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Yoga Vasishta: An introductory course

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  • Yoga today has been transformed into a commercial commodity by a plethora of “Gurus,” “brands,” and “traditions” – each claiming authenticity. Yet, each of these variants of Yoga is a little more than bodily and breathing exercises. But was Yoga truly meant to be so? People misunderstand Asanas as PosturesPranayama as breathing exercises, and Patanjali as the founder of Yoga; it is hard to comprehend the greater teachings and Wisdom of Yoga propounded in several Vedic texts.  


The Etymology of Yoga


  • The Vedic Sanskrit word Yoga comes from the root word “Yuj,” meaning the path. Since Yoga comes from the more extraordinary teachings of Vedas, which in turn implies Wisdom, one could translate it as the Path of Wisdom.


The Etymology of Asana


  • Asana comes from the root Vedic Sanskrit word Asan or Seat. Pranayama comprises two Vedic Sanskrit words, Prana meaning Life and Ayama implying perspective. Pranayama is that which offers Perspectives on Living. And since changing one’s breathing pattern helps us in calming our mind, which in turn changes our perspectives – it is also referred to as Pranayama.


Origins of Yoga


  • Against all the common misnomers, Patanjali was never the founder of Yoga. The earliest known text to speak about the greater Wisdom of Yoga was Valmiki’s Ramayana. 


About Yoga Vasishta

  • In the Bala Kanda chapter of Vyasa’s Ramayana, the prince of Ayodhya, Rama, seeks to take a sabbatical and travel the world after his education. On returning, Rama is disturbed, depressed, confused, and even agitated after observing the pains of life. He informs his father, Dasharatha, of his intention to relinquish his position as Yuvaraja or Crown Prince and become a hermit renunciate. A profoundly concerned father, Dasharatha, then asks his Rajaguru (Royal Mentor) Vasishta to counsel the young prince, leading to a prolonged and in-depth conversation which is popularly known as Yoga Vasishta.
  • Yoga Vashistha is also the first known text that speaks profoundly about the conscious self or AatmaMana, or Mind, and how they impact individuals, familial, organizations, and the world. Understanding the more profound Wisdom of the Yoga Vasishta is key to understanding the self and the mind and our actions and consequences.
  • What is also essential here is to know that Yoga Vasishta is the most rational, logical, yet wise conversation built on the oldest known and living counselling model discovered, developed, and propounded by the sage Rishis.


Importance of Yoga Vasishta


  • Yoga Vasishta is probably the oldest text, anywhere in the world, to have advocated the need for realizing the hidden potential of the human mind and ways to harness it, in the best possible way to achieve a state of perfect emotional equilibrium – Stithaprajna – to overcome all emotional turmoil. It presents credible counselling solutions to prepare oneself for more significant, unseen, unanticipated challenges in life and handle them effortlessly, to achieve one’s desired object, by altering one’s perspective. Yoga Vasishta is also the first book explaining more excellent knowledge about the mind, one that continues to remain an enigma for modern scientists, working in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning.


Applications of Yoga Vasishta


  • Teachings of Yoga Vasishta on the ideas of thoughts, views, perspectives, and cognition could have a great potential for empowering the machine to even think independently, which is way beyond the capacity of present AI machines which are run by complex instructions, driven by systems based on probability statistics.


About this course


  • This self-paced yet interactive and completely online course on Yoga Vasishta by U. Mahesh Prabhu will provide you with quintessential teachings of this timeless and time-tested treatise to help you overcome stress, strain, anxiety, and fear. Its teachings are designed to help you understand ways to attain and retain calm. And even understand the complex Vedanta in the most subtle and practical way without using any jargon, or mind-numbing preaching. What is more, you’ll also be provided with one hour-long interactive time with Prabhu to understand the teachings better by clarifying your doubts, and, even, debate a topic of your choice further.


Course Creator & Conductor


  • Udupi Mahesh Prabhu is a seasoned investor, internationally published author of over seven books as well as a globally respected media, management and political consultant. He is the founder & Chairman Emeritus of Wyoming US-based multi-million investment and holding firm Vedic Management Group LLC, as well as its international publishing label Vivaswaan. He founded Vedic Management Center in 2016 with Dr David Frawley and continues to be its active founder-director ever since. He was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Asiatic Society in 2009 and has a bachelor’s and master’s in business management with a specialization in marketing.



