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 XXV - Sports of death

1. Time stands the foremost of all deceitful players in this world. He acts the double parts of creation and destruction, and of action and fate (utility and fatality).

2. Time has no other character but those of action and motion by which his existence is known to us, and which bind all beings (in the succession of thoughts and acts).

3. Fate is that which frustrates (the necessary consequences of) the acts of all created beings, as the solar heat serves to dissolve the conglomeration of snows.

4. This wide world is the stage wherein the giddy mob dance about (in their appointed times).

5. Time has a third name of a terrifying nature known as Kritantah (Fate), who in the form of a Kapalika (one holding human skulls in his hand), dances about in the world.

6. This dancing and loving Kritantah (Fate), is accompanied by his consort called Destiny to whom he is greatly attached (as his colleague).

7. Time (as Siva), wears on his bosom of the world, the triplicate white and holy thread composed of the serpent named Ananta and the stream of Ganges, and the digit of the moon on his forehead (to measure his course). (Viz:—the Zodiacal belt; the milky way, and the lunar mansions).

8. The sun and the moon are the golden armlets of time, who holds in his palm the mundane world as the paltry plaything of a nosegay.

9. The firmament with its stars appears like a garment with coloured spots in it; the clouds called Pushkara and Avarta are as the skirts of that garment, which are washed by Time in the waters of the universal deluge.

10. Before him, dances his beloved Destiny with all her arts for ever, to beguile the living that are fond of worldly enjoyments.

11. People hurry up and down to witness the dance of Destiny, whose unrestrained motion keeps them at work, and causes their repeated births and deaths.

12. The people of all the worlds are studded about her person as her ornaments, and the sky stretching from the heaven of gods to the infernal regions, serves for the veil on her head.

13. Her feet are planted in the infernal regions, and the hell-pits ring at her feet like trinkets, tied by the string of evil deeds or sins (of men).

14. She is painted all over from head to foot by the god Chitra Gupta with ornamental marks prepared by her attendants (the deeds of men), and perfumed with the essence of those deeds.

15. She dances and reels at the nod of her husband at the end of the Kalpas, and makes the mountains crack and crash at her foot-falls.

16. Behind her dance the peacocks of the god Kumara; and Kala the god of death staring with his three wide open eyes, utters his hideous cries (of destruction).

17. Death dances about in the form of the five headed Hara, with the loosened braids of hair upon him; while Destiny in the form of Gauri, and her locks adorned with Mandara flowers keeps her pace with him.

18. This Destiny in her war-dance, bears a capacious gourd representing her big belly, and her body is adorned with hundreds of hollow human skulls jingling like the alms-pots of the Kapali mendicants.

19. She has filled (reached) the sky with the emaciated skeleton of her body, and gets terrified at her all destructive figure.

20. The skulls of the dead of various shapes adorn her body like a beautiful garland of lotuses, which keep hanging to and fro during her dance at the end of a Kalpa age.

21. The horrible roaring of the giddy clouds Pushkara and Avarta at the end of the Kalpa, serves to represent the beating of her Damaru drum, and put to flight the heavenly choir of Tumburu.

22. As death dances along, the moon appears like his ear-ring, and the moon-beams and stars appear like his crest made of peacocks' feathers.

23. The snow-capt Himalaya, appears like a circlet of bones in the upper loop of his right ear, and the mount Meru as a golden areola in that of the left.

24. Under their lobes are suspended the moon and the sun, as pendant ear-rings glittering over his cheeks. The mountain ranges called the lokaloka are fastened like chains around his waist.

25. The lightnings are the bracelets and armlets of Destiny, which move to and fro as she dances along. The clouds are her wrappers that fly about her in the air.

26. Death is furnished with many weapons, as clubs, axes, missiles, spears, shovels, mallets and sharp swords, all of which are sure weapons of destruction.

27. Mundane enjoyments are no other than long ropes dropped down by the hand of death, and keeping all mankind fast bound to the world; while the great thread of infinity (ananta) is worn by him as his wreath of flowers.

28. The belts of the seven oceans are worn about the arms of Death as his bracelets resplendent with the living sea-animals, and the bright gems contained in their depths.

29. The great vortices of customs, the successions of joy and grief, the excess of pride and the darkness of passions, form the streaks of hair on his body.

30. After the end of the world, he ceases to dance, and creates anew all things from the lowest animal that lives in the earth, to the highest Brahma and Siva (when he resumes his dance).

31. Destiny as an actress, acts by turns her parts of creation and destruction, diversified by scenes of old age, sorrow and misery.

32. Time repeatedly creates the worlds and their woods, with the different abodes and localities teeming with population. He forms the moveable and immovable substances, establishes customs and again dissolves them, as boys make their dolls of clay and break them soon afterwards.