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 C - Healing of the heart

Argument. Arguing the Omnipotence of the Deity from the powers of the mind; and showing ignorance and knowledge to be the different causes of Human bondage and liberation in life.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. I have told you of the origination of the mind from the essence of the Supreme being;it is of the same kind, and yet not the same with its source, but like the waves and waters of the sea. (The mind being but an attribute of the Divine soul).

2. The minds of the enlightened are not different from the Divine Mind;as those that have the knowledge of the community of waters, do not regard the waves to differ from the waters of the sea.

3. The minds of the unenlightened are the causes of their error, as those not knowing the common property of water, find a difference in the waters of the waves and the sea.

4. It is requisite for the instruction of the unlearned, to acquaint them of the relation between the significant words and their significations (as the relation of water between the waves and the sea).

5. The Supreme Brahma is omnipotent, and is full and perfect and undecaying for ever. The mind has not the properties that belong to the omnipresent soul.

6. The Lord is almighty and omnipresent, and distributes his all diffusive power, in proportion as he pleases to every one he likes.

7. Observe Rama, how the intellectual powers are distributed in all animated bodies (in their due proportion); and how his moving force is spread in the air, and his immobility rests in the rocks and stones.

8. His power of fluidity is deposited in the water, and his power of inflammation is exhibited in fire; his vacuity is manifested in vacuum, and his substantiality in all solid substances.

9. The omnipotence of Brahma, is seen to stretch itself to all the ten sides of the universe; his power of annihilation is seen in the extinction of beings; and his punishment is evident, in the sorrows of the miserable.

10. His felicity is felt in the hearts of the holy, and his prowess is seen in the persons of giants; his creative power is known in the works of his creation, and his power of destruction in the desolation of the world, at the end of the great Kalpa age.

11. Everything is situated in Brahma, as the tree is contained in the seed of the same kind, and afterwards developes in its roots and sprouts, its leaves and branches, and finally in its flowers and fruits.

12. The power called the living principle, is a reflection of God, and is of a nature between the thinking mind and dull matter, and is derived from Brahma.

13. The nature of God is unchangeable, although it is usual to attribute many varieties to him; as we call the same vegetable by the different names of a germ, a sprout, a shrub, a plant and a tree at its different stages of growth.

14. Know Rama, the whole world to be Brahma, who is otherwise termed the Ego. He is the all pervading soul, and the everlasting stupendous fabric of the cosmos.

15. That property in him which has the power of thinking, is termed the mind; which appears to be something other than the Soul, thus we erroneously see peacock's feathers in the sky, and froths in the eddies of water (and suppose them as different things from the sky and water).

The principles of thought and animation said:—

16. the mind and life, are but partial reflections of the Divine Soul; and the form of mind is the faculty of thought, as that of life is the power of animation. (The one is called the rational and the other animating soul).

17. Thus the mind being but the thinking power of Brahma, receives the appellation of Brahma; and this power appearing as a part of the impersonal Brahma, is identified with Ego (the personal Brahma).

18. It is our error which makes a difference between the soul and mind, and Brahma and Brahma; because the properties which belong to the mind, are the same with those of the self-existent soul.

19. That which is variously named as the principle of mind or thought, is the same power of omnipotence which is settled in the mind (which is the repository of the thinking powers).

20. So are all the properties of the living soul, contained in and derived from the universal soul of Brahma; as all the properties of vegetation, blossoming and fructification of trees, are contained in the season of spring, and are dispensed among the plants, agreeably to their respective soil and climate, and other circumstances (of their culture &c.).

21. As the earth yields its various fruits and flowers in their season, so the hearts and minds of men, entertain their thoughts and passions in their proper times: some appearing at one time and others at another: (like the paddies and other grains of particular seasons).

22. And as the earth produces its harvests, according to their particular soil and season; so the heart and mind exhibit their thoughts and feelings of their own accord, and not caused by another.

