YogavAsiShTa vs. Bhagavad-Gita

A question that is often asked of me is why YogavAsiShTa is not as popular as Bhagavad-Gita.

[Frankly, I am not sure if that is true and if so why it is so. I spell out a few of my thoughts to start a healthy discussion.]

 In my own case, it was Bhagavad-Gita that I was first exposed to, even as a teenager, and it was much later in my life after my pate turned bald and the few hairs that remained acquired a silver gray hue, that I happened to study YogavAsiShTa. I can say with certitude that both books must have been equally present in my house when I was growing up with my parents. Could it be that my parents somehow conspired to see that I did not get access to read the YogavAsiShTa in my youth because of my mother’s apprehension or belief in an adage that was popular in those times that one who reads YogavAsiShTa would surely fling the family life and retire to a forest as a Sannyasi (renunciate)? Continue reading

Physics and Vedanta – 6/6

Physics and Vedanta – 6/6

[An INTERVIEW BY Paula Marvelly – Sixteen searching  Questions probing the Depths of Physics and Advaita Vedanta – Responses from Dr. Ramesam Vemuri – 2011]

Part 6:  Effect of Meditation, jIvanmukta  and Science as pramANa:

Part – 1, Part – 5

 14.  What are the benefits of meditation on the mind?

As we understand, mind is what the brain does. But as Neuroscience found out, the pulsing of the neurons as the brain acts has a feed forward and feed backward effect. The em field produced by the activity of the neurons affects the brain. Consequently, what we do mentally has an effect on the brain.

In fact, our scriptures hold that what we do mentally is much more forceful and effective than physical performance. Manasa Puja, or silent worship within our mind, is held far superior to pompous and ostentatious prayers. The mental worship in a way is meditation. Even in athletics and other sports, the candidates are asked to rehearse first mentally the subtleties of every fine move before they perform physically. I learnt a lot of my driving more by thinking before I got into a driver’s seat in a car. Continue reading

Physics and Vedanta – 5/6

Physics and Vedanta – 5/6

[An INTERVIEW BY Paula Marvelly – Sixteen searching  Questions probing the Depths of Physics and Advaita Vedanta – Responses from Dr. Ramesam Vemuri – 2011]

Part 5:  End of the Universe, Thought and Meditation:

Part – 1, Part – 4

 11.  So then, what is the Big Crunch and what will exist beyond it?

Aha, this question is much like the first one and, therefore, we are coming full circle!

One of the significant finding in astrophysics nearly a decade and half ago was that not only is the universe expanding, but it is doing so at an alarmingly fast rate. ‘Before this discovery, the forecast was surprisingly simple. If the gravitational pull of all the matter in the cosmos was strong enough to rein in expansion — like the Earth’s pull on a rocket that can’t quite reach escape velocity — the universe would eventually come crashing in on itself.’ This is described dramatically as the Big Crunch. This is something like the Big Bang expansion reversing itself. So the Big Crunch would have happened only if the expanding universe is held back in its tracks. Continue reading

Physics and Vedanta – 4/6

Physics and Vedanta – 4/6

[An INTERVIEW BY Paula Marvelly – Sixteen searching  Questions probing the Depths of Physics and Advaita Vedanta – Responses from Dr. Ramesam Vemuri – 2011]

Part 4:  Superimposition in Quantum Physics and Advaita and The Role of The Mind:

Part – 1, Part – 3 

9.  How does the theory of superimposition in Quantum Physics relate to theory of superimposition in Advaita Vedanta?

The concept of superimposition in Quantum Physics is just that – a concept. It is a good example of what I am speaking about.

We devised the concept of superimposition to explain to ourselves some observed phenomena because the observed things did not seem to fit into the simple cause-effect relationship for which our mind is accustomed to. Let me explain a little. Continue reading

Physics and Vedanta – 3/6

Physics and Vedanta – 3/6

[An INTERVIEW BY Paula Marvelly – Sixteen searching  Questions probing the Depths of Physics and Advaita Vedanta – Responses from Dr. Ramesam Vemuri – 2011]  Part – 1, Part – 2

Part 3: Gamma wave synchrony, God Particle and Super String Theory:

6.  Returning to the subject of the mind and the brain, what is gamma wave synchrony and how does it tie in with our view of the world?

You see, we are conscious of a world out there and we are also conscious that we are conscious. How does this happen? Where is the seat of consciousness? The ancient Indian sages postulated an invisible entity about the size of the digit of the thumb to be residing in the heart overseeing the bodily functions and also providing consciousness to a human being.

To the extent my knowledge goes, the ancient scriptures did not talk of neurons or equivalent units or the working of the brain. They did, however, talk of nerves. They conceived the nerves to be the conduits of not only the life-forces but also food and other material. They said that all these nerves join in the heart. The Western philosophers, however, use consciousness in a different way. They thought of a soul.  Perhaps it was Descartes who identified the pineal gland in the brain as representing the soul. Continue reading

Physics and Vedanta – 1/6

Physics and Vedanta – 1/6

[An INTERVIEW BY Paula Marvelly – Sixteen searching Questions probing the Depths of Physics and Advaita Vedanta – Responses from Dr. Ramesam Vemuri – 2011]

Part – 2

Paula Marvelly is a Web-designer, playwright and author in search of the Ultimate Truth for over two decades. As a seeker, she carved out a unique path for herself interviewing over fifteen living Advaita teachers from India, Europe and USA and studying the lives of over twenty enlightened women. Her two books published in 2003 and 2005 received rave reviews.  Paula’s books are:

  1. The Teachers of One: Living Advaita: Conversations on the Nature of Non-Duality, May 25, 200
  2. Women of Wisdom, 2005 – The Journey of the Sacred Feminine through the Ages.

