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 XVII - Attainment of the ideal realm

Argument. Mutual sympathy of pure hearted souls, the reciprocities of their affections, and their union with one another.

Rama said:—

Tell me sir, why the ideal reflexion of others, is not attended with equal result, with that of the son of Bhrigu (though one is given to the like reveries as the other).

Vasishtha replied:—

2. The reason is, that the body of Sukra issued at first from the will of Brahma, and was born of the pure family of Bhrigu, without being vitiated by any other birth (either prior to it or of a lower kind).

3. The purity of mind which follows upon subsidence of desires, is called its coolness, and the same is known as the unsullied state of the soul. (Nirmalatma).

4. Whatever the man of a pure and contrite spirit, thinks in his mind, the same comes to take place immediately;as the turning of the sea water turns into the eddy. (Turning over in the mind, turns out into being).

5. As the errors of various wanderings, occurred to the mind of Sukra;so it is with every body (from his observation of the world), as it is instanced in the case of Bhrigu's son.

6. As the serum contained in the seed, developes itself in the shoots and leaves; so the mind evolves in all the forms which are contained therein.

7. Whatever forms of things are seen to exist in this world, are all false appearances; and so are their disappearances also, (mere creations of the mind).

8. Nothing appears or disappears to any one in this world, but error and aerial phantasms; that show themselves to those that are bewitched by this magic scene of the world.

9. As it is our notion of this part of the world, which presents its form to our view; so the appearance of thousands of such worlds in the mind, is mere ideal; and as false as the show of a magic-lantern.

10. As the sights in our dream, and the images of our imagination, are never apart from our minds; and as they cannot show themselves to the view of others; such is our erroneous conception of the world (confined within ourselves).

11. So are all places and things but imaginary ideas, and show themselves as real objects, to the purblind sight of the ignorant only.

12. So also are the ghosts and goblins, demons and devils, but imaginary figures of the mind; born in the shallow brain of men, to terrify them with their hideous shapes.

13. Thus have we all become, like the dreaming son of Bhrigu; to understand the false creations of our imagination, as sober realities.

14. So the creation of the world, and all created things, are situated (pictured) in the mind of Brahma; and make their repeated appearance, as the phantoms of a phantasmagoria before him.

15. All things appearing unto us, are as false as these phantoms; and they proceed from the mind of Brahma, as the varieties of trees and shrubs, are produced from the same sap of the vernal season. (The one is the source of many).

16. Considering in a philosophical light (tatwadarsana), it will be found, that it is the will or desire of every body, which is productive of the objects of his desire. (Lit. which evolves itself in its productions. And as it is with the will of the creator, so is it with that of every one).

17. Every body beholds everything in the world, according to the nature of the thoughts in his mind, and then perishes with his wrong view of it.

18. It is in its ideality, that anything appears as existent, which in reality is inexistent, though it is apparent to sight. The existence of the world, is as that of a lengthened dream; and the visible world is a wide spread snare of the mind, like fetters at the feet of an elephant.

(The world is existent in the ideal, but inexistent in its apparent real and visual form. It is a network of the mind, like a longspun dream, and binds it as fast as fetters at the feet of an elephant).

19. The reality of the world depends upon the reality of mind, which causes the world to appear as real. The loss of the one, destroys them both;because neither of them can subsist without the other.

20. The pure mind has the true notions of things, as the gem polished from its dross, receives the right reflection of every thing (or) reflects the true image of every thing.

21. The mind is purified by its habit of fixed attention to one particular object; and it is the mind undisturbed by desires, that receives the true light and reflexion of things.

22. As the gilding of gold or any brilliant colour, cannot stand on base metal or on a piece of dirty cloth, so it is impossible for the vitiated mind, to apply itself intensely to any one particular object.

23. Rama asked:—Will you tell me sir, in what manner the mind of Sukra, received the reflexion of the shadowy world, and its temporaneous movement in itself, and how these fluctuations rose and remained in his mind?

Vasishtha said:—

24. In the same manner as Sukra was impressed with the thoughts of the world, from the lectures of his father;so did they remain in his mind, as the future peacock resides in the egg.

25. It is also naturally situated in the embryo of the mind, of every species of living being, and is gradually evolved from it, in the manner of the shoots and sprouts, and leaves and flowers of trees, growing out of the seed.

26. Every body sees in his mind, what its heart desires to possess, as it is in the case of our prolonged dreams.

27. Know it thus, O Rama! that a partial view of the world, rises in the mind of every body; in the same manner, as it appears in the mind in a dream at night.

Rama said:—

28. But tell me sir, whether the thought and the things thought of, simultaneously meet themselves in the mind of the thinker;or it is the mind only that thinks of the object which is never met with by it.

Vasishtha replied:—

29. But the sullied mind cannot easily unite with the object of its thought, as a dirty and cold piece of iron, cannot join with a pure red-hot one, unless it is heated and purified from its dross.

30. The pure mind and its pure thoughts, are readily united with one another, as the pure waters mix together into one body of the same kind, which the muddied water cannot do.

31. Want of desire constitutes the purity of the mind, which is readily united with immaterial things of the same nature like itself. The purity of the mind conduces to its enlightenment, and these being united in one, leads it to the Supreme.