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 - Story of a former vasishtha and his wife

This brahman was equal to his namesake said:—

1. the sage Vasishtha, in his age and attire, in his learning and wealth, and in all his actions and pursuits, except in his profession. (The one being a secular man, and the other the priest of the royal family).

2. His name was Vasishtha, and that of his wife Arundhati; who was as fair as the moon, and as the star of the same name on earth.

3. She resembled her namesake the priestess of the solar race, in her virtues and parts and in all things, except in her soul and body.

4. She passed her time in true love and affection in his company, and was his all in the world, with her sweet smiling face resembling the Kumuda flower.

5. This Brahman had been sitting once under the shady sarala trees, on the table land of his native hill, when he saw the ruler of the land, passing with his gaudy train below.

6. He was accompanied by all the members of the royal family and his troops and soldiers, and was going to a chase, with a clamour that resounded in the hills and forests.

7. The white flappers shed a stream of moon light, and the lifted banners appeared as a moving forest, and the white umbrellas made the sky a canopy to them.

8. The air was filled with dust raised by the hoofs of horses from the ground, and lines of elephants with their high haudas, seemed as moving towers, to protect them from the solar heat and sultry winds.

9. The wild animals were running on all sides at the loud uproar of the party, resembling the roaring of a whirlpool, and shining gems and jewels were flashing all about on the persons of the party.

10. The Brahman saw the procession and said to himself, "O how charming is royalty, which is fraught with such splendour and prosperity.

11. Ah! how shall I become the monarch of all the ten sides, and have such a retinue of horse and elephants and foot soldiers, with a similar train of flags and flappers and blazing umbrellas.

12. When will the breeze waft the fragrance of kunda flowers, and the farina of lotuses to my bed-chamber, to lull me and my consorts to sleep.

13. When shall I adorn the countenances of my chamber maids with camphor and sandal paste, and enlighten the faces of the four quarters with my fair fame, as the moon-beams decorate the night.

14. With these thoughts, the Brahman was thenceforth determined to apply himself with vigilance, to the rigid austerities of his religion for life.

15. He was at last overtaken by infirmities which shattered his frame, as the sleets of snowfall, batter the blooming lotuses in the lake.

16. Seeing his approaching death, his faithful wife was fading away with fear, as a creeper withers at the departure of spring, for fear of the summer heat.

17. This lady then began to worship me (the personification of Wisdom) like thyself, for obtaining the boon of immortality which is hard to be had.

She prayed saying said:—

18. Ordain, O goddess! that the spirit of my lord may not depart from this sepulchre after his demise: and I granted her request.

19. After some time the Brahman died, and his vacuous spirit remained in the vacuity of that abode.

20. This aeriform spirit of the Brahman, assumed the shape of a mighty man on earth, by virtue of the excessive desire and merit of acts in his former state of existence.

21. He became the victorious monarch of the three realms, by subjugating the surface of the earth by his might, by laying hold on the high steeps (of the gods) by his valour, and his kind protection of the nether lands (watery regions) under his sway.

22. He was as a conflagration to the forest of his enemies, and as the steadfast Meru amidst the rushing winds of business on all sides. He was as the sun expanding the lotus-like hearts of the virtuous, and as the god of the makara ensign (Kama or cupid) to the eyes of women.

23. He was the model of all learning, and the all giving Kalpa tree to his suitors; he was the footstool of great Pandits, and as the full-moon shedding the ambrosial beams of polity all around.

24. But after the Brahman was dead, and his dead body had disappeared in the forms of elementary particles in air, and his airy spirit had reposed in the aerial intellectual soul within the empty space of his house.

25. His Brahmanic widow (born of the priestly class), was pining away in her sorrow, and her heart was rent in twain as the dried pod of Simbi.

26. She became a dead body like her husband, and her spirit by shuffling off its mortal coil, resumed its subtile and immortal form, in which it met the departed ghost of her husband.

27. She advanced to her lord, as rapidly as a river runs to meet the sea below its level; and became as cheerful to join him, as a cluster of flowers to inhale the vernal air.

28. The houses, lands and all the immovable properties and movable riches of this Brahman, are still existent in that rocky village, and it is only eight days past, that the souls of this loving pair, are reunited in the hollow vault of their house.