Yoga Vasishta Sara – Introduction
The Brihat (the Great) Yoga Vasishta or Yoga Vaasishtha Maha Ramayana as it is also called, is a work of about 32,000 Sanskrit couplets, traditionally attributed to Valmiki, the author of Srimad Ramayana. It is a dialogue between Sage Vasishtha and Sri Rama, during which Advaita (the doctrine of nonduality) in its pure form of ajatavada (theory of non-origination) is expounded, with illustrative stories in between. This vast work was abridged some centuries ago by Abhinanda Pandita, a Kashmiri scholar, into 6,000 couplets, which go by the name of Laghu Yoga Vaasishtha. This is a masterpiece in itself, like the original Brihat.
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi used to refer to Yoga Vaasishtha frequently and has even incorporated six couplets from it in His Supplement to Forty Verses (verses 21 to 27).
A further condensation of this work was made long ago, by an unknown author, into about 230 couplets, divided into ten. chapters, as Yoga Vaasishtha Sara (Essence of Yoga Vaasishtha), of which this translation is presented for the first time. By making this condensation the author has rendered a great service to all sadhaks. This is indeed a gold mine fit for repeated reading and meditation.
This English version of the Yoga Vasishta Sara is based on a translation made by Swami Sureshananda, an old devotee of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.