Arjuna’s predicament of fighting and killing his own kinsmen and gurus in the Mahabharata War, and Lord Krishna’s advice and thus the former’s enlightenment are well known. Moving away from the traditional Mahabharata narration, Yoga-Vasishtha presents a different narrative approach by the Vedic seer, Vasishtha — about the Krishna–Arjuna dialogue — to his pupil Rama as if it would happen eventually in the remote future.
While the Bhagavad-Gita accounts for Krishna’s teaching of eighteen forms of yoga in 700 verses, Vasishtha narrates sixty stories in more than 28,000 verses, making Yoga-Vasishtha as one of the lengthier and most lyrical philosophical discourses in the world. In the course of the narrative, Vasishtha summarizes how to attain liberation, the essence of the Bhagavad-Gita, in seven chapters.
This lucid translation of Mokshopaya, a section of the Yoga-Vasishtha, encapsulates the message of Krishna, through the poetic narration of Vasishtha. Arjuna experiences the dissolution of his ignorance, overcomes his attachments and arrives at a point of freedom. The author, by choosing to highlight the story of Arjuna from two sources, has melded together the wisdom of two great epics — Bhagavad-Gita and Yoga-Vasishtha — providing the reader with unparalleled access to the great truths and insights of yoga and liberation.