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 XIII - On peace and tranquility of mind

1. Intelligent men that have seen the spirit, fix their sight upon it, and rove about in the world as persons of great and elevated souls.

2. They (that are liberated in this life), neither grieve nor wish nor ask for aught of good or evil (in this world). They do their works as if doing nothing (i. e. with indifference).

3. Those that rely on theirselves, remain both quietly, as well as act their parts with a calm serenity (of their minds);and take no concern either for what is noxious or delectable to them.

4. Their coming and not coming, going and not going, doing or not doing, and speaking or not speaking are alike indifferent to them.

5. Whatever acts or sights may appear pleasant or disgusting to any body, cease to affect them in any way after they have come to know their God (as the Author of all good).

6. The mind getting rid of its desires feels a sweet composure associated with a bliss as if descending from the heavenly orb of the moon all about it.

7. By being unmindful of worldly affairs and regardless of all its excitements, the soul is filled with a felicity resembling the ambrosial waters in the moon.

8. He who ceases to act his magical parts (in this playground of the earth), and desists from following his inclinations and childish pranks, shines forth in his spiritual light.

9. Such are the powers gained from spiritual knowledge, and by no other means whatever.

10. Therefore should a man try to seek and know and adore the Supreme soul, by means of his reasoning powers during life.

11. It is the concordance of one's belief with the precepts of the Sastra and his instructor, joined with his constant meditation, that can give him a full view of the Supreme spirit.

12. The fool slighting the Sastra and its instructions, and disregarding the counsels of great men, are exposed to difficulties and dangers from which they can have no release.

13. There is no disease nor poison, nor trouble nor affliction, so painful to one in this earth, as the ignorance which is bred in himself.

14. Those whose intellects are a little purified, will find this work to be of greater efficacy to dispel their ignorance than any other Sastra.

15. This Sastra with its beautiful examples and pleasing lessons and want of discordance, should be diligently attended to by every body who is a friend to good sayings and their senses.

16. Want of dignity, inextricable difficulties, baseness and degeneracy, are all offsprings of ignorance, as the thorns are the offshoots of the prickly Ketaki plant.

17. It is far better, O Rama! to rove about a begging with a pot in hand to the abodes of the vile Chandalas, than lead a life deadened by ignorance.

18. Rather dwell in dark dismal cells or dry dreary wells, and in the hollow of trees, or remain as solitary blind worms (under the ground), than labour under the miseries of ignorance.

19. The man receiving the light leading to his liberation, will never fall into the darkness of error or gloom of death.

20. So long will chill frost of penury continue to contract the lotus of humanity, as the clear light of reason does not shine upon the mind like the sun.

21. One must know the true nature of the soul both from his preceptor and the evidence of the Sastras, as also from friends like ourselves, for the sake of liberating himself from the misery of the world.

22. Try O Rama! to imitate those that are liberated in their life time, who are free to roam about like the gods Hari, Hara, and others, and as the holy sages among Brahmans.

23. Here (on earth) our miseries are as endless as atoms, and our happiness as little as a drop of water on the stalk of a straw; therefore do not fix your sight upon that little happiness which is beset by misery.

24. But let the intelligent man diligently apply himself to the attainment of that state of endless happiness which is free from pain and constitutes his highest consummation.

25. They are reckoned the best of men and deserving of consummation, whose minds are freed from the fever (of worldly cares), and attached to the transcendental state (of ultimate beatitude).

26. Those base minded mortals that are satisfied with their enjoyments, eating and drinking, and the pleasures of their worldly possessions, are reckoned as stark-blind frogs (in a well).

27. All who are attached to the company of imposters and wicked men, as of those that are addicted to the practice of evil deeds, and are enemies in the garb of friendship, and are given up to gluttony:—

28. Such foolish men of mistaken and stupid minds fall into the hardest of hardships, to the misery of miseries, and the horror of horrors and the hell of hells.

29. Happiness and misery destroy and succeed each other by turns, and are as fleeting as flashes of lightnings. Hence it is impossible to be happy for ever.

30. Those great souls who are indifferent and well judging like yourself, are known as the most honourable of men, and worthy alike both of temporal enjoyments and spiritual emancipation.

31. By reliance upon right reasoning joined with a habit of dispassionateness, men are enabled to get over the dark and dangerous torrents of this world.

32. No man of reason should allow himself to sleep (in negligence) amidst the illusions of the world, well knowing their noxious property to derange the understanding.

33. Whoso remains neglectful in his worldliness, resembles a man sleeping negligent on a grassy bed when his house is on fire.

34. What being arrived at, there is no returning from it; and what being gained, there is no cause of sorrowing; that state is undoubtedly attainable by divine knowledge only; and is a certain truth.

35. Should there be no such future state, yet there is no harm to believe in it; but if there be such a state, its belief will save you from the (dreadful) ocean of this world.

36. Whenever a man is inclined to think on the means of his salvation, he is sure to be soon entitled to his liberation.

37. The undecaying, unerring and fearless state of tranquility, is no where to be had in the three worlds, without one's union (with the Supreme).

38. Having gained that best of gains, no one is liable to the pain from which no wealth, friend or relation can save any body.

39. Neither the actions of one's hands and feet in his offerings and pilgrimage to distant lands, nor the bodily pains of asceticism, nor his refuge in a holy place can serve his salvation.

40. It is only by means of one's best exertions and the fixing of his mind to one object, as also by the subjection of his desires, that the ultimate state (of bliss) can be arrived at.

41. So it is by means of discrimination, reasoning and ultimate ascertainment of truth, that a man may avoid the snares of misery, and attain his best state.

42. One sitting at ease in his seat and meditating within himself (the nature of the soul), attains the blissful state, which is free from sorrow and future birth.

