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 XXVII - Admonition of brahma

Argument. The defeated Devas have recourse to Brahma in their danger, who tells them the way of their averting it.

Vasishtha related:—

1. As the war of the gods and Titans, was raging violently on both sides, and their bodies were pierced by the weapons of one another:—

2. Streams of blood, gushed out of their wounds like water-falls in the basin of Ganges; and the gods caught into the snares of the demigods, groaned and roared aloud like lions.

3. Vyala (Baal) with his stretching arms, was crushing the bodies of the gods; and Kata was harassing them in their unequal challenge with them.

4. The Daityas waged their battle with the rage of the midday sun, and put to flight the Airavata elephant of Indra—the leader of the gods.

5. The Devas dropped down with their bodies gored with wounds, and spouting with blood; and their armies fled on all sides, like the currents of a river overflowing and breaking down its bank.

6. Dama, Vyala and Kata pursued the flying and run away gods, in the same manner as a raging fire runs after the wood for its fuel.

7. The Asuras sought and searched long after the gods in vain, for they had disappeared like the deer and lions, among the thickets after breaking loose of their snares.

8. Failing to find out the gods, the generals Dama, Vyala and Kata, repaired with cheerful hearts to their chief in his abode in the infernal region.

9. The defeated gods after halting awhile, had then their recourse to the almighty Brahma, in order to consult him on the means of gaining their victory over the demons.

10. Brahma then appeared to the blood besmeared Devas with his purple countenance, as the bright and cooling moonbeams appear in the evening on the surface of the sea, tinged with the crimson hues of the setting sun.

11. They bowed down before him, and complained of the danger that was brought upon them by Sambara, through his generals Dama, Vyala and Kata, whose doings they fully related to him.

12. The judging Brahma having heard and considered all this, delivered the following encouraging words to the host of gods before him.

Brahma said:—

13. "You shall have to wait a hundred thousand years more, for the destruction of Sambara under the arms of Hari in an open engagement.[4]

[4] Hari in the form of Krisna, destroyed the demons chief Sambara or Kaliya under his feet; as the son of God in the form of Christ, defeated Satan and bruised his head under his feet.

14. You have been put to flight to-day by the demoniac Dama, Vyala and Kata, who have been fighting with their magical art (and deceitful weapons).

15. They are elated with pride at their great skill in warfare, but it will soon vanish like the shadow of a man in a mirror.

16. These demons who are led by their ambition to annoy you, will soon be reduced under your might, like birds caught in a snare.

17. The gods being devoid of ambition, are freed from the vicissitudes of pain and pleasure; and have become invincible by destroying the enemy by their patience.

18. Those that are caught and bound fast in the net of their ambition, and led away by the thread of their expectation, are surely defeated in their aims, and are caught as birds by a string.

19. The learned that are devoid of desire, and are unattached to anything in their minds, are truly great and invincible, as nothing can elate or depress them at any time.

20. A man however great and experienced he may be, is easily overcome by a boy, when he is enticed to pursue after every thing by his avarice.

21. The knowledge that, this is I and these are mine (and apart from all others), is the bane of human life; and one with such knowledge of his self and egoism, becomes the receptacle of evils like the sea of briny waters.

22. He who confines his mind within a narrow limit, for want of his great and extended views, is called dastardly and narrow-minded man notwithstanding with all his learning and wisdom. (Why then do you compress the unlimited soul, within the limited nut-shell of your body?).

23. He that puts a limit to his soul or atma, which is unbounded and infinite, both surely reduce his magnanimity or garima to the minuteness or anima by his own making.

24. If there be anything in the world beside the oneself, that may be thine or worth thy desiring, thou mayst long to have it; but all things being but parts of the universe, there is nothing particular for any one to have or seek.

25. Reliance on earthly things is the source of unhappiness, while our disinterestedness with all things, is the fountain of everlasting felicity.

26. As long as the Asuras are independent of worldly things, they must remain invincible; but being dependent on them, they will perish as a swarm of gnats in the flame of wild fire.

27. It is the inward desire of man that makes him miserable in himself, and became subdued by others; otherwise the worm-like man is as firm as a rock. (Cringing avarice makes one a slave to others, but its want makes a lion of a weak man).

28. Where there is any desire in the heart, it is thickened and hardened in time; as every thing in nature increases in its bulk in time; but not so the things that are not in existence, as the want of desires (i.e. All what exists, has its increase likewise, but a nullity can have no increase).

29. Do you, O Indra! try to foster both the egoistic selfishness, as well as the ambition of Dama and others for their universal dominion, if you want to cause their destruction.

30. Know, it is avarice which is the cause of the poverty, and all dangers to mankind;just as the Karanja tree is the source of its bitter and pernicious fruits.

31. All those men who rove about under the bondage of avarice, have bid farewell to their happiness, by subjecting themselves to misery.

32. One may be very learned and well-informed in every thing, he may be a noble and great man also, but he is sure to be tied down by his avarice, as a lion is fettered by his chain.

33. Avarice is known as the snare of the mind, which is situated like a bird in its nest of the heart, as it is within the hollow of the tree of the body.

34. The miserable man becomes an easy prey to the clutches of death by his avarice, as a bird is caught in the birdlime by a boy; and lies panting on the ground owing to its greediness.

35. You gods, need not bear the burden of your weapons any more, nor toil and moil in the field of war any longer;but try your best to inflame the pernicious avarice of your enemies to the utmost.

36. Know, O chief of the gods, that no arm nor weapon, nor any polity or policy, is able to defeat the enemy, until they are defeated of themselves by their want of patience, through excess of their avarice.

37. These Dama, Vyala and Kata, that have become elated with their success in warfare, must now cherish their ambition and foster their avarice to their ruin.

38. No sooner these ignorant creatures of Sambara, shall have gained their high desires, than they are sure to be foiled by you in their vain attempts. (The great height must have its fall).

39. Now ye gods! excite your enemies to the war by your policy, of creating in them an ambition and intense desire for conquest, and by this you will gain your object.

40. They being subjected by their desire, will be easily subdued by you; for nobody that is led blindfold by his desires in this world, is ever master of himself.

41. The path of this world, is either even or rugged, according to the good or restless desires of our hearts. The heart is like the sea in its calm after storm, when its waves are still as our subsided desires, or as boisterous as the stormy sea with our increasing rapacity.