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...
Among these various species of living creatures, which resemble the waves of the ocean, and are as numerous as the plants and creepers of spring:—
2. There are some persons among the Yakshas, Gandharvas and Kinnaras, who have overcome the errors of their minds, and have well considered every thing before and after them; that have become perfect in their lives, and passing as the living liberated persons in this world.
3. Others there are among the moving and unmoving, that are as unconscious of themselves as wood and stone; and many that are worn out with error, and are incapable of judging for themselves. (Worn out with error, means hardened in their ignorance).
4. But those that are awakened to sense, have the rich mine of the sastras, framed by the enlightened, for the guidance of their souls. (Hence it is for the sensible only to benefit themselves by learning).
5. Those who are awakened to sense, and whose sins are washed off; have their understandings purified by the light of the sastras. (Lit., by investigation into the sastras).
6. The study of good works, destroys the errors of the mind;as the course of the sun in the sky, destroys the darkness of the night.
7. Those who have not succeeded to dispel the errors of their minds, have darkened their understandings by a mist of ignorance; like the frosty sky of winter, and they find the phantoms of their error, dancing as demons before their eyes.
8. All living bodies are subject to pain and pleasure; but it is the mind which constitutes the body, and not the flesh (which is insensible of either).
9. The body that is seen to be composed of flesh and bones and the five elemental parts, is a creation of the imagination of the mind, and has no substantiality in it.
10. What your son had thought of in his mental body (manas-sarira), the same he found in the same body; and was not accountable to any body for aught or whatever passed in his mind. (We are responsible for every act of the body; but not so for the thoughts or reveries of the mind).
11. Whatever acts a man wills to do in his own mind, the same comes to take place in a short time; and there is no other (foreign) agency of anybody else required to bring them about.
12. Whatever the mind doth in a moment and of its own accord, and actuated by its own will or desire, there is no body in the world, who has the power to do or undo the same at any time. (The mind is master of the act, and not the body, nor any body besides. Or: whatever the mind sets about to do, it does it sooner than by the help of another).
13. The suffering of hell torments and enjoyment of heavenly bliss, and the thoughts of birth and death; are all fabrications of the mind; which labours under these thoughts. (It is the mind that makes a heaven of hell and a hell of heaven).
14. What need I to tell more in the manner of verbose writers (on this subject), than go together at once, to the place where your son is situated.
15. He (Sukra) having tasted the pleasure and pain of all these states at a moment's thought of his mind, is now seated as a devotee on the bank of Samanga, under the spreading beams of the moon. (The Gloss speaks here of Sukra's passing into many births, before his betaking himself to devotion).
16. His vital breath having fled from his heart, became as the moonbeam sparkling in a dew drop, which entered the uterus in the form of semen virilis.
17. Saying so, the lord of death smiled to think of the course of nature, and taking hold of Bhrigu's hand in his own, they both departed as the sun and moon together.
18. O wonderful is the law of nature! said Bhrigu slowly to himself, and then rose higher and higher, as the sun ascends above his rising mountain.
19. With their luminous bodies, they arrived at the spot of Samanga, and shone on high above the tamala trees below. Their simultaneous rising in the clear firmament, made them appear as the sun rising with the full-moon over the cloudy horizon.
20. As the muni (Vasishtha) was telling these things, the sun went down his setting mountain, and the day departed to its evening service. The court broke with mutual salutations, to perform their evening rites and observances, after which they joined the assembly at the dawn of the next day.
Footnotes and references:
This colophon occurring at the end of many chapters, shows the intermediate chapters as parts of the lectures of a single day; and by enumeration of which, the whole space of time occupied in the delivery of these lectures may be fairly ascertained. This will serve to show that the delivery of the lectures occupied but a few months; and Vālmīki's writing of them, if he was a shorthand writer, embraced also the same length of time, contrary to the common belief of this composition's being a work of many years.