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 XXIX - Defeat of the demons

Argument. The Demons elated with the pride of their bodily strength, are at last foiled and put to flight by the gods.

Vasishtha continued:—

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In this manner, the energetic and murderous Asuras, repeated their attacks and waged many wars with the gods.

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They carried on their warfare sometimes by fraud and often by their aggressiveness; and frequently after a truce or open war was made with the gods. They sometimes took themselves to flight, and having recruited their strength, they met again in the open field; and at others they lay in ambush, and concealed themselves in their subterranean caves.

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Thus they waged their battle for five and thirty years against the celestials, by repeatedly flying and withdrawing themselves from the field, and then reappearing in it with their arms.

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They fought again for five years, eight months and ten days, darting their fire arms, trees and stones and thunders upon the gods.

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Being used to warfare for so long a period, they at last grew proud of their superior strength and repeated successes, and entertained the desire of their final victory.

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Their constant practice in arms made them sure of their success, as the nearness of objects casts their reflection in the mirror. (Constant application makes one hopeful of success).

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But as distant objects are never reflected in the glass, so the desire for any thing, is never successful without intense application to it.

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So when the desires of the demons Dama and others, became identified with their selves, their souls were degraded from their greatness, and confined to the belief of the desired objects.

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All worldly desires lead to erroneous expectations, and those that are entangled in the snares of their expectations, are thereby reduced to the meanness of their spirits.

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Falling into the errors of egotism and selfishness, they were led to the blunder of mei tatem or thinking these things as mine; just as a man mistakes a rope for a snake.

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Being reduced to the depravity of selfishness, they began to think their personalities to consist in their bodies, and to reflect how their bodies from the head to foot could be safe and secure from harm.

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They lost their patience by continually thinking on the stability of their bodies, and their properties and pleasures of life. (I.e. the eager desire of worldly gain and good, grows into impatience at last).

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Desire of their enjoyments, diminished their strength and valour; and their former acts of gallantry now became a dead letter to them.

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They thought only how to become lords of the earth, and thus became lazy and enervated, as lotus-flowers without water. (As the thought of grandeur enervated the Romans to impotence).

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Their pride and egoism led their inclination to the pleasures of good eating and drinking, and to the possession of every worldly good. (Luxury is the bane of valour).

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They began to hesitate in joining the warfare, and became as timid as the timorous deer, to encounter the furious elephants in their ravages of the forest.

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They moved slowly in despair of their victory, and for fear of losing their lives, in their encounter with the furious elephants (of the gods) in the field.

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These cowards wishing to preserve their bodies from the hands of death, became as powerless as to rest satisfied with having the feet of their enemies set up on their heads. (I.e. they fell at the feet of their foes to spare their lives (as they say, that cowards die many times before their death)).

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Thus these enervated demons, were as disabled to kill the enemy standing before them; as the fire is unable to consume the sacred ghee offering, when it is not kindled by its fuel.

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They became as gnats before the aggressive gods, and stood with their bruised bodies like beaten soldiers.

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What needs saying more, than that the demons being overpowered by the gods, fled away from the field of battle for fear of their lives.

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When the demons Dama, Vyala, Kata and others, who were renowned before the gods in their prowess, fled cowardly in different ways:—

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The force of the Daityas, fell before the deities, and fled from the air on all sides, like the falling stars of heaven, at the end of a kalpa age or last day (of judgment).

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They fell upon the summits of mountains, and in the arbours of the Sumeru range;some were enwrapped in the folds of the clouds above, and others fell on the banks of distant seas below.

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Many fell in the cavities of the eddies of seas, and in the abyss of the ocean, and in the running streams; some fell into far distant forests, and others dropped down amidst the burning woods of wild fire.

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Some being pierced by the arrows of the celestials, fell in distant countries, villages and cities on earth;and others were hurled in thick jungles of wild beasts, and in sandy deserts and in wild conflagrations. (I.e. the demons were hurled down by the gods from high heaven to the earth below).

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Many fell in the polar regions, some alighting on the mountain tops, and others sinking in the lakes below; while several of them were tossed over the countries of Andhra, Dravida, Kashmir and Persia.

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Some sank in billowy seas and in the watery maze of Ganges, and others fell on distant islands, in different parts of the Jambudvipa, and in the nets of fisher-men.

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Thus the enemies of the gods, lay everywhere with their mountainous bodies, all full of scars from head to foot; and maimed in their hands and arms.

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Some were hanging on the branches of trees, by their outstretched entrails, gushing out with blood; others with their cropt off crowns and heads, were lying on the ground with open and fiery eyes.

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Many were lying with their broken armours and weapons, slashed by the superior power of the adversary, and with their robes and attires all dismantled and torn by their fall.

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Their helmets which were terrific by their blaze, were hanging down their necks; and the braids of their hairs woven with stones, hung loosely about their bodies.

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Their heads which were covered with hard brazen and pointed coronets, were broken by slabs of stone, which were pelted upon them from the hands of the gods.

34. [Sanskrit available]
In this manner the demons were destroyed on all sides, together with all weapons at the end of the battle;which devoured them, as the sea water dissolves the dust.

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