Thursday, September 18, 2014

yoga vAsisTha in arjunopAkhyAna explains who should meditate on viShNu as AtmasvarUpa and caturbhuja viShNu

|| Hari OM ||

yoga vAsiSTha is one of the best advaitic text and widely quoted one by SrI vidyAraNya svAmI in his pancadaSI. In the sixth part, there are 267 verses which are called as arjunopAkhyAna. These are sarga-s 55 to 58 of nirvANa prakaraNa - I (There are two nirvANa prakaraNa-s in yoga vAsiSTha which is said to have 32000 verses. Only 28000 are available today). This version of bhagavad gItA is the anticipated version to be spoken by kruShNa in dvApAra yuga.

SrI rAma asks questions as to what will viShNu give upadeSa in future (dvApAra yuga). guru vAsiSTha, being a trikALadarSI (knower of past, present and future all at a time) describes in brief the updeSa given by nArAyaNa (kruShNa) to nara (arjuna) both are the parts of bhagavAn viShNu. This version is also called as vAsiSTha's version of bhagavad gItA. This is an essence of vedAnta and a treat to read. It gives us a lot of clarity.

Scholars say that rAmAyaNa consists of two parts - kathA-upAya (the story part) and moksha-upAya (method for spiritual Liberation). According to yoga vAsiSTha, Both these two constitutes the entire rAmAyaNa. kathA-upAya is traditional rAmAyaNa and moksha-upAya is yoga vAsiSTha.

Many commentaries are written on yoga vAsiSTha, but the famous one is by Sri Ananda bodhendra sarasvatI (ABS), which closely follows advaita. ABS Comment is given after verse inside sq. brackets.

In chapter 2, sarga 53, titled 'The homily (religious discourse) to Arjuna' verses 35-40 discuss about two forms of bhagavAn kruShNa (Krishna)

Arjuna said:

35. O Lord of Gods, you have two forms; (the transcendental) beyond and the immanent lower (in this world). What (is) the form, of what nature, and when should I resort to and abide in it for fulfilment (siddhi)?

[Comment: Following the instruction concerning the two natures (of God) in verses 34, Arjuna now asks how to know the qualification (adhikAra) and the appropriate time for (worshipping either of the two natures).]

The Lord said:

36. O sinless One, know My two forms; the common one and the transcendental. The common form is endowed with hands and so forth, holding conch, discus and mace.

[Comment: 'Common' means easily understandable for ordinary people]

37. That which is my transcendental form has no beginning and end; it is one, without corruption, and it is expressed by words such as Brahman, 'Self', 'Supreme Self'

[Comment: The Supreme Form, difficult to attain by those of impure mind.]

38. Until you are fully awakened and remain without the knowledge of Self, be intent upon the worship of the god with the four-armed form.

39. When in due order you become enlightened, you will know that nature beyond; the form of Me that has no beginning and no end, and by (knowing which) one is not born again.

[Comment: 'In due order' means with the gradual purification of mind']

40. If, however, your being has known (the aspect of mine) that is worthy of knowledge, O destroyer of enemies, then resort immediately to my Self, the Self of (your) self.

[Comment: I have told you of devotion to the qualitative (saguna) nature, considering the possibility of a lack of purity of (your) mind. If, however, your being (bhAva), that is, mind, is so pure (as to be one with) Brahman, whose nature is totality of cognition (vijnAna-eka-svabhAva), and who is worthy of being known, you should resort to the indivisible and completely perfect Self. (This you may do) by coalescing My Self, (who am) God and your Self Self; (My Self) in it's transcendental nature determining its objects, and your self in its objective nature determining its essence. This coalescence is between investigating the meaning of the word tat (that), which is Myself, and investigating the meaning of the word tvam (thou), which is yourself. Then resort to the indivisible completely Full Self. Awakening to this, then, be firmly established in it. 'Resort to', that is, becoming enlightened: be resolute upon it.]

Source:  ‘Song of The Lord (Gita in Yoga-Vasistha)’- Swami Ved Bharti

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