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 XXVI - The acts of destiny

Rama said:—

Such being the all destructive conduct of time and others (as already described), what confidence, O great sage, can men like me, have upon them?

2. We all remain here, O sage! as slaves sold to Fate and Destiny, and are deceived by their allurements as beasts of the forest.

3. This Fate whose conduct is so very inhuman, is always up to devour all beings, and is incessantly throwing men into the sea of troubles.

4. He is led by his malicious attempts to inflame the mind with inordinary desires, as the fire raises its flames to burn down a habitation.

5. Destiny the faithful and obedient wife of Fate, is naturally fickle on account of her being a female, and is always bent on mischief and disturbing the patience (even of the wisest of men).

6. As the heinous serpent feeds upon the air, so does cruel Death ever swallow the living. He ripens the body with old age to create his zest, and then devours all animals warm with life.

7. Death is called a relentless tyrant, having no pity even for the sick and weak; nor any regard for any one in any state of life.

8. Every one in this world is fond of affluence and pleasures, not knowing that these are only calculated to lead him to his ruin.

9. Life is very unsteady. Death is very cruel. Youth is very frail and fickle, and boyhood is full of dullness and insensibility.

10. Man is defiled by his worldliness, his friends are ties to the world, his enjoyments are the greatest of his diseases in life, and his avarice and ambition are the mirage that always allures him (to ruin).

11. Our very senses are our enemies, before which even truth appears as falsehood; the mind is the enemy of the mind and self is the enemy of self. (i. e. they are all deceptive).

12. Self-esteem is stained (with the name of selfishness), intelligence is blamed for its fallaciousness, our actions are attended with bad results, and our pleasures tend only to effeminacy.

13. All our desires are directed to enjoyments; our love of truth is lost; our women are the ensigns of vice, and all that were once so sweet, have become tasteless and vapid.

14. Things that are not real, are believed as real, and have become the cause of our pride, by hardening us in untruth, and keeping us from the light of truth.

15. My mind is at a loss to think what to do; it regrets at its increased appetite for pleasure, and for want of that self-denial (which I require).

16. My sight is dimmed by the dust of sensuality: the darkness of self-esteem prevails upon me: the purity of mind is never reached to, and truth is far off from me.

17. Life is become uncertain and death is always advancing nigh; my patience is disturbed, and there is an increased appetite for whatever is false.

18. The mind is soiled by dullness, and the body is cloyed with surfeit and ready to fall; old age exults over the body, and sins are conspicuous at every step.

19. Youth flies fast away with all our care to preserve it; the company of the good is at a distance; the light of truth shines from no where;and I can have recourse to nothing in this world.

20. The mind is stupified within itself, and its contentment has fled from it: there is no rise of enlightened sentiments in it, and meanness makes its advance to it from a distance.

21. Patience is converted into impatience; man is liable to the states of birth and death; good company is rare, but bad company is ever within the reach of every body.

22. All individual existences are liable to appear and disappear; all desires are chains to the world, and all worldly beings are ever seen to be led away per force where no body can tell.

23. What reliance can there be on human life, when the points of the compass become indistinct and undiscernible; when the countries and places change their positions and names, and when mountains even are liable to be dilapidated?

24. What reliance can there be on man, when the heavens are swallowed in infinity, when this world is absorbed in nothingness, and the very earth loses her stability?

25. What reliance can there be on men like ourselves, when the very seas are liable to be dried up, when the stars are doomed to fade away and disappear, and when the most perfect of beings are liable to dissolution?

26. What reliance can there be on men like us, when even the demigods are liable to destruction, when the polar star is known to change its place, and when the immortal gods are doomed to mortality?

27. What reliance can there be on men like us, when Indra is doomed to be defeated by demons; when even death is hindered from his aim, and when the current air ceases to breathe?

28. What reliance can there be on men like us, when the very moon is to vanish with the sky, when the very sun is to be split into pieces, and when fire itself is to become frigid and cold?

29. What reliance can there be on men like us, when the very Hari and Brahma are to be absorbed into the Great One, and when Siva himself is to be no more.

30. What reliance can there be on men like us, when the duration of time comes to be counted, when Destiny is destined to her final destiny, and when all vacuity loses itself in infinity?

31. That which is inaudible, unspeakable, invisible, and unknowable in his real form, displays to us these wondrous worlds by some fallacy (in our conceptions).

32. No one conscious of himself (his egoism), can disown his subjection to that Being, that dwells in the hearts of every one.

33. This sun—the lord of worlds, is impelled (by that power) to run over hills, rocks and fields, like an inert piece of stone, hurled down from a mountain and borne away by a current stream.

34. This globe of earth, the seat of all the Suras and Asuras, and surrounded by the luminous sphere in the manner of a walnut covered by its hard crust, subsists under His command.

35. The Gods in the heavens, the men on earth and the serpents in the nether world, are brought into existence and led to decay by His will only.

36. Kama (Cupid) that is arbitrarily powerful, and has forcibly overpowered on all the living world, has derived his unconquerable might from the Lord of worlds.

37. As the heated elephant regales the air with his spirituous exudation, so does the spring perfume the air with his profusion of flowers, unsettling the minds of men (at the will of the Almighty).

38. So are the loose glances of loving damsels directed to inflict deep wounds in the heart of man, which his best reason is unable to heal.

39. One whose best endeavour is always to do good to others, and who feels for others' woes, is really intelligent and happy under the influence of his cool judgement.

40. Who can count the number of beings resembling the waves of the ocean, and on whom death has been darting the submarine fire of destruction.

41. All mankind are deluded to entrap themselves in the snare of avarice, and to be afflicted with all evils in life, as the deer entangled in the thickets of a jungle.

42. The term of human life in this world, is decreased in each generation in proportion to (the increase of their wicked acts). The desire of fruition is as vain as the expectation of reaping fruits from a creeper growing in the sky: yet I know not why men of reason would not understand this truth.

43. This is a day of festivity, a season of joy and a time of procession. Here are our friends, here the pleasures and here the variety of our entertainments. Thus do men of vacant minds amuse themselves with weaving the web of their desires, until they become extinct.