Yoga Vashishta is essentially the dialogue between Sage Vashishta and Lord Rama. I am in the process of studying the text of Yoga Vashishta. As I was reading it I came across an interesting story which I would like to share. It talks about Lord Vishnu and how he gets incarnated as Lord Rama.
Lord Vishnu is the ultimate knower of knowledge of Advaita (non-duality). Lord Vishnu was cursed, and due to that curse he had to take birth on this earth as an ignorant. Let’s look at what circumstances caused Him to be cursed.
The First Curse: Once in Brahmapuri, city of Brahma, Sanatkumar was sitting in the court of Brahma, the creator. At that time Lord Vishnu, the sustainer of the universe, entered the court of Brahma. Every body present stood up, and paid due respects, and worshiped Lord Vishnu. But Sanatkumar kept sitting. Lord Vishnu observed this, and said to Sanatkumar “Sanatkumar, you are proud of being passionless, but that very passion will bring misery to you. You will be known as Swami Kartik”. Sanatkumar replied to Lord Vishnu “Vishnu! You also are very proud of being knowledgeable about every thing. For some time you will continue to be all-knowing, but after some time you will become ignorant and live life of an ordinary ignorant person”. This was the first curse to Vishnu from Sanatkumar.
The Second Curse: Once, wife of Rishi Bhrigu went missing. This caused lot of unhappiness and sadness to Rishi Bhrigu. Seeing this condition of Rishi Bhrigu, Lord Vishnu laughed at Bhrigu. Rishi Bhrigu got angry and cursed Vishnu. Bhrigu said, “Vishnu! You have made fun of me, hence I curse you, that you will also suffer due to separation from your wife”.
The Third Curse: While Vishnu was in the ferocious incarnation of Narasimha, half man and half lion, he saw wife of Brahmana Devasharma taking bath on the banks of River Ganga. Form of Narasinha was very frightening, and as jest Narasimha tried to frighten wife of Devasharma. Due this the lady died. Angered by this Brahmna Devasharma cursed Narasimha, the incarnation of Vishnu and Said “Hey Vishnu! You have separated my loving wife from me. You will also suffer due to separation from your wife”.
In due course of time Vishnu was born as Rama, as son to King Dasarath. The Ramayana is story of Rama, the incarnation of sustainer of this universe, Vishnu. This story of Rama, which is Ramayana, can set one free from bondage of this world, and leads one to Moksha. Ramayana helps one to get rid of arrogance of this body that is this human form, and acquaints one to the Atman (Soul) and thus leads one to the state of ultimate bliss. Ramayana makes one pure and sinless. Just listening to the narration of Ramayana can make one escape the cycle of birth and death. All Karmas get exhausted and thus a person achieves Moksha. This is why one should read The Ramayana and more importantly Yoga Vashishta. But more on that later. .