Home » 03 PREFACE

« | Contents | »
Print Friendly, PDF & Email





THE YOGA-VĀSIṢṬHA is a popular text on Advaita Vedānta, Purāṇic in form and philosophical in content. It is also known by other names like Ārṣarāmāyaṇa, Jñānavasiṣṭha, Mahārāmāyaṇa, Vāsiṣṭharāmāyaṇa and as the Vasiṣṭha and is ascribed to sage Vālmīki himself, the author of the famous Rāmāyaṇa. It is in the form of replies given by Vasiṣṭha to Sri Rāma’s queries regarding philosophical problems of life and death, and human suffering, and treats the essentials of Advaita Vedānta. It seems to advocate the dṛṣṭi-sṛṣṭvāda which holds that the world exists only so long as it is perceived: manodṛśyam idaṁ sarvam ‘the whole world of things is the object of the mind’.

The Laghu-Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha is an abridged version of the Yoga-Vāsistha, compiled by one Abhinanda of Kashmir. For the first three Prakaranas there is a commentary called Vāsiṣṭha Candrikā by Ātmasukha, and for the last three Prakaranas Mummidi Devarāya wrote the Saṃāirtāirīi commentary (both published with the text, Nirnayasagar Press, Bombay, 1888).


This English rendering of the Laghu-Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha by the late K. Narayanaswami Aiyer was first published in 1896 (Thomson & Co., Madras) and then in 1914 (Hoe & Co., Madras). I t is a free translation trying to present the ideas contained in the text in a lucid manner, using at times the explanations of the Sanskrit commentaries. The Adyar Library is again bring­ing this work into print as there has been a demand for it. Some editorial changes have been made. A biographical sketch of the translator has also been included in this edition.