Introduction to Yoga Vashistha
Objective of The Fundamentals of Yoga Vashistha Course
2 Hours

Yoga Vashistha is an ancient Vedic text that delves into the depths of yogic philosophy and Vedic wisdom. Written in the form of a dialogue between Sage Vashistha and Prince Rama, the protagonist of the epic Ramayana, this revered scripture offers profound insights into the nature of existence, the human mind, and the path to liberation. Yoga Vashistha explores profound philosophical questions and provides practical guidance on how to attain self-realization and inner peace. Its timeless teachings continue to inspire seekers on the path of self-discovery, offering a profound understanding of life, consciousness, and the pursuit of ultimate truth.

Test 1
11 questions
Introduction to Valmiki's Ramayana
2 Hours

Valmiki's Ramayana, written in Vedic Sanskrit, is the original epic poem of ancient Indian literature. Composed in the form of shlokas, it presents the captivating story of Prince Rama, his beloved Sita, and his loyal brother Lakshmana. This expansive narrative, consisting of seven books or Kandas, offers a human portrayal of the characters while showcasing their complex emotions, virtues, and flaws. Valmiki's Ramayana has left an indelible mark on Indian culture, inspiring numerous adaptations and translations across Asia. With its detailed storytelling and profound themes, it remains a timeless masterpiece that continues to resonate with readers today.

Test 2
8 questions
Valmiki's Ramayana - The Original Epic in Vedic Sanskrit
2 Hours

Valmiki's Ramayana, written in Vedic Sanskrit, is the original epic poem of ancient Indian literature. Composed in the form of shlokas, it presents the captivating story of Prince Rama, his beloved Sita, and his loyal brother Lakshmana. This expansive narrative, consisting of seven books or Kandas, offers a human portrayal of the characters while showcasing their complex emotions, virtues, and flaws. Valmiki's Ramayana has left an indelible mark on Indian culture, inspiring numerous adaptations and translations across Asia. With its detailed storytelling and profound themes, it remains a timeless masterpiece that continues to resonate with readers today.

Test 3
10 questions
Tulsi Das's Ramacharit Manas - Devotional Rendition in Awadhi

Tulsi Das's Ramacharit Manas, composed in the 16th century in Awadhi, is a devotional retelling of the Ramayana. Written in the form of dohas and chaupais, this poetic masterpiece captures the essence of devotion, morality, and righteousness. Rama, the central character, is depicted as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, embodying divine qualities and unwavering devotion. Tulsi Das's emotional and accessible rendition played a vital role in the Bhakti movement, profoundly influencing North Indian culture, music, and spirituality. With its idealized characters and moral depth, Ramacharit Manas continues to inspire readers, fostering a deeper connection to the divine through its poetic beauty.


Test 4
10 questions
Yoga Vashistha - The Background and Setting
2 Hours

Yoga Vashistha, found within Valmiki's Ramayana in the chapter 'Bala Kanda' (Chapter on Childhood), is a profound philosophical conversation between Rishi Vasishta and Prince Rama. As Rama embarks on a journey and expresses his desire to renounce his royal title, his father seeks the guidance of Sage Vasishta. Yoga Vashistha delves into the depths of yogic philosophy, exploring the nature of reality, the workings of the mind, and the path to self-realization. This timeless text offers practical wisdom and spiritual insights, providing Rama and readers with profound teachings on the purpose of life and the pursuit of enlightenment.

Test 5
10 questions
The True Meaning of Yoga - The Path of Wisdom
2 Hours

Yoga, derived from the Sanskrit word 'Yuj' meaning 'the Path,' holds a deeper significance as a 'path of wisdom.' Rooted in the Vedas, the ancient scriptures of India, Yoga encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions to attain self-realization. It extends beyond physical postures, embodying a transformative journey of self-discovery and inner awakening. By integrating body, mind, and spirit, Yoga guides individuals towards wisdom, compassion, and a sense of interconnectedness with all beings and the universe. This short intro sets the stage for exploring the profound meaning and transformative power of Yoga as a path of wisdom and self-transformation.

