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...

Section I - Alighting of the Ladies on Earth

Vasishtha said:—

After having seen the worlds in their aerial journey, the ladies alighted from there, and quickly entered the inner apartment of the king.

2. There they saw the dead body of the king lying in state amidst heaps of flowers, accompanied by the spiritual body of Lila, sitting beside the corpse.

3. It was the dead of night, and the inmates had fallen into sound sleep one by one; and the room was perfumed with the incense of resin, camphor and sandalwood and saffron.

4. Lila, seeing the house of her latter husband, and wishing to enter into it, alighted in her assumed body (sankalpadeha) on the spot of his sepulchre.

5. She then passed through the fictitious spacious palace of her lord (sankalpasansara), by breaking out of the confines of her body and cranium called the earthly and worldly environs in Yoga terminology (sansara and Brahmanda-avaranas).

6. Then she went again with the goddess to the bright and spacious temple of the world (Brahmanda-mandapa), in which she quickly entered.

7. She saw her husband's imaginary world to lie as a dirty and mossy pool, as the lioness beholds the mountain cave covered by darkness and clouds.

8. The goddesses then entered into that vacuous world with their airy bodies, as weak ants make their passage through the hard crust of the wood-apple or bel-fruit.

9. There they passed through regions of cloudy hills and skies, and reached the surface of the earth, consisting of tracts of land and basins of water.

10. They then came to the Jambu-dwipa (Asia), situated amidst the ninefold petals of the other dwipas (or continents), and thence proceeded to the territories of Lila's husband in the varsha land of Bharata (India).

11. At this interval of time they beheld a certain prince—(the ruler of Sinde), strengthened by other chiefs, making an attack on this part which was the beauty of the world.

12. They beheld the air crowded by people of the three worlds, who had assembled there to see the conflict.

13. They remained undaunted, and saw the air crowded by aerial beings in groups like clouds.

14. There were the Siddhas, Charanas, Gandharvas, Vidyadharas, Suras, celestials and Apsaras in large bodies.

15. There were also the goblins of Bhutas and Pisachas, and Rakshasa cannibals; while the Vidyadhara females were flinging handfuls of flowers like showers of rain on the combatants.

16. The Vetalas, Yakshas and Kushmands, that were looking at the affray with pleasure, took themselves to the shelter of hills, to avoid the flying darts and weapons.

17. The imps were flying from the air, to keep themselves from the way of the flying weapons; and the spectators were excited by sound of the war-whoop of the combatants.

18. Lila who was standing by with a flapper (or fan) in her hand, was frightened at the imminent dreadful conflict, and smiled to scorn their mutual vauntings.


Section II - Sight of a Battle Array in Earth and Air

19. Virtuous people who were unable to endure the horrid sight, betook themselves to prayers, with the chief priests for averting the calamity.

20. The messengers of Indra, were ready with their decorated elephants (called loka-palas), for bearing the souls of mighty heroes to grace the seats of heaven.

21. The charanas and Gandharvas, were singing praises of the advancing heroes; and heavenly nymphs that liked heroism, were glancing at the best combatants.

22. Voluptuous women were wishing to embrace the arms of the brave; and the fair fame of the heroes, had turned the hot sunshine to cool moonlight.

23. Rama asked:—Tell me, sir, what sort of a warrior is called a hero, that becomes a jewel in heaven, and who is an insurgent.

24. Vasishtha answered:—He who engages in a lawful warfare, and fights for his king, and whether he dies or becomes victorious in the field, is called a hero, and goes to heaven.

25. Whoever kills men otherwise in war and dies afterwards, in an unjust cause, is called an insurgent, and goes to hell at last.

26. Whoever fights for unlawful property, and dies in battle, becomes subject to everlasting hell fire.

27. Whoso wages a just warfare, that is justified by law and usage, that warrior is called both loyal as well as heroic in deed.

28. Whoever dies in war, for the preservation of kine, Brahmans and friends with a willing mind, and whoso protects his guest and refugee with all diligence, he verily becomes an ornament in heaven after his death.

29. The king who is steadfast in protecting his subjects and his own country, is called the just, and those that die in his cause are called the brave.

30. They that die fighting on the side of riotous subjects, or in the cause of rebellious princes or chiefs, are doomed to fire.

31. They that die fighting unjustly against their kings, lawgivers and rulers, are subjected to the torments of hell.

32. A war which is just, serves to establish order; but the giddy that are fearless of the future, destroy all order (by their unjust warfare).

33. The hero dying, goes to heaven, is the common saying; and the sastras call the lawful warrior only a hero, and not otherwise.

34. They who suffer wounds on their bodies, for the protection of the righteous and good, are said to be heroes, or else they are insurgents (dimbhavas).

35. It was in expectation of seeing such heroes that the damsels of the gods, were standing in the air, and talking to themselves of becoming the spouses of such warriors.

36. The air was as decorated as by an illumination on high, and by rows of the beautiful heavenly cars of gods and Siddhas, and presence of celestial maidens, who sang in sweet notes, and decorated their locks with mandara flowers.