The Yoga or contemplative philosophy of the Hindus is rich, exuberant, grand and sublime, in as much as it comprehends within its ample sphere and deep recesses of meditation, all that is of the greatest value, best interest and highest importance to mankind as physical, moral, intellectual and spiritual beings-a knowledge of the cosmos-of the physical and intellectual worlds. The principal Gods Brahma and Siva are represented as Yogis, the chief sages Vyasa, Valmiki, Vasistha and Yajnavalkya were propounders of Yoga systems; the saints one and all were adepts in Yoga. Yogavasistha is the greatest work of the Yoga-philosophy by Valmiki, known by several names, e.g. Maharamayana, Arsaramayana,Vasistharamayana, Jnanavasistha etc.
This work has six chapter known as prakaranas:
- Vairagya prakarana.
- Mumuksu vyahara prakarana.
- Utpatti prakarana.
- Sthiti prakarana.
- Upasama prakarana.
- Nirvana prakarana.
The present edition of the translator Vihari Lal Mitra comes from a Bengali background, his dicta is sometimes found impressed with Bengali accent. This is why, he has written sattva as sottva, arghya as orghya, asattva as asuttva, etc. At all such places, a correct rendering of spellings has been made by the present editor without having leaned to Bengali accent. The translator has mistaken Samadhi for hypnotism, hence to avoid confusion Samadhi has been rendered as Samadhi for lack of any synonym thereof. Since this and other Yogic terms are peculiar to Sanskrit and they don't have their exact equivalances in other languages of the world. The old English usage sometimes takes its course in the translation in land so the present editor has replaced all such usages by the modest terms available in English language. Some stanzas were also not translated there according to Sanskrit text of Nirnaya Sagar Edition. So, for the benefit of the readers those have been translated by editor. The most conspicuous feature of the present edition is that it contains the Sanskrit text in original alongwith the English translation complete in all respects. Hope the present edition would be capable of fulfilling the long felt and most ardent need of the readers and researchers.