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 - Reason of writing the ramayana

Section I - Persons Entitled to its Perusal.

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Salutation to the Lord, the universal soul, shining manifest in heaven, earth and the sky, and both within and without myself.

2. [Sanskrit available]
One convinced of his constraint (in this mortal world), and desiring his liberation from it, and, who is neither wholly ignorant of, nor quite conversant with divine knowledge, is entitled to (the perusal of) this work.

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The wise man, who having well considered the narrative (of Rama) as the first step, comes afterwards to think on the means of liberation (as are expounded herein), he shall verily be exempt from transmigration (of his soul).

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Know, O destroyer of thy enemies! that I have first embodied the history of Rama in this Ramayana (as the preparatory step to salvation).

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And I have given the same to my attentive pupil the obedient and intelligent Bharadwaja, as the sea yields his gems to their seeker.

6. [Sanskrit available]
These historical preparatories were rehearsed by the learned Bharadwaja in the presence of Brahma, seated in a certain forest of the Sumeru Mountain.

7. [Sanskrit available]
Then the lord Brahma, the great grandfather of the inhabitants (of the three worlds), was so highly pleased with him that he addressed him saying: "Oh my son! ask the best boon that thou wishest for."

Bharadwaja said:—

8. [Sanskrit available]
"Oh thou lord, that art master of the past and future times, grant me the desired boon of communicating to me the means whereby people are liberated from their miseries."

Section II - Brahma’s Behest.

Brahma said:—

9. [Sanskrit available]
"Go ask diligently of thy preceptor Valmiki, to complete the faultless Ramayana that he has undertaken (to write).

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"By the hearing of which men will get over their manifold errors, in the same manner as they pass over the sea by the bridge built over it by the great Rama, who was fraught with all good qualities."

Valmiki said:—

11. [Sanskrit available]
Saying this to Bharadwaja, the supreme maker of all beings (Brahma) accompanied him to my hermitage.

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In right earnest was the god welcomed by me with the argha and offerings of water and the like, when the lord of truth spoke to me for the good of all creatures.

Brahma spake to me saying said:—

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"Do not Oh sage! give up your undertaking until its final completion. No pains ought to be spared to make the history of Rama as faultless as it ought to be.

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"By this work of yours men will forthwith pass over this hazardous world, in the same manner as one crosses the sea in a vessel."

Again said the increate brahma to me said:—

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"I come to tell this very thing to you, that you complete the work for the benefit of mankind."

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Then Oh king, the God disappeared from my sacred hermitage in a moment, just as the wave subsides in the water no sooner it has heaved itself.

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I was struck with wonder at the disappearance of that (deity), and then being composed in my mind, I inquired of Bharadwaja, saying:—

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Tell me, Bharadwaja, what Brahma spoke (to me) in the hermitage; to which he answered saying:—

19. [Sanskrit available]
"The God commanded you to complete the Ramayana for the good of men, and as a means of their crossing over the gulf of the world."

Section III - Inquiry of Bharadwaja.

20. [Sanskrit available]
"Now Sir" said Bharadwaja, "explain to me how the great minded Rama and Bharata conducted themselves amidst the troubles of this world.

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"Tell me also how did Satrughna, Lakshmana, and the renowned Sita, and all those who followed Rama, as also the ministers and their highly intelligent sons, conduct themselves (on earth).

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"Tell me clearly how they escaped all its miseries, that I may do the same with the rest of mankind: (for our salvation)."

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Being thus respectfully addressed by Bharadwaja, I was led, Oh great King! to carry out the behest of my lord (Brahma), and to narrate the Ramayana to him; saying:—

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Hear my son Bharadwaja, I will tell you all that you have asked, and by the hearing of which you shall be enabled to cast away the dross of errors (under which you labour).

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You are wise and have to manage yourself in the manner of the felicitous and lotus-eyed Rama, with a mind free from (worldly) attachments,

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(Know that) Lakshmana, Bharata, the great minded Satrughna, Kausalya, Sita, Sumitra as well as Dasaratha;—

27. [Sanskrit available]
With Kritastra and the two friends of Rama, and Vasishtha and Vamadeva, and the eight ministers of state as well as many others, had reached the summit of knowledge (by this means).

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Their names are Dhrishta, Jayanta, Bhasa, Satya, Vijaya, Vibishanah, Sushena and Hanumana. And also Indrajita (who had attained his highest knowledge).

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These were the eight ministers of Rama, who are said to have been equally dispassionate in their minds, and content with what was their lot. They were great souls, and free in their lives.

30. [Sanskrit available]
Well my son, if you follow the manner in which these men observed sacrificial rites, gave and received their offerings, and how they lived and thought, you are at once freed from the turmoils (of life).

31. [Sanskrit available]
One fallen in this boundless ocean of the world, may enjoy (the bliss of) liberation by the magnanimity of his soul. He shall not come across grief or destitution, but remain ever satisfied by being freed from the fever of anxiety.

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