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Vasishta Maha Ramayana or Yoga Vasishta is the most ancient work in Sanskrit on the Vedic Principle. This monumental work is definitely one without a second in Sanskrit literature. Sage Vasishta, is teaching principles of Vedanta to his royal pupil, Sri Rama, the conqueror of Ravana
and hero of the ancient epic, Ramayana. He talks through beautiful and interesting stories to illustrate the principles. The book is written in the language of Valmiki.

It is undoubtedly, the crest-jewel of all the works on Vedanta. A study of the book raises a man to the lofty heights of divine splendor and bliss. It is really a vast storehouse of wisdom. Those who are bent to the ways of knowledge and not worship will find a priceless treasure in this marvelous book. He who studies the book with great interest and one-pointedness of mind cannot go without attaining Self-Realization. The practical hints on yoga and breath control are unique. Even the most worldly-minded man will become dispassionate and will attain peace of mind, solace and consolation.

The Yoga Vasishtha was once one of the most widely read books in India. It greatly influenced the general philosophical thought. The late Pundit Brindawana Saraswati of Benares had read the Yoga Vasishtha one hundred and sixty-five times. It is a comprehensive, deep, systematic and literary philosophical work of ancient India. The name is derived from the sage Vasishta. Though the book is called Yoga Vasishtha, it treats of Jnana only. Practical Yoga is dealt with in two stories. The word "Yoga" is used in the title of this work in its generic sense. It is known by the
name Jnana Vasishtham also. Rishi Valmiki, the author of the Ramayana, compiled this remarkable book. He related the whole of Yoga Vasishta to Rishi Bharadwaja as it passed between Sri Rama and sage Vasishta.

That which is called Moksha is neither in Devaloka nor in Patala nor on earth. When all desires are destroyed, the extinction of the expansive mind alone is Moksha. Moksha has neither space nor time in itself; nor is there in it any state external or internal. If the illusory idea of "I" or
Ahamkara perishes, the end of thoughts (which is Maya) is experienced, and that is Moksha. Extinction of all Vasanas constitutes Moksha. Sankalpa is only Samsara; its annihilation is Moksha. It is only Sankalpa destroyed beyond resurrection that constitutes the immaculate Brahmic seat or Moksha. Moksha is freedom from all sorts of pains (Sarva-Duhkha Nivritti) and the attainment of supreme bliss (Paramananda Prapti). "Duhkha" means pain or suffering. Births and deaths generate the greatest pain. Freedom from births and deaths is freedom from all sorts of pain. Brahma Jnana or knowledge of the Self alone will give Moksha. The quiescence produced in the mind by the absence of desires for objects is Moksha.

Moksha is not a thing to be achieved. It is already there. You are in reality not bound. You are ever pure and free. If you were really bound you could never become free. You have to know that you are the immortal, all-pervading Self. To know that, is to become That. This is Moksha. This is
the goal of life. This is the summum bonum of existence. That state of non-attraction of the mind, when neither "I" nor any other self exists for it, and when it abandons the pleasures of the world, should be known as the path that leads to Moksha. The Absolute, according to the Yoga Vasishta, is Satchidananda Para Brahman, who is non-dual, partless, infinite, self-luminous, changeless and eternal. He is the ultimate substance. He is the unity behind the subject and the object of experience. He is one homogeneous essence. He is all pervading. He is beyond description. He is nameless, colourless, odourless, tasteless, timeless, spaceless, deathless and birthless.

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