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 XIX - Blemishes of boyhood

One receiving his birth in the unstable ocean of the world, which is disturbed by the billows of the bustle of business, has to pass his boyhood in sufferings only.

2. Want of strength and sense, and subjection to diseases and dangers, muteness and appetence, joined with longings and helplessness, are the concomitants of infancy.

3. Childhood is chained to fretting and crying, to fits of anger, craving and every kind of incapacity, as an elephant when tied to the post by its shackles.

4. The vexations which tease the infant breast, are far greater than those which trouble us in youth and old age, or disturb one in disease, danger or at the approach of death.

5. The acts of a boy are as those of young animals, that are always restless and snubbed by every body. Hence boyhood is more intolerable than death itself.

6. How can boyhood be pleasing to any body, when it is but a semblance of gross ignorance, and full of whims and hobbies, and ever subject to miscarriages.

7. It is this silly boyhood which is in constant dread of dangers arising at every step from fire, water and air, and which rarely betide us in other states of life.

8. Boys are liable to very many errors in their plays and wicked frolics, and in all their wishes and attempts beyond their capacities:hence boyhood is the most perilous state (of life).

9. Boys are engaged in false pursuits and wicked sports, and are subject to all foolish puerilities. Hence boyhood is fit for the rod and not for rest.

10. All faults, misconduct, transgressions and heart-aches, lie hidden in boyhood like owls in hollow caves.

11. Fie to those ignorant and foolish people, who are falsely led to imagine boyhood as the most pleasant period of life.

12. How can boyhood appear pleasing to any one, when the mind swings like a cradle towards every object of desire, however wrong it is deemed to be in both worlds.

13. The minds of all living beings are ever restless, but those of young people are ten times more at unrest.

14. The mind is naturally unsteady, and so is boyhood also. Say what can save us from that state of life, when both these vagrant things combine to our destruction.

15. The glances of women, the flashes of lightning, the flame of fire, and the ever-rolling waves, have all imitated the fickleness of boyhood.

16. Minority seems to be a twin brother to the mind, and resembles it in the unsteadiness and frailty of all its purposes.

17. All kinds of miseries, misdeeds and miscarriages await on boyhood, as all sorts of men hang upon the rich (for their supportance).

18. Boys are fond of fresh things at all times, and on their failing to get the same, they fall to a fainting fit, as if from the effect of poison.

19. A boy like a dog, is as easily tamed as he is irritated at a little, and he is as glad to lie in the dust, as to play with dirt.

20. A foolish fretful boy with his body daubed in mire with the tears in his eyes, appears as a heap of dry clay soiled by a shower of rain.

21. Boys are subject to fear and voracity; they are helpless but fond of every thing they have seen or heard, and equally fickle in their bodies and mind. Hence boyhood is a source of troubles only.

22. The foolish and helpless child, becomes as sad and sour when he fails to get the object of his fancy, as when he is thwarted from the thing desired.

23. Children have much difficulty to get at the things they want, and which they can ask only by indistinct words. Hence no one suffers so much as boys.

24. A boy is as much irritated by the eagerness of his whimsical desires, as a patch of ground in the desert is parched by the summer heat.

25. A boy on entering his school, is subjected to corrections, which are as painful to him as the goading and fetters to the elephant.

26. A great many whims and hobbies, and a variety of false fancies, tend continually to afflict boyhood, which is ever fond of toys and trifles.

27. How can senseless childhood be said to be a happy state of life, when the child is led by its ignorance to swallow everything in the world, and to wish to lay hold on the moon in the sky.

28. Say great sage! what difference is there between a child and a tree, both of which have sensitiveness, but unable to defend themselves from heat and cold.

29. Boys are of the nature of birds, being both subject to fear and hunger, and ready to fly about when impelled by them.

30. Again boyhood is the abode of fear from all sides; such as from the tutor, father, mother, elder brother and elderly boys, and from every body besides.

31. Hence the hopeless state of childhood, which is full of faults and errors, and addicted to sports and thoughtlessness, cannot be satisfactory to any body.