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 CV - The breaking of the magic spell

Argument. Inquiry of the courtiers into the cause of the king's apoplexy, and his answer thereto.

Vasishtha continued:—

After a couple of hours the king returned to his senses, like the lotus flower resuming its beauty, after the mists of the rainy weather are over.

2. He shook his body decorated with ornaments upon his seat; as a mountain shakes with its peaks and woods at an earthquake.

3. His seat also shook under him as he came to his sense and moved his body, just as the seat of Siva on the Kailasa mountain, is shaken by the movement of the infernal elephant.

4. As he was about to fall down from the horseback, he was held up by and supported upon the arms of his attendants; as the mount Meru is kept from falling, by the hills at its feet and sides.

5. The attendants bore the prince, in the deranged state of his mind upon their arms; as the still waters of the sea bear the figure of the moon that is disturbed by the waves.

6. The king asked them softly saying, what place was it and whose court it was; as the bee shut up in the flower cup of the lotus, asked it when it is about to sink in the water saying:—Ah! where am I, and where am I going?

7. The Courtiers then respectfully asked the king, what was the matter with him; with a voice as sweet as the lotus utters to the sun when he is eclipsed by Rahu.

8. The attendants also with all the ministerial officers, asked him about his case; as the gods terrified at the great deluge, asked the sage Markandeya concerning the occurrence.

9. Lord! we were greatly dismayed, said they, upon seeing you in that plight; because the stoutest hearts are broken by accidents proceeding from unknown causes.

10. What were those pleasant objects of your desire, that had so much bewitched your mind? Since you know that all the objects which appear pleasant for the present, prove to be bitter at the end. Gaudia principium nostri sunt saepe doloris. Ovid. Pleasure is often the introduction to pain, and amid the roses fierce Repentence rears her snaky crest. Thomson. So: Pleasure is pain, when drunk without a rein.

11. How could your clear understanding, which has been pacified by the grand doctrines and precepts of the wise, fall in to the false fascinations of the foolish? (Falsum gaudium juvat, quem nisi mendosum. False pleasure pleases, none but the base).

12. The minds of fools are fascinated by the trivial and tawdry trifles of common people; but they are of no value to the high minded as one like yourself. (The good and great are above the reach of the allurements of pleasure).

13. Those who are elated by the pride of their bodies, have their minds always excited by ungovernable passions, which take their lead through life. (Pride is innate in beauty).

14. Your mind is elevated above common things, it is calm and quiet and enlightened by truth; and fraught with excellent qualities; yet it is strange to find it out of its wits.

15. The mind unpracticed to reasoning, is led away by the currents of time and place, but the noble-minded are not subject to the influence of incantations and enchanting spells.

16. It is impossible for the reasoning mind to be weakened or deranged, the high mind like the mount towering of Meru, is not to be shaken by the boisterous winds.

17. Thus consoled by his companions, the countenance of the king resumed its colour; as the face of the full moon collects its brightness, in the bright fortnight of the month.

18. The moon-like face of the king was brightened by his full open eyes, as the vernal season is beautified by the blooming blossoms, after the winter frost has passed away.

19. The king's face shone forth with astonishment, and it was mixed with fear, at the remembrance of the charm of the magician; as the moon shines pale in the sky, after her deliverance from the shadow of an eclipse.

20. He saw the magician and said to him with a smile, as the serpent takshaka addresses his enemy—the weasel.

21. You trickster, said he, what was this snare which thou didst entrap me in, and how was it that thou didst perturb my tranquil soul by thy wily trick, as a gale disturbs the calm of the sea.

22. How wonderful are the captivating powers of spells, which they have derived from the Lord, and whose influence had overpowered on the strongest sense of my mind.

23. What are these bodies of men, that are subject to death and disease and what are our minds that are so susceptible of errors, and lead us to continued dangers.

24. The mind residing in the body, may be fraught with the highest knowledge, and yet the minds of the wisest of men, are liable to errors and illusion. (Hominis est errare. To err is human).

25. Hear ye courtiers! the wonderful tale of the adventures, which I passed through under this sorcery, from the moment that I had met this magician at first.

26. I have seen so many passing scenes in one single moment under this wizard, as had been shown of old by Brahma in his destruction of the theurgy of Indra. (The mighty Sakra spread his Indrajala or the web of his sorcery, in order to frustrate the attempts of the valiant Bali against him, and was at last foiled himself by the Brahma vidya of Brahma).

27. Having said so, the king began to relate smilingly to his courtiers, the strange wonders which he had beheld in his state of hallucination.

28. The king said:—I beheld a region full with objects of various kinds, such as rivers and lakes, cities and mountains, with many boundary hills, and the ocean girding the earth around.