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VIDYA GITA

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VIDYA GITA

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Contents
. Introduction
. Tripura Rahasya
. Teachings of the Vidya Gita
. Conclusion
Introduction
The Vidya Gita is contained in the Tripura Rahasya and is in the form of a story which Lord
Dattatreya relates to Parashurama. It is called Vidya Gita as Tripura or the Divine Mother who
presides over the three Puras or cities is Vidya or the highest wisdom herself. The Goddess
promotes, directs, confers wisdom. She confers liberation through intelligence and is
worshipped, propitiated and adored as she removes the fog of delusion from the inner eye.
Tripura Rahasya
The Tripura Rahasya is an ancient Sanskrit work and one of the finest Shakta texts of the Devi
tradition and is held in high esteem for its sanctity. It was highly regarded by Shri Ramana
Maharishi as a spiritual text book. The book starts off with basics of who am I, nature of the world
etc and builds up to the purest and highest knowledge of Advaita or non duality or oneness. It
asserts that ones true nature is pure intelligence which is Self Luminous, undivided, unlimited
and Blissful. Mahadeva originally taught the Highest Truth to Vishnu who in turn taught Brahma
in the celestial regions. Later it is said that Vishnu incarnated on earth as Dattatreya, the Lord of
the Avadhuthas and taught it to Parashurama advising him to communicate it to Haritaayana
when he approached him to seek the truth. Thus by the guidance of Dattatreya, Parashurama
realised the Self.
Parashurama, a valiant Brahmin and one of the Avatars of Vishnu vowed to kill all Kshatriyas to
avenge the murder of his saintly father. After this bloodbath he began to perform severe
penances to seek Truth and Salvation and eventually met Lord Dattatreya who consented to
guide him spiritually. Thus the Tripura Rahasya is a dialogue between Dattatreya and
Parashurama. Tripura means trinity or three cities and Rahasya means mystery or secret. Thus it
stands for Mystery beyond the Trinity or The Secret of the Supreme Goddess. The three cities
are the three states of consciousness waking (Jagrat), dreaming (Swapna) and Deep Sleep
(Sushupti). The consciousness underlying all of them is Tripura or the Mother Goddess. The
three cities can also refer to the gross, subtle and kaarana sariras or bodies. The Tripura
Rahasya is divided into three parts. The first part is the Mahatmya Khanda which contains the
origin, mantra and yantra of the goddess Tripura. The second part is the Jnana Khanda or
section of knowledge which elaborates on the themes of manifestation, consciousness and
liberation. The last part is the Charya Khanda or section on conduct. It is in the form of parables,
aphorisms and direct instructions in the principles of Advaita Vedanta.
The teachings of the Vidya Gita

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Dattatreya told Parashurama that he would relate a story to him. Once a distinguished gathering
of saints approached Brahma and said that they wished to know whose path of spiritual quest
was the best and who was the most exalted sage of all. Lord Brahma was unable to answer so
said that they would all ask Lord Shiva and collecting Vishnu on the way they went to Shivas
abode. Shiva asked them to meditate on the Goddess. All of them meditated on the Goddess
and she manifested as the transcendental voice in the expanse of pure consciousness. Humbly
offering salutations to her, they began singing her praises. They then asked her what was the
perfect means of attaining her, the nature and result of such attainment and who was the best of
the accomplished sages. With great compassion, the Goddess then replied that She was the
abstract intelligence from which the cosmos originated, flourished and resolved. The ignorant
knew her only as the gross universe but the wise knew her as Pure Consciousness. This
realisation could be attained only by stilling the mind. She abides as the Eternal Consciousness
pervading the three states waking, dream and deep sleep. All the Gods were manifestations of
herself because she was pure intelligence which could not be transcended Manifesting in diverse
ways, she remained unblemished because Absoluteness was her Being. Though she was the
immanent power in all she remained pure and unsullied. Through her power of Maya, she is born
and reborn as individuals with desires, attachments and is born in numerous cycles of birth and
death until she grows wise and seeks a teacher who releases her from bondage. This is called
her creation and knowledge relating to her is complex and is of two categories, dual and non
dual, the former relating to worship and the latter relating to realisation. Dual knowledge is
manifold and manifests as worship, meditation, prayer etc. The ultimate goal of all is non dual
realisation. The mind has to be completely resolved in the Self into the state called Nirvikalpa
Samadhi which is the undifferentiated peaceful state. That is Supreme Knowledge. Through the
study of the scriptures teachings of a Guru and Sadhana one can differentiate from the self and
non self. Ego is destroyed and all doubts are removed when self realisation takes place resulting
in the end of all misery and fearlessness. This is Emancipation. In the absence of duality there is
no fear. Moksha results when the knower, knowledge and the known merge into unity. It is
devoid of thoughts, desire and will and is not obstructed by ignorance. The Self is Abstract
intelligence which is free from thought. Thus earnestness is the only requisite in the spiritual
path. Longing for liberation should be unwavering and intense. Without this strong desire all
efforts would be in vain. Intense devotion also is a prerequisite on the spiritual path. Absence of
faith, dullness and other obstacles have to be crossed. Desire prevents the intellect from
following the right path. Dispassion, Concentration and understanding of the mind has to be
practised along with worship, devotion and surrender. Spiritual powers that may have been
obtained as a byproduct of spiritual progress should be put aside as they may distract and take
away one from the goal. There are distinctions among sages depending on their spiritual
progress. The highest order is unbroken Supreme awareness in all states of consciousness.
Such a person constantly abides in the Self, is always in a state of equanimity, is beyond the
world of dualities and is always in a state of bliss. Hearing these words the Rishis saluted Shiva
and the other Gods and returned to their abodes. So saying, Dattatreya told Parashurama that
these words of the Divine Mother formed the Vidya Gita and is the raft to save one from sinking

in the ocean of samsara and so it must be read and repeated everyday with devotion and love.
Conclusion
The main lesson to be learnt here is that Vichara or Self Enquiry is essential to release man from
the cycles of birth and death. Sadhana is essential for self realisation and the basis of all
sadhana is the rejection of I, me and mine. Devotion and the grace of the Lord enables one to
reach the goal. The world is not different from the Lord according to this Gita and time, space
and the whole creation are nothing but projections of consciousness. Like an image on a mirror,
the Universe arises out of abstract intelligence.
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rishis, Tripura, shiva, Rahasya, Dattatreya, Parashurama


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