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 XV - Obloquy on egoism

Rama continued:—

Egoism springs from false conceit, and it is vanity (or vain glory) which fosters it; I am much afraid of this baneful egotism which is an enemy (to human kind).

2. It is under the influence of egotism that all men in this diversified world, and even the very poorest of them, fall into the dungeon of evils, and misdeeds.

3. All accidents, anxieties, troubles and wicked exertions proceed from egoism or self-confidence; hence I deem egoism as a disease.

4. Being subject to that everlasting arch-enemy—the cynic egoism, I have refrained from my food and drink. What other enjoyment is there for me to partake of?

5. This world resembles a long continuous night, in which our egoism like a hunter, spreads the snare of affections (to entrap us in it).

6. All our great and intolerable miseries, growing as rank as the thorny plants of the catechu, are but results of our egoism.

7. It overcasts the equanimity of mind as an eclipse overshadows the moon; it destroys our virtues as a frost destroys the lotus flowers; it dispels the peace of men as the autumn drives away the clouds. I must therefore get rid of this egoistic feeling.

8. I am not Rama the prince, I have no desire nor should I wish for affluence; but I wish to have the peace of my mind and remain as the self-satisfied old sage Jina.

9. All that I have eaten, done or offered in sacrifice under the influence of egoism, have gone for nothing; it is the absence of egoism which (I call) to be real good.

10. So long, O Brahman! as there is (the feeling of) egoism in one, he is subject to sorrow at his difficulties; but being devoid of it, he becomes happy; hence it is better to be without it.

11. I am free from anxiety, O sage! ever since I have got the tranquility of my mind after giving up my (sense of) egoism; and known the transitoriness of all enjoyments.

12. As long, O Brahman! as the cloud of egoism overspreads (the region of our minds), so long our desires expand themselves like the buds of kurchi plants (in the rains).

13. But when the cloud of egoism is dispersed, the lightning of avarice vanishes away, just as the lamp being extinguished, its light immediately disappears.

14. The mind vaunts with egoism, like a furious elephant in the Vindhyan hills, when it hears the thunder-claps in the clouds.

15. Again egoism residing like a lion in the vast forest of all human bodies, ranges about at large throughout the whole extent of this earth.

16. The self-conceited are decorated with a string of pearls about their necks, of which avarice forms the thread, and repeated births—the pearls.

17. Our inveterate enemy of egoism, has (like a magician) spread about us the enchantments of our wives, friends and children, whose spells it is hard to break.

18. As soon as the (impression of the) word (ego) is effaced from the mind, all our anxieties and troubles are wiped out of it.

19. The cloud of egoism being dispelled from the sky of our minds, the mist of error which it spreads to destroy our peace, will be dispersed also.

20. I have given up my (sense of) egoism, yet is my mind stupified with sorrow by my ignorance. Tell me, O Brahman! what thou thinkest right for me under these circumstances.

21. I have with much ado given up this egoism, and like no more to resort to this source of all evils and perturbation. It retains its seat in the breast for our annoyance only, and without benefiting us by any good quality of its own. Direct me now, you men of great understandings! (to what is right).