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 IX - Description of sukra’s body

Argument. The departed spirit of Sukra, remembers the state of its former body.

Vasishtha related:—

As Sukra was indulging his reveries in this manner, he passed insensibly under the flight of a series of years, which glided upon him in the presence of his father.

2. At last his arboraceous body withered away with age, under the inclement sun and winds and rain; and it fell down on the ground as a tree torn from its roots.

3. In all his former births, his mind thirsted after fresh pleasures and enjoyments; as a stag hunts after fresh verdure from forest to forest.

4. He underwent repeated births and deaths, in his wanderings in the world in search of its enjoyments; and seemed as some thing whirled about in a turning mill or wheel; till at last he found his rest in the cooling beach of the rivulet.

5. Now the disembodied spirit of Sukra, remained to reflect on his past transmigrations, in all the real and ideal forms of his imagination.

6. It thought of its former body on the Mandara mountain, and how it was reduced to a skeleton of mere bones and skin by the heat of the sun and his austerities. (i.e. of the five fires pancha-tapas of his penance).

7. It remembered how the wind instrument of its lungs, breathed out the joyous music of its exemption from the pain of action (to which all other men were subjected). (It refers to the breathing of so-ham hamsah in yoga, which is the sweet music of salvation).

8. Seeing how the mind is plunged in the pit of worldly cares, the body seems to laugh at it, by showing the white teeth of the mouth in derision.

9. The cavity of the mouth, the sockets of the eyes, the nostrils and ear-holes in the open face, are all expressive of the hollowness of human and heavenly bodies (i.e. they are all hollow within, though they seem to be solid without).

10. The body sheds the tears of its eyes in sorrow for its past pains and austerities, as the sky rains after its excessive heat to cool the earth.

11. The body was refreshed by the breeze and moon-beams, as the woodlands are renovated by cooling showers in the rainy season.

12. It remembered how its body was washed on the banks of mountain rills, by the water-falls from above, and how it was daubed by the flying dust and the dirt of sin.

13. It was as naked as a withered tree, and rustling to the air with the breeze; yet it withstood the keen blasts of winter as unshaken devotion in person.

14. The faded face, the withered lungs and arteries, and the skinny belly, resembled those of the goddess of famine, that cried aloud in the forest, in the howlings of the wild beasts.

15. Yet the holy person of the hermit was unhurt by envious animals, owing to its freedom from passions and feelings, and its fervent devotion; and was not devoured by rapacious beasts and birds.

16. The body of Bhrigu's son was thus weakened by his abstinence and self-denial, and his mind was employed in holy devotion, as his body lay prostrate on the bed of stones.