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 LXXIII - Narada’s relation of suchi's devotion

Argument. Description of Suchi's austerities, and Indra's Inquiry about them.

Vasishtha related:—

1. [Sanskrit available]
Indra having learnt about the austere devotion of Karkati, had the curiosity to know more of her through Narada, whom he asked about the matter.

Indra said:—

2. [Sanskrit available]
I know Suchi to have acquired her fiendish practice (of blood sucking), by means of her devotion; but who is this apish Karkati that is so greedy of her gain (of flesh and bones).

Narada replied:—

3. [Sanskrit available]
It is Karkati the malevolent fiend, that became Jiva Suchi or colic pain of the living, and assumed the shape of an iron needle as its support or fulcrum.

4. [Sanskrit available]
Having afterwards forsaken that prop, it entered into the human body as its landing place; and then it flew up to the heart on the vehicle of vital breath, and is seated in the car of the current air in atmosphere. (The resting place locus standi, point d'appui or powsto of the diseases of life).

This colic of life said:—

5. [Sanskrit available]
Jiva Suchi, having entered into the bodies of vicious lives, passes through the canals of their entrails and the pores of their flesh, fat and blood, and then nestles as a bird in the interior part.

6. [Sanskrit available]
It enters the intestines with the breath of the air, and there settles in the form of flatulent colic; afterwards being seated at the end of the nyagrodha artery, it forms the plethoric colic with fulness of blood and inflammation.

7. [Sanskrit available]
It also enters the body through other parts and organs, and receives different names according to its situation; and then feeds itself upon their flesh and marrow (as the best food for living beings).

8. [Sanskrit available]
Fastened to the knots of wreathed flowers and stuck to the leafy garlands, decorating the breasts and cheeks of fond damsels, she steeps enraptured with them, on the bosoms of their loving spouses (i. e. the menial needle is blessed in the company of her mistress).

9. [Sanskrit available]
She flies to the bodies of birds in wood-land retreats, which are free from worldly sorrow and strife; and flutters on the tops of flowers of the Kalpa arbours of Paradise, or rolls on beds of lotuses in the lakes.

10. [Sanskrit available]
She flies over the high hills of the gods, in the forms of fluttering bees; and sips the honey drops, perfumed with the fragrance of the pollen of mandara flowers.

11. [Sanskrit available]
She devours in the form of vultures, the entrails of the dead bodies of warriors, through the notches made in them, by blades of swords in warfare.

12. [Sanskrit available]
She flies up and down in the pellucid and glassy paths of the firmament, and pierces through all the pores and arteries or inlets into the human body; as the inflated winds pass in every creek and corner on all sides.

13. [Sanskrit available]
As the universal vital air (prana-vayu), runs in the heart of every living being, in the form of the pulsation of air; so does Suchi oscillate in every body, as it were her own habitation.

14. [Sanskrit available]
As the intellectual powers are lodged in every person, in the manner of blazing lamps in them; so does she reside and blaze as the mistress of every body; answering her dwelling house.

15. [Sanskrit available]
She sparkles as the vital spark in the particles of blood, and flows as fluidity in liquid bodies; she rolls and trolls in the bowels of living beings, as whirlpools whirl about in the bosom of the sea.

16. [Sanskrit available]
She rests in the milk white mass of flesh, as Vishnu reclines on his bed of the serpent Vasuki; she tastes the flavour of the blood of all hearts, as the goddess (Kali) drinks the liquor of her goblet of wine.

17. [Sanskrit available]
She sucks the circulating red hot blood of hearts, as the winds absorb the internal and vivifying juice, from the hearts of plants and trees.

18. [Sanskrit available]
Now this living Suchi, intending to become a devotee, remains as motionless as an immovable substance, and as fixed and steady in her mind.

19. [Sanskrit available]
The iron-hearted needle, being now rarefied as the invisible air, is traversing to all sides, on the swift wings of winds resembling its riding horses.

20. [Sanskrit available]
It goes on feeding on the flesh and drinking the blood of all living beings; and carrying on its various acts of giving and receiving, and dancing and singing all along.

21. [Sanskrit available]
Though the incorporeal Suchi has become aeriform and invisible as vacuum, yet there is nothing which she is unable to accomplish by the powers of her mind, outstripping the swiftness of the winds.

22. [Sanskrit available]
But though she runs mad with her meat, and turns about giddy with her drink; yet she is curbed by fate, like an elephant in chains from running at random.

