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 XXII - Resting in supreme felicity

Argument. Remission of the sins of the enlightened, and their sight of the pure Spirit.

Vasishtha continued:—

Men of sound judgment, are freed from mental perturbation, and are perfected in their mastery over themselves, by restraining the flight of the mind, and fastening it to its inward cogitation. (Gloss. The Yogi given to meditation is master of his soul and mind).

2. They swerve from the sight of the visibles as unworthy of their notice, and seek after the knowledge of their chief good; they behold the all-seeing God in their mental and external sights, and have no perception of the unintelligent perceptibles. (I.e. they perceive the noumenon only in the phenomenon).

3. They are dormant amidst the thick gloom of error, overspreading the mazy paths of life, and are awake under the transcendent light (of divine knowledge), requiring the vigilance of the living.

4. They are utterly indifferent to the sweet pleasures of this life, as also to the cheerless prospects of future enjoyments (in the next world). (The Yogi is equally averse to the present and prospective pleasures of both worlds).

5. They are mixed (like salt) with the water of spiritual (divine) unity, and in the boundless ocean of omnipresence; and they melt away as the ice in a river, by their rigorous austerities, resembling the vigorous heat of the sun.

6. All their restless desires and passions are set to rest, at the disappearance of their ignorance; as the turbulent waves of rivers subside of themselves, in the absence of stormy clouds.

7. The net of desires, which ensnares men as birds in their traps, is cut asunder by a spirit of dispassionateness; as the meshes of a net, are torn into twain, by the teeth of a mouse.

8. As the seeds of kata fruits, serve to purify the foul water;so doth philosophy tend to expurgate human nature, from all its errors.

9. The mind that is freed from passions, from worldly connections and contentions, and from dependance on any one (person or thing); is liberated also from the bonds of ignorance and error, as a bird is set free from its imprisoning cage. (True freedom is the freedom from all cares, concerns and connections, which are but bondages of the soul).

10. When the disturbances of doubts are settled, and the wandering of curiosity is over, it is then that the full moon of internal fulness, sheds its lustre over the mind.

11. As the mind has its true magnanimity, after its setting from the height of its dignity and highmindedness, so it begins to have its equanimity in a state, resembling the calmness of the sea after the storm.

12. As long as the shadow of solicitude, hangs over the mind, it is darkened and stupified and broken in the heart, until the sun of inappetency rises to dispel its gloom.

13. It is by the sunshine of the intellect, that the lotus-bed of intelligence, shines in its pure lustre; and unfolds the foliage of its virtues before the dawning light above it.

14. Intelligence is charmer of hearts and delighter of all in the world; it is fostered by the quality of goodness (sattwaguna), as the moon becomes full by her increasing digits.

15. What more shall I say on this subject, than that he who knows the knowable (God), has his mind expanded as the sphere of heaven, which has no beginning nor end.

16. The mind which is enlightened by reasoning, is as exalted in its nature, as to take pity even on the great gods Hari, Hara, Brahma, and Indra (on account of their incessant avocations in the management of the world).

17. They are far from tasting the happiness of the egoistic yogis, who are continually seeking to quench their thirst (after pleasure), from the waters appearing in the mirage, as the parching deer (running to them by mistake).

18. It is the heart's desire of all beings, that subjects them to repeated births and deaths, which cause the ignorant only and not the wise, to appear and disappear like waves of the sea.

19. The world presents no other show in its course, except that of the appearance and disappearance of bodies, which are now seen to move about at the sport of time, and now fall as a prey to it for ever.

20. But the spiritual body (the spirit or one knowing the spirit), is neither born nor dies in this world; nor is it affected by the decoration or perdition of the material body; but remains unchanged as the vacuity of a pot, both when it is in existence or broken to pieces. (The vacuous soul is aloof from the body).

21. As the understanding rises with its cooling moon-beams within us, it dispels the mist of erroneous desires rising before us like the mirage of the dreary desert.

22. So long does the pageant of the world, present its dusky appearance to our view, as we do not deign to consider the questions "what am I, and what are all these about me". (That is: "whether I or these or all other things are true or false?")

23. He sees rightly, who sees his body as an apparition of his error, and the abode of all evils; and that it does not serve for the spiritual meditation of his soul and his maker.

24. He sees rightly, who sees that his body is the source of all the pain and pleasure, which betides one at different times and places, and that it does not answer his purpose of spiritual edification.

25. He sees rightly, who sees the Ego to pervade the infinite space and time, and as the source of all accidents and events, which incessantly take place in them. (The Ego is ubiquitous).

26. He knows rightly, who knows the Ego to be as minute as a millionth or billionth part of the point of a hair, and pervading all over the infinity of space and eternity of time.

27. He perceives rightly, who perceives the universal soul to be permeated in all the various objects of his sight; and knows them as sparks of the Intellectual Light.

28. He perceives rightly, who perceives within himself the omnipotence of the infinite Spirit, to be present in all the states and conditions of beings, and the self-same Intellect to abide in and preside over all.

29. He understands rightly, who understands by his wisdom, that he is not his body, which is subject to diseases and dangers, to fears and anxieties, and to the pain and pangs of old age and death.

30. He understands rightly, who understands his soul to stretch above and below and all about him; whose magnitude has no bounds nor an equal to it.

31. He knows, full well who kens his soul as a string (Sutratma), to which all things are strung as gems in a jewel; and that it is not the mind or heart, which is seated in the brain or bosom.

32. He kens rightly, who weens neither himself nor any thing else as existent, except the imperishable Brahma; and who knows himself as living between the reality and unreality (i.e. betwixt the present and absent, and between the visible and invisible. Gloss).

33. He is right, who beholds what they call the three worlds, to be but parts of his self, and have been rolling about him as the waves of the sea.

34. He is wise, who looks with pity upon the frail world, and compassionates the earth as his younger sister.

35. That great soul looks brightly upon the earth, who has withdrawn his mind from it, by retrenching his reliance on his egoism or tuism (i.e. both on his subjectivity and objectivity).

36. He sees the truth, who finds his body and the whole world, filled by the colossus figure of the Intellect, without the opposition of any sensible object.

37. He that looks on the states of misery and happiness, which attend on worldly life, to be but the fluctuating conditions of the ego, has no cause to repine or rejoice at them.

38. He is the right-sighted man, who sees himself situated amidst the world, which is filled with the divine spirit (and the endless joy emanating from it); he has nothing to desire or dislike in this (or in his future) state of existence.

39. He is the right (discerning) man, who has weakened his estimation and dislike of what is desirable and disgusting to him in the world, which is full of the essence of that being, whose nature is beyond comprehension and conception. (The world being full with the presence of God, we have nothing to like or dislike, or to take or shun in it).

40. That great-souled man is a great god, whose soul like the all-pervading sky extends over all, and penetrates through every state of existence, without receiving the tincture of any. (Who is informed with all and untinged by any).

41. I bow down to that great soul, which has passed beyond the states of light, darkness and fancy (i.e. the state of waking or life, sleep or death, and dreaming or transmigration, and which is situated in a state of brightness and tranquillity in supreme felicity or heavenly bliss).

42. I bow down to that Siva, of transcendental understanding; whose faculties are wholly engrossed in the meditation of that eternal Being, who presides over the creation, destruction and preservation of the universe, and who is manifest in all the various wondrous and beauteous grandeurs of nature.