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date: 23 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Mokṣopāyaśāstra, “The treatise expounding the means to liberation,” which later became more commonly known as the Yogavāsiṣṭha-mahā-rāmāyaṇa, “The great tale of Rāma as told by the sage Vasiṣṭha in order to expound his yoga philosophy,” or popularly simply as the Yogavāsiṣṭha, is a fascinating and original text in Indian philosophy. The Yogavāsiṣṭha, a “philosophical didactic Rāmāyaṇa,” advocates an uncompromising type of Idealism according to which the world emerges only upon perception, or, in short, that the whole world is in the mind only, that is to say, all contents of the world are psychical in character. The Yogavāsiṣṭha proposes a fine synthesis of Subjective Idealism—a blending of the “Emergence through Perception” (dṛṣṭi-sṛṣṭi) view and “Imaginism” (kalpanā-vāda)—with Monistic Idealism. The text appeals to narratives and fabulous stories as a means to elucidate deep philosophical truths.

Keywords: Idealism, imaginism, appearance, illusion, dreams, freedom, liberation, will, Yogavāsiṣṭha, Rāma, Vasiṣṭha

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