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:—

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.

2. 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. 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. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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).

7. 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.

8. 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. 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).

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

11. 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.

12. 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.

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

14. 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).

15. Then addressing himself to Vasishtha he said:—you well remember sir, the instruction given us of old, for pacifying our mutual enmity, and promoting the welfare of the high minded sages.

16. 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.

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

18. 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. 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. 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.

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

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

23. 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.

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

25. 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?

26. 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. 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. 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.