Test 6
9 questions
Vedic Wisdom - Realization and the Path of the Wise
2 Hours

Vedic wisdom, rooted in the teachings of the ancient sages, transcends intellectual knowledge and offers a profound understanding of existence and interconnectedness. It goes beyond the mere accumulation of facts, emphasizing direct experiential realization and a shift in consciousness. Vedic wisdom enables individuals to navigate life's challenges with equanimity, cultivating inner peace and resilience. It involves embodying timeless truths, recognizing the impermanence of worldly experiences, and integrating wisdom into daily life. By embracing Vedic wisdom, individuals embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery, transcending dualistic thinking and embracing a holistic understanding of interconnectedness. This path leads to the realization of one's true nature and the emergence of profound wisdom in every aspect of life.

Test 7
8 questions
Stithaprajna - The Embodiment of Realized Consciousness
2 Hours

Stithaprajna, derived from Vedic Sanskrit, combines "Stitha" meaning "Standing/Realized" and "Prajna" meaning "consciousness." It refers to an elevated state of consciousness, where one remains firmly established in their realized awareness. A Stithaprajna embodies wisdom, clarity, and inner stability, transcending the fluctuations of the mind and ego. They remain equanimous amidst life's challenges, unaffected by praise or criticism. This state of awakened consciousness fosters a deep sense of interconnectedness and compassion. The journey to becoming a Stithaprajna involves dedicated practice, self-inquiry, and spiritual growth. Embodying Stithaprajna brings profound positive transformation to individuals and the world around them.

Test 8
8 questions
Prajna and Atmana - Understanding Consciousness and the Self
2 Hours

Prajna and Atmana are concepts that hold profound significance in understanding consciousness and the self. Prajna arises when the mind realizes its limitations and acknowledges that it is not the ultimate essence of the "Conscious-self" or Atmana. Atmana, derived from Vedic teachings, represents the transcendent aspect of one's being that exists beyond the mind. It signifies a higher realm of self-awareness and goes beyond the notion of the Soul. The cultivation of Prajna and the realization of Atmana bring about a transformative shift in perception, leading to a deeper understanding of the true nature of the Self and the interconnectedness of all existence.

Test 9
5 questions
Atmana - Beyond the Concept of Soul
2 Hours

The distinction between Atmana and the conventional concept of the soul is crucial in understanding the depth and nature of our true self. Atmana, representing our conscious energy, transcends the limitations and religious connotations associated with the soul. It is not a part of the physical body but the essence that animates and sustains it. Unlike the notion of the soul requiring salvation, Atmana is inherently complete, eternal, and beyond the constructs of birth and death. Recognizing this distinction allows us to explore our true nature as conscious energy, embrace our interconnectedness, and appreciate the profound essence of our being.

Test 10
5 questions
Atmana, Paramatmana, and Sarvatmana - Understanding Consciousness and the Collective Whole
2 Hours

The translation of 'Atmana' as 'Soul' has led to misconceptions about its true meaning. In Vedic texts, Atmana represents the conscious self, transcending the mind and ego. Paramatmana refers to the collective consciousness of all individual Atmanas, emphasizing interconnectedness. Sarvatmana, used in Yoga Vashistha, signifies the sum of all consciousness in the world. None of these terms equate to a deity or god. Understanding the distinctions helps us appreciate the expansive nature of consciousness and our interconnectedness. This short intro challenges the misconception of equating Atmana with the soul and sets the stage for exploring the profound aspects of consciousness in Vedic wisdom.


Test 11
5 questions
Yoga - The Path to Attaining the State of Stithaprajna
2 Hours

Yoga, beyond the pursuit of external rewards, offers a path of self-realization and inner bliss. It challenges traditional notions of Heaven and Hell, emphasizing selflessness and transcending limited identification with the body and mind. The objective of Yoga is to understand and realize the true essence of Atmana, Paramatmana, and Sarvatmana, recognizing the interconnectedness of individual and collective consciousness. Through dedicated practice, including asanas, pranayama, and meditation, individuals purify their body and mind, expanding awareness and cultivating inner peace. Ultimately, Yoga leads to the position of Stithaprajna, a state of wisdom, consciousness, and harmony with oneself and the world.

