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 XII - Greatness of true knowledge

Vasishtha said:—

Rama! I honor you as one of a perfect mind. You know what to ask, and understand what is spoken to you. I will therefore go on speaking respectfully to you.

2. Be still to attend to knowledge by keeping your mind fixed in yourself, and being freed from pride and passions, incline yourself to pure truth.

3. You are possessed of all the qualities of an enquirer, and I those of the speaker, in as much as there are gems in the ocean.

4. You have gained my son the insouciance which is cognate with reason, like the humidity of the moonstone bearing its correlation with the gentle beams of the moon.

5. Rama! your long and early practiced pure virtues and good qualities, have raised your fame, as the long stretching white fibers of the stalk exalt the spotless lotus.

6. Now hear the words I tell you Rama; for you alone are fit to receive them, as the moon only is able to open the Kumuda petals.

7. Whatever business or investigation is undertaken by any body, it must be brought to a happy close, tending to his peace and tranquility (or to his rest and quiet).

8. Had not there been the solace of philosophy for men of good understanding, what rational being could dare to bear the misery brought on in this world by ignorance.

9. All the faculties of the mind are absorbed in the contemplation of the Supreme, like the dissolution of the rocks of boundary mountains by the solar heat at the end of the (Kalpa) world.

10. Rama! the intolerable cholic pain caused by this venomous world, is healed only by yoga meditation, as the poison of snake-biting is removed by Garuda incantations.

11. The capacity of yoga is obtained by discussion of the Sastras in the company of good people, which alone can furnish us with the great charm of spiritual knowledge.

12. It must be owned that we lessen our woes by acting with reason: therefore reasonable men are never to be looked upon with disregard.

13. The reasoning man gets released from his worldly sickness, and quits his frame which is full of diseases, as a snake casts off his time worn slough; and looks with a placid mind and calm composure upon the magic scenes of the world. Hence the fully wise man is not subject to the misery of the imperfectly wise.

14. The rough and uneven pleasure of the world is but a disease to men, and stings them like a snake. It cuts them as a sword, and pierces them as a spear. It binds them fast as by a rope, and burns them as with the fire, and blindfolds their understanding as in the darkness of the night. It makes them as prostrate and dull as a slab of stone. It destroys one's prudence and lowers his position. It casts them into the pit of error, and torments them with avarice. Thus there is almost no kind of trouble which does not betide worldly minded men.

15. Worldliness is as dangerous a disease as cholera, which unless it is healed in time, is sure to trouble its patient with the torments of hell:—

16. Such as those caused by the eating of stones, wounds of swords and spears; being pelted with stones, burnt by fire, and numbed by frost;loosing of limbs, besmearing the body with blood as with sandal paste; by being bored by worms as worm-eaten trees, and pricked in the body by pikes and broomsticks, or pierced by the fiery shafts and bolts continually falling in battle. By toiling and moiling in the sun and working in cold and rain as in a summer fountain house; or remaining dumb and deaf and without rest or sleep, and finally by loosing the head (in war or penalty).

17. Under thousands of such intolerable pangs of worldly life, no one should remain negligent of his release from this state; but ought to think that it is his reflection in the Sastras only, that can produce his real good.

18. Look here Rama! on these great sages and Rishis, these Brahmans and princes, who having fortified themselves by the armour of wisdom, and being liable to no pain or grief; have yet engaged themselves to the arduous affairs of this world with minds as placid as yours.

19. Moreover there are many of the best of men, who with their spiritual light and pure understandings, reside in this world as the gods Hari,

Hara and Brahma, who were above all concerns and fluctuating desires of life.

20. The journey of this world is delightful to one, who after the removal of his errors and dispersion of the cloud of his ignorance, has come to the knowledge of truth.

21. That the serenity of the mind and calm repose of the heart being secured, all the senses are subjected to peace, and every thing is viewed in an equal light; and this knowledge of the truth gives a delight to our journey in this world.

22. Know also that, this body of ours is the car, and these organs are its horses, our breathings are the winds blowing upon it, and the mind is the driver that feels the delight of driving; the atomic soul is the rider who is conscious of wandering about the world. The knowledge of this truth makes our earthly journey a pleasant one.