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 XXIII - Vicissitudes of times

1. Men of little understandings are found to fall into grave errors in this pit of the world, by their much idle talk, ever doubting scepticism, and schisms (in religion).

2. Good people can have no more confidence in the net work of their ribs, than little children may have a liking for fruits reflected in a mirror.

3. Time is a rat that cuts off the threads of all thoughts (prospects), which men may entertain here about the contemptible pleasures of this world.

4. There is nothing in this world which the all-devouring time will spare. He devours all things as the submarine fire consumes the over-flowing sea.

5. Time is the sovran lord of all, and equally terrible to all things. He is ever ready to devour all visible beings.

6. Time as master of all, spares not even the greatest of us for a moment. He swallows the universe within himself, whence he is known as the universal soul.

7. Time pervades all things, but has no perceptible feature of his own, except that he is imperfectly known by the names of years, ages and kalpas (millenniums).

8. All that was fair and good, and as great as the mount of Meru, have gone down in the womb of eternity, as the snakes are gorged by the greedy Garuda.

9. There was no one ever so unkind, hard-hearted, cruel, harsh or miserly, whom time has not devoured.

10. Time is ever greedy although he should devour the mountains. This great gourmand is not satiated with gorging every thing in all the worlds.

11. Time like an actor plays many parts on the stage of the world. He abstracts and kills, produces and devours and at last destroys every thing.

12. Time is incessantly picking up the seeds of all the four kinds of living beings from this unreal world, as a parrot picks up the seeds from under the cracked shell of a pomegranate. (Viz. the oviparous, viviparous, vegetables and the ephemerids).

13. Time like a wild elephant uproots all proud living beings in this world, as the other pulls up the trees of the forest with their tusks.

14. This creation of God is like a forest, having Brahma for its foundation and its trees full of the great fruits of gods. Time commands it throughout its length and breadth.

15. Time glides along incessantly as a creeping plant, composed of years and ages as its parts, and the sable nights as black bees chasing after them.

16. Time, O sage, is the subtlest of all things. It is divided though indivisible, it is consumed though incombustible, it is perceived though imperceptible in its nature.

17. Time like the mind is strong enough to create and demolish any thing in a trice, and its province is equally extensive with it.

18. Time is a whirlpool to men; and being accompanied with desire his insatiable and ungovernable mistress and delighting in illicit enjoyments, he makes them do and undo the same thing over and over again.

19. Time is prompted by his rapacity to appropriate every thing to himself, from the meanest straw, dust, leaves and worms, to the greatest Indra and the mount Meru itself.

20. Time is the source of all malice and greediness, and the spring of all misfortunes, and intolerable fluctuations of our states.

21. As boys with their balls play about their play-ground, so does time in his arena of the sky, play with his two balls of the sun and moon.

22. Time at the expiration of the kalpa age, will dance about with a long chain of the bones of the dead hanging from his neck to the feet.

23. The gale of desolation rising from the body of this desolator of the world at the end of a kalpa age, causes the fragments of mount Meru to fly about in the air like the rinds of the bhoja-petera tree.

24. Time then assumes his terrific form of fire ([Sanskrit: pralayagni]), to dissolve the world in empty space, when the gods Brahma and Indra and all others cease to exist.

25. As the sea shows himself in a continued series of waves rising and falling one after another, so it is time that creates and dissolves the world, and appears to rise and fall in the rotation of days and nights.

26. Time plucks the gods and demigods as ripe fruits, from their great arbor of existence, at the end of the world, (to make them his food).

27. Time resembles a large fig tree (Ficus religiosa), studded with all the worlds as its fruits, and resonant with the noise of living beings like the hissing of gnats about them.

28. Time accompanied by Action as his mate, regales himself in the garden of the world, blossoming with the moon-beams of the Divine Spirit.

29. As the high and huge rock supports its body upon the basis of the earth, so does time rest itself in endless and interminable eternity.

30. Time assumes to himself various hues of black, white and red (at night, day and midday) which serve for his vestures.

31. As the earth is the great support of hills which are fixed upon it, so is time the support of all the innumerable ponderous worlds that constitute the universe.

32. Hundreds of great kalpa ages (of the creation and dissolution of the world) may pass away, yet there is nothing that can move eternity to pity or concern, or stop or expedite his course. It neither sets nor rises (as time).

33. Time is never proud to think, that it is he who without the least sense of pain and labor, brings this world into play and makes it to exist.

34. Time is like a reservoir in which the nights are as mud, the days as lotuses, and the clouds as bees.

35. As a covetous man, with worn out broom sticks in hand, sweeps over a mountain to gather the particles of gold strewn over it, so does time with his sweeping course of days and nights, collect in one mass of the dead all living beings in the world.

36. As a miserly man trims and lights a lamp with his own fingers, to look into his stores at each corner of the room; so does time light the lamps of the sun and moon to look into the living beings in every nook and corner of the world.

37. As one ripens the raw fruits in sun and fire in order to devour them, so does time ripen men by their sun and fire worship, to bring them under his jaws at last.

38. The world is a dilapidated cottage and men of parts are rare gems in it. Time hides them in the casket of his belly, as a miser keeps his treasure in a coffer.

39. Good men are like a chaplet of gems, which time puts on his head for a time with fondness, and then tears and tramples it down (under his feet).

40. Strings of days, nights and stars, resembling beads and bracelets of white and black lotuses, are continually turning round the arm of time.

41. Time (as a vulture) looks upon the world as (the carcase of) a ram, with its mountains, seas, sky and earth as its four horns, and the stars as its drops of blood which it drinks day by day.

42. Time destroys youth as the moon shuts the petals of the lotus. It destroys life as the lion kills the elephant: there is nothing however insignificant that time steals not away.

43. Time after sporting for a Kalpa period in the act of killing and crushing of all living beings, comes to lose its own existence and becomes extinct in the eternity of the Spirit of spirits.

44. Time after a short rest and respite reappears as the creator, preserver, destroyer and remembrancer of all. He shows the shapes of all things whether good or bad, keeping his own nature beyond the knowledge of all. Thus doth time expand and preserve and finally dissolve all things by way of sport.

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