Janaka's vision of himself as a beggar

J. Kingston Cowart jkcowart at io-online.com
Sat Nov 23 23:13:39 EST 1996


Can anyone help me locate a text about Janaka's vision of himself as a beggar?  

I believe it is in the Yoga Vasistha (although Venkatesandanda's Concise YV
edition does not contain it).

In the version I have heard, Janaka undergoes a sudden, momentary shift in
consciousness during which he is not a king but a beggar--with all the
beggar's lifetime of experiences and relationships as his own.  

Almost instantly, his consciousness shifts back again, whereupon he asks
Yajnavalkya whether he is the King who dreamt of himself as a beggar or the
beggar now dreaming of himself as a king. Yajnavalkya replies "Lord thou art
both--and neither" (or words to that effect).

This recounting may not be altogether accurate, which is why I seek the
original text and its source.

Additionally, does anyone know where I might obtain either
        1) an English or German translation of the complete Yoga Vasistha,
itself; and 
        2) any other available resource in either language which contains
the material I seek?   

I would greatly appreciate any assistance at all.

Thank you,

J. Kingston Cowart
San Diego, California
<jkcowart at io-online.com>





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