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 - Collision of Equal Arms and Armigerents.

1. The heaps of arrows rising in spires above the ground, drove the cowards and the wounded afar from the field.

2. The hills of the dead bodies of men, horses and elephants, heaving in promiscuous heaps, and appearing as clouds fallen upon earth, invited the Yakshas and Rakshasas, and the carnivorous Pisachas, to come and sport in the wide ocean of blood.

3. Now there commenced a commutual contest, betwixt men of rank and virtue, and those of good character, valour and strength on both sides; not excepting even the holy and household people, all of whom took part in the combat, (that is, no condition of life, nor age nor sex, could escape the contagion of a warfare).

4. Duels were fought between these, like the clashing of one cloud with another; and like the confluence of two streams discharging their fury against each other.

5. As a rib is joined to another, and one side with the other, so met the horse against the horse, and elephant opposed the elephant in mutual conflict.

6. As one forest clasps and clings to another, and one hill is linked with the other in a range, so the duelists strove together, as one wave dashes against the other.

7. Footmen fought with footmen, as the reeds crush the reeds, and bamboos clash against one another, and the contrary winds struggle between themselves.

8. Cars falling upon cars, and chariots running against chariots, broke one another to pieces;and the citizens beat the rustics, as the Devas smote the demons of old.

9. The sky which had been erewhile clouded by the flight of arrows, was now emblazoned by the banner of the bowyer, resembling the rainbow of various colours.

10. At last the warriors who were overpowered in their conflict with unequal arms, fled away from the field, as they do from the fire of a conflagration.

11. Now the armigerents with discuses, met the thwarters of disks (chakras) in contest; and bowyers were opposed to bowmen, and swordsmen challenged the sword fighters in the field. So met the hookers and crookers with their co-rivals with crowbars (bhusundis) in hand.

12. Maces were opposed to maces (musalas), and lancers were set against the lance bearers (kuntas) in fighting. Spearmen braved the spearmen (rishtis), and the throwers of missiles were crossed with missives (prasas) in hand.

13. Mallets militated against mallets (mudguras), and clubs were contravened by clubmen in the conflict. Combatants with pikes (saktis), encountered the pikemen (sakti-dharas) face to face; and iron rods were crossed to pointed rods (sulas) in the strife.

14. Pugilists with missive weapons, counteracted the missiles of their antagonists (prasas), and those fighting with battle axes (parasus), baffled the poleaxes and pickaxes (paraswadhas) of their foes.

15. Trappers with their traps and snares, attacked the darters of nooses and lassos (pasas); and the darters of javelins (sankus), withstood the darts of the dartsmen on the other side. Daggers were opposed to daggers (kshurikas), and cudgels were presented before the cudgels (bhindipalas of the enemy).

16. Combatants with iron gloves contravened the boxers with iron fistcuffs (Vajramushtis), and those with iron cranes, pursued the fighters with crooked goads, (ankusas) in hand. Warriors with ploughshares attacked the ploughmen, and those with tridents, fell upon the trident holders (trisulins) in contest.

17. Champions with chained armours set upon the soldiers attired in mail (srinkhala jala); and they poured upon the field as flights of locusts, or as the waves in the troubled sea.

18. The air also seemed as a sea, with flying disks whirling as whirlpools (chakravartas), and the flight of reeds whistling like gusts of wind; while the range of running weapons seemed as sharks and dolphins moving about it.

19. The hollow of the heaven became as the great deep of the sea, impassable by the celestials, owing to the waving weapons, moving as sea monsters in the air.

20. Thus the armies of the two belligerent potentates, each composed of eight ranks or battalions, were furiously engaged with one another, as described below.

Section II - Catalogue of the Forces

21. Now hear me relate to you, the forces on the side of Padma, now named Viduratha, and the allied powers that came to his side, from the Central and Eastern districts.

22. There came the hardy warriors of Kosala (Oudh) and Kasi (Benares); those of Magadha (Behar) and Utkala (Orissa), situated in the east; and the Mekhalas (of Vindhya range), the Karkars (of Karnatic), and the Madras (of Madura) in the south.

