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 XVI - The ungovernableness of the mind

Our minds are infested by evil passions and faults, and fluctuate in their observance of duty and service to superiors, as the plumes of a peacock fluttering at the breeze.

2. They rove about at random with ardour and without rest from one place to another, like the poor village dog running afar and wide in quest of food.

3. It seldom finds any thing any where, and happening even to get a good store some where, it is as little content with it as a wicker vessel filled with water.

4. The vacant mind, Oh sage! is ever entrapped in its evil desires, and is never at rest with itself; but roves at large as a stray deer separated from its herd.

5. Human mind is of the nature of the unsteady wave, and as light as the minutest particle. It can therefore have no rest in spite of (the fickleness and levity of) its nature.

6. Disturbed by its thoughts, the mind is tossed in all directions, like the waters of the milk-white ocean when churned by the Mandara mountain.

7. I can not curb my mind, resembling the vast ocean (in its course), and running with its huge surges (of the passions), with whirlpools (of error), and beset by the whales of delusion.

8. Our minds run afar, O Brahman! after sensual enjoyments, like the deer running towards the tender blades of grass, and unmindful of falling into the pits (hid under them).

9. The mind can never get rid of its wavering state owing to the habitual fickleness of its nature, resembling the restlessness of the sea.

10. The mind with its natural fickleness and restless thoughts, finds no repose at any place, as a lion (has no rest) in his prison-house.

11. The mind seated in the car of delusion, absorbs the sweet, peaceful and undisturbed rest of the body, like the gander sucking up pure milk from amidst the water.

12. O chief of sages! I grieve much to find the faculties of the mind lying dormant upon the bed of imaginary delights, from which it is hard to waken them.

13. I am caught, O Brahman! like a bird in the net by the knots (of my egoism), and held fast in it by the thread of my avarice.

14. I burn in my mind, O sage, like the dried hay on fire, by the flame of my anxieties and under the spreading fumes of my impatience.

15. I am devoured, O Brahman! like a clod of cold meat, by the cruelty and greediness of my heart, as a carcase is swallowed by a hungry dog and its greedy mate.

16. I am borne away, O sage! by the current of my heart, as a tree on the bank is carried away by the waters and waves beating upon it.

17. I am led afar by my (greedy) mind, like a straw carried off by the hurricane, either to flutter in the air or fall upon the ground.

18. My earthly mindedness has put a stop to my desire of crossing over the ocean of the world, as an embankment stops the course of the waters (of a stream).

19. I am lifted up and let down again by the baseness of my heart, like a log of wood tied to a rope dragging it in and out of a well.

20. As a child is seized by the false apparition of a demon, so I find myself in the grasp of my wicked mind, representing falsities as true.

21. It is hard to repress the mind, which is hotter than fire, more inaccessible than a hill, and stronger than a thunder bolt.

22. The mind is attracted to its objects as a bird to its prey, and has no respite for a moment as a boy from his play.

23. My mind resembling the sea both in its dullness as well as restlessness, in its extent and fulness with whirlpools and dragons, keeps me far from advancing towards it.

24. It is more difficult to subdue the mind than to drink off the ocean, or to upset the Sumeru mountain. It is ever harder than the hardest thing.

25. The mind is the cause of all exertions, and the sensorium of the three worlds. Its weakness weakens all worldliness, and requires to be cured with care.

26. It is the mind from which arise our pains and pleasures by hundreds, as the woods growing in groups upon a hill; but no sooner is the scythe of reason applied to them, than they fall off one by one.

27. I am ready to subdue my mind which is my greatest enemy in this world, for the purpose of mastering all the virtues, which the learned say depend upon it. My want of desires has made me averse to wealth and the gross pleasures it yields, which are as tints of clouds tainting the (clear disk of the) moon (of our mind).