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 XII - Detailed account of the genesis of the world

Argument. Confutation of the instance of the sea and its fluctuation, with regard to the immutable spirit of God; and resolution of the phenomenal world, to our erroneous conception, and visual deception.

Yama said:—

1. The consciousness of gods, demigods and men as distinct beings, is quite wrong, since they are no way distinct from the infinite ocean of Divine Spirit, of which they are all as undulations.

2. It is owing to our erroneous conceptions that we make these distinctions in ourselves and the Supreme Soul. The thought of our being separate and apart from the Supreme spirit, is the cause of our degradation from our pristine holiness and the image of God, in which man was made at first and was infused with his holy spirit.

3. Remaining within the depth of the Divine Spirit, and yet thinking ourselves to live without it, is the cause of keeping us in darkness on the surface of the earth.

4. Our consciousness of ourselves as Brahma, being vitiated by the various thoughts in our minds, becomes the root of our activities; while the pure consciousness of ego sum—I am, is free from all actions and energies.

5. It is the inward desire of the heart and mind, that becomes the seed of earthly actions; which sprouts forth in thorny plants like the karanja, a handful of which fills the ground with rankest weeds.

6. Those living bodies, that lie scattered as pebbles on earth; are seen to roll about or lie down with their temporary joy and grief in continued succession, owing to their ignorance of themselves.

7. From the highest empyrean of Brahma, down to the lowest deep, there is an incessant undulation of the Divine spirit, like the oscillation of the wind; which keeps all beings in their successive wailing and rejoicing, and in their incessant births and deaths.

8. There are some of pure and enlightened souls, as the gods Hari, Hara and others; and some of somewhat darkened understandings, as men and the inferior demigods.

9. Some are placed in greater darkness, as the worms and insects; and others are situated in utter darkness, as the trees and vegetables.

10. Some grow afar from the great ocean of the Divine Spirit; as the grass and weeds of the earth, which are ever degraded, owing to their being the emblems of sin; and others are barred from elevation as dull stones and heinous snakes.

11. Some have come to being only with their bodies (without any share of understanding); and they know not that death has been undermining the fabric of their bodies, as a mouse burrows a house.

12. Some have gone through the ocean of Divine knowledge, and have become as divinities, in their living bodies as Brahma, Hari, and Hara. (The gods like angels are embodied beings in which form, they are worshipped by their votaries. It is wrong therefore for the Kesavite Brahmos, to call the formless Brahma as Hari, who had a visible body according to our text).

13. Some having a little understanding, have gone down the depth of holy knowledge, without ever reaching the bottom, or finding its either shore.

14. Some beings that have undergone many births, and have yet to pass through many more, have ever remained abortive and benighted without the light of truth.

15. Some are tossed up and down, like fruits flung from the hand: those flying upward have gone higher still; and those going down have fallen still lower and lower. (None can know the highest pitch or lowest depth of existence?).

16. It is forgetfulness of Supreme felicity, that causes one to rove in various births of weal or woe; but the knowledge of the Supreme, causes the cessation of transmigration;as the remembrance of Garuda, destroys the power of the most destructive poison.