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Daily Theosophy Online – Edited Edition


Based on the translation by K. Narayanaswami Aiyer (1896)

and the edited version published in 2001

of the Adyar Library and Research Centre

by The Theosophical Publishing House,

Adyar TN India

Wheaton IL USA

ISBN of 2001 edition: 81-85141-41-X

The Laghu-Yoga Vāsiṣṭha is an ancient abridgement by Abhinanda of the Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha (or Brhad-Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha)1, containing the essentials of Advaitavedānta, illustrated by allegorical stories. K. Narayanaswami Aiyer’s free translation, first printed in 1896 and reprinted once again, makes the wisdom contained in the text accessible to the lay public.

The origin of I-consciousness, its growth and quiescence, the nature of māyā and the way to overcome it, the states of jñāna and ajñāna, are among the topics on which it throws light. ‘Jñāna alone is the true God and the flowers, etc, with which God has to be worshipped are equal vision for all, contentment of mind, and spiritual wisdom’, declares the sage.

This is a work for true aspirants who are in the world, but seek not to be of it.

The Yoga Vāsiṣṭha is according to the translator, in the words of Madame Blavatsky, “meant for the few only” In the phraseology of this work, it is intended neither for those Ajñānis [not-knowers, or] the worldly-minded), who welter in the sea of Saṁsāra 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 becoming a potent factor in their daily lives. The Laghu Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha is a shorter version of the Bṛhad-Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha or the largerYoga-Vāsiṣṭha.

We have chosen to place this important work on this website because it is thoroughly Theosophical and elucidating, but relatively unknown even among theosophists. It has been said that Jñāna Yoga is of all forms of yoga that which is most fit for our time.

The main theme of this work is an explanation of a mysterious phrase in The Voice of the Silence:

“The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real. Let the Disciple slay the Slayer. For – when to himself his form appears unreal, … when he has ceased to hear the many, he may discern the ONE. Then only, not till then, shall he forsake the region of Asat, the false, to come unto the realm of Sat,the true.”

The parallel theme is that ignorance (Ajñana) is the cause of cyclic existence and all suffering – a teaching which we find reflected in the Buddhist doctrine of pratityasamutpāda, or the causal chain off the twelve nidānas. Thoroughly explained are the various states of consciousness after death and of developed yogic consciousness – jāgrat, svapna, suṣupti, turya and turyātīta. It explains coming into existence and nature of the universe and of the mind within non-dualistic reality. No text I know of, explains these themes more profoundly than this (Laghu) Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha.

This is a (corrected) copy of the translation by K. Nārāyanaswami Aiyer, published in 1896, and revised in 2001, by The Adyar Library and Research Centre in Chennai, India.

It can be called ‘The Book of Jñāna Yoga’, or ‘The Book of ultimate understanding of the Self through spiritual knowledge’ as taught by the Great Rishi Vāsiṣṭha.

Photographed and scanned copies and various formats (but not in MS Word) of the 1896 edition are to be found under A translation of Yoga-Vâsishta-Laghu – (the smaller)

– Editors Daily Theosophy



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  1. Laghu means ‘small,’ brhad means ‘large.’ []