23. The numbers and forms which convey determinate ideas, as distinguished from others of the same kind (as the figures in arithmetic and geometry), are all expressed in words coined by the mind from the mint of the mind of Brahma, the original source of ideas.

24. The mind adopts the same image as the reflections which it receives from without, or the thoughts and imaginations it forms of itself, and as the instance of the Aindava brothers, serves to support this truth: (of the double power of intuition and perception of the mind, to see into its own inner operations, and receive the impressions from without).

25. The animating principle (jiva-zoa), which is the cause of this creation, resides in the Supreme Spirit, like the fluctuation which is seen in the unagitated waters of the oceans.

26. The intelligent soul sees these hosts of creation to be moving in the essence of Brahma, as he beholds the innumerable waves, billows and surges of the sea, rolling on the surface of the waters.

27. There is no other reality that bears a name or form or figure or any action or motion except the supreme spirit; in which all things move about as the waves of the sea water (and which is the real source of the unreals).

28. As the rising and falling and continuation and disappearance of waves, occur on the surface of the sea by the fluctuation of its waters; so the creation, sustentation and annihilation of the universe, take place in Brahma, by the agency of Brahma himself.

29. It is by the inward heat of his spirit, that Brahma causes this world to appear as a mirage in himself; and whatever varieties it presents in its various scenes, they are all expansions and manifestations of the Divine Spirit.

30. All causality and instrumentality, and their resultants as well as the production, continuance and destruction of all things; take place in Brahma himself; beside which there is no other cause whatever.

31. There is no appetence nor pleasure, nor any desire or error in him, who relies his dependence in the Supreme; for how can one have any desire or error in himself who lives in the Supreme self, who is devoid of them?

32. The whole is a form of the Supreme soul, and all things are but forms of the same; and the mind also is a form of it, as a golden ornament is but a form of the gold.

33. The mind which is ignorant of its Supreme origin, is called the living soul; which from its ignorance of the Supreme soul, resembles a friend who has alienated himself from his true friend.

34. The mind which is misled by its ignorance of the all-intelligent God, to imagine its own personality as a reality; is as one who believes his living soul to be the production of vacuum (or as something produced from nothing).

35. The living soul although it is a particle of the Supreme soul, shows itself in this world as no soul at all (but a form of mere physical vitality). So the purblind see two moons in the sky, and are unable to distinguish the true moon from the false one.

36. So the soul being the only real entity, it is improper to speak of its bondage and liberation; and the imputation of error to it, is quite absurd in the sight of lexicographers, who define it as infallible.

37. It is a wrong impression to speak of the bondage of the soul, which is ever free from bonds; and so it is untrue to seek the emancipation of the soul, which is always emancipate.

Rama asked said:—

38. The mind is known sometimes to arrive at a certainty, which is changed to uncertainty at another; how then do you say that the mind is not under the bondage of error?

Vasishtha answered said:—

39. It is a false conceit of the ignorant to imagine its bondage; and their imagination of its emancipation, is equally a false conception of theirs.

40. It is ignorance of the smriti sastra, that causes one to believe in his bondage and emancipation; while in reality there are no such things as bondage and liberation.

41. Imagination represents an unreality as reality, even to men of enlightened understandings; as a rope presents the appearance of a snake even to the wise.

42. The wise man knows no bondage or liberation, nor any error of any kind: all these three are only in the conceptions of the ignorant.

43. At first the mind and then its bondage and liberation, and afterwards its creation of the unsubstantial material world, are all but fabulous inventions that have come into vogue among men, as the story of the boy of old (or as the old grand-mother's tale).

Note said:—

The conclusion of this chapter concerning the negation of bondage and liberation of the soul, and its error and enlightenment &c., rests on the text of a Sruti; which negates everything in the sight of one who has come to the light of the universal soul. The passage is:—

[Sanskrit: na nirodho nacotpattih na [...] | [...] paramarthatah |]