23. [Sanskrit available]
The living body like a running stream, moves apace with billows in its course; and the painful and destructive diseases under which it labours, are as greedy sharks lying hid underneath.

24. [Sanskrit available]
This frail body like the formless Suchi, being disabled by infirmity to gorge its fleshy food, begins to lament its fate, like old and sickly rich folks, for their want of hunger and appetite.

25. [Sanskrit available]
The body with its members, moves about like the beasts of the forest (for their prey); and it plays its parts like an actress in the stage, with goodly apparel and ornaments on her person.

26. [Sanskrit available]
The body is moved to and fro by its internal and external winds, and its natural weakness (immobility), is always in need of being moved by the vital airs, as the immovable fragrance requires to be wafted by the breeze.

27. [Sanskrit available]
Men in vain rely on mantras and medicines, on austerities and charities, and on the adoration of idols for relief; while their bodies are subject to diseases like the sea to its surges.

28. [Sanskrit available]
The unseen force of mobility, is soon lost in the solid body, as the light of the lamp is lost in darkness. So the living Suchi came to be lost in the iron needle, in which she had her rest (i. e. the living body is lost and transformed to a spirit, wherein it finds its rest after death).

29. [Sanskrit available]
Every one aspires to a state according to his natural propensity; as the inclination of the Rakshasi led her to choose the needleship upon herself.

30. [Sanskrit available]
A man being tired by travelling far and wide, returns at last to take his rest at home; so the big and living Suchi turned to the form of the thin iron Suchi to execute her repose; but like ignorant people, who prefer the grosser pleasure of the body to the nicer delights of the soul; she still panted for her grosser enjoyments, that were now lost to her.

31. [Sanskrit available]
With the intention of satisfying her thirst, she travelled to all parts and quarters (in her form of the poor needle); but derived more of the mental pleasure of experience, than the satisfaction of her corporeal appetites.

32. [Sanskrit available]
When the container is in existence, it is possible to fill it with its contents and not otherwise; so one having his body, can seek and get every pleasurable object to give it delight.

33. [Sanskrit available]
Remembering now the past enjoyments of her former body, she became sorrowful in her mind, that was so highly pleased and satisfied with filling its belly before.

34. [Sanskrit available]
She was then resolved to betake herself to austere devotion, for the purpose of recovering her former body; and with this object in view, she chose for herself the proper situation for her castigations.

35. [Sanskrit available]
The living soul of Suchi, thought of entering into the heart of a young vulture flying in the air; and thus soared to it and rested herself in the air like that bird, by the help of her vital breath (i. e. the greedy spirit was turned to the form of a hungry vulture to shriek and seek for carrion).

36. [Sanskrit available]
The vulture being thus filled with the malevolent spirit of the choleric Suchi in itself, began to think of executing the purposes that Suchi had in her mind.

37. [Sanskrit available]
Thus the vulture bearing the insatiate Suchi within its body, flew to its intended spot on the mountain. It was driven there like a cloud by the wind, and it was in this place that Suchi was to be released from her needleship.

38. [Sanskrit available]
It sat there on a spot of the solitary forest in its state of asceticism, seeming to be freed from all desires of the world.

39. [Sanskrit available]
It stood there on one of its legs, supported on the tip of its toe and appeared as the statue of some deity, consecrated on the top of the mountain by some one in the form of Garuda.

40. [Sanskrit available]
There standing on one leg, supported on an atom of dust; she remained as the mountain peacock, that stands on one leg with the head raised to the sky.

41. [Sanskrit available]
The bird seeing the living Suchi coming out of his body, and standing on the mountain as a statue, fled away and disappeared from that place.

42. [Sanskrit available]
Suchi issued from the body of the bird, in the manner of the spirit coming out of it, and the intellect aspiring to higher regions; and as the particles of fragrance fly upon the wings of winds, in order to meet the breath of the nostrils to be borne into the nose.

43. [Sanskrit available]
The vulture fled to his own place after leaving Suchi at that place, like a porter disburthening himself of his load; and found himself relieved of his lickerish diseases on his return.

44. [Sanskrit available]
Now the iron Suchi, being seated in her devotion, in the form of the living Suchi; appeared as graceful as a right man engaged in the performance of his proper duty.

45. [Sanskrit available]
And as the formless spirit is unable to do anything, without a formal support or instrument; so the living Suchi supported herself on the tip of her toe, for performance of her devotion.

46. [Sanskrit available]
The living Suchi has sheathed the iron needle (in her heart), as an evil spirit (Pisachi) enwraps a Sinsapa tree; and as the winds enfold the particles of odor, which they bear away in their bosom.

