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 XIV - On the ascertainment of an argument

It must be the duty of one, whose understanding is cleared and purified by a knowledge of the Sastras, to argue incessantly with a guide knowing how to reason aright.

2. The understanding when sharpened by reasoning, comes to view the transcendent state. It is reasoning which is the only best medicine for the chronic disease of worldliness.

3. The world is of the form of a wood of troubles, shooting in sprouts of endless desires which being once felled under the saw of reason, will germinate no more.

4. O wise Rama! our understandings are shrouded under unconsciousness at the loss of our friends, at times of danger, and even of quiet. It is reason that is our only companion (at these times).

5. There is no expedient for the learned and wise except reason; it is by means of reason that the minds of good people can avoid evil and secure their good.

6. All our strength and understanding, our valour and renown, and the ends of our actions, result from our reasoning with the intelligent.

7. Reason is the lamp to show us the right and wrong, and the instrument for accomplishment of our desires:—by reliance on right reason, one crosses over easily the wide ocean of the world.

8. Pure reasoning like a strong lion, tears asunder the elephants of great error, which ravage the lotus beds of the mind (or mental faculties).

9. If ignorant men have at any time attained a better state in life, it was all owing to the light of the lamp of their reasoning.

10. Know O Raghava that, dominion and fair prosperity, together with our enjoyments and eternal salvation, are all but fruits of the celestial

Kalpa plant of reasoning.

11. The minds of great men, which are expanded by reasoning here, are never liable to be immerged under the currents of calamity (but float above them) like gourds upon water.

12. Those who conduct themselves with their intellects shining forth with reason, become the recipients of its most liberal gifts.

13. Want of reason is like the thorny and sour plant of Karanja sprouting forth with blossoms of woe, and growing in the brakes of ignorant minds in order to shut out their hopes and prospects.

14. Do you, O Raghava! shake off the lethargy caused by your neglect of reasoning. This torpor darkens your vision as it were by the inky powder of collyrium, and maddens your mind as it were, by the ebriety of wine.

15. The man of right judgement is not liable to fall into the long and dangerous maze of error (like others); but remains as a blaze of light amidst the gloom (of ignorance).

16. The reasoning faculties shine, as a bed of lotuses in the limpid lake of the mind: whoso has such a reasoning mind, exalts his head as high as the Himalayan height.

17. The man having a dull mind and incapable of reasoning (of reason) as a flash of lightning, like boys, sees false apparitions about him.

18. Rama, you must shun at a distance the base unreasonable man, who grows as plump as a Khanda cane to cause sorrow and resembles the spring season to grow fresh weeds of evil.

19. Whatever misdeeds, misconducts and mischances present themselves to man, they are all the effects of his want of the light of reason, and lay hold on him like ghosts appearing in the dark.

20. O support of Raghu's race, do you shun at a distance the unreasonable man of the nature of a solitary wild tree, which comes to no good use (to mankind).

21. The mind that is fraught with reason and devoid of the impatience attendant on worldly desires, feels the light of transcendent quietism shining in the soul with the full lustre of the moon.

22. When the light of reason shines in any person, it imparts the coolness and good grace of moon-beams to all things around him.

23. The reasoning power of man accompanied with the flag of divine knowledge and the silvery flapper of good understanding, shines as moon-light in the darkness of night.

24. Men with the good grace of their reason, throw a radiance like that of the sun on all sides about them, and dispel the gloom of worldliness.

25. Reasoning serves to destroy the false apparitions of errors which present themselves to the minds of boys like ghosts in the sky at night.

26. All things in the world appear as charming (as if they were realities); but they are (in fact) but unrealities, and liken the clods of earth that are broken (to pieces) by the hammering stone of reason.

27. Men are their self tormenters by the false imagination of their own minds; it is reason alone that can drive away this inveterate spectre from the mind.

28. Know the fruit of the high arbor of reason, to be the even, unobstructed, interminable and independent happiness called Kaivalya.

29. It is by means of reason and its evident influence on the deprivation of (physical) gratifications, that there rises an unshaken and exalted disinterestedness in the mind, like the cooling beams of the moon.

30. When the saint has reached his perfection by means of the elixir of judgement seated in his mind, he neither desires for more nor leaves (what he has).

31. The mind relying on that state of equanimity and perceiving the clear light (of truth within itself), has neither its fall nor elevation, but enjoys its inward expansion as that of vacuum for ever.

32. One unconcerned with the world, neither gives nor receives any thing, nor feels himself elated or depressed at any event, but views every thing as an indifferent spectator.

33. He is neither torpidly cold nor does he dwell on anything internally or externally. He is neither inactive nor merged in activity.

34. He slights the loss of anything, and lives content with what he has;he is neither depressed nor elevated; but remains as full as the (tideless) sea.

35. It is in this manner that the high-souled and high-aspiring Yogis conduct themselves in this world, with their fullness (of joy) and living as they are liberated in this life.

36. These saintly sages having lived as long as they like (in this earth), abandon it at last, and gain their [Sanskrit: kaivalya] eternal unity (after death).

37. The sapient man should intently consider within himself, who and whose he is, what is his family and by whom he is surrounded, and think on the remedy (of his worldliness).

38. It is the king, O Rama! who well knows the difficult and doubtful state of the business (before him); and his success or failure depends solely on his right judgement and on nothing else.

39. It is the dicta and data established by the Veda and Vedanta that form the grounds of our evidence, and these are to be ascertained by our reason as by the help of a lamp in the gloom of night.

40. The bright eye-sight of reason, is neither blinded by the darkness (of night), nor dimmed by the full blaze (of the day), even when it has to view things (situated) at a distance.

41. He who is blind to reason is as one born blind, and a demented man is an object of universal pity; but the man with a reasoning soul is said to be possessed of divine eye-sight, and becomes victorious in all things (he undertakes).

42. The miraculous power of reason is acknowledged to be a divine attribute and an instrument to highest felicity; wherefore it is not to be lost sight of for a moment.

43. The man graced by reason is loved even by the great, as the delicious and ripe mango fruit is delectable to all.

44. Men with their minds illumed by the light of reason, are like travellers acquainted with their way, and are not liable to pit falls of incessant danger and misery.

45. Neither doth the sick man nor one beset by a hundred evils wail so bitterly, as the ignorant man whose soul is deprived of reason.

46. Rather leap as a frog in the mud, or creep as a worm in the dirt, rather lie as a snake in a dark cell or crawl on the ground, than walk as a man devoid of reason.

47. Therefore get rid of unreasonableness which is the abode of all your dangers, is reprobated by the wise (as the bane of mankind), and is the terminus of all your calamities.

48. Great men must always be in full possession of their reasoning, because those unsupported by their reason are liable to fall into the pits of darkness.

49. Let every one keep his soul under the control (of his own reason), and by this means, deliver the fawn of his mind from falling into the mirage of this world.

50. It is the province of reasoning to consider logically in one's self, whence the evil, known as worldliness, had its rise.

51. The thick mist of error is only for the continued misery of man, and it prevails on the stony minds of those that are demented by the loss of reason.

52. The wise that hold fast on the truth and forsake all untruth in this world, are yet unable to discern their true natures without the aid of reason.

53. It is by means of reason that one comes to the knowledge of truth;and by means of truth that he gets the peace of his mind; and it is the tranquility of the mind that dispels the misery of men.

54. Now Rama, do you take delight in such acts as may be productive of utility to the world, and whereby you may arrive to perfection. Weigh all things with the clear eye of reason, which will make you blessed for ever.