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 LIII - Representations of reminiscence

Argument. Description of Lila's passage in the air, and her union with her husband's spirit. Relation of the depravity of those that are unacquainted with and unpractised in Yoga.

Vasishtha said:—

1. Lila having obtained the blessing of the goddess, proceeded with her fancied body to meet her royal spouse in heaven beyond the skies.

2. Having assumed her spiritual form which was as light as air, she fled merrily as a bird; and was wafted aloft by the fond desire of joining with her beloved lord.

3. She met before her a damsel sent by the goddess of wisdom, and as issuing out of the best model of her heart's desire.

The damsel said:—

4. I am the daughter of thy friend Sarasvati, and welcome thee, O beauteous lady in this place. I have been waiting here on thy way through the sky in expectation of thee.

Lila said:—

5. Lead me, O lotus-eyed maid to the side of my husband, as the visit of the good and great never goes for nothing.

Vasishtha said:—

6. The damsel replied, come let us go there; and so saying, she stood before her looking forward on her way.

7. Then proceeding onward both together, they came to the door-way of heaven, which was as broad as the open palm of the hand, and marked with lines as those in palmistry. (?).

8. They passed the region of the clouds, and overstepped the tracks of the winds; then passing beyond the orbit of the sun, they reached the stations of the constellations.

9. Thence they passed through the regions of air and water (Indraloka), to the abodes of the gods and saints (Siddhas); whence they went across the seats of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva to the great belt—of the universe.

10. Their spiritual bodies pierced through its orifice, as the humidity of ice water passes out of the pores of a tight water-jar.

11. The body of Lila was of the form of her mind, which was of the nature of its own bent and tenor, and conceived these wanderings within itself (i. e., the peregrinations of Lila were purely the workings of her own mind and inclination).

12. Having traversed the spheres of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, and crossed the limit of the mundane sphere, and the environs of atmospheric water and air:—

13. They found an empty space as spacious as the scope of the great intellect, and impassable by the swift Garuda (the eagle of Jupiter) even in millions of Kalpa ages (i. e., the unlimited space of the mind and vacuity).

14. There they beheld an infinity of shapeless and nameless worlds, scattered about as the countless fruits in a great forest. (The Nebulae of unformed worlds).

15. They pierced through the ambit of one of these orbs before them, and passed inside the same as a worm creeps in a fruit which it has perforated.

16. This brought them back by the same spheres of Brahma, Indra and others, to the orb of the globe below the starry frame.

17. Here they saw the same country, the same city and the same tomb as before; and after entering the same, they sat themselves beside the corpse of Padma covered under the heap of flowers.

18. At this time Lila lost the sight of the heavenly damsel, who had been her companion erewhile, and who had now disappeared from her sight like a phantom of her illusion.

19. She then looked at the face of her husband, lying there as a dead body in his bed; and recognized him as such by her right discretion.

20. This must be my husband, said she, ay my very husband, who fell fighting with Sindhu; and has now attained this seat of the departed heroes, where he rests in peace.

21. I have by the grace of the goddess arrived here in person, and reckon myself truly blest to find my husband also as such (i. e., resting here in his own figure).

22. She then took up a beautiful chowry flapper in her hand, and began to wave it over his body as the moon moves in the sky over the earth.

The waking lila asked said:—

23. Tell me, O goddess! in what manner the did king and his servants and hand-maids accost this lady, and what they thought her to be.

The goddess replied:—

24. It was by our gift of wisdom to them, that this lady, that king and those servants, found themselves to partake of the one and same intellectual soul, in which they all subsisted.

25. Every soul is a reflection of the divine intellect, and is destined by his fixed decree to represent the individual souls to one another as refractions of the same, or as shadows in a magic show (bhojakadrishta).

26. Thus the king received his wife as his companion and queen, and his servants as cognate with himself (i. e. partaking of the same soul with his own).

27. He beheld the unity of his soul with her's and their's, and no distinction subsisting between any one of them. He was astonished to find that there was nothing distinct in them from what he had in himself.

The waking lila said:—

28. Why did not that Lila meet her husband in her own person, according to her request and the boon that was granted to her?

The goddess replied:—

29. It is not possible for unenlightened souls (as that of the young Lila), to approach in person to holy spirits (or their persons or places), which are visible and accessible only to the meritorious, and unapproachable by gross bodies as the sun light is inaccessible by a shadow.

30. So it is the established law from the beginning of creation, that intelligent souls can never join with dull beings and gross matter, as truth can never be mixed up with falsehood.

31. And so is that as long as a boy is prepossessed with his notion of a ghost, it is in vain to convince him of the falsehood of goblins as mere chimeras of his imagination.

32. And as long as the feverish heat of ignorance rages within the soul, it is impossible for the coolness of the moon of intelligence to spread over it.

33. So long also as one believes himself to be composed of a corporeal body, and incapable to mount in the higher atmosphere, it is no way possible to make him believe otherwise (that he has an incorporeal nature in his soul and mind).

34. But it is by virtue of one's knowledge and discrimination, and by his own merit and divine blessing, that he acquires a saintly form (nature); wherewith he ascends to the higher region, as you have done with this body of yours.

35. As dry leaves of trees are burnt in no time by the burning fire, so this corporeal body is quickly lost by one's assumption of his spiritual frame.

36. The effect of a blessing or curse, on any one is no other than his obtaining the state he desired or feared to have. (Hence the boon of Lila has secured to her what she wished to get).

37. As the false appearance of a snake in a rope, is attended with no motion or action of the serpent in it; so the unreal views of Lila's husband and others, were but the motionless imageries of her own imagination.

38. Whoever views the false apparitions of the dead as present before the vision of his mind, he must know them as reflections of his past and constant remembrance of them.

39. So our notions of all these worlds are mere products of our reminiscence, and no creation of Brahma or any other cause; but simple productions of our desire (which presents these figures to the imagination).

40. So they who are ignorant of the knowable spirit of God, have only the notions of the outer world in them; as they view the distant orb of the moon within themselves (in their minds).