23. The chiefs of Hema (Imaus) and Rudras and the Tamraliptas (Tamils) from the south; the Pragjyotishas (of east Assam), and the horse faced Osmuks and Ambashtha cannibals.

24. Then there joined the Varna-koshthas and Viswotras, and the eaters of raw food and flesh and the fish eaters (piscivori); and those with faces like tigers, the Kiratas (Kirrhoids and Kira-antis), with the Sauviras and one legged people.

25. Next came the mountaineers of Malyavana, Sibira and Anjanagiri; and others having the ensigns of bulls and lotuses, and the people of the sun rising mountain (Udaya-giri) in the east.

26. Those that joined from the south east (pragdaxina), are the following, namely; the Vindhyaris, the Chedis, the Vatsas, the Dasarnas (near the confluence of the ten streams); and the Angas, Bangas and Upabangas (of Upper and Lower Bengal).

27. They that met from the south were, Kalingas and Pundras, the Jatharas, Vidarbhas and the hill people (on the Karnatic coast); the Sabaras, the outcasted savages, the Karnas and the Tripura people.

28. Those named Kantakas from their thorny district, the unenlightened Komalas (of Comilla?); the Karnas (Canarese), the Andhras, the Cholas and the people on the borders of the Charmanvati river.

29. The Kakos or bald-headed and bearded people, and those of the Hema-kuta hills; the frizzled and long necked people, and the inhabitants of Kishkindha and cocoa forests.

30. The princes that joined with Lila's husband from the south, were as follows viz. the Vindhyans, the Kusumians (of Patna), the Mahendras and the Darduras, (of the hills of the same names).

31. The Malays and the solar race, and the Prince of the (33) united states and the rich and united cities of Avanti and Sambavati.

32. And those of Dasapura (or ten cities) of Katha (Kota), Chakra, Reshika Cutch and others, and the foresters of Upagiri and Bhadragiri hills.

33. The prince of Nagore and the chiefs of Dandaka forest, and the joint states of the people; the Sahas, Saivas, and the hill people of the Rishyamuka and Karkota and the Vimbila foresters.

34. Then came the inhabitants from the banks of Pampa, the Kerakas and Karkaviras; with the Kherikas, Asikas and the people of Dhrumapattana.

35. Next came the Kasikas and Khallukas, the Yadas and Tamraparnikas; the Gonardas, the Kanakas and the people of Dinapattam.

36. The Tamris (Tamils), Kadambharas, Sahakaras and Enakas (or deer hunters); the Vaitundas, Tumba-vanalas, and those attired in deer and elephant skins.

37. Then came the lotus-like Sibis and Konkans and the inhabitants of Chitrakuta mountains; with the people of Karnata, the Mantas, Batakas and those of Cattak.

38. The Andhras and Kola hill people (Koles), the Avantis and Chedis; with the Chandas and Devanakas and Kraunchavahas.

39. At last came the people from the three peaks of Chitrakuta mountains, called the Silakhara, Nanda mardana and Malaya, which were the seats of the guardian Bakshasas of Lanka.

40. Then those of the southwest where there is the great realm of Surastra (Surat), with the kingdoms of Sindhu (Sinde) Sauvira, Abhira, and Dravidas (in Deccan).

41. Also those of the districts of Kikata, Siddha Khanda, and Kaliruha, and the mount Hemagiri or golden hills and the Raivataka range.

42. Then the warriors of Jaya Kachchha (the victorious Cutch), and Mayavara (Mewar); as also the Yavanas (Ionians), the Bahlikas (Balkhs), the Marganas (nomads), and the grey coloured Tumbas (on the north).

43. Then there came Lahsa races and many hill peoples, inhabiting the borders of the sea (Caspian), forming the limit of the dominion of Lila's husband (Hindu Government) on the north.

44. Now know the names of the countries belonging to the enemy in the west, and of those composed of the following mountain ranges, viz.

