasishta’s Aerial Home . Vasishta has experienced cosmic dissolution and returns to the aerial site of his 100-year tapas. He finds a siddha master has taken up residence there. (VIB.93-94)
King Vipaschit — The besieged king, a devotee of the fire-god Agni, enters sacred fire and emerges in four forms in order to wage war successfully. (VIB.108-113) — Travel the Four Corners of the World : The four kings, each with his courts and armies travel the four corners of the world, walking across the oceans and praising creation. (VIB.114-123) — Lost in Repeated Reincarnations : His four persons get lost in repeated reincarnations; some attain enlightenment and help the others. (VIB.124-126) King Vipaschit, in the form of a deer, is produced by Vasishta before Rama and Dasharata’s court. The Deer Enters a Sacred Fire and emerges as the liberated Bhasa. Bhasa describes his many incarnations. (VIB.129-133)
The Story of the Cosmic Carcass — Bhasa (Vipaschit) relates the story of the wonderful carcass to Vasishta, Rama, and Dasharata’s court. He saw a huge carcass fall on the world causing a cosmic dissolution. What is left was used to recreate the world. (VIB.133-135) — Agni Explains the Carcass : Bhasa describes how he had asked the fire god Agni the meaning of the carcass, and Agni related the story of the asura demon cursed to become a gnat, then becomes a deer and a hunter. The hunter comes across an unnamed sage who tells him his own experience entering into the dream consciousness of his student, where the sage gets lost and experiences cosmic dissolution. (VIB.136-141) — The Unnamed Sage Finally Awakens and realizes he imagined everything. Another sage visits him and explains that all is Brahman. The first, unnamed sage explains to the hunter that the guest sage was also himself. (IVB.147-150) — Prophesy that the Hunter Will Ask Questions : The guest sage tells the unnamed sage that he will instruct a hunter who will ask questions about dreaming and sit in tapas. (IVB.153.1-5) — The Boon to Become Huge : Agni, who is telling this story of the hunter to Bhasa (Vipaschit), who is repeating it to Vasishta and Rama, describes how the unnamed sage told the hunter that he will complete tapas, earn the boon to become huge, tire of his body, and the carcass falls on the earth, destroys creation, and becomes a new creation. (VIB.155) — The Hunter Becomes King Sindhu who defeats King Viduratha in battle, then retires and attains liberation. (VIB.157-158) (See the story of Leela, Saraswati and Vidhurath in Book III.) — Vipaschit Does Tapas : Agni’s explanation of the carcass to Vipaschit completed, Bhasa relates how, in his incarnation as one of the four King Vipaschits, he completes tapas. Indra appears and says he is fated to go through more incarnations before liberation, ending up as a deer in the court of Dasharata. (VIB.159.3-26)
Story of the Unnamable Crystal Rock — Vasishta’s description of creation. (VIB.166)
Kundadanta and the Upside-Down Ascetic — This is a story related by Rama. Some time before the assembly that is Yoga Vasishta, the wandering Kundadanta appeared before another assembly that included Rama and Vasishta. Kundadanta tells his story of finding an ascetic hanging from a tree. They travel together and find another ascetic, a hermit living in a desert by a kadamba tree, in what used to be goddess Gauri’s forested ashram, stripped bare by woodcutters. The kadamba tree hermit describes his tapas with his seven brothers which resulted in the blessings of all eight acquiring dominion over creation. Meanwhile, their parents went on pilgrimage and sought wives for the eight sons. They inadvertently gave offense to sage Durvasa who cursed their sons’ tapas to end in failure. (VIB.180-183) — Personified Blessings and Curse : Kundadanta relates how the personified blessings and curse argue before god Brahma who explains how both blessings and curse come to pass. (VIB.183) His story of the kadamba tree ascetic completed, Kundadanta listened to Vasishta’s teaching and attained liberation.
King Prajnapti — The king asks Vasishta how immaterial can create material; Vasishta’s discourse to King Prajnapati. (IV.206-210)
Rama’s Prior Life Learning under Vasishta — Rama asks Vasishta to illustrate how the supreme Brahma comes to think of ego. Vasishta replies that Rama had asked this same question of him in a prior incarnation. (IVB.212.19-IVB.213)
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