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 XX - Vituperation of youth

Rama continued:—

The boy having passed his state of blemishes, gladly steps to his youth with hopes of gaining his objects that tend only to his ruin.

2. The insensible youth feels at this time the wanton inclinations of his loose mind, and goes on falling from one tribulation to another.

3. He is overcome as one subdued by the power of delusive cupid, lying hidden in the cavity of the heart (hence called Monoja).

4. His ungoverned mind gives rise to loose thoughts like those of voluptuous women, and these serve to beguile him like the magic collyrium (in the hand) of boys (called Siddanyana).

5. Vices of the most heinous kind betake persons of such (perverse) minds in their youth, and lead them to their ruin.

6. The paths of youth lead them to the gate of hell through a maze of errors. Those that have been left uncorrupt by their youth, are not to be corrupted by anything else.

7. Whoso has passed the dreadfully enchanted coast of youth, fraught with various flavours and wonders, are said to be truly wise.

8. I take no delight in our unwelcome youth, which appears to us in the form of a momentary flash of lightning, and soon succeeded by the loud roaring of the clouds (of manhood).

9. Youth like rich wine is sweet and delicious (at first), but becomes bitter, insipid and noxious in a short time. Hence it is not delectable to me.

10. Youth appearing (at first) as a reality, is found to be a false, transient thing, as deceptive as a fairy dream by night. Hence I like it not.

11. It is the most charming of all things to men, but its charm is soon lost and fled. Therefore the phantasmagoria of youth is not pleasing to me.

12. Youth as an arrow shot is pleasant to see, but painful to feel its smart. Hence I do not like youth that produces blood heat (in the veins).

13. Youth as a harlot is charming at first sight, but turning heartless soon after. Hence it is not to my liking.

14. As the efforts of a dying man are all for his torment, so the exertions of the young are portentous of his destruction.

15. Puberty advances as a dark night spreading the shadow of destruction. It darkens the heart and mind by its hedious appearance, and intimidates even the god (Siva himself).

16. Errors growing in youth, cause copious mistakes in life, by upsetting good sense and setting at naught the approved good manners (of society).

17. The raging fire in the hearts of the young, caused by separation of their mates, burns them down like trees by a wild fire.

18. As a clear, sacred and wide stream, becomes muddy in the rains, so doth the mind of man however clear, pure and expanded it may be, gets polluted in his youth.

19. It is possible for one to cross over a river made terrible by its waves, but no way possible to him to get over the boisterous expanse of his youthful desires.

20. O how (lamentably) is one's youth worn out with the thoughts of his mistress, her swollen breasts, her beautiful face and her sweet caresses.

21. The young man afflicted with the pain of soft desire, is regarded by the wise in no better light than a fragment of (useless) straw.

22. Youth is the stake of haughty self-esteem, as the rack is for the immolation of the elephant giddy with its frontal pearl.

23. Youth is a lamentable forest, where the mind as the root of all, gives growth to jungles of (love sick) groans and sighs, and tears of sorrow. The vices of this time, are as venomous snakes of the forest.

24. Know youthful bloom of the person to resemble the blooming lotus of the lake:—the one is full of affections, bad desires and evil intents, as the other is fraught with bees, filaments, petals and leaves.

25. The new bloom of youth is the resort of anxiety and disease, which like two birds with their (black and white) plumage of vice and virtue, frequent the fountain of the young man's heart.

26. Early youth resembles a deep sea, disturbed by the waves of numberless amusements, transgressing all bounds, and regardless of death and disease.

27. Youth is like a furious gust of wind, over-loaded with the dust of pride and vanity, and sweeps away every trace of the good qualities (early acquired by one).

28. The rude dust of the passions of youths, disfigures their face, and the hurricane of their sensualities cover their good qualities (as flying leaves overspread the ground).

29. Youthful vigour awakens a series of faults, and destroys a group of good qualities, by increasing the vice of pleasures.

30. Youthful bloom confines the fickle mind to some beauteous person, as the bright moon-beams serve to shut the flitting bee in the dust of the closing lotus.

31. Youth like a delightsome cluster of flowers, growing in the arbour of human body, attracts the mind as the bee to it, and makes it giddy (with its sweets).

32. The human mind anxious to derive pleasure from the youthfulness of the body, falls into the cave of sensuality, as a deer running after the mirage of desert heat, falls down into a pit.

33. I take no delight in moony youth, which guilds the dark body with its beams, and resembles the stern mane of the leonine mind. It is a surge in the ocean of our lives (that tosses us all about).

34. There is no reliance in youth, which fades away as soon as summer flowers in this desert of the body.

35. Youth is as a bird, and as soon flies away from our bodily cage as the philosopher's stone, which quickly disappears from the hands of the unfortunate.

36. As youth advances to its highest pitch, so the feverish passions wax stronger for our destruction only.

37. As long as the night (delusion) of youth does not come to its end, so long the fiends of our passion do not cease to rage in the desert of the body.

38. Pity me, O sage! in this state of youth, which is so full of perturbations, as to have deprived me of the sight (light) of reason. O pity me as thou wouldst for thy dying son.

39. The foolish man who ignorantly rejoices at his transient youth, is considered as a human beast.

40. The foolish fellow who is fond of his youth which is flushed with pride and fraught with errors, comes to repent (of his folly) in a short time.

41. Those great minded men are honoured on earth, who have safely passed over the perils of youth.

42. One crosses over with ease the wide ocean which is the horrible habitation of huge whales; but it is hard to pass over our youth, that is so full of vices and the billows (of our passions).

43. It is very rare to have that happy youth which is fraught with humility, and spent in the company of respectable men; which is distinguished by feelings of sympathy, and is joined with good qualities and virtues.