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 VIII - Nature of good sastras

Rama asked said:—

1. How can it be reasonably shewn and established, that there is nothing to be known and seen in this world, although we have evident notions of it supported by sense and right reasoning?

Vasishtha answered said:—

2. It is from a long time, that this endemic of the fallacious knowledge (of the reality of the world), is prevalent (among mankind); and it is by means of true knowledge only that this wrong application of the word world, can be removed from the mind.

3. I will tell you a story, Rama! for your success in (the attainment of) this knowledge; if you will but attend to it, you will become both intelligent and emancipate.

4. But if from the impatience of your nature like that of brute creatures, you get up and go away after hearing half of this (narrative), you shall then reap no benefit from it.

5. Whoever seeks some object and strives after it, he of course succeeds in getting the same; but if he become tired of it he fails therein.

6. If you will betake yourself, Rama! to the company of the good and study of good Sastras, you will surely arrive at your state of perfection in course of a few days or mouths, according to the degree of your diligence.

Rama said:—

7. O you, that are best acquainted with the Sastras, tell me which is the best Sastra for the attainment of spiritual knowledge, and a conversancy with which may release us from the sorrows of this life.

Vasishtha replied:—

8. Know, O high minded Rama! this work (the Vasishtha Sanhita) to be the best of all others on spiritual knowledge. It is the auspicious Great Ramayana and the Sastra of sastras.

9. The Ramayana is the best of histories, and serves to enlighten the understanding. It is known as containing the essence of all histories.

10. But by hearing these doctrines one easily finds his liberation coming of itself to him; wherefore it is reckoned as the most holy record.

11. All the existing scenes of the world will vanish away upon their mature consideration; as the thoughts occurring in a dream, are dispersed upon the knowledge of the dreaming state after waking.

12. Whatever there is in this work, may be found in others also, but what is not found here, cannot be found elsewhere (in other works); and therefore the learned call it the thesaurus (sanhita) or store-house (of philosophy).

13. Whoever attends to these lectures every day, shall have his excellent understanding undoubtedly stored with transcendent knowledge of divinity day by day.

14. He who feels this Sastra disagreeable to his vitiated taste, may take a fancy to the perusal of some other sastra that is more wordy and eloquent.

15. One feels himself liberated in this life by the hearing of these lectures, just as one finds himself healed of a disease by a potion of some efficacious medicine.

16. The attentive hearer of these sermons, perceives their efficacy in himself, in the same way as one feels the effects of the curses or blessings pronounced upon him which never go for nothing, (but have their full effects in time).

17. All worldly miseries are at an end with him, who considers well these spiritual lectures within himself, and which is hard to be effected by charities and austerities, or performance of the acts ordained in the srauta or ceremonial vedas, or by hundreds of practices in obedience to the ordinances appointed by them.