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...

Vasishtha resumed saying:—

Know, O highly intelligent Rama! that the company of the virtuous is everywhere of the greatest benefit to men for their crossing over the ocean of the world.

2. It is the arbour of virtuous company that produces the fresh blossom of discrimination; which being cherished by high-souled men, yields to them its fruits of prosperity.

3. The society of the learned makes solitude appear as company, and the evil of death as good as a festivity;and converts a difficulty to ease.

4. It is the society of the virtuous which wards off all disasters, that like the frost, invade the lotus beds of our hearts; and baffle the icy breath of ignorance (which deadens our souls).

5. Know the society of the virtuous to be the best improver of the understanding, the destroyer of the tree of ignorance; and remover of all our mental diseases.

6. The society of the virtuous produces the light of reason, which is as charmingly fair as a cluster of flowers after its being washed by rain-water.

7. It is the influence of virtuous company that teaches us the best mode of life, which is never impaired or obstructed by anything, and is ever full in itself.

8. Let no man ever keep himself from the association of the virtuous, though he is involved in utmost distress, and cast in irremediable circumstances.

9. The society of the virtuous, lends a light to the right path. It destroys the internal darkness of man, by the rays of the sun of knowledge.

10. Whoever has bathed in the cold and clear stream of good company is not in need of the merit derived from acts of charity, pilgrimage, austerity and sacrifice.

11. Whoever has the society of virtuous men, and whose lives are free from passions and sins, and doubts and the knots (of scruples in their hearts), of what use is (the observance of) austerity, or (performance of) pilgrimage (to him)?

12. Blessed are the peaceful in their minds, who are viewed with as great an ardour by people, as poor men fondly dote upon gems and jewels.

13. The intelligent mind with its gracefulness derived from good company, shines always as the goddess of riches in the company of fairy nymphs.

14. Therefore that blessed man is renowned as having attained the crown of a clear understanding, who never abstains himself from the company of the holy.

15. Hence all unscrupulous believers, holy men and those who are revered by people, are to be served by all means for crossing over the ocean of the world.

16. Surely do they serve as dry fuel to hell-fire, who neglect the company of the saints, which is known as rain water to extinguish the flames of hell.

17. The medicine of holy association, serves to allay entirely all the afflictions consequent to poverty and death and tribulations of worldly affairs.

18. Contentment, society of the virtuous, ratiocination and quietism, are the several means for crossing over the ocean of the world by mankind.

19. Contentment is reckoned as the best gain, good company the right course, reasoning the true knowledge, and quietism the highest bliss (of man).

20. These are the four surest means to break off the trammels of the world, and whoever is practiced in these, has surely passed over the erroneous waters of the terrestrial sea.

21. Learn, O best of the intelligent! that the practice of some one of these pure virtues, leads to an assuetude of all the four (cardinal virtues).

22. Every one of these separately is a leader to the others; wherefore diligently apply yourself to one of these for your success in getting them all.

23. Association with the good, contentment, right reasoning, and good judgement, joined with peace and tranquility, serve as cargo-ships in the ocean of the world.

24. All prosperity attends on him who is possessed of reason, contentment, quietism and the habit of keeping good company, like the fruits of the kalpa tree (satisfying every desire).

25. The man possessed of reasoning, contentment, quietude, and a proclivity to keep good company, is attended by every grace, as all the digits unite in the full moon.

26. The happy mind which is fraught with contentment, quietness, reasoning power, and a tendency to good company, meets with the prosperity and success, as they attend on kings (who are) guided by (the counsels of) good ministers.

27. Therefore, O delight of Raghu's race! do you bravely govern your mind, and always practise with diligence some one of these virtues (for your conduct in life).

28. Exert your best manliness to subdue your elephantine mind, and know that until you have mastered one of these cardinal virtues, you can make no progress (in holiness).

29. It must be, O Rama! that you shall have to set your heart to work by the exertion of your manliness and the gnashing of your teeth, for your success in meritorious deeds.

30. For whether you be a god or yaksha or a man or an arbor, you cannot, O long-armed Rama! have a better course till then (i. e. before mastering one of these qualities).

31. As soon as one of these virtues is strengthened and made fruitful in you, it will serve to weaken the force of the faults of your ungovernable mind.

32. The cultivation of virtues leads to their full growth and suppression of vice; but the fostering of vice will (on the other hand) conduce to the increase of vices and suppression of good qualities.

33. The mind is a wilderness of errors, in which the stream of our desires is running with full force, amidst its two banks of good and evil whereon we hold our stand.

34. It bears away and throws the man on that bank which he strives to reach by his own exertion, therefore O Rama, do as you like to reach to either shore.

35. Now try by degrees with all the exertion of your manly force, to turn the course of your desires towards the happy shore in the forest of your mind; and know, O high-minded Rama; that one's own disposition is as a rapid current to him, which must not be permitted to bear him away (to the perilous coast).