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 XXXI - Queries of rama

Rama said:—

I have no reliance on the durability of life, which is as transient as a drop of water that sticks to the point of a shaking leaf on a lofty tree; and as short as the cusp of the moon on Siva's forehead.

2. I have no credit in the durability of life, which is transient as the swelling that take place in the pouch of a frog while it croaks in the meadow. Nor have I any trust in the company of friends, which are as dangerous as the treacherous snare of hunters.

3. What can we do under the misty cloud of error (overhanging our minds), and raising our tempestuous desires which flash forth in lightnings of ambition, and burst out in the thunder claps of selfishness?

4. How shall we save ourselves from the temptations of our desires dancing like peacocks (and displaying their gaudy train) around us; and from the bustle of the world breaking in upon us as thickly as the blossoms of the Kurchi plant.

5. How can we fly from the clutches of cruel Fate, who like a cat kills the living as poor mice, and falls unwearied and unexpectedly upon his prey in the twinkling of an eye.

6. What expedient, what course, what reflections, and what refuge must we have recourse to, in order to avoid the unknown tracks of future lives?

7. There is nothing so trifling in this earth below, or in the heavens above, which ye gifted men cannot raise to consequence.

8. How can this accursed, troublesome and vapid world, be relished by one unless he is infatuated by ignorance?

9. It is the fusion of desires, which produces the milky beverage of contentment, and fills the earth with delights as the spring adorns it with flowers.

10. Tell me O sage, how the mist of our desires, which darkens the moon of our intellects, is to be dispelled from our minds, so as to make it shine forth in its full brightness.

11. How are we to deal in this wilderness of the world, knowing well that it is destructive both of our present and future interest?

12. What man is there that moves about in this ocean of the earth, who has not to buffet in the waves of his passions and diseases, and the currents of his enjoyments and prosperity.

13. Tell me, O thou best of sages, how one may escape unburnt like mercury (in its chemical process), when fallen upon the furnace of the earth.

14. (How can one get rid of the world) when it is impossible for him to avoid dealing in it, in the same manner as it is not possible for aquatic animals to live without their native element.

15. Our good deeds even are not devoid (of their motives) of affection and hatred, pleasure and pain, similarly as no flame of fire is unaccompanied by its power of burning.

16. As it is not possible to restrain the mind from thinking on worldly matters, without the process of right reasoning, deign to communicate to me therefore, the dictates of sound reason for my guidance.

17. Give me the best instruction for warding off the miseries (of the world), either by my dealing with or renouncing (the affairs of life).

18. Tell me of that man of enlightened understanding who had attained to the highest state of holiness and tranquility of his mind of yore, and the deeds and manner by which he achieved the same.

19. Tell me good sir, how the saints (of old) fled out of the reach of misery, that I may learn the same for suppression of my erroneous conceptions.

20. Or if there be no such precept (as I am in need of) in existence, or being in esse, it is not to be revealed to me by any body.

21. And should I fail of myself (by intuition) to attain that highest state of tranquility, then I must remain inactive (as I am), and avoid my sense of egoism altogether.

22. I will refrain from eating and drinking even of water, and from clothing myself with apparels; I will cease from all my actions of bathing and making my offerings, as also from my diet and the like.

23. I will attend to no duty, nor care about prosperity or calamity. I will be free from all desires except that of the abandonment of this body.

24. I must remain aloof from all fears and sympathies, from selfish feelings and emulation, and continue to sit quietly as a figure in painting.

25. I will gradually do away with the inspiration and respiration of my breath and outward sensations; till I part with this trifle—the seat all of troubles—this the so called body.

26. I do not belong to this body, nor does it belong to me, nor is any thing else mine; I shall be null and void like the oil-less lamp, and abandon every thing with this body.

Valmiki said:—

27. Then Rama who was as lovely as the moon, and whose mind was well fraught with reasoning, became silent before the assemblage of the eminent men, as the peacock ceases from his screaming before the gathering clouds in awe.