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 X - Melancholy of rama

Valmiki related:—

1. After Vasishtha had done saying in this manner, king Dasaratha was glad to send for Rama with Lakshmana, and said:

2. Go you chamberlain, and bring here quickly the truly mighty and long armed Rama with Lakshmana, for the meritorious purpose of removing the impediments (in the way of religious acts).

3. Thus sent by the king he went to the inner apartment, and coming back in a moment informed the king.

4. Oh sire! Rama, whose arms have crushed all his foes, remains rapt in thoughts in his room like the bee closed in the lotus at night.

5. He said, he is coming in a moment, but is so abstracted in his lonely meditation that he likes no body to be near him.

6. Thus acquainted by the chamberlain, the king called one of the attendants of Rama to him, and having given him every assurance, asked him to relate the particulars.

7. On being asked by the king how Rama had come to that state, the attendant thus replied to him in a sorrowful mood.

8. Sir, we have also become as lean as sticks in our persons, in sorrow for the fading away of your son Rama in his body.

9. The lotus-eyed Rama appears dejected ever since he has come back from his pilgrimage in company with the Brahmanas.

10. When besought by us with importunity to perform his daily rites, he sometimes discharges them with a placid countenance, and wholly dispenses with them at others.

11. He is averse, Oh Lord! to bathing, to worshipping the gods, to the distribution of alms, and to his meals also; and even when importuned by us he does not take his food with a good relish.

12. He no longer suffers himself to be rocked in the swinging cradles by the playful girls of the harem, nor does he divert himself under the showering fountains like the chataka (in rain water).

13. No ornaments beset with the bud-shaped rubies, no bracelets nor necklace, Oh king, can please him now, in the same manner as nothing in heaven can please its inhabitants who expect their fall from it (after the expiration of their terms).

14. He is sorrowful even while sitting in the arbours of creepers, regaled by flowery breezes, and amidst the looks of damsels playing around him.

15. Whatever thing Oh king! is good and sweet, elegant and pleasing, to the soul, he looks at them with sorrowful eyes, like one whose eyes are already satiate with viewing them heaped up in piles (before him).

16. He would speak ill of the girls that would dance merrily before him, and exclaim out saying, "why should these ladies of the harem flutter about in this way causing grief in me."

17. His doings are like those of a madman, who takes no delight at his food or rest, his vehicles or seats, his baths and other pleasures, however excellent they be.

18. As regards prosperity or adversity, his habitation or any other desirable things, he says of them to be all unreal, and then holds his silence.

19. He cannot be excited to pleasantry nor tempted to taste of pleasures; he attends to no business, but remains in silence.

20. No woman with her loosened locks and tresses, and the negligent glances of her eyes, can please him any more than the playful fawn can please the trees in the forest.

21. Like a man sold among savages, he takes delight in lonely places, in remotest skirts, in the banks (of rivers) and wild deserts.

22. His aversion to clothing and conveyance, food and presents, bespeaks O king! that he is following the line of life led by wandering ascetics.

23. He lives alone, Oh lord of men! in a lonely place, and neither laughs nor sings nor cries aloud from a sense of their indifference to him.

24. Seated in the posture of folded legs (Padmasana), he stays with a distracted mind, reclining his cheek on his left palm.

25. He assumes no pride to himself nor wishes for the dignity of sovereignty; he is neither elated with joy nor depressed by grief or pain.

26. We do not know where he goes, what he does, what he desires, what he meditates upon, whence and when he comes and what he follows.

27. He is getting lean every day, growing pale day by day, and like a tree at the end of autumn, he is becoming discoloured day after day.

28. Satrughna and Lakshmana are, Oh king! the followers of all his habits, and resemble his very shadows.

29. Being repeatedly asked by his servants, his brother-princes and his mothers, (as to the cause of his dementedness), he says he has none, and then resumes his taciturnity and indifference.

30. He would lecture his companions and friends saying, "do not set your mind to sensual enjoyments which are only pleasing for the time being."

31. He has no affection for the richly adorned women of the harem, but rather looks upon them as the cause of destruction presented before him.

32. He often chaunts in plaintive notes, how his life is being spent in vain cares, estranged from those of the easily attainable state of (heavenly bliss).

33. Should some dependant courtier speak of his being an emperor (one day), he smiles at him as upon a raving madman, and then remains silent as one distracted in his mind.

34. He does not pay heed to what is said to him, nor does he look at any thing presented before him. He hates to look upon things even the most charming (to sight).

35. As it is chimerical to suppose the existence of an etherial lake, and lotus growing in the same, so it is false to believe the reality of the mind and its conceptions. Saying so Rama marvels at nothing.

36. Even when sitting amidst beauteous maids, the darts of cupid fail to pierce his impenetrable heart, as showers of rain the (unimpregnable) rock.

37. That "no sensible man should ever wish for riches which are but the seats of dangers"; making this his motto, Rama gives away all that he has to beggars.

38. He sings some verses to this effect that "it is an error to call one thing as prosperity and the other adversity, when they are both but imaginations of the mind".

39. He repeats some words to this purport that, "though it is the general cry, "O I am gone, I am helpless grown," yet it is a wonder, that no body should betake himself to utter indifference."

40. That Rama, the destroyer of enemies, the great Sala (oak) that is grown in the garden of Raghu, should get into such a state of mind is what causes grief in us.

41. We do not know, Oh great armed and lotus-eyed king! what to do with him in this state of his mind. We hope only in thee.

42. He laughs to scorn the counsels of the princes and Brahmans before him, and spurns them as if they were fools.

43. He remains inactive with the conviction, that the world which appears to our view is a vanity, and the idea of self is also a vanity.

44. He has no respect for foes or friends, for himself or his kingdom, mother or riches, nor does he pay any regard to prosperity or adversity.

45. He is altogether quiescent, without any desire or effort, and devoid of a mainstay; he is neither captivated by any thing nor freed from worldly thoughts. These are the reasons which afflict us most.

46. He says, "what have we to do with riches, with our mothers, with this kingdom and all our activities." Under these impressions, he is about to give up his life.

47. As the chataka (swallow) grows restless at the obstruction of rains (by hurricanes), so has Rama become impatient (under the restraint) of his father and mother, his friends and kingdom, his enjoyments and even his own life.

48. Now in compassion on thy son, incline to root out this chagrin which like a noxious creeper has been spreading its branches (in his mind).

49. For notwithstanding his possession of all affluence, he looks upon the enjoyments of the world as his poison under such a disposition of his mind.

50. Where is that potent person in this earth, who can restore him to proper conduct (as by a potent medicine?).

51. Who is there, that like the sun removing the darkness of the world by his rays, will remove the errors that have been the cause of grief in Rama's mind, and thereby make his generosity effectual in his case.