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Yoga Vasistha is claimed to be written by Valmiki ji.

The first written copy of Yog Vasistha is estimated around 6th century according to Wikipedia.

But I haven't heard about this text like Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, etc. So a natural question arises. Is it authentic scripture?

Did there exist oral tradition of Yoga Vasistha in the past and was written down recently like Ramayan? I tried to contact persons who have posted the text on archive.org to research about its origin. I wanted to know from where did they get it from. All the translators are dead except the one for Lagu Yoga Vasistha. I had no luck. Also I'm surprised why such a profound text is just found in archive.org and not in the limelight. Very very few people know about this text. So is it unpopular just by chance or is it a non authentic scripture?

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    Please define what is meant by authentic. – user16581 Feb 10 '19 at 5:59
  • It means whether it has been orally transmitted like Ramayan from Sage Valmiki. If there exist or did exist an oral tradition, then it is authentic. For example Vedas oral tradition is still alive who claim it came from Brahma and is hence authentic. – Lokesh Feb 10 '19 at 6:01
  • It is composed at about the same time as most puranas. It is unlikely to have originated from Valmiki. – user16581 Feb 10 '19 at 6:05
  • Isn't 18 purana originated from Vsaya ji? – Lokesh Feb 10 '19 at 6:30
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    But I haven't heard about this text like Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, etc. So a natural question arises. Is it authentic scripture? -- Amazing logic .. going by that every other texts' authenticity is doubtful too provided you hv not heard about it.. – Rickross Feb 10 '19 at 9:27
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I did quite a research on this. According to recent scholars, this scripture is a work of anonymous author and is composed around 8th century.

From experience I have known that work of recent scholars especially Indologists is biased. Many are driven by the agenda to fit all the scriptures within last 1000 years with no concerete evidance. They even go to claim that Ramayan and Mahabharata is not written by their traditionally accepted authors. Therefore I tried to seek opinion of traditional scholars but came across none for years.

Accidentally and luckily recently I came across a book Ramayana Mimamsa by the Dharma Samrat Karpatri Ji Maharaj. In his book he gives his views on Yoga Vasistha:

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Since its in Hindi, I will try to give brief summary in English.

Here Karpatri ji Maharaj is saying that the date of YV is claimed around 11th century. This is completely against the views of YV. For a given text, whose creation date has to be decided if its statements are ignored then one can state any date which one finds pleasing. Acording to YV, Shri Valimiki is the author. In this case, whatever period was of Shri Valmiki same is that of YV. Acording to Winternits, YV is a work of followers of Shankaracharya. <Then Karpatri ji Maharaj goes on the explain why this can't be true by giving many facts proving this is not possible>

So, in summary Karpatri ji Maharaj accepts Yoga Vasistha as authentic and he shows this by giving numerous proofs including Adi Shankaracharya quoting from Yoga Vasistha. For more information one can read this on page no 284 and 285.

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The doubts raised are genuine as the style of the language points to much after 10th century only. Please show the evidence where Shankaracharya quoted YV. In fact it is other way around. YV uses the points made by Shankaracharya. Further see the funny statement in Wikipedia - YV is a philosophical text attributed to Valmiki, although the real author is VasiShta. That is fishy. What is meant by real author and non-real author? Even there is no evidence if Vidyaranya or Madhusudana Sarasvati quoted YV. Further, there is plenty of evidence that this is neither by Valmiki, nor consistent with Valmiki version of Ramayana. While Valmiki projected Sri Rama in Ayodhya as a very tranquil, and free-from worries personality, YV depicts Sri Rama as a victim of mental dejection. Absolutely unjustified. One can see the plot developing and that too with a base of wrong picture of Sri Rama.

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  • You have no idea what you talking about my friend. Evidence of Shankaracharya quoting YV is mentioned in Shevaashevtaropanishad and Sānatsujātiya bhashya. What do you mean by style of language? It's written in anushtup chanda same as Ramayana. Also what do you mean by real author is Vasistha? Maybe you should do some research before saying something. What you call as mental dejection is regarded as Vairagya by wise people. – Lokesh Nov 12 '20 at 10:25
  • Welcome to HSE, kindly provide scriptural references in your answer. – Archit Nov 18 '20 at 13:12
  • Can you quote it @Lokesh i read your answer i found it to be interesting , would be great if you csn cite where it is mentioned . – Anubhav Singh Dec 27 '20 at 11:11

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