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 III - Eternity of the world

Rama said:—

1. But it is related, that Brahma—the lord of creatures, springs up by his reminiscence at the end of a kalpa, and stretches out the world from his remembrance of it, in the beginning of creation.

Vasishtha answered said:—

2. So it is said, O support of Raghu's race! that the lord of creatures rises at first by his predestination, after the universal dissolution, and at the commencement of a new creation.

3. It is by his will, that the world is stretched out from his recollection, and is manifested like an ideal city, in the presence of Brahma—the creative power.

4. The supreme being can have no remembrance of the past at the beginning of a new creation, owing to his want of a prior birth or death. Therefore this aerial arbour of reminiscence has no relation to Brahma. (Who being an ever living being, his cognizance of all things is also everlasting).

Rama asked said:—

5. Does not the reminiscence of the past, continue in Brahma at his recreation of the world; and so the former remembrance of men upon their being reborn on earth? Or are all past remembrances effaced from the minds of men by the delirium of death in their past life?

Vasishtha replied:—

6. All intelligent beings, including Brahma and all others of the past age, that obtain their nirvana or extinction, are of course absorbed in One Brahma (and have lost their remembrance of every thing concerning their past lives).

7. Now tell me, my good Rama, where do these past remembrances and remembrancers abide any more, when they are wholly lost, at the final liberation (or extinction) of the rememberers?

8. It is certain that all beings are liberated, and become extinct in Brahma at the great dissolution; hence there cannot be remembrance of anything in the absence of the persons that remember the same.

9. The remembrance that lives impressed of itself in the empty space of individual Intellects, is verily the reservoir of the perceptible and imperceptible worlds. This reminiscence is eternally present before the sight of God, as a reflection of his own Intellect.

10. It shines with the lustre of his self-consciousness, from time without beginning and end, and is identic with this world, which is therefore called to be self-born (because it is immanent in the mind of God).

11. The spiritual body which is the attribute of God from time without beginning (that God is a spirit); is the same with Viraja or manifestation of himself, and exhibits the form of the world or the microcosm (i.e. God-spirit-Viraj or cosmos).

12. But the world is said to be composed of atoms, which compose the land and woods, the clouds and the firmament. But there are no atoms to form time and space, actions and motions and revolutions of days and nights. (All which are shaped by the spirit and not by atoms).

13. Again the atoms (of matter) which fill the world, have other incipient atoms (of spirit), which are inherent in them, and cause them to take and appear in the forms of mountains and the like.

14. But these forms seeming to be conglomerations of atomic particles, and showing themselves to our vision as lightsome objects, are in reality no substantial things.

15. Thus there is no end of the real and unreal sights of things; the one presenting itself to the view of the learned, and the other to that of the unlearned. (i.e. All things are viewed in their spiritual light by the learned, and in their material aspect by the ignorant).

16. The cosmos appears as the immutable Brahma only to the intelligent, and as the mutable visible world to the unintelligent.

17. As these bright worlds appear to roll about as eggs in their spheres, so there are multitudes of other orbs, shining in every atom in the universe.

18. As we see curved pillars, consisting of figures under figures, and those again under others; so is the grand pillar of the universe, composed of systems under systems to no end.

19. As the sands on a rock, are separably attached to it, and are countless in their number; so the orbs in the three worlds, are as particles of dust in the mountainous body of Brahma.

20. It may be possible to count the particles of a ray scattered in the sun-beams; but it is impossible to number the atoms of light, which are emanating from the great sun of Brahma.

21. As the sun scatters the particles of his light, on the sparkling waters and sands of the sea; so does the Intellect of God, disperse the atoms of its light all over the vacuity of the universe.

22. As the notion of vacuity fills the mind, with the idea of the visible firmament; so the thought of creation, as self-same with Brahma, gives us the notion of his intellectual sphere.

23. To understand the creation as something different from Brahma, leads man apart from Him; but to take it as synonymous with Brahma, leads him to his felicity.

24. The enlightened soul, freed from its knowledge of the mundane seed, and knowing Brahma alone as the plenum filling the vacuum of intellect;knows the knowable (God) in his inward understanding, as the same with what has proceeded from him.