45. The mount Maniman and the Kurar-pana hills, with the hillocks of Vanorka, Megha-bhava, and the Chakra-vana mountain.

46. There is the country of the five peoples limiting the territory of the Kasa Brahmans, and after that the Bharaksha, the Paraka and Santika countries.

47. Thence stretch the countries of the Saivyas, Amarakas, the Pachchyas (Paschatyas) and Guhutwas; and then the Haihaya country, and those of the Suhyas, Gayas and Tajikas and Hunas (Huns).

48. Then along the side of some other countries, there is the range of Karka hills, inhabited by barbarous people, devoid of caste, customs and limits of moral duties.

49. Thence stretches a country hundreds of leagues in length, to the boundary mountain of Mahendra, abounding in rich stones and gems.

50. After that stands the Aswa range with hundreds of hills about it;and extending to the dread ocean on the north of the Pariyatra range. (Paropamisus).

51. On the north western side, there are countries beyond the boundary mountains (of Asia), where Venupati was the king of the land.

52. Then there are the countries of the Phalgunakas and and Mandavayas and many other peoples; and those of Purukundas and Paras (Paris?) as bright as the orb of the sun.

53. Then the races of Vanmilas and Nalinas and the Dirghas; who are so called, from their tall statures and long arms and hairs. Then there are the Rangas (Red men), Stanikas with protuberant breasts, and the Guruhas and Chaluhas.

54. After that is the kingdom of women (ruled by a queen), where they feed upon bullocks and heifers. Now about the Himalayas and its hills in the north (of India):—

55. These are the Krauncha and Madhuman hills; and the Kailasa, Vasuman and the Sumeru peaks; at the foot of which are the people, known under many names.

56. Beside these there met the warlike tribes of India consisting of the Madrawars, Malavas and Sura-senas. The Rajputs of the race of Arjuna, the Trigartas and the one legged people and Khudras.

57. There were the Abalas, Prakhalas, and Sakas (Saccae or Scythians). The Khemadhurtas, the Dasadhanas, the Gavasanas and Dandahanas (club fighters).

58. The Dhanadas and Sarakas and Batadhanas also, with the islanders and Gandharas and Avanti warriors of Malwa.

59. The warlike Takshasilas (Taxilas), the Bilavas, Godhanas and the renowned warriors of Pushkara (Pokhra).

60. Then there were the Tikshas and Kalavaras, and the inhabitants of the cities of Kahaka and Surabhuti likewise.

61. There were the people of the Ratikadarsa and Antaradarsa also; and the Pingalas, the Pandyas, Yamanas and Yatudhanas Rakshasas too.

62. There were also the races of men, known as Hematalas and Osmuks, together with the hilly tribes, inhabiting the Himalaya, Vasuman, Krauncha and Kailasa mountains.

63. Hear me now relate to you the peoples that came from the north east quarter, which extends a hundred and eighty leagues in its circumference.

64. There came also the Kalutas and Brahmaputras, the Kunidas and Khudinas, with the warlike Malavas and the champions of the Randhra and forest states.

65. Then there were the Kedavas and Sinhaputras of dwarfish statures; the Sabas (Sabae or Sabians?), the Kaccaes, the Pahlavis (ancient Persians), the Kamiras and the Daradas (the present Darduis or Himalayan hills).

66. There were also the people of Abhisa, the Jarvakas, the Pulolas and Kuves; the Kiratas and Yamupatas, together with the poor and rich people of desert lands and tracts of gold.

67. Thus Lila saw in one view, the residences of the devas;the forest lands and the earth in all their beauty. She saw all the seats of opulence (viswavasus), and the edifices with which they were adorned;she beheld the summit of Kailasa, and the delightful groves at its foot, and the level lands traversed by the aerial cars of Vidyadhara and celestial beings.[1]

Footnotes and references:


It was easy for the lively Līlā, to learn about these peoples and their native lands in her lonely Yoga meditation, by the help of the goddess of learning; but it is hard for us to identify them without subjecting ourselves to a long labour of love, which is a sort of Yoga also, called vidya Yoga, or intense application and self devotion to learning.