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 LXXII - Fervour of suchi’s devotion

Argument. Ardour of Suchi's austerities and Indra's Inquiry of it.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. Afterwards Suchi became silent and motionless, and thought of resuming her austerities for the sake of regaining her long lost body.

2. With this intention she returned to the Himalayas; and there abstaining from her desire of human gore, she sat reiterating her castigations.

3. She saw in her mind her form of the needle, entering into her heart with her breathings.

4. Thus meditating on her mental form of the needle, she was wafted by her vital breath to the top of the hill, and alighted on it like a vulture from high.

5. There she remained alone and apart from all living beings, and sat amidst burning fires, with her form of an ash-coloured stone (i. e. besmeared by ashes like a yogi).

6. She sat there as a sprout of grass, springing in that dry and grassless spot; but soon faded away, to a blade of withered hay in the sandy desert.

7. She remained standing on tip-toe of her only one foot, and continued in the castigation of her own self. (Standing of the one legged needle, represented the posture of devotees standing on one leg).

8. She lightly touched the ground with her tiptoe stature, and avoiding all sidelong looks, gazed on the upper sky with her upraised face and uplifted eyes.

9. The acute point of the black iron needle, firmly preserved its standing posture by penetrating the ground;while it fed itself upon the air, which it inhaled by its uplifted mouth.

10. The scarcity of food in the forest, made it look up as in quest of some prey coming from a distance; while its lower part shaking with the wind, enticed the unwary to approach towards it.

11. The ray of light issuing as a pencil from the needle hole, became like its attendant guard on the hinder part.

12. As men are kindly disposed towards the mean, that are favourites to them; so was the needle attached to the pencil of ray, that became its constant attendant.

13. The needle had another constant companion, of its devotion in its own shadow; but the blackness of its person, made it always to remain behind the back. (The shadow of a thing ever remains behind it).

14. Thus the shadowy needle and pencil of ray, having firmly adhered themselves to the iron needle; these three have always become intimate friends, like all good people mutually assisting one another.

15. The trees and plants of the mountain forest, felt compassion for Suchi on seeing her in this plight; for who is there, that bears no sympathy for the pious devotee, or her penances and austerities?

16. The needle that was thus stuck fast to the ground by its foot, and had sprung up like some faculty of the mind; was fed with the fragrance of the fruitage, blown and borne by the breeze to its uplifted mouth.

17. The woodland gods and demigods, continued to fill its mouth with the dust; of blown and unblown flowers in the woods.

18. But it did not swallow the powdered dust of meat; which the god Indra had caused to be thrown into its mouth, for the purpose of frustrating the efficacy of its devotion.

19. Its fixity of purpose, did not permit it to swallow the delicious powder; because a person however mean he may be, is sure of success by his firmness of mind.

20. The god of winds, with his power of uprooting the mountains; was astonished to find the needle, averse to swallow the food, ministered to it in the form of the pollen of flowers.

21. The resolute devotee is never to be shaken from his purpose, though he is plunged in the mud or drowned in water, or scattered by the winds and thrown into the burning fire.

22. Or when he is shattered by showers of hailstones, or struck by the lightning or battered by rain drops, and intimidated by thunder claps.

23. The resolute mind is not changed in a thousand years, and the feet of the firm, like those of the drowsy and dead drunk, never move from their place.

24. The holy hermit who is devoted to his purpose, loses in time the motion of his external organs; but obtains by the exercise of his reason, the light of true knowledge in his soul.

25. Thus did Suchi gain the light of knowledge, and become a seer of the past and future. She became cleansed of the dross of her sins, and her Visuchi or impurity was turned to Suchi or purity.

26. She came to know the truly knowable, in her own understanding; and she felt true bliss in her soul, after the removal of her sins by devotion.

27. She continued for many thousand years in her austere devotion, to the great astonishment of seven times seven worlds, that got affrighted at her austerities. (The cause of their fright was, lest she should take possession of their happy states, by the merit of her devotion).

28. The great mountain was set in a blaze, by the fervour of her devotion; and that flame spread to all the worlds, like the blaze of a portentous meteor.

29. This made Indra the god of heaven, to ask Narada respecting the cause of this intense devotion; saying "Who is it that engrosses to her the fruition of worlds, by her austere devotion"? To whom Narada thus replied:

30. "It is Suchi, who by her continued devotion of thousands of years, has attained her highest state of enlightenment; and it is that light that now enflames all the worlds."

31. It is Suchi's devotion, O lord of gods, that makes the Nagas to sigh and the hills to tremble. It causes the celestials to fall down, and the sea to overflow on earth. It dries up all things, and casts to shade the bright orb of the sun itself.