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 I - Liberation of sukadeva

After Rama had delivered his speech in an audible voice before the assembly, he was tenderly accosted by the sage Viswamitra who sat before him; saying:—

2. Rama! that art the best of the most intelligent, and hast nothing more to learn besides all that thou hast come to know by thy nice observation.

3. Thou hast an understanding clear as the mirror by its own nature (reflecting every image within itself); and yet thy queries about the same, serve as the cleansing of the reflector (in order to refract its light to others).

4. Thou hast a mind like that of Suka—the son of the great Vyasa, who knowing the knowable by intuition, was yet in need of some precepts for confirmation of his belief.

5. Rama said: How was it sir, that Suka—the son of the great Vyasa—who did not rest assured at first of his knowledge of the knowable, came to be settled in his belief afterwards.

6. Viswamitra answered: "Hear me relate to thee Rama, the narrative of Sukadeva, whose case was exactly like thine, and the narration of which is a preventive of future births (in this world).

7. There is the great Vyasa sitting on his seat of gold by thy father's side, swarthy in his complexion like a coal-black hill, but blazing as the burning sun (by his brilliancy).

8. His son was named Suka, a boy of great learning and wisdom, of a moon-like countenance, and a stature sedate as the sacrificial altar.

9. He reflected in his mind the vanity of worldly affairs like thyself, and became equally indifferent to all its concerns.

10. It was then that this great minded youth was led by his own discriminative understanding to a long inquiry after what was true, which he found out at last by his own investigation.

11. Having obtained the highest truth, he was still unsettled in his mind, and could not come to the belief of the certainty of his knowledge.

12. His mind grew indifferent to its perceptions of the transitory enjoyments of the world, and like the Chataka thirsted only after the dew drops of heavenly bliss.

13. Once upon a time the clear sighted Suka finding his father the sage Krishna-Dwaipayana—Vyasa, sitting quietly alone by himself, he asked him with reverence; saying:—

14. Tell me, O sage! whence this commotion of the world had its rise, and how it may subside. What is its cause, how far is it to extend, and where is it to end?

15. The sage Vyasa who knew the nature of the soul, being thus asked by his son, explained to him clearly all that was to be said (on the subject).

16. Suka thought that he already knew all this by his good understanding, and did not therefore think much of his father's instructions.

17. Vyasa understanding the thoughts of his son, replied to him saying that, he knew no better the true nature of these things.

18. But that there was a prince named Janaka in this land, who well knew the knowledge of the knowable, and from whom Suka could learn every thing.

19. Suka being thus directed by his father, repaired to the city of

Videha at the foot of mount Sumeru, which was under the rule of Janaka.

20. The club-bearer (door keeper) informed the high minded Janaka of his coming, telling him that Suka the son of Vyasa was waiting at the gate.

21. Janaka who understood that Suka had come to learn from him, gave no heed to the informant, but held his silence for seven days afterwards.

22. The prince then ordered him to be brought in the outer compound, where he had to remain in the vexation of his spirit for seven days more as before.

23. Suka was then commanded to enter the inner apartment, where he continued a week more without seeing the prince.

24. Here Janaka entertained the moon-faced Suka with abundance of eatables, perfumeries and lusty damsels.

25. But neither those vexations nor these entertainments could affect the tenor of Suka's mind, which remained firm as a rock at the blasts of wind.

26. He remained there as the full moon (without any wane or increase), tranquil in his desires, silent and contented in his mind.

27. The prince Janaka having thus known the (unalterable) disposition of Suka's mind, had him introduced to his presence, where seeing the complacency of his soul, he rose up and bowed down to him.

28. Janaka said: "You have accomplished to the full all your duties in this world, and obtained the object of your heart's desire to its utmost extent; what is it that you now desire for which you are welcome at mine".

29. Suka said: "Tell me my guide whence sprang all this bustle (of worldly life); and tell me also how it may soon come to its subsidence."

30. Viswamitra said: Being thus asked by Suka, Janaka spoke to him the same things which he had learned from his great souled father.

31. Suka then said: "All this I have come to know long before by my own intuition, and then from the speech of my father in answer to my query.

32. "You sir, who are the most eloquent of all, have spoken to the same purport, and the same is found to be the true sense of the Sastras.

33. "That the world is a creation of volition, and loses itself with the absence of our desires; and that it is an accursed and unsubstantial world after all, is the conclusion arrived at by all sages.

34. "Now tell me truly you long armed prince, what you think this world to be (whether a reality or unreality); that my mind may be set at rest by you from its wandering all about the world (in search of truth)."

35. Janaka replied: "There is nothing more certain, O sage! than what you have known by yourself and heard from your father.

36. "There is but one undivided intelligent spirit known as the universal soul and nothing besides; it becomes confined by its desires, and freed by its want of them.

37. "You have truly come to the knowledge of the knowable, whereby your great soul has desisted from its attachment to objects of enjoyment and vision.

38. "You must be a hero to have overcome your desire in the lengthening chain of attractive enjoyments from your early youth. What more do you want to hear?

39. "Even your father, with all his learning in every science, and devotedness to austerities, has not arrived to the state of perfection like you.

40. "I am a pupil of Vyasa, and you are his son; but you are greater than both of us, by your abandonment of the taste for the enjoyments of life.

41. "You have obtained whatever is obtainable by the comprehensiveness of your mind; and as you take no interest in the outer and visible world, you are liberated from it, and have nothing to doubt of."

42. Being thus advised by the magnanimous Janaka, Suka remained silent with his mind fixed in the purely supreme object.

43. Then being devoid of sorrow and fear, and released from all efforts, exertions and doubts, he repaired to a peaceful summit of the mount Meru to obtain his final absorption.

44. There he passed ten thousands of rains in a state of unalterable meditation, till at last he broke his mortal coil, and was extinguished in the supreme soul like a lamp without oil.

45. Thus purified from the stain of transmigration by abstaining from earthly desires, the great souled Suka sank into the holy state of the Supreme Spirit, as a drop of water mixes with the waters or merges into the depth of the ocean.