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 XIII - He consummation of yoga (siddhi)

 22. By assimilation to the object.

The Yogi by continually meditating on the perfections of the All Perfect Being, becomes eventually a perfect being himself, just as a man that devotes his sole attention to the acquisition a particular science, attains in time not only to a perfection in it, but becomes as it were identified with that science. Or to use a natural phenomenon in the metamorphoses of insects, the transformation of the cockroach to the conchfly, by its constant dread of the latter when caught by it, and the cameleon's changing its colour for those of the objects about it, serve well to elucidate the Brahma-hood  ~~ of the contemplative yogi.

But to illustrate this point more clearly we will cite the argument of Plotinus of the Neo-Platonic school, to prove the elevation of the meditative yogi to the perfection of the Being he meditates upon. He says, "Man is a finite being, how can he comprehend the Infinite? But as soon as he comprehends the Infinite, he is infinite himself: that is to say: he is no longer himself, no longer that finite being having a consciousness of his own separate existence; but is lost in and becomes one with the Infinite."

By identification with the object.

Here says Mr. Lewes, "If I attain to a knowledge of the Infinite, it is not by my reason which is finite, but by some higher faculty which identifies itself with its object. Hence the identity of subject and object, of the thought and the thing thought of  ~~ is the only possible ground of knowledge. Knowledge and Being are identical, and to know more is to be more". But says Plotinus: "If knowledge is the same as the thing known, the finite as finite, can never know the Infinite, because he cannot be Infinite", Hist. Phil. I. p. 391.

By meditation of Divine attributes.

Therefore the yogi takes himself as his preliminary step, to the meditations of some particular attribute or perfection of the deity, to which he is assimilated in thought, which is called his state of lower perfection; until he is prepared by his highest degree of ecstacy to lose the sense of his own personality, and become absorbed in the Infinite Intelligence called his ultimate consummation or Samadhi, which makes him one with the Infinite, and unites the knower and the known together;  ~~  ~~

The Sufi Perfection.

The perfection of the yogi bears a striking resemblance with maarfat of the Sufis of Persia, and it is described at length by Al-Gazzali, a famous sophist, of which we have an English translation given by G. K. Lewes in his History of Philosophy. (Vol. II. p. 55). "From the very first the Sufis have such astonishing revelations, that they are enabled, while waking, to see visions of angels and the souls of prophets; they hear their voices and receive their favours."

Ultimate consummation

"Afterwards a transport exalts them beyond the mere perception of forms, to a degree which exceeds all expression, and concerning which one cannot speak without employing a language that would sound blasphemous. In fact some have gone so far as to imagine themselves amalgamated with God, others identified with Him, and others to be associated with Him." These states are called  ~~ &c., in Hindu yoga as we shall presently see.