Why didn't I know about this jewel of Indian philosophy earlier?
This book is really impressive. It's stories mixed with dialogues and tons of very profound and clever sayings. We are talking tons of advaita noodlings per paragraph.
Imagine Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ramana Maharshi in a room together talking about the meaning of life. Well this is inside the book!
If I went to prison, then this is the book I will take along to have by my side, in my little pad.
Where do we find time? In our busy and harassed crash test dummy existence of money worship, family life and social media, who has the chance of absorbing all this wisdom? You need to be focussed like a tiger and be dedicated like a sweating fanatic to remember what you read a few hundred pages ago..
The sage Vasistha says there are four gatekeepers to liberation. You can't just read the book. The four, which must be combined like legs for a table, otherwise it won't work, are practising atma vichara, self control, contentment and going to satsang.
In satsang, 3000 years ago, you can bask in the glow of an enlightened sage, but what about today? There are no enlightened beings today and, if there where, they will be so modest and so humble that you will never hear about them. In the world described in Vasistha's Yoga, the enlightened masters mingled with the kings and the common people. Today, they will be ignored or get thrown in the mad house. This is the definition of the kali-yuga the Hindu's speak of..
As for self attention or basking in the glow of the self, to be an i-naut, to sail into the vast 'I' that Ramana Maharshi spoke of, all the top people say that atma vichara doesn't work anymore and there are no enlightened sages in this kali-yuga for you and 'I' to party with. No one ever mentions the kali-yuga we live in today.
If this book really was written 3000 years ago, then we have no chance. Gods walked upon the planet back then. Nietzsche was wrong, the smiling shinning god-people lived in the past, not in the future. One reviewer called this book 'psychedelic'. Exactly! For we moderns, it's very psychedelic, but I suspect that the book is describing the consciousness of people living 3000 years ago! The Iliad also describes a consciousness long extinct. In Vedic India, from king to bum, all lived psychedelia, all of the time!
"Neither the sovereignty of the whole world nor the attainment of the form of god, neither the study of scripture nor engaging oneself in the work of others, neither listening to nor reciting stories, neither longevity nor death, neither heaven nor hell is comparable to the state of mind as a holy one" (page, 354).
Maybe jnani's who appear in our gloomy times are born with the old central nervous system of our ancestors? Tho knows?
Like we said, in this kali-yuga, with work and usury to whip us into line, who has a chance of plowing through all this wisdom and remembering what was said a few hundred pages ago?
Anyway, this book is a real master class for advanced fans of advaita. The story vehicle is an impressive stab at cutting through the veil of Maya.
Highly, highly recommended!