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 XXX - Description of the mundane egg (brahmanda)

1. They passed in a moment beyond the regions of the earth, air, fire, water, and vacuum, and the tracks of the ten planetary spheres.

2. They reached the boundless space, whence the universe appeared as an egg (ovum).

3. They beheld under its vault millions of luminous particles floating in the air (nebulae).

4. These were as innumerable bubbles, floating on the waters of the unlimited ocean of the sphere of the Intellect.

5. Some of them were going downward, and others rising upward; some turning round, and others appeared to their understanding to remain fixed and immovable.

6. These different motions appeared to them with respect to their own situations, as they saw them in their different sides.

7. Here there were no ups and downs and no upside or below, nor any going forward or backward. Here there are no such directions as men take to be by the position of their bodies.

8. There is but one indefinite space in nature, as there is but one consciousness in all beings; yet everything moves in its own way, as wayward boys take their own course.

Rama said:—

9. Tell me sir, why do we call upward and downward, forward and backward, if there are no such things in space and nature.

Vasishtha said:—

10. There is but one space enveloping all things, and the worlds which are seen in the infinite and indiscernible womb of vacuity, are as worms moving on the surface of water.

11. All these bodies that move about in the world by their want of freedom (i. e. by the power of attraction), are thought to be up and down by our position on earth.

12. So when there is a number of ants on an earthen ball, all its sides are reckoned below which are under their feet, and those as above which are over their backs.

13. Such is this ball of the earth in one of these worlds, covered by vegetables and animals moving on it, and by devas, demons and men walking upon it.

14. It is covered also by cities, towns and mountains, and their inhabitants and productions, like the walnut by its coat.

15. Like elephants appearing as pigmies in the Vindhyan mountains, do these worlds appear as particles in the vast expanse of space.

16. Every thing that is any where, is produced from and subsists in space. It is always all in all things, which are contained as particles in it.

17. Such is the pure vacuous space of the Divine understanding, that like an ocean of light, contains these innumerable worlds, which like the countless waves of the sea, are revolving for ever in it.

18. Some of these are hollow within, and others as dark as the darkness in the end of a kalpa age: and they are all moving about in the ocean of vacuity, like the waves of the sea.

19. Some of these are whirling about with a jarring noise for ever, which is neither heard by nor known to any body. It is like the motion of men addicted to earthly pursuits by their nature.

20. Some of these are now growing in form, as if they were newly created, and are in the course of their development, like sprouts in the cells of seeds newly sown in the ground.

21. Some of these are melting away as icicles under heat, like the mountains that were melted down by the burning sun and heavenly fire, at the dissolution of the world.

22. Others have been continually falling downward without gaining the ground, till at last they dwindle away, and melt into the divine Intellect.

23. Others are as immovable in the air, as the animalcula in the water, which are moved to and fro by the wind, without any sign of motion or sensation in them.

24. Again nothing is stable in nature, but every thing is as changeful as the acts and usages enjoined in the Vedas and sastras, are altered and succeeded by others.

25. There are other Brahmas and other patriarchs, and many Vishnus and many Indras one after the other. We have different kings of men, and sometimes no ruler of them.

26. Some are as men and lords of others (Ishas), in this multiform creation, and some are creeping and crooked living beings on earth; some kinds are as full as the waters of the ocean, and others have become quite extinct in the world.

27. Some are as hard as solid stones, and others as soft as the poor insects and worms; some are of godly figures as the giants, and others of puny human forms.

28. Some are quite blind and suited to darkness (as owls and moles and bats); others are suited to light (as men, birds and beasts), and some to both (as cats and rats).

29. Some are born as gnats sucking the juice of the fruits of the fig tree; while others are empty within, and fly about and feed upon the air.

30. The world is thus filled with creatures beyond the conception of Yogis, and we can not form even a guess-work of the beings that fill the infinite vacuum.

31. This world is the sphere of these living beings; but the great vacuum spreading beyond it, is so extensive, that it is immeasurable by the gods Vishnu and others, were they to traverse through it, for the whole of their lives.

32. Every one of these etherial globes, is encircled by a belt resembling a golden bracelet; and has an attractive power like the earth to attract other objects.

33. I have told you all about the grandeur of the universe to my best knowledge, any thing beyond this, is what I have no knowledge of, nor power to describe.

34. There are many other large worlds, rolling through the immense space of vacuum, as the giddy goblins of Yakshas revel about in the dark and dismal deserts and forests, unseen by others.