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...
Argument. The means of repressing the force of the senses, and of curbing the sensual desires of men.
1. The vast domain of death, in the region of hell, is full of the furious elephants of our sins; and the ungovernable enemies of the senses with the arrows of desires. (I.e. hell is the abode of sinners, sensualists and the greedy).
2. Our senses are our invincible enemies, being the sources of all misdeeds and wicked actions. They are the ungrateful miscreants against the body, in which they have found their refuge.
3. The roving senses like flying birds, have found their nest in the body; whence with their outstretched wings of right and wrong, they pounce on their prey like vultures.
4. He who can entrap these greedy birds of the senses, under the snare of his right reason, is never ensnared in his person in the trap of sin, but breaks its bonds as the elephant does his fetters.
5. He who indulges himself in sensual pleasures which are pleasant at first, will have to be cloyed in them in process of time. (Pleasure is followed by pain. Or: Rills of pleasure not sincere.)
6. He who is fraught with the treasure of knowledge in his frail body, is not to be overcome by his inward enemies of sensual appetites.
7. The kings of earth are not so happy in their earthly citadels, as the lords of the cities of the own bodies, and the masters of their own minds. (Mastery over one's self, is better than over a realm).
8. He who has brought the senses under his slavery, and reduced the enemy of his mind to subjection; has the blossoms of his understanding ever blooming within him as in the vernal meadow.
9. He who has weakened the pride of his mind, and subdued the enemies of his senses; has his desires all shrunken as the lotuses in the cold weather.
10. So long do the demons of our desires, infest the region of our hearts, as we are unable to bring the mind under the subjection of our knowledge of the True one.
11. He is the faithful servant, who acts according to the will of his master, and he is the true minister who does good services to his prince. He is the best general who has command over the force of his own body, and that is the best understanding which is guided by reason.
12. The wife is loved for her endearments, and the father is revered for his protection of the child. A friend is valued by his confidence, and the mind for its wisdom.
13. The mind is called our father, for its enlightening our understanding with the light of the sastras derived by itself, and for its leading us to perfection by losing itself in the Supreme spirit. (The mind like the father, is the instructor and bequeather of its all to man, ere it is extinct in the universal soul).
14. The mind that has well observed and considered all things, that is enlightened and firm in its belief, and is employed in laudable pursuits, is verily a valuable gem within the body.
15. The mind as a counsellor of our good, teaches us how to fell down the tree of our transmigration, and produce the arbour of our future bliss.
16. Such is the gem of the mind, O Rama! unless it is soiled by the dirt and filth of sin and vice; when it requires to be washed and cleansed with the water of reason, in order to throw its light on thee.
17. Be not dormant to cultivate reason as long as you abide in the darksome abode of this world; nor thrust yourself to every accident, which awaits upon the ignorant and unreasonable men.
18. Do not overlook the mist of error which overspreads this world of illusion, abounding with multitudes of mishaps and mischiefs. (Harm watch, harm catch. Hold arms, against harms).
19. Try to cross over the wide ocean of the world, by riding on the strong barque of your reason, espying the right course by your discretion, against the currents of your sensual desires.
20. Know your body to be a frail flower, and all its pleasure and pain to be unreal; so never take them for realities, as in the instance of the snare, snake and the matting; but remain above sorrowing for any thing as in the instance of Bhima and Bhasa (which will be shortly related to you).
21. Give up, O high minded Rama! your misjudgments of the reality of yourself, and of this and that thing; but direct your understanding to the knowledge of the Reality which is beyond all these; and by forsaking your belief and reliance in the mind, continue in your course of eating and drinking as before.