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 II - Speech of viswamitra

Viswamitra said:—

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Rama! it now becomes you to have your mind properly purified from its doubts, as it was done in the case of the son of Vyasa.

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You see, O great sages! how perfectly the knowable is known to Rama, whose good understanding has learnt to feel a distaste for worldly enjoyments, as if they were diseases unto him.

3. [Sanskrit available]
You well know that the fixed principle in the mind of one knowing the knowable, is to have an aversion to all the enjoyments of life.

4. [Sanskrit available]
It is the desire of fruition that chains down a man fastly to the earth; but the knowledge of the frailties here serves to dispel his darkness.

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Know Rama that it is the curtailing of desires which the wise call liberty, and the fastening of our desires to earthly objects, is what is termed our confinement here.

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Spiritual knowledge is easily obtainable by most men here, but a distaste to (pleasurable) objects is hard to be had (however painful it is to procure them).

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He who fully comprehends a thing, is said to know it, and who so knows what is knowable, is called a learned man; no earthly enjoyments can be delectable to such high minded men.

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The mind that has no zest for earthly pleasures, except the glory of disinterested deeds, is said to be liberated even in the present life.

9. [Sanskrit available]
As there grows no vegetable in a sterile soil, so there grows no disinclination to worldliness, until one comes to know the knowable reality (i. e. to say: neither the godly can be worldly, nor the worldly be godly).

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Hence know this supporter of Raghu's race to have verily known the knowable, which has made him disgusted with his princely enjoyments.

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I tell you great sages that, whatever Rama has come to know by his intuition, requires to be confirmed by Vasishtha for the tranquility of his mind.

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It is only a reliance in the Unity, that Rama now requires for his repose, just as the beauty of autumn depends on the clearness of the firmament.

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Let the venerable Vasishtha then reason with the high minded Rama, and restore the peace of his mind.

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For he is the master and family preceptor of the whole race of the Raghus; besides he is all knowing and all seeing; and has a clear insight (into all things) of the three times (present, past and future).

Then addressing himself to vasishtha he said:—

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you well remember sir, the instruction given us of old, for pacifying our mutual enmity, and promoting the welfare of the high minded sages.

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When our lord the lotus-born Brahma, seated on the table land of Nishadha mountain, and shaded by the Sarala trees, delivered his wise lectures to us and the sages.

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It is by means of that knowledge of liberation that our worldly desires are dispelled like the darkness of night by sun-beams.

18. [Sanskrit available]
Please now, O Brahman, to communicate that rational knowledge of the knowable to your pupil Rama, whereby he may gain the peace of his mind.

19. [Sanskrit available]
It will be no difficult task for you to teach the spotless Rama, whose mirror-like mind is quite clear to take the reflection.

20. [Sanskrit available]
The wisdom of the holy, their learning of the Sastras, and the scholarship of the learned, are then only praiseworthy, when they are communicated to a good student, and those who are disgusted with the world.

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But instruction given to one who is no student nor disgusted with the world, becomes as polluted as milk put in a hide vessel.

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Again the instruction imparted by one devoid of passions and affections, fear and anger, pride and sin, serves to infuse tranquility into the mind.

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At these words of Viswamitra the son of Gadhi, the assembled sages Vyasa, Narada and others, honoured his saying with the exclamation "bravo", "well said"&c.

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Then the venerable Vasishtha brilliant as Brahma his father, and seated by the side of the king, spoke in reply:

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O sage, I will perform without fail, what you have commanded me to do, for who, though mighty, can refuse to perform the behests of the good and wise?

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I will destroy the mental darkness of the princes Rama and others by the light of knowledge, as we dispel the gloom of night by the light of a lamp.

27. [Sanskrit available]
I well remember the instructions which were given of yore by the lotus-born Brahma on the Nishadha mountain, for dispelling the errors of the world.

28. [Sanskrit available]
Having said so, the high-minded Vasishtha made up his mind as one girds up his loins, to deliver his lecture to Rama for dispelling his ignorance, and showing him the state of supreme felicity.

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