Yogavaasishta is a remarkable Advaitic text in many ways. It is at once a theoretical text and a practical Manual. It combines the abstruse Vedantic concepts of Non-duality with simple doable tips and presents them in an engrossing manner. Sage Vasishta often uses the technique of bringing home the most intricate philosophical point through a fictitious tale crafted on the spot with imaginary characters representing with high fidelity the point to be illustrated in an unforgettable manner. One such story is of Kadamba Daasura**. It tells us about the untenability of the perceived world. Daasura is shown to be living on the last tender leaf of the topmost branch of a Kadamba tree (Anthocephelus – Latin name: Adina cordifolia) where sustenance for any being, leave alone a human, is impossible. Sage Vasishta intends to impress on us that the sustenance of a world (which we take to be real and functioning) to be equally impossible.
Daasura teaches his son that the world is a creature of the ‘thought’ that thinks it. Intent on ending the world, the son who is hardly in his early teens enquires what is thought and how thought itself originates and what are the means of annihilating the thoughts. Daasura’s response to these questions is very profound and a summary is presented below. Continue reading