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 XXVIII - Mutability of the world

Rama said:—

1. [Sanskrit available]
Whatever we see of all moveable or immovable things in this world, they are all as evanescent as things viewed in a dream.

2. [Sanskrit available]
The hollow desert that appears as the dried bed of a sea to-day, will be found to-morrow to be a running flood by the accumulation of rain-water in it.

3. [Sanskrit available]
What is to-day a mountain reaching the sky and with extensive forests on it, is in course of time levelled to the ground, and is afterwards dug into pit.

4. [Sanskrit available]
The body that is clothed to-day with garments of silk, and decorated with garlands and fragrance, is to be cast away naked into a ditch to-morrow.

5. [Sanskrit available]
What is seen to be a city to-day, and busy with the bustle of various occupations, passes in course of a few days into the condition of an uninhabited wilderness.

6. [Sanskrit available]
The man who is very powerful to-day and presides over principalities, is reduced in a few days to a heap of ashes.

7. [Sanskrit available]
The very forest which is so formidable to-day and appears as blue as the azure skies, turns to be a city in the course of time, with its banners hoisted in the air.

8. [Sanskrit available]
What is (to-day) a formidable jungle of thick forests, turns in time to be a table-land as on the mount Meru.

9. [Sanskrit available]
Water becomes land and land becomes water. Thus the world composed of wood, grass and water becomes otherwise with all its contents in course of time.

10. [Sanskrit available]
Our boyhood and youth, bodies and possessions are all but transient things, and they change from one state to another, as the ever fluctuating waves of the ocean.

11. [Sanskrit available]
Our lives in this (mortal) world, are as unsteady as the flame of a lamp placed at the window, and the splendour of all the objects in the three worlds, is as flickering as the flashing of the lightning.

12. [Sanskrit available]
As a granary stored with heaps of grains is exhausted by its continued waste, so is the stock of life spent away by its repeated respirations.

13. [Sanskrit available]
The mind of man is as fluctuating as a flag waving in the air and filled with the dust of sin, to indicate its wavering between the paths of heaven and hell.

14. [Sanskrit available]
The existence of this delusive world, is as the appearance of an actress on the stage, shuffling her vests as she trudges along in her dancing.

15. [Sanskrit available]
It's scenes are as changeful and fascinating as those of a magic city; and its dealings as bewitching and momentary as the glances of a giggling girl.

16. [Sanskrit available]
The stage of the world presents us a scene of continued dancing (of the sorceress of deception), and the deceptive glances of her eyes resembling the fleeting flashes of lightning.

17. [Sanskrit available]
The days, the great men, their hey-days and deeds (that are past and gone), are now retained in our memory only, and such must be our cases also in a short time.

18. [Sanskrit available]
Many things are going to decay and many coming anew day by day; and there is yet no end of this accursed course of events in this ever-changeful world.

19. [Sanskrit available]
Men degenerate into lower animals, and those again rise to humanity (by metempsychosis), gods become no-gods, and there is nothing that remains the same.

20. [Sanskrit available]
The sun displays every thing to light by his rays, and watches over the rotations of days and nights, to witness like time the dissolution of all things.

21. [Sanskrit available]
The gods Brahma, Vishnu and Siva and all material productions, are reduced to nothingness, like the submarine fire subsiding under the waters of the deep.

22. [Sanskrit available]
The heaven, the earth, the air, the sky, the mountains, the rivers, and all the quarters of the globe, are subject to destruction like the dry fuel by the all-destroying fire of the last day.

23. [Sanskrit available]
Riches and relatives, friends, servants and affluence, are of no pleasure to him who is in constant dread of death.

24. [Sanskrit available]
All these are so long delightful to a sensible man, as the monster of death does not appear before the eye of his mind.

25. [Sanskrit available]
We have prosperity at one moment, succeeded by adversity at another; so we have health at one time, followed by sickness soon after.

26. [Sanskrit available]
What intelligent being is there, that is not misled by these delusions of the world, which represent things otherwise than what they are, and serve to bewilder the mind?

27. [Sanskrit available]
(The world is as varying) as the face of the skies; it is now as black as dark clay, and in the next moment bright with the golden hues of fair light.

28. [Sanskrit available]
It is now over-cast by azure clouds resembling the blue lotuses of the lake, and roaring loudly for a time and then being dumb and silent on a sudden:

29. [Sanskrit available]
Now studded with stars, and now glowing with the glory of the sun;then graced by the pleasant moonbeams, and at last without any light at all.

30. [Sanskrit available]
Who is there so sedate and firm, that is not terrified at these sudden appearances and their disappearance, and the momentary durations and final dissolution of worldly things?

31. [Sanskrit available]
What is the nature of this world, where we are overtaken by adversity at one moment, and elated by prosperity at another, where one is born at a time, and dies away at another?

32. [Sanskrit available]
One that was something else before, is born as a man in this life, and is changed to another state in course of a few days; thus there is no being that remains steadily in the same state.

33. [Sanskrit available]
A pot is made of clay, and cloth is made of cotton, and they are still the same dull materials of which they are composed: thus there is nothing new in this world that was not seen or known before, and that changes not its form. (i. e. all is but a formal and no material change).

34. [Sanskrit available]
The acts of creation and destruction, of diffusion, production, and sustentation follow one another, as the revolution of day and night to man.

35. [Sanskrit available]
It happens sometimes, that an impotent man slays a hero, and that hundreds are killed by one individual; so also a commoner becomes a noble man, and thus every thing is changeful in this varying world.

36. [Sanskrit available]
These bodies of men that are always changing their states, are as bodies of waters rising and falling in waves by motion of the winds.

37. [Sanskrit available]
Boyhood lasts but a few days, and then it is succeeded by youth which is as quickly followed by old age: thus there being no identity of the same person, how can one rely on the uniformity of external objects?

38. [Sanskrit available]
The mind that gets delighted in a moment and becomes dejected in the next, and assumes likewise its equanimity at another, is indeed as changeful as an actor.

39. [Sanskrit available]
The creator who is ever turning one thing into another in his work of creation, is like a child who makes and breaks his doll without concern.

40. [Sanskrit available]
The actions of producing and collecting (of grains), of feeding (one's self) and destroying (others), come by turns to mankind like the rotation of day and night.

41. [Sanskrit available]
Neither adversity nor prosperity is of long continuance in the case of worldly people, but they are ever subject to appearance and disappearance by turns.

42. [Sanskrit available]
Time is a skilful player and plays many parts with ease; but he is chiefly skilled in tragedy, and often plays his tragic part in the affairs of men.

43. [Sanskrit available]
All beings are produced as fruits in the great forest of the universe, by virtue of their good and bad acts (of past lives): and time like a gust of wind blasts them day by day before their maturity.

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