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 CXII - The restlessness of the mind and its cure

Argument. Means of weakening the mind and mental Desires.

Vasishtha continued:—

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Whatever be the nature of the object of any man's desire, his mind does not fail to run after it with great avidity in every place.

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This eagerness of the mind rises and sets by turns, with the view of the desired object, like the clear bubbles of water foaming and bursting of themselves with the breath of winds.

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As coldness is the nature of frost, and blackness is that of ink; so is swiftness or momentum the nature of the mind, as stillness is that of the soul.

Rama said:—

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Tell me sir, why the mind is identified with momentum, and what is the cause of its velocity; tell me also; if there is any other force to impede the motion of the mind.

Vasishtha replied:—

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We have never seen the motionless quiet of the mind; fleetness is the nature of the mind, as heat is that of fire.

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This vacillating power of motion, which is implanted in the mind, is known to be of the same nature as that of the self-motive force of the Divine mind; which is the cause of the momentum and motion of those worlds.

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As the essence of air is imperceptible without its vibration, so we can have no notion of the momentum of our minds, apart from the idea of their oscillation.

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The mind which has no motion is said to be dead and defunct; and the suspension of mental agitation, is the condition of Yoga quietism and leading to our ultimate liberation.

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The mortification of the mind, is attended with the subsidence of our woes; but the agitated thoughts in the mind, are causes of all our woes.

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The monster of the mind, being roused from its rest, raises all our dangers and disasters; but its falling into rest and inaction, causes our happiness and perfect felicity.

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The restlessness of the mind is the effect of its ignorance; therefore Rama! exert your reason to destroy all its desires (for temporal possessions).

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Destroy the internal desires of your mind, which are raised by ignorance alone; and attain your supreme felicity by your resignation to the divine will.

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The mind is a thing that stands between the real and unreal and between intelligence and dull matter, and is moved to and fro by the contending powers on either side.

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Impelled by dull material force, the mind is lost in the investigation of material objects; till at last by its habitual thought of materiality, it is converted to a material object, resembling dull matter itself. (Such is the materialistic mind).

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But the mind being guided by its intellectual powers, to the investigation of abstract truths, becomes an intelligent and intellectual principle, by its continued practice of thinking itself as such. (This is immaterial mind).

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It is by virtue of the exertion of your manly powers and activities, and by force of constant habit and continued practice; that you can succeed to attain any thing, to which, you employ your mind with diligence. (Diligence overcomes all difficulties).

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You can also be free from fears, and find your rest in your reliance in the sorrowless Being; provided you exercise your manly activities therein, and curb the proclivities of your mind by your intelligence.

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It must be by the force of your intelligent mind, that you must lift up your deluded mind, which is drowned in the cares of this world. There is no other means that will help you to do so.

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The mind only is capable of subduing the mind; for who can subdue a king unless he is a king himself?

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Our minds are the boats, to lift us from the ocean of this world; where we are carried too far by its beating waves, and thrown into the eddies of despair, and where we are caught by the sharks of our greediness.

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Let your own mind cut the net of the mind, which is ensnared in this world; and extricate your soul, by this wise policy, which is the only means of your liberation (i. e. set your mind to correct your mind).

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Let the wise destroy the desires of their minds, and this will set them free from the bonds of ignorance.

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Shun your desire for earthly enjoyments and forsake your knowledge of dualism; then get rid of your impressions of entity and non-entity, and be happy with the knowledge of one unity.

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The thought of the unknowable, will remove the thoughts of knowables; this is equivalent to the destruction of desires, of the mind and ignorance also.

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The unknown one of which we are unconscious by our knowledge, transcends all whatever is known to us by our consciousness. Our unconsciousness is our nirvana or final extinction, while our consciousness is the cause of our woe.

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It is by their own attention that men soon come to the knowledge of the knowables; but it is the unknowing or unconsciousness of these that is our nirvana, while our consciousness is the cause of our woe. (Want of self consciousness, is want of pain. And perfect apathy is the perfection of solipsism).

27. [Sanskrit available]
Destroy O Rama, whatever is desirable to your mind, and is the object of your affection; then knowing them as reduced to nothing, forsake your desires as seedless sprouts (which can never grow); and live content without the feelings of joy and grief.

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