Yoga Vasistha [English], Volume 1-4

by Vihari-Lala Mitra | 1891 | 1,121,132 words | ISBN-10: 8171101519

The English translation of the Yoga-vasistha: a Hindu philosophical and spiritual text written by sage Valmiki from an Advaita-vedanta perspective. The book contains epic narratives similar to puranas and chronologically precedes the Ramayana. The Yoga-vasistha is believed by some Hindus to answer all the questions that arise in the human mind, an...

Chapter II - Sciences connected with yoga

The yoga philosophy, while it treats of a variety of subjects, is necessarily a congeries of many sciences in itself. It is the Hindu form of metaphysical argument for the existence of the 'One Eternal'—the Platonic "Reality." It is ontology in as much as it teaches a priori the being of God. It is psychology in its treatment of the doctrine of feelings and passions, and it is morality in teaching us to keep them under control as brutal propensities, for the sake of securing our final emancipation and ultimate restoration into the spirit of spirits. Thus it partakes of the nature of many sciences in treating of the particular subject of divinity.

The Yoga in its widest sense of the application of the mind to any subject is both practical, called kriya Yoga, as also theoretical, known as Jnana Yoga; and includes in itself the two processes of synthesis and analysis alike, in its combination (Yoga) of things together, and discrimination (Viveka) of one from the other, in its inquiry into the nature of things (Vastuvichara), and investigation of their abstract essence called Satyanusandhanna. It uses both the a priori (purvavat) and a posteriori (paravat) arguments to prove the existence of the world from its Maker and the vice versa, as indicated in the two aphorisms of induction and deduction Yatova imani and Janmadyasya yatah &c. It views both subjectively and objectively the one self in many and the many in one unto which all is to return, by the two mysterious formulas of So ham and tat twam &c.

It is the reunion of detached souls with the Supreme that is the chief object of the Yoga philosophy to effect by the aforesaid processes and other means, which we propose fully to elucidate in the following pages; and there is no soul we think so very reprobate, that will feel disinclined to take a deep interest in them, in order to effect its reunion with the main source of its being and the only fountain of all blessings. On the contrary we are led to believe from the revival of the yoga-cult with the spiritualists and theosophists of the present day under the teachings of Madame Blavatsky and the lectures of Col. Olcott, that the Indian public are beginning to appreciate the efficacy of Yoga meditation, and its practice gaining ground among the pious and educated men in this country.

Notwithstanding the various significations of Yoga and the different lights in which it is viewed by several schools, as we shall see afterwards, it is most commonly understood in the sense of the esoteric faith of the Hindus, and the occult adoration of God by spiritual meditation. This is considered on all hands as the only means of one's ultimate liberation from the general doom of birth and death and the miseries of this world, and the surest way towards the final absorption of one's-self in the Supreme,—the highest state of perfection and the Summum bonum of the Hindu. The subject of Yoga Vasishtha is no other than the effecting of that union of the human with the Divine Soul, amidst all the trials and tribulations of life.