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 XXXIV - End of the story of dama and vyala

Argument. The Gods annoyed by Bhima and others apply to Hari, who thereupon destroys them with Sambara also.

Vasishtha continued:—

Now, hear me relate to you, what Sambara did after the flight of Dama and his train;and how he remained in his rocky stronghold in the infernal region (Patala).

2. After the complete overthrow of the whole army of Sambara, and their downfall from heaven like innumerable rain-drops, falling from an over-spreading cloud, and afterwards dispersing itself and disappearing in autumn:—

3. Sambara remained motionless for many years in his strong citadel, at the loss of his forces defeated by the gods; and then thought within himself, about the best means of overcoming the celestials.

4. He said, "the demons Dama and others, that I produced by my black-art of exorcism, are all overthrown in battle, by their foolishness and vanity of pride and egotism.

5. "I will now produce some other demons by the power of my charm, and endue them both with the power of reason and acquaintance with spiritual science, in order that they may know and judge for themselves.

6. "These then being acquainted with the true nature of things, and devoid of false views, will not be subject to pride or vanity, but be able to vanquish the deities in combat".

7. Thinking so in himself, the arch-fiend produced a host of good demons by his skill in sorcery; and these creatures of his spell filled the space of the sky, as bubbles foam and float on the surface of the sea.

8. They were all knowing and acquainted with the knowables; they were all dispassionate and sinless, and solely intent on their allotted duties, with composed minds and good dispositions.

9. They were known under the different names of Bhima, Bhasa and Dridha;and they looked upon all earthly things as straws, by the holiness of their hearts.

10. These infernal spirits burst out of the ether and sprang up to the upper world, and then spread over the face of the sky as a flight of locusts. They cracked as guns, and roared and rolled about as the clouds of the rainy season.

11. They fought with the gods for many cycles of years, and yet they were not elated with pride, owing to their being under the guidance of reason and judgement.

12. For until they were to have the desire of having anything, and thinking it as "this is my own", so long were they insensible of their personal existence, such as "this is I, and that one is another";and consequently invincible by any. (Selfishness reduces one to slavery and subjections).

13. They were fearless in fighting with the gods, from the knowledge of their being equally mortal as themselves; and from their want of the knowledge of any difference subsisting between one another. (I.e. they regarded themselves and their adversaries with an equal eye of indifference, as all were equally doomed to death, and therefore never feared to die).

14. They rushed out with a firm conviction that, the unsubstantial body is nothing, and the intellect is lodged in the pure soul; and that there is nothing which we call as I or another.

15. Then these demons who were devoid of the sense of themselves and their fears were necessarily dauntless of the fear of their decease or death; and were employed in their present duties, without the thoughts of the past and future.

16. Their minds were attached to nothing, they slew their enemies without thinking themselves as their slayers; they did their duties and thought themselves as no doers of them; and they were utterly free from all their desires.

17. They waged the war under the sense of doing their duty to their master; while their own nature was entirely free from all passion and affection, and of even tenor at all times.

18. The infernal force under the command of Bhima, Bhasa and Dridha, bruised and burned and slew and devoured the celestial phalanx, as men knead and fry and boil the rice and afterward eat up as their food.

19. The celestial army being harassed on all sides by Bhima, Bhasa, and Dridha, fled precipitately from the height of heaven, as the Ganges runs down from Himalayan height.

20. The discomfited legion of the deities, then resorted to the god Hari, sleeping on the surface of the ocean of milk; as the bodies of the clouds of heaven, are driven by the winds to the tops of mountains (beyond the region of storm).

21. The god lying folded in the coils of the serpent, as a consort in the arms of his mistress; gave the gods their hope of final success in future. (Hari or Krishna on the serpent, is typical of Christ's bruising the head of the satanic serpent).

22. The gods kept themselves hid in that ocean, until it pleased the lord Hari, to proceed out of it for the destruction of the demons.

23. Then there was a dreadful war between Vishnu and Sambara, which broke and bore away the mountains as in an untimely great deluge of the earth.

24. The mighty demon being at last overthrown by the might of Narayana, was sent to and settled in the city of Vishnu after his death. (Because those that are either saved or slain by Vishnu, are equally entitled to his paradise).

25. The demons of Bhima, Bhasa and Dridha, were also killed in their unequal struggle with Vishnu, and were extinguished like lamps by the wind.

26. They became extinct like flames of fire, and it was not known whither their vital flame had fled. Because it is the desire of a person that leads him to another state, but these having no wish in them, had no other place to go.

27. Hence the wishless soul is liberated, but not the wistful mind;therefore use your reason, O Rama, to have a wishless mind and soul.

28. A full investigation into truth, will put down your desires at once; and the extinction of desires, will restore your mind to rest like an extinguished candle.

29. Consummate wisdom consists in the knowledge of there being nothing real in this world, and that our knowledge of reality is utterly false, and that nihility of thing, is the true reality.

30. The whole world is full with the spirit of God, whatever otherwise one may think of it at any time; there can be no other thought of it except that it is a nihility, and this forms our perfect knowledge of it.

31. The two significant words of the will and mind are mere insignificant fictions, as head and trunk of the ascending and descending nodes of a planet; which upon their right understanding, are lost in the Supreme Spirit. (I.e. it is only the divine will and spirit that is all in all).

32. The mind being accompanied by its desires, is kept confined in this world, but when that is released from these, it is said to have its liberation.

33. The mind has gained its existence in the belief of men, owing to the many ideas of pots and pictures (ghata-patadi); and other things which are imprinted in it; but these thoughts being repressed, the mind also vanishes of itself like the phantoms of goblins (yakshasyakkas).[5]

[5] Ceylon is said to be first peopled by the Yakkas (yakshas) who followed the train of the Rakshasa Ravana to that island.

34. The demons Dama, Vyala and Kata, were destroyed by reliance on their minds (i.e. by thinking their bodies as their souls); but Bhima, Bhasa and Dridha were saved by their belief in the Supreme soul, as pervading all things. Therefore, O Rama! reject the examples of the former, imitate that of the latter.

35. "Be not guided by the example of Dama, Vyala and Kata," is the lesson that was first delivered to me by Brahma—the lotus-born and my progenitor himself.

36. This lesson I repeat to you, O Rama, as my intelligent pupil, that you may never follow the example of the wicked demons Dama and others;but imitate the conduct of the good spirits, Bhima and others in your conduct.

37. It is incessant pain and pleasure that forms the fearful feature of this world, and there is no other way of evading all its pangs and pains, save by your apathetic behaviour, which must be your crowning glory in this life.