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 CXVI - Birth and incarnation of adepts in yoga

Argument. Production of the Body from the Mind.

Rama asked said:—

1. What evidence is there sir, in proof of Lavana's obtaining the reward of his mental sacrifice of Rajasuya, in his transformation to the state of the Chandala, as it was wrought upon him by the enchantment of the magician?

Vasishtha answered said:—

2. I was myself present in the court-house of king Lavana, at the time when the magician made his appearance there, and I saw all that took place there with my own eyes.

3. After the magician had gone and done his work, I with the other courtiers, was respectfully requested by the king Lavana, to explain to him the cause (of the dream and its circumstances).

4. After I had pondered the matter and clearly seen its cause, I expounded the meaning of the magician's spell, in the way as I shall now relate to you, my Rama!

5. I remembered that all the performers of Rajasuya sacrifice, were subjected to various painful difficulties and dangers, under which they had to suffer for a full dozen of years.

6. It was then that Indra, the lord of heaven had compassion for Lavana, and sent his heavenly messenger in the form of the magician to avert his calamity.

7. He taxed the Rajasuya sacrificer with the inflictment of the very many hardships in his dream, and departed in his aerial journey to the abode of the gods and Siddhas.

8. (Prose) Thus Rama! it is quite evident and there is no doubt in it. The mind is the active and passive agent of all kinds of actions and their sequences. (a). Therefore rub out the dirt of your heart, and polish the gem of your mind; and having melted it down like the particle of an icicle, by the fire of your reason, attain to your chief good summum bonum at last. (b). Know the mind as self-same with ignorance (avidya), which presents these multitudes of beings before you, and produces the endless varieties of things by its magical power. (c). There is no difference in the meanings of the words ignorance, mind, understanding and living soul, as in the word tree and all its synonyms. (d). Knowing this truth, keep a steady mind freed from all its desires; and as the orb of the clear sun of your intellect has its rise, so the darkness of your nolens and volens flies away from you. (e). Know also this truth, that there is nothing in the world which is not to be seen by you, and which can not be made your own, or alienated from you. Nothing is there that does not die or what is not yours or others. All things become all at all times. (This dogma is based on a dictum of the Vedanta given in the Madhu Brahmana. That nothing is confined in any place or person at all times, but passes from one to another in its turn and time).

9. The multitudes of existent bodies and their known properties, meet together in the substantiality (of the self-same Brahma); as the various kinds of unburnt clay vessels, are melted down in the same watery substance.

Rama said:—

10. You said sir, that it is by weakening the desires of our mind, that we can put an end to our pleasures and pains; but tell me now, how is it possible to stop the course of our naturally fickle minds.

Vasishtha replied:—

11. Hear, O thou bright moon of Raghu's race! the proper course that I will tell thee for quieting the restless mind; by knowing this thou shalt obtain the peace of thy mind, and be freed from the actions of thy organs of sense.

12. I have told you before of the triple nature of the production of beings here below, which I believe, you well remember.

13. Of these the first is that power (Brahma), who assumed to himself the shape of the Divine Will (Sankalpa), and saw in his presence whatever he wished to produce, and which brought the mundane system into existence.

14. He thought of many changes in his mind, as those of birth and death, of pleasure and pain, of the course of nature and effect of ignorance and the like; and then having ordained them as he willed, he disappeared of himself as snow before the solar light.

15. Thus this god, the personification of Will, rises and sets repeatedly, as he is prompted from time to time by his inward wish. (So does every living being come out of the mould of its internal desire. Or that:—it is the wish, that frames and fashions every body, or the will that moulds the mind).

16. So there are millions of Brahmas born in this mundane egg, and many that have gone by and are yet to come, whose number is innumerable (and who are incarnations of their desires only).

17. So are all living beings in the same predicament with Brahma, proceeding continually from the entity of God. Now I will tell you the manner in which they live, and are liberated from the bond of life.

18. The mental power of Brahma issuing from him, rests on the wide expanse of vacuum which is spread before it; then being joined with the essence of ether, becomes solidified in the shape of desire.

19. Then finding the miniature of matter spread out before it, it becomes the quintessence of the quintuple elements. Having assumed afterwards the inward senses, it becomes a suitable elementary body composed of the finest particles of the five elements. It enters into grains and vegetables, which re-enter into the bowels of animals in the form of food.

20. The essence of this food in the form of semen, gives birth to living beings to infinity.

21. The male child betakes himself in his boy-hood, to his tutor for the acquisition of knowledge.

22. The boy next assumes his wondrous form of youth, which next arrives to the state of manhood.

23. The man afterwards learns to choose something for himself, and reject others by the clearsightedness of his internal faculties.

24. The man that is possessed of such right discrimination of good and evil, and of right and wrong, and who is confident of the purity of his own nature, and of his belonging to the best caste (of a Brahman); attains by degrees the supernatural powers for his own good, as also for the enlightenment of his mind, by means of his knowledge of the seven essential grounds of Yoga meditation.