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 XIX - Ascertainment of true evidence

It is the similarity of some particular property (of one thing to that of another) which constitutes a simile; whereas a complete similitude between the comparison and compared object, destroys their difference (and makes them the one and same thing).

2. From the knowledge of parables follows the cognition of the one soul treated of in the Sastras (Vedanta); and the peace which attends on the meditation of the Holy Word, is styled Extinction.

3. It is therefore useless to talk of either (the complete or partial) agreement (of the properties) of the example and the exemplar; it is enough to the purpose to comprehend the purport of the holy word in some way or other.

4. Know your peace to be the chief good, and be diligent to secure the same. When you have got the food for your eating, it is useless to talk about how you came by it.

5. A cause is compared with (or shewn for its explication by) something which is no cause at all: so is a comparison given to express its partial agreement in some respect with the compared object.

6. We must not be so absorbed in the pleasures of the world as to be devoid of all sensibility; like some blind frogs which are generated and grow fat amidst the stones.

7. Be attentive to these parables and learn your best state from them;all reasonable men should abide by the lessons of religious works for their internal peace.

8. As also by the precepts of the Sastras, by the rules of humanity, prudence and spiritual knowledge; and also by the continued practice of the acts of religious merit.

9. Let the wise continue their inquiries until they can obtain their internal peace, and until they may arrive at the fourth stage (turya) of felicity known by the name of indestructible tranquility.

10. Whoso has gained this fourth state of tranquil felicity, he has really passed beyond the limits of the ocean of the world, whether he is alive or not, or a house-holder or an ascetic.

11. Such a man remains steady at his place like the calm sea undisturbed by the Mandara mountain, whether he has performed his duties according to the Srutis and Smritis or not.

12. When there is a partial agreement of the comparison with the nature of the compared object, it is to be considered maturely for the well understanding of the point in question, and not to be made a matter of controversy.

13. From every form of argument you are to understand the intelligible (that is explained to you); but the confounded disputant is blind both to right and false reasoning.

14. The notion of self (soul or God) being clear (self-evident) in the sphere of our consciousness within the mind. Any one who prattles meaninglessly about this truth, is said to be defective in his understanding (i. e. our consciousness of self-existence according to the maxim "Ego sum qui cogito," is an undeniable truth).

15. It is partly by pride and partly by their doubts, that the ignorant are led to altercate about their cognitions, and thereby they obscure the region of their inward understanding, as the clouds overshadow the clear firmament.

16. Of all sorts of proofs it is the evidence of perception which forms their fountain-head, as the sea is the mainspring of all its waters. It is this alone which is used in this place as you shall learn below.

17. The substance of all sensations is said to be the supersensible apprehension (or inward knowledge of things) by the wise; and it is verily their right concept which is meant by their perception.

18. Thus the notion, knowledge and certainty (of things) as derived from words, are styled the triplicate perception as we have of the living soul.

19. This soul is consciousness and egoism, and is of the masculine termination, and the cognition of the object whereby it is manifested to us, is called a category. (Viz. samvid, samvitti and padartha).

20. It becomes manifest in the form of the passing world by the multifarious acts and shifts of its volition and option, as the water exhibits itself in the shape of its waves and bubbles.

21. It was uncausal before, and then developed itself as the cause of all in its act of creating at the beginning of creation, and became perceptible by itself.

22. The causality was a product of the discrimination of the living soul, that was in a state of inexistence (before); until it became manifest as existent in the form of the material world.

23. Reason says, that the self-same being destroys the body which was produced of itself, and manifests itself in its transcendental magnitude

(of intelligence).

24. When the reasoning man comes to know the soul, he finds by his reason the presence of the indescribable being, before him.

25. The mind being free from desire, the organs of sense are relieved from their action, the soul becomes devoid of the results of its past actions as of those it has left undone.

26. The mind being set at ease and freed from its desires, the organs of action are restrained from their acts, as an engine when stopped in its motion.

27. It is sensuousness which is reckoned as the cause that puts the machinery of the mind to work, just as the rope tied to the log and fastened about the neck of a ram, propels him to fighting.

28. The sight of external objects and the purposes of the internal mind, set all men at play, as the inward force of the air puts the winds to motion.

29. All spiritual knowledge is holy wherever it is found in any one: it adds a lustre to the body and mind like that of the expanded region of the sky.

30. He sees the appearances of all visible objects, and maintains his own position among them. He views the spirit in the same light in which it presents itself in any place.

31. Wherever the universal soul appears itself in any light, it remains there and then in the same form in which it exhibits itself unto us.

32. The universal soul being alike in all, the looker and the object seen are both the same being. The looker and the looked being one, their appearance as otherwise is all unreal.

33. Hence the world is without a cause (because it is an unreality and not caused by any one). All existence is evidently Brahma himself, the perceptible cause of all. Hence perception (pratyaxa) is the basis of evidence, and inference and others as analogy and verbal testimony are but parts of it (anuma, upama, sabdah).

34. Now let the worshippers of fate who apply the term destiny to all their exertions, cast off their false faith; and let the brave exert their manliness to attain their highest state.

35. Continue O Rama, to consider the true and lucid doctrines of the successive teachers (of mankind), until you can arrive to a clear conception of the infinitely Supreme being in your own mind.