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 XV - Story of the temple and its prince

Vasishtha said:β€”

The world is a void and as null as the pearls in the sky, (seen by optical delusion). It is as unreal as the soul in the vacuity of the intellect.

2. All its objects appear, as unengraven images on the column of the mind, which is without any engraving or engraver of it.

3. As the intermotion of the waters in the sea, causes the waves to rise of themselves, so the visibles as they appear to us, are as waves in the calm spirit of the Supreme. (The variety of the waves, with the pearls, shells and froth they pour out, resemble the multiformity of worldly productions).

4. As sun-beams seen under the water, and as water appearing in the sands of the desert (mirage); so it is the fancy, that paints the world as true to us; and its bulk is like that of an atom, appearing as a hill (when seen through the microscope).

5. The fancied world is no more than a facsimile of the mind of its Maker, just as the sun-beams under the water, are but reflexions of the light above; and no other than a negative notion (a false idea).

6. The ideal world is but an aerial castle, and this earth (with its contents), is as unreal as a dream, and as false as the objects of our desire.

7. The earth appearing as solid, is in the light of philosophy, no better than the liquid water of a river, in the mirage of a sandy desert, and is never in existence.

8. The illusive forms of the visibles, in this supposed substantial form of the world, resemble at least, but aerial castles and rivers in the mirage.

9. The visionary scenes of the world being taken to the scales, will be found when weighed, to be light as air and as hollow as vacuum.

10. The ignorant that are taken away by the sound of words in disregard of sense, will find when they come to sense, that there is no difference between the world and Brahma: (the one being but the reflection of the other).

11. The dull world is the issue of the Intellect, like the beams of the sun in the sky. The light of the intellect, is as light as the rarefied rays of the sun; but it raises like the other, the huge clouds, to water the shooting seeds of plants.

12. As a city in a dream, is finer than one seen in the waking state, so this visionary world is as subtile as an imaginary one.

13. Know therefore the insensible world to be the inverse of the sensible soul, and the substantive world as the reverse of the unsubstantial vacuum. The words plenum and vacuum are both as inane as airy breath, because these opposites are but different views of the same Intellect.

14. Know therefore this visible world to be no production at all; it is as nameless as it is undeveloped, and as inexistent as its seeming existence.

15. The universe is the sphere of the spirit of God in the infinite space; it has no foundation elsewhere except in that Spirit of which it is but a particle, and filling a space equal to a bit of infinity.

16. It is as transparent as the sky, and without any solidity at all; it is as empty as empty air, and as a city pictured in imagination.

17. Attend now to the story of the Temple which is pleasant to hear, and which will impress this truth deeply in your mind.

Rama said:β€”

18. Tell me at once, O Brahman, the long and short of the story of the temple, which will help my understanding of these things.

Vasishtha said:β€”

19. There lived of yore a prince on the surface of the earth, whose name was Padma from his being like the blooming and fragrant lotus of his race; and who was equally blessed with wisdom, prosperity and good children.

20. He observed the bounds of his duties, as the sea preserves the boundaries of countries; and destroyed the mist of his adversaries, as the sun dispels the darkness at night. He was as the moon to his lotus-like queen, and as burning fire to the hay of evils and crimes.

21. He was the asylum of the learned, as the mount Meru was the residence of the gods; he was the moon of fair fame risen from the ocean of the earth; and was as a lake to the geese of good qualities; and like the sun to the lotuses of purity.

22. He was as a blast to the creepers of his antagonists in warfare; and as a lion to the elephants of his mind (appetites). He was the favourite of all learning, and a patron of the learned, and a mine of all admirable qualities.

23. He stood fixed as the mount Mandara, after it had churned the ocean of the demons. He was as the vernal season to the blossoms of joy, and as the god of the floral bow to the flowers of blooming prosperity.

24. He was the gentle breeze to the vacillation of the playful creepers, and as the god Hari in his valour and energy. He shone as the moon on the florets of good manners, and as wildfire to the brambles of licentiousness.

25. His consort was the happy Lila, playful as her name implied, and fraught with every grace, as if the goddess of prosperity, had appeared in person upon earth.

26. She was gentle with her submissiveness to her lord, and was sweet in her speech without art; she was always happy and slow in her movements, and ever smiling as the moon.

27. Her lovely lotus-white face was decorated with painted spots, and her fair form which was as fresh as a new blown bud, appeared as a moving bed of lotuses.

28. She was buxom as a playful plant, and bright as a branch of kunda flowers, and full of glee and good humour. With her palms red as corals, and her fingers white as lilies, she was in her person a congeries of vernal beauties.

29. Her pure form was sacred to touch, and conferred a hilarity to the heart, as the holy stream of the Ganges, exhilarates the flock of swans floating upon it.

30. She was as a second Rati, born to serve her lord, who was Kama in person on earth to give joy to all souls.

31. She was sorry at his sorrow, and delighted to see him delightful; and was thoughtful to see him pensive. Thus was she an exact picture of her lord, except that she was afraid to find him angry.