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 CIV - Story of a magic scene

Argument. Story of king Lavana and his court, and the Advent of a Sorcerer there.

Vasishtha said:—

1. Hear me relate to you Rama a very pretty narrative, representing the world as an enchanted city, stretched out by magic of the magician Mind.

2. There lies on the surface of this earth a large and populous tract of land by name of Northern Pandava, a country full of forests of various kinds. (We know the Northern Kuru the Uttara Kuru or Otterokoros of Ptolemy, to be the Trans-Himalayan Tartary, which is here termed the North-Pandava, from the King Pandu's rambles and the wanderings of the Pandava princes in it in their exile).

3. The forests were deep and dense, and there dwell in the fastness of these woods a number of holy hermits; while the Vidyadhara damsels had wrought there many a bower of swinging creepers (for their amusement).

4. Heaps of rubicund farina, wafted by the breeze from full blown lotuses, rose as high as crimson hills on the ground;which was decorated with wreaths and garlands by the loads of flowers, which had fallen thereon from the surrounding trees.

5. Groves of Karanja plants were decorated with bundles of blossoms, to the utmost boundaries of the jungle; and the firmament resounded with the rustling noise, emitted by the leafy date trees in the villages around.

6. There was a range of tawny rocks on one side, and fields brown with ripened corn on another; while the warbling of cerulean doves—reechoed in the resonant groves about.

7. The shrill cry of the stork resounded in the forest, and the branches of tamala and patali flowers, hang down like earrings of the hills.

8. Flocks of various birds, were making a chorus with their vocal music; and the blooming crimson blossoms of paribhadra arbors, were hanging over the banks, all along the length of the running streams.

9. Damsels in the cornfields, were exciting the passion of love with their vocal music; and the breezes blowing amidst forests of fruits and flowers, dropped down the blossoms in copious showers.

10. The birds, Siddhas and seers were sitting and singing outside their homes of mountain caverns; and made the valley symphonious with their celestial strains of holy hymns.

11. The Kinnara and Gandharva concerts, were singing under their bowers of plantain trees; and the greyish and gaysome groves of flowers, were filled with the hum of the whistling breeze.

12. The lord of this romantic country, was the virtuous Lavana, a descendant of king Harish Chandra; and as glorious as his sire the sun upon earth. (This prince had descended of the solar race).

13. His fair fame formed a white diadem to crown his head, and adorn his shoulders with its brightness; it whitened the hills in the form of so many Sivas, besmeared with the hoary ashes upon his tufted head and person.

14. His sword had made an end of all his enemies; who trembled as in a fit of fever on the hearing of his august name.

15. His greatest exertion was devoted to the supportance to respectable men; and his name was uttered like that of Hari by all his people.

16. The Apsara fairies sang with glee the songs of his praise, sitting in the celestial seats of the gods on the tops of the Himalayan mountains.

17. The regent of the skies heard with attention, the songs of the heavenly maids, and the aerial swans and cranes of Brahma, were responsive to their eulogies with their gabbling cries. (Dhani is the enharmonic diapason of Indian music).

18. His uncommonly magnanimous and wonderous acts, which were free from the fault of niggardliness; were unlike to any thing that was ever heard or seen by any body.

19. His nature knew no wiliness, and it was a perfect stranger to pride and arrogance; he kept himself steadfast to his magnanimity, as Brahma held himself fast to his rudraksha beads.

20. He used to take his seat in the royal throne amidst his courtiers, as the lord of the day occupies his seat in the sky for the eight parts (watches) of the day. (The Ritual day is divided into eight yamardha parts for particular rites and duties).

21. After he was seated there as gladly as the moon in the firmament, his chieftains and legions appeared before the throne with their salutations (and presenting of arms).

22. Then as the royal party was seated in the court hall, beautiful songstresses (that were in attendance), began to sing, and ravish the hearts of the hearers, with the music of lutes.

