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 IV - Praise of acts and exertions

Vasishtha said:—

1. I know gentle Rama that, liberation of the soul, whether in its embodied or disembodied state is both alike, as the sea-water and its waves are the same liquid substance.

2. The liberation whether of embodied or disembodied spirits, consists in their detachment from the objects of sense: hence the soul unattached to sensual gratification, is (said to be) liberated, having no idea of sensible objects.

3. And though we see before us the living liberated sage (Vyasa) as an embodied person, yet we have no doubt of the detachment of his inward soul from the (mortal coil of his) body.

4. The difference between the embodied and disembodied souls, when they are equally enlightened and liberated, is like that of the sea-water in its calm and billowy states.

5. There is no more difference between bodily and unembodied liberation than there is betwixt the air in motion and at rest.

6. Liberation whether with or without the body, is productive of unselfishness; we have lost our selfishness ever since we have come to the knowledge of an undivided unity (of the soul).

7. Now therefore attend to the true doctrine that I am going to deliver to you, which will be a jewel to your ears as it will dispel the darkness of ignorance (from your mind).

8. Know, O son of Raghu, that every thing in this world is obtainable by our efforts being properly employed (to our purposes).

9. This (knowledge of truth) rises as the moon (in the human mind), and sheds its cooling and delightsome influence to the heart, that there is no other way to gain the fruits of our exertions but by our efforts.

10. We evidently see the results of the exercise of our efforts, and nothing coming out from what the dull and mistaken call as chance or fate.

11. An effort when directed according to the counsel and conduct of the good in the exercise of the action of the body and mind, it is attended with success, otherwise it is as vain as the freak of a madman.

12. Thus he who wishes to acquire riches, and perseveres in its acquisition, surely succeeds in gaining them; or else he stops short in the midway.

13. It was by means of the exertion of their efforts that some particular persons have obtained the paramount dominion of Indra over the three worlds.

14. It is by the exertion of one's efforts that he attains to the rank of the lotus-born (Brahma); and some even gain the inward joy of the state of Brahma by it.

15. It was by virtue of his self-exertion that some body has become the best among men, even as he who bears the ensign of the eagle (Vishnu among the gods).

16. It was by the exertion of one's efforts that some persons succeeded to obtain the form of Siva accompanied by his female power, and adorned by the semi-circle of the moon in his crest.

17. Know our actions to be of two kinds namely, those of former and present lives: and that acts of the present life generally supersede those of the past.

18. Know also that energy joined with constant practice, and supported by wisdom and some stimulating force, is able to break down the mount of Meru, and the demerits of acts in the former lives of men.

19. The exertions of a man proceeding from his good efforts and countenanced by the law, lead to his success, or else they either go for nothing or turn to his disadvantage.

20. So a man laid up in a state of disability, is unable to twist his fingers in order to hold a little water in the hollow of his palm for drink: while there is another who (by his well directed efforts) gets the possession of seas and islands, mountains and cities for himself, supports all his dependents and relations, and does not think this earth too great for him.