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 V - On the original cause (mula-karana)

Rama said:—

Tell me, O chief of the sages! what cause is it that leads to our misconception of the mind, how it is produced and what is the source of its illusion.

2. Tell me sir, in brief of the first production (of the mind), and then, O best of the eloquent, you may tell the rest, that is to be said on the subject.

Vasishtha replied:—

3. Incident to the universal dissolution, when all things were reduced to nothing, this infinity of visible objects remained in a state of calm and quiet before their creation.

4. There was then the only great God in existence, who is increate and undecaying, who is the creator of all at all times, who is all in all, and supreme soul of all, and resembling the sun that never sets.

5. He whom language fails to describe, and who is known to the liberated alone; who is termed the soul by fiction only, and not by his real nature (which is unknowable).

6. Who is the prime Male of Sankhya philosophers and the Brahma of Vedanta followers; who is the Intelligence of gnostics and who is wholly pure and apart from all (personalities).

7. Who is known as vacuum by vacuists, who is the enlightener of solar light, who is truth itself, and the power of speech and thought and vision, and all action and passion for ever.

8. Who though ever existent everywhere appears as inexistent to the world, and though situated in all bodies, seems to be far from them. He is the enlightener of our understanding as the solar light (of the world).

9. From whom the gods Vishnu and others are produced as solar rays from the sun; and from whom infinite worlds have come into existence like bubbles of the sea.

10. Unto whom these multitudes of visible creations return as the waters of the earth to the sea, and who like a lamp enlightens the souls and bodies (of all immaterial and material beings).

11. Who is present alike in heaven as in earth and the nether worlds; and who abides equally in all bodies whether of the mineral, vegetable or animal creation. He resides alike in each particle of dust as in the high and huge mountain ranges; and rides as swift on the wings of winds, as he sleeps in the depths of the main.

12. He who appoints the eight internal and external organs (Paryashtakas) of sense and action to their several functions;and who has made the dull and dumb creatures as inert as stones, and as mute as they are sitting in their meditative mood.

13. He who has filled the skies with vacuity and the rocks with solidity; who has dissolved the waters to fluidity, and concentrated all light and heat in the sun.

14. He who has spread these wonderful scenes of the world, as the clouds sprinkle the charming showers of rain; both as endless and incessant, as they are charming and dulcet to sight.

15. He who causes the appearance and disappearance of worlds in the sphere of his infinity like waves in the ocean; and in whom these phenomena rise and set like the running sands in the desert.

16. His spirit the indestructible soul, resides as the germ of decay and destruction in the interior (vitals) of animals. It is as minute as to lie hid in the body, and as magnified as to fill all existence.

17. His nature (Prakriti) spreads herself like a magic creeper (maya lata) all over the space of vacuity, and produces the fair fruit in the form of the mundane egg (Brahmanda); while the outward organs of bodies, resembling the branches of this plant, keep dancing about the stem (the intelligent soul), shaken by the breeze of life which is everfleeting.

18. It is He, that shines as the gem of intelligence in the heart of the human body; and it is he from whom, the luminous orbs constituting the universe, continually derive their lustre.

19. It is that colossus of intelligence, which like a cloud sheds ambrosial draughts of delight to soothe our souls, and showers forth innumerable beings as rain drops on all sides. It bursts into incessant flashes showing the prospects of repeated creations which are as (momentary as) flashes of lightenings.

20. It is his wondrous light which displays the worlds to our wondering sight; and it is from his entity that both what is real and unreal, have derived their reality and unreality.

21. It is the insensible and ungodly soul, that turns to the attractions of others against its purpose; while the tranquil soul rests in itself (as in the spirit of God).

22. He who transcends all existences, and by whom all existent beings are bound to their destined actions in their proper times and places, and also to their free actions and motions and exertions of all kinds.

23. It is he who from his personality of pure consciousness, became of the form of vacuum (pervading all nature), and then by means of his vacuous mind and empty thoughts filled it with substances, wherein his soul was to reside, and whereon his spirit had to preside.

24. Having thus made the infinite hosts of worlds in the immense sphere of the universe, he is yet neither the agent of any action nor the author of any act in it; but remains ever the same as the sole one alone, in his unchangeable and unimpairing state of self-consciousness, and without any fluctuation, evolution or inhesion of himself, as he is quite unconcerned with the world.