23. Then a set of handsome maids, waved the beautiful chouries which they held in their hands, over the person of the king: and the ministers and counsellors, as wise as the preceptors of the gods and demons (Brihaspati and Sukra), took their seats beside him.

24. The ministers were then employed in the public affairs pending before them; and the dextrous officers were engaged in relating the reports of the country to the king.

25. There were the learned pandits reciting the holy legends from their books, and the courteous panegyrists chaunting their sacred eulogies on one side.

26. There appeared at this time a magician in his fantastic attire, and with his blustering vauntings before the Court; in the manner of a roaring cloud, threatening to deluge the earth with his showers of rain.

27. He bowed down to the ruler of the earth, and lowly bent his capped head and neck before the court; as a tree hangs down its loads of fruits, at the foot of a mountain.

28. He approached before the king, as a monkey advances to a shady and lofty tree, loaded with fruits and flowers. (The artful sorcerer is compared with the cunning monkey prying into a fruitful arbour).

29. The flippant brat then conveyed the fragrance of his sense, with the breath of his mouth; and addressed the lofty headed king with his sweet voice, as the humble bee hums to the lotus.

30. Reign O lord! that sittest on the earthly throne like the moon enthroned on high, to mark one wonderful feat of my art, known as the trick of Kharolikika.

31. Saying so, he began to twirl about his magic staff set with peacocks' feathers, which began to display many wonders like the wonderful works of creation.

32. The king beheld it describing a bright circlet, emitting the particles of its rays around; and viewed in the manner, that the god Indra views his variegated rainbow sparkling afar in the sky.

33. As this time a chieftain of Sinde (who was the master of horse), entered the court, as a cloud appears in the starry heaven.

34. He was followed by his swift and beautiful courser, as the Uchcha Srava horse of Indra follows his master in the celestial regions. (This is the Pegasus of the Hindus).

35. The chieftain brought the horse before the king and said this horse my lord! is a match for the Uchcha Srava, who was produced from the milky ocean, and flies with the swiftness of the mind.

36. This horse of mine, O king of the earth! is the best of his kind, and a compeer of Uchcha Sravas; he is a personification of the wind in the swiftness of his flight.

37. My master has made a present of this horse to you, my lord; because the best of things is a suitable present to the best of men. (Great gifts are for the great; or, a donum worthy of the donor and donee).

38. After he had ended his speech the magician spoke in a voice, as sweet as that of the swallow, after the roaring of the cloud is hushed to silence.

39. Do you my lord ride upon this horse, and wander at your pleasure with full lustre on earth; as the sun shines forth in splendour by his revolving round the heavens.

40. Hearing this the king looked at the horse, and ordered him to be brought before him, in a voice like that of the peacock answering the roaring cloud.

41. The king saw the horse brought before him as a figure drawn in painting, and gazed upon him with his fixed eyes and without closing his eye-lids, as he was himself turned to a painting. (A gift horse is looked in his gait, and not in his mouth).

42. Having looked upon him for a long time, he mounted on his back, and sat still with his closed eye-lids, as the sage Agastya was confounded at the sight of the sea and its rocks.

43. He continued for a couple of hours as if he was drowned in his meditation, and as insensible saints remain in the enjoyment of their internal and spiritual stupor.

44. He remained as spell-bound and overpowered by his own might, and could not be roused from his stupefaction by any body, but was absorbed in some thoughts of his own mind.

45. The flapping chouries ceased to wave about his person, and the holders of the flappers remained as still as the moon beams at night.

46. The Courtiers remained motionless at seeing his quiescence, as when the filaments of the lotus, remain unmoved, by their being besmeared in the mud.

47. The noise of the people in the Courtyard, was all hushed and quiet;as the roaring of the clouds is stopped at the end of the rains.

48. The ministers were drowned in their thoughtfulness and doubts at the state of their king, as the host of the gods were filled with anxiety on seeing the club bearing Vishnu fighting with the demons.

49. The people were struck with terror and dismay, at seeing this apoplexy of their prince who remained with his closed eyes, like closed lotuses shorn of their beauty.