43. All holy men are known to be situated beyond the bounds of the frail pleasures (of this life); their optimum quiescence is reckoned the ultimate bliss.

44. They have given up all thoughts both of humanity and heaven (i. e. of both worlds), which are devoid of true felicity as the mirage is void of water.

45. Therefore should one think of subduing his mind, and resort to peace and contentment as the means (to happiness); these joined with an unbounded equanimity produce true happiness.

46. It is not to be had by sitting (quietly at home), or going up and down (from place to place); and neither by wandering (in pilgrimage), nor prostrating (before the altar). It is not to be acquired by the Rakshasas, demons, deities or ignorant men.

47. That ultimate felicity is born of and obtainable from the peace of mind: it is the fruit of the high arbor of reason from its blossom of peace.

48. Those that are engaged in worldliness but do not mix in it like the all-illumining sun, are known as the best of men.

49. The mind that is at peace and rest, that is clear and free from errors, and without any attempt or desire, doth neither forsake nor wish for the world.

50. Hear me tell you of the warders at the gate of salvation in their order, some one of which being secured, one may have his entrance into it.

51. Thirst after pleasure is a state of protracted disease, and this world is full of mirage (all parched and dry). It is equanimity alone that can cool this dryness as the moistening beams of the moon.

52. It is quiescence which leads to all good and is reckoned the best state of being. Quietism is felicity, it is peace and the preventive of error.

53. The man who lives content with his quiet and a calm clearness of his soul, with a mind fraught with stoicism, makes friends of his enemies.

54. Those whose minds are adorned with the moon light of quietism, feel a flux of the beams of purity rising in them like the hoary waves of the milky ocean.

55. Those holy men who have the lotus-like flower of quietism growing in the lotiform receptacle of their hearts, are said to have a secondary heart like the two pericardiums of the god Hari (holding Brahma in one of them).

56. They whose untainted faces shine as the moon with the lustre of quiescence, are to be honoured as the luminaries of their families, and ravishers of the senses of others by the charming beauty of their countenance.

57. Whatever is beautiful in the three worlds, and in the shape of imperial prosperity and grandeur, there is nothing in them that can afford a happiness equal to that of quietism.

58. Whatever misery, anxiety and intolerable difficulty (may overtake a man), they are lost in the tranquil mind like darkness in the sun.

59. The mind of no living being is so delighted with moon beams, as that of the peaceful man from his heart-felt joy.

60. The virtuous man that is calm and quiet, and friendly to all living beings, feels the benign influence of highest truths appearing of themselves in his mind.

61. As all children whether good or bad, have a strict faith in their mother, so all beings here have a reliance on the man of an even disposition.

62. Neither does a cooling ambrosial draught nor the kind embrace of prosperity, afford such gratification to the soul, as one's inward satisfaction of the mind.

63. Whether afflicted by diseases or disasters, or dragged by the rope of avarice, do you bear up yourself, O Rama, by the equanimity of your mind.

64. Whatever thou dost and eatest with the calm coolness of thy mind, all that is sweeter far to the soul than anything sweet to taste.

65. The mind that is overpowered by the ambrosial flavour of quietism and desists from activity, may have the body lacerated (for a time), but it will be filled up shortly.

66. Neither imps nor goblins, demons or enemies, nor tigers nor snakes, ever annoy a peaceful man.

67. He who has his mind and body well guarded by the invulnerable armour of meekness, can never be pierced by the shafts of adversity; but remains as the thunder-stone impenetrable by arrows.

68. The king seated in his palace is not so graceful to sight, as the quiet peaceful man is graced by his equanimity and clearness of understanding.

69. No one is so delighted at seeing a thing dearer than his life, as by the satisfaction which he feels at the sight of a contented and peaceful man.

70. He who lives a holy life with his gentle and peaceful conduct, is said to be truly living in this world and no other.

71. The sober minded, meek and honest man pleases every one by all that he does, and as it were captivates all beings to himself.

72. He is called the meek who neither feels pleasure or pain at the sight, touch or hearing and tasting of anything good or bad (to the senses).

73. He who is indifferent to all objects, and neither leaves nor longs for any thing; but keeps his senses and appetites under subjection, is called a saint.

74. Whoso knowing all things both internally as well as externally with a clear understanding, attends and looks to his own concerns, he is verily said to be a saint.

75. He whose mind is as calm as moon beams both at the approach of a feast or fighting, and even at the moment of death, is said to be a saint.

76. Who though present at a place, neither rejoices nor murmurs at any thing, but remains as if he were absent from it, and conducts himself as quietly as if he were fast asleep; such a one is called a saint.

77. He whose complaisant look casts a graceful nectarious radiance on all around him, is said to be a saint.

78. Who feels a cool calmness within himself, and is not disturbed or immerged in any state of life, and who though a layman is not worldly minded, such a man is termed a saint.

79. He who takes not to his mind the tribulations of this life, however long or great they may be, nor thinks this base (bodily frame) to be himself, is known to be a saint.

80. The man of the world who has a mind clear as the firmament, and not tainted (by worldliness), is said to be a saint.

81. The quiet Platonic shines forth among sages and ascetics, among priests and princes, and among the mighty and learned.

82. Great and meritorious men, whose minds are attached to Quietism, feel a rest rising in their souls like the cooling beams of the moon.

83. Quietism is the utmost limit of the assemblage of virtues, and the best decoration of manliness; it shines resplendent in all dangers and difficulties.

84. Do you now, O Rama! follow for your perfection in the way in which high-minded men have attained their perfect state, by holding fast on quietism as an imperishable virtue, preserved by the respectable, and never to be lost or stolen by any.