47. [Sanskrit available]
Thenceforwards, O Indra! has she betaken herself to her protracted devotion, and passed many years in the solitary wilderness in her steady position and posture of body.

48. [Sanskrit available]
It now behoves you, O Indra! that art skilled in stratagems, to devise some plan, in order to delude her from her object, or else her devotion will destroy the people, you have so long preserved.

Vasishtha said:—

49. [Sanskrit available]
Indra having heard these words of Narada, sent Maruta (Eolus) the god of winds to her search, in all quarters of the globe.

50. [Sanskrit available]
The god Maruta then proceeded in quest of her, in his spiritual form of intelligence; and having traversed the etherial regions, alighted upon the nether world. The winds and all other elemental and physical powers, are believed to be endued with intelligence also; and not as mere brute forces, on account of the regular discharge of their proper functions, which they could never do without intelligence. (Hence the imagination and adoration of the Marutgana in the elemental worship of the Veda).

51. [Sanskrit available]
He beheld everything instantly at a glance of his intelligence; which perceived all things at one view; as the sight of the Supreme Spirit sees through all bodies without exception or hindrance (i. e. the sight of the spirit like its breath, sees through and supports all things).

52. [Sanskrit available]
His sight stretched to the Lokaloka mountain in the polar circle, far beyond the seven seas of the earth, where there is a large tract of land abounding with gems. (It is doubtful whether the polar mountain or sea abounds with gems).

53. [Sanskrit available]
He viewed the circle of the Pushkara continent, surrounded by a sea of sweet water; and containing mountains with their dales and valleys.

54. [Sanskrit available]
He next saw the Gomeda islands, surrounded by the sea of liquor with its marine animals; and the land abounding with cities and towns.

55. [Sanskrit available]
He beheld also the fertile and peaceful continent of Kraunchadwipa, bounded by the sweet Saccharine sea, and beset by a range of mountains.

56. [Sanskrit available]
Further on was the Swetadvipa (Albion island), with its subsidiary isles surrounded by the Milky (Atlantic) ocean, and having the temple of Vishnu in the midst of it (meaning perhaps the ancient Kelts to be colony of the Hindus).

57. [Sanskrit available]
After that appeared the sea of butter, surrounding the Kushadwipa island; and having chains of mountains and cities with buildings in them. (Butter milk &c., are fictitious name and not this really).

58. [Sanskrit available]
Then came the Sakadwipa in view amidst the ocean of curds, containing many countries and many large and populous cities in them. (The sakadwipa is said to be Scythia or the land of the saccae or sakas).

59. [Sanskrit available]
Last appeared the Jambudwipa girt by the sea of salt, having the Meru and other boundary mountains, and many countries in it. (This is Asia stretching to the polar mountains on the north and south).

60. [Sanskrit available]
Thus the intelligence of air (Marut), having alighted on earth upon the wings of winds, spread himself afterwards to its utmost ends with rapidity (or spread himself rapidly to its utmost limits afterwards).

61. [Sanskrit available]
The god of air then directed his course to Jambudwipa (Asia), and having arrived there, he made his way to the summit of the snowy mountain. (Himalaya, where Suchi was performing her devotion).

62. [Sanskrit available]
He saw a great desert on the highest top of the summit, which was as extensive as the expanse of the sky, and devoid both of living creatures and the vestiges of animal bodies (i. e. there were neither any living being not fossil remains to be found on the mountain peak).

63. [Sanskrit available]
It was unproductive of greens or grass owing to its nighness to the sun; and was covered over with dust, like that composing this earth.

64. [Sanskrit available]
There spread a wide ocean of the mirage to excite the thirst, like the lucid waters of a river; and allure the longings of men by its various hues, resembling the variegated colours of rain-bow.

65. [Sanskrit available]
Its wide expanse reaching almost to infinity, was unmeasurable even by the regents of the quarters of heaven, and the gusts of wind, blowing upon it, served only to cover it with a canopy of dust.

66. [Sanskrit available]
It resembled a wanton woman, besmeared with red powder as the sunbeams, and sandal paste like the moonbeams; and attentive to the whistlings of the breeze. (Thinking them to be hissings of men).

67. [Sanskrit available]
The god of the winds having travelled all over the seven continents and their seas, and being tired with his long journey on the surface of the earth; rested his gigantic body which fills the infinite space in all directions, on the top of that mountain; like a butterfly resting on the twig of a tree, after its wearied flight in the air.

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