Paula now maintains a Web Magazine The Culturium which explores the interface between spirituality and the cultural arts.

Part 1:  Relation between Modern Physics and Vedanta:

1.  How does Quantum Physics or modern Physics in general relate to Vedanta in answering the question about universe? Continue reading

Ignorance is Also Brahman

Rama:  Maharishi Vasishta!  Revered Teacher!  Kundadanta whom I met  on that day is here in this assembly.  He has been listening to your instructions for all these days.  That is why I have asked you if he has attained Self-Knowledge and if all his doubts have been clarified.

Sage Vasishta:  Where is the need for me to say anything?  Let us ask him directly.

(Addressing now Kundadanta):  What do you say, Kundadanta?  Could you understand the essence of Truth? Have you gained Self-Knowledge?  Have your doubts been cleared? 

Kundadanta:  Oh, Greatest of the Sages!  Maharishi!  My Salutations.  Yes, now I am totally free of doubt.  I have learnt what all has to be learnt.  I understood fully the nature of Consciousness.  I realize that even a tiny mustard seed can contain infinite universes within it.  I could also understand experientially that there are no worlds at all from an Absolute point of view.  I can see clearly that a question on how a large earth can fit into a small room has no locus.

What every creature experiences in the world is only The Supreme Brahman.  The ignorance they experience is also Brahman.  There is nothing whatsoever anywhere anytime beyond Supreme Brahman.  That is the last word!

Vasishta:  He is a Great Man Indeed!  Congratulations to you, Kundadanta!   Continue reading

I-consciousness, Worlds And Brahman

Shri Vijay Pargaonkar, a frequent contributor at this site, recently drew my attention to the teaching of Sage Vasishta towards the end of the 32,000 verse-strong Yogavasishta. I wish to share the following extract from the teaching as it has a relevance to the discussions going on at another thread.


Vasishta:   Rama, there are essentially two types of (…) worlds.  They are the Stable and the Mobile worlds.  The Stable worlds are: Mahah, Janah, Tapah, Satya etc.  They are located far away from us.

स यदि पितृलोककामो भवति सङ्कल्पादेवास्य पितरः समुत्तिष्ठन्ति तेन पितृलोकेन सम्पन्नो महीयते ॥                    – VIII-ii-1, छान्दोग्य

sa yadi pitRilokakAmo bhavati saMkalpAdevasyapiraH samuttiShTanti tena pitRilokena saMpannomahIyate.       — VIII-ii-1, chAndogya upanishad. Continue reading

Reality, appearance, and Time


Lord Vishnu: As a matter of fact, the trunk, stem, branches, leaves and so on did not emerge out of the seed. The seed has transformed itself into all of them.

रूपालोक मनस्कार तत्ताकाल क्रियात्मक्म् ।

कुम्भकारो घटमिव चेतोहन्ति करोतिच ॥ — sarga 48 – shloka 52

What is present now is perceived by the senses. What will be in the future is anticipated by the mind by its projection. What was past is remembered by the mind by identifying itself with the past things/ events. Therefore, it can also be said as:

Present Time       rUpAloka kAla        Period of Direct Observation (Perception)

Future Time         manaskAra kAla    Period of Mental Projection (Anticipation)

Past Time            tattA kAla                Period of Mental Identification (Remembrance)

Thus the three times viz., Present, Future and Past are nothing but what the mind makes up like a potter churns out pottery. It is again the mind that makes them disappear.  — p: 84


Sage Gadhi: Pardon me, My Lord! You insist that every event, every ‘thing’ in the world is a phantasm, a creation of the mind. It is quite puzzling to me. Certain things take place in the world as per the Law of Nature regularly on time. If it is taken that the entire world is nothing but a figment of imagination, how can there be a rule or rhyme to it? How can any Law of Nature be valid? The world does certainly seem to revolve around a time frame. How is it possible to attribute it to some fancy? Continue reading

Reality, appearance, and mind


Sage Vasishta:  Please listen to me carefully as I shall now teach you the most supreme of all topics — ways to calm down the mind. Just like pillars bear the weight of a building, raajasic and taamasic people carry on their shoulders the unlimited illusion of a world. But saatvic natured persons like you can leave this burden as easily as a snake sheds its skin. The only way to do it is through an understanding of the essence of Truth (tatva vichaaraNa).

Whatever is not existent at the beginning and also at the end, but appears only in-between cannot be Real. Whatever stays permanently at all times (past, present and future) only can be True. How does a thing that has no existence at the beginning and at the end appear to be born and to exist in-between? The fact of the matter is neither anything is born nor anything has grown. All of this is entirely a play of the mind!

जायते मन एवेह मन एव विवर्धते ।

सम्यग्दर्शन दृष्ट्या तु मन एवहि मुच्यते ॥  — shloka 11, sarga 5

What is born here is mind, what develops is also mind. If you consider properly, what is liberated also is mind.”

Extracted from p:7 of the book:  Yogavaasishta Part IV: The Calm Down by K.V. Krishna Murthy, (English rendering by Dr. Vemuri Ramesam), Avadhoota Datta Peetham, Mysore 570025, India, 2008, pp: 194.