Test 12
10 questions
The True Meaning of Asanas - Beyond Exercise and Postures
2 Hours

Asanas, commonly associated with physical postures in modern yoga, hold a deeper meaning beyond exercise. Derived from the Sanskrit word "asan," meaning "to be seated," asanas encompass the practice of being present and cultivating inner calmness. While they are often misconstrued as exercises, the true essence of asanas lies in creating a harmonious connection between the body, mind, and spirit. This article delves into the authentic understanding of asanas, exploring their purpose in the yogic tradition and highlighting their role in cultivating mindfulness and self-awareness. Discover the profound meaning of asanas and their transformative potential in this exploration of yogic wisdom.

Test 13
9 questions
Pranayama - The Power of Breath Control
2 Hours

Pranayama, derived from the Sanskrit words "prana" meaning "breath" and "ayama" meaning "perspective," is a practice of conscious breath control in the yogic tradition. It recognizes the intimate connection between the breath and the mind, understanding that altering the breath can have a profound impact on mental and emotional states. By regulating and refining the breath through specific techniques, practitioners can achieve a state of balance, calmness, and harmony. This short intro highlights the transformative power of Pranayama and its potential to enhance physical well-being, mental clarity, and spiritual growth through the control and mastery of the breath.

Test 14
10 questions
The Prakaranas of Yoga Vashistha - Exploring the Path to Liberation
2 Hours
Test 15
10 questions
Concluding the Yoga Vashistha Course - Awakening to the Path of Wisdom

Embark on a transformative journey through the profound teachings of Yoga Vashistha. In this ancient scripture, we explore the true essence of Yoga and the path to self-realization. Discover the distinctions between Valmiki's Ramayana and Tulsi Das's Ramcharitmanas, as we delve into the counselling session between Sage Vashistha and Rama. Uncover the wisdom that transcends body and mind, realizing our true nature as pure conscious energy. Let us unravel the mysteries of Asanas and understand their deeper meaning. Join us on this transformative quest towards lasting solutions, self-discovery, and the awakening of our full potential. Welcome to the enlightening world of Yoga Vashistha.

The Yoga Vashistha course is an online program that provides teachings from the ancient text called Yoga Vashistha. It aims to help individuals overcome stress, anxiety, and fear, and attain and retain a state of calmness. The course offers practical and subtle explanations of Vedanta without using complex jargon or mind-numbing preaching.
The course is created and conducted by U. Mahesh Prabhu, a seasoned investor, internationally published author, and respected media, management, and political consultant. He is the founder and Chairman Emeritus of Vedic Management Group LLC and Vivaswaan publishing label. He is also the active founder-director of Vedic Management Center.
The course will provide you with the quintessential teachings of Yoga Vashistha, which focus on understanding the mind, achieving emotional equilibrium, and handling life's challenges effortlessly. You will learn practical techniques to overcome stress, strain, anxiety, and fear. The teachings are designed to help you attain and retain a state of calmness.
The course is self-paced, allowing you to study at your own convenience. However, it also offers interactive elements, such as a one-hour session with U. Mahesh Prabhu, where you can clarify doubts, engage in discussions, and even debate a topic of your choice.
The duration of the course is not specified, as it is self-paced. You can progress through the course at your own speed and take as much time as you need to understand and assimilate the teachings.
No prior knowledge of Yoga or Vedanta is required to enroll in the course. The teachings are designed to be accessible to beginners and those unfamiliar with the subject matter. The course aims to provide a practical understanding of Yoga Vashistha without relying on complex concepts or terminology.
There are no specific prerequisites for the course. Anyone interested in understanding and applying the teachings of Yoga Vashistha to their lives can enroll and benefit from the course.
The availability of a certificate upon completion may vary, depending on the specific platform or organization offering the course. It is advisable to check the course details or contact the course provider for information about certification.
Details regarding course enrollment, registration, and access will vary depending on the platform or organization offering the course. You can visit the course website or contact the course provider directly for information on how to enroll.
Access to course materials after completing the course may vary depending on the platform or organization offering the course. Some platforms provide lifetime access to course materials, while others may have limited access periods. It is recommended to check the specific course details for information regarding post-course access to materials.
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Enrolled: 11 students
Duration: 2 hours
Lectures: 17
Video: 1
Level: Beginner
Yoga Vasishta: An introductory course
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