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 VI - Advent of viswamitra to the royal court

Section I.

1. The king was thrown into sorrow and suspense at these words of the prince of sages (Vasishtha); but kept his silence for sometime, and waited (that time might work a change).

2. (Meanwhile) the queens of the palace, kept themselves watchful of the movements of Rama with anxious carefulness.

3. At this very time the famous Viswamitra, the great sage came to visit the king of men at Ayodhya.

4. The intelligent and wise seer had his sacrificial rites disturbed by the Rakshasas, who were deceitfully powerful and giddy with their strength.

5. It was for the security of his sacrifice that the sage waited on the king, because he was unable to accomplish it in peace (by himself).

6. It was also for the purpose of their destruction, that the illustrious Viswamitra, who was the gem of austere devotion had come to the city of Ayodhya.

7. Desirous of seeing the king, he spoke to the guards at the gate, to report the arrival of Kausika the son of Gadhi to the king with despatch.

8. On hearing these words, the guards were struck with fear in their minds, and ran as they were bid to the palace of the king.

9. Coming to the Royal abode, the door-keepers informed the chief-warder of the arrival of Viswamitra the royal sage.

10. The staff-bearer immediately proceeded to the presence of the king, seated among the princes and chiefs (under him) in the Court house, and gave his report saying:—

11. "Please your majestic, there is waiting at the door a mighty personage of majestic appearance, bright as the morning sun, with his pendant locks of hair (red and ruddy) as sunbeams.

12. The brilliancy of his person has brightened the place from the top-most flag down to the ground, and made the horses, men and armory shine as with a golden hue.

13. No sooner had the warder appeared (before the king), and with hurried words announced the arrival of the sage Viswamitra:

14. Than the best of kings as he heard the herald say so, rose at once from his throne of gold with all the ministers and chiefs that surrounded him.

15. He walked immediately on foot with the staff of princes and chiefs by whom he was held in honour and regard, and in company with Vasishtha and Vamadeva.

16. He went to the spot where the great sage was waiting, and saw Viswamitra the chief of sages standing at the gateway.

17. His priestly prowess joined with his military valour, made him appear as the sun descended on earth on some account.

18. He was hoary with old age, rough-skinned by the practice of austerities, and covered down to his shoulders by red-bright braids of hair, resembling the evening clouds over topping a mountain brow.

19. He was mild looking and engaging in his appearance, but at the same time as brilliant as the orb of the sun. He was neither assuming nor repulsive, but possessed of an ineffable gravity and majesty in his person.

20. He was attractive yet formidable (in his look), clear yet vast (in his mind), deep and full (in knowledge), and shining (with his inward light).

21. His life time had no limit, nor his mind any bound to it, nor had age impaired his understanding. He held the ascetics pot in one hand, that went (through life) as his only faithful companion.

22. The compassionateness of his mind, added to the sweet complacency of his speech and looks, pleased the people as if they were actually served with nectar drops, or sprinkled over with ambrosial dews.

23. His body decorated by the sacred thread, and his white prominent eyebrows, made him appear as a wonder to the eyes of his beholders.

24. On seeing the sage, the lord of earth lowly bent himself at a distance, and then bowed down to him (so low), that the ground was decorated by the gems pendant upon his crown.

25. The sage also in his turn greeted the Lord of the earth on the spot with sweet and kind words, like the sun greeting the lord of the gods.

26. Afterwards the assembled Brahmans (of the court) headed by Vasishtha, honoured him with their welcomes.

The king said:—

27. "we are as highly favoured, Oh holy sage! by thine unexpected appearance and thy glorious sight, as a bed of lotuses at the sight of the luminous sun.

28. Oh sage, I have felt at thine appearance the happiness which knows no bounds, and which has no diminution in it.

29. This day we must be placed at the front rank of the fortunate, as we have become the object of thine advent.

30. With these and similar conversations that went on among the princes and the sages, they proceeded to the court-hall where they took their respective seats.

31. The king finding the best of sages (Viswamitra) so very prosperous in his devotion, felt some hesitation to offer him the arghya (honorarium) himself with his cheerful countenance.

32. He (the sage) accepted the arghya offered him by the king, and hailed him during his act of turning round (the sage), according to the rules of Sastra.

33. Thus honoured by the king, he with a cheerful countenance asked the Lord of men about the good health (of himself and family), and the fulness of his finance.

34. Then coming in contact with Vasishtha, the great sage saluted him as he deserved with a smile, and asked him about his health (and of those in his hermitage).

35. After their interview and exchange of due courtesies had lasted for a while to the satisfaction of all in the royal assembly;

36. They both took their respective seats; when every one (in the court) respectfully greeted the sage of exalted prowess.

37. After the sapient sage (Viswamitra) was seated, they made various offerings of padya, arghya and kine to him.

38. Having honoured Viswamitra in due form, the lord of men condescended to address him with a gladdest mind and in submissive terms, with his palms folded over each other.

Section II - Address of King Dasaratha.

39. He said, "Sir, your coming here is as grateful to me as the obtaining of nectar by one, as a rainfall after a drought, and as the gaining of sight by the blind.

40. Again it is as delightful to me as the getting of a son by a childless man in his beloved wife, and coming in possession of a treasure in a dream.

41. Your advent is no less pleasing to me than one's meeting with the object of his wishes, the arrival of a friend, and the recovery of thing that was given for lost.

42. It gives me the joy that is derived from the sight of a deceased friend suddenly returning by the way of the sky. It is thus Oh Brahman, I welcome your visit to me.

43. Who is there that is not glad to live in the heaven (Brahma-loka)? I feel myself as happy Oh sage! at your advent, and this I tell you truly.

44. (Now tell me) what is your best pleasure, and what I may do for you; O Vipra, that are the best of the virtuous, and most properly deserving of my services.

45. Formerly had you been famed under the title of Rajarshi (or royal sage); but since, made glorious by dint of your asceticism, you have been promoted to the rank of a Brahmarshi (or Brahman sage). Wherefore you are truly the object of my worship.

46. I am so glad at your sight that it soothes my inmost soul, in the same manner as an ablution in Ganga's stream cheers the mind.

47. Free as you are from fears and desires, from wrath and passions and the feelings of pleasure, pain and disease, it is very wonderful, Oh Brahman, that you should have recourse to me (for anything).

48. I consider myself as situated at a holy sanctuary, and absolved from all my sins, or as merged in the lunar sphere (by your presence), Oh! best of the learned in the truths of the Vedas.

49. I understand your appearance as that of Brahma himself before me, and I confess myself, O sage! to be purified and favoured by your advent.

50. I am indeed so gratified at your arrival, that I deem myself fortunate in this birth, and that I have not lived in vain but led a truly good life.

51. My heart cannot contain within itself, but overflows (with joy) like the sea at the sight of the moon, since I beheld your person here and made my respectful obeisance to you.

52. Whatever is your commission, and whatsoever may be the object, O greatest of sages! which has brought you hither, know it as already granted (by me); for your commands are always to be obeyed by me.

53. You need not hesitate to communicate to me your best, O progeny of Kausika, there is nothing, with me which is to be kept from you, if you should ask for it.

54. You need not dubitate about my performance of the act. I tell it solemnly that I will execute your behest to the last item, as I take you in the light of a superior divinity.

55. Upon hearing these sweet words (of the king), which were pleasing to the ears, and delivered with a humility worthy of one knowing himself, the far famed and meritorious chief of the sages felt highly gratified in himself.