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 XXIX - Unreliableness of worldly things

Thus is my heart consumed by the wild-fire of those great worldly evils, and there rises in me no desire of enjoying them, as there rises no mirage from a lake.

2. My existence upon earth gets bitter day by day, and though I have got some experience in it, yet its associations have made me as sour as the Nimba plant by its immersion in water.

3. I see wickedness on the increase, and righteousness on the decline in the mind of man, which like the sour Karanja (crab) fruit, becomes sourer every day.

4. I see honour is eaten up every day by mutual altercations of men, using harsh words to each other as they crack the nuts under their teeth.

5. Too much eagerness for royalty and worldly enjoyments, is equally prejudicial to our welfare; as we loose our future prospects by the former, and our present happiness by the latter.

6. I take no delight in my gardens nor have any pleasure in women; I feel no joy at the prospect of riches, but enjoy my solace in my own heart and mind.

7. Frail are the pleasures of the world, and avarice is altogether intolerable; the bustle of business has broken down my heart, and (I know not) where to have my tranquility.

8. Neither do I hail death nor am I in love with my life; but remain as I do, devoid of all anxiety and care.

9. What have I to do with a kingdom and with all its enjoyments? Of what avail are riches to me, and what is the end of all our exertions? All these are but requirements of self-love, from which I am entirely free.

10. The chain of (repeated) births is a bond that binds fast all men by its strong knots of the senses; those striving to break loose from this bondage for their liberation, are (said to be) the best of men.

11. These haughty damsels whom the god of love employs to ravage the hearts of men, resemble a group of elephants subverting a lotus bed under their feet.

12. The treatment of the mind with pure reason being neglected now (in youth), it is hard to heal it afterwards (in age), when it admits of no cure.

13. It is the worldliness of man that is his true poison, while real poison is no poison to him. It is the poison of worldliness which destroys his future life, while real poison is only locally injurious to him (in his present state).

14. Neither pleasure nor pain, nor friends nor relatives, nor even life and death, can enchain (affect) the mind that has received the light of truth.

15. Teach me, Oh Brahman! that art the best of the learned in the mysteries of the past and future, teach me so that I may soon become like one devoid of grief and fear and worldly troubles, and may have the light of truth beaming upon me.

16. The forest of ignorance is laid over with the snare of desire, it is full of the thorns of misery, and is the dreadful seat of destruction and the danger (of repeated births and deaths).

17. I can rather suffer myself to be put under the jaws of death with his rows of teeth like saws, but cannot bear the dreadly pains of worldly cares and anxieties.

18. It is a gloomy error in this world to think that I have this and have not the other; it serves to toss about our minds as a gust of wind disperses the dust of the earth.

19. It is the thread of avarice that links together all living beings like a chaplet of pearls; the mind serves to twirl about this chain, but pure consciousness sits quiet to observe its rotation.

20. I who am devoid of desires, would like to break this ornamental chain of worldliness, hanging about me as a deadly serpent, in the same manner, as a lion breaks asunder the net (which is laid to ensnare him).

21. Do you now, O most learned sage, scatter the mist which has overspread the forest of my heart, and the darkness which has overcast my mind, by the light of true knowledge.

22. There are no anxieties, O sage! which cannot be put to an end by the society of good minded men; the darkness of night can be well removed by moon-beams.

23. Life is as fickle as a drop of water pending on a mass of clouds blown away by the winds. Our enjoyments are as unsteady as the lightning that flickers in the midst of clouds. The pleasures of youth are as slippery as water. With these reflections in my mind, I have subdued them all under the province of peace and tranquility.