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 XL - Brahma identic with the world or identity of the world with brahma

Argument. Production and names of the Varieties of Animal Life and their spiritual Natures.

Rama said:—

1. Tell me, sir, about the production of animal beings from Brahma, and let me know their different names and natures in full length.

Vasishtha replied:—

2. The manner in which the different species of beings are produced from Brahma, and how they are destroyed afterwards, as also how they obtain their liberation at last:—

3. Also the manner of their growth and sustentation, and fitness in the world, are all what you must hear me now tell you in brief.

4. The power of the intellect of Brahma exerts of its free will, and this omnipotence becomes whatever is thought of (chetya) in the Divine Intellect.

5. The intellection becomes condensed to a certain subtile form, which having the powers of conception (sankalpa), becomes the principle entitled the Mind.

6. The mind then by an effort of its conception (called the Will), expands itself to an unreal (ideal) scenery like that of the Fairyland, by falling off from the nature of Brahmic Incogitancy.

7. The intellect when remaining in its original state, appears as a vacuum or vacancy; but upon manifesting itself in the form of the mind, it is seen as the visible sky by men.

8. Taking the conception of the lotus-born, it finds itself in its conceived form of the lotus (Brahma), and then it thinks of creation in the form of Prajapati or lord of creatures.

9. He then formed from his thought (chitta) this creation, containing the fourteen worlds with all the bustle of living beings in them.

10. The mind itself is a vacuity with a vacuous body; its conception is the field of its action, and its sphere is full with the false workings of the mind.

11. Here there are many kinds of beings, labouring under great ignorance as the beasts and brute creatures. There are some with enlightened minds as the sages; and others staggering in the intermediate class, as the majority of mankind.

12. Among all living beings that are confined in this earth, it is only the human race living in this part (India), that are capable of receiving instruction and civilization.

13. But as most of these are subject to diseases and distress, and are suffering under the thrall of their ignorance, enmity and fear; it is for them that I will deliver my lecture on social and saintly conduct—rajasatviki niti (in the 42nd chapter of this book).

14. I will also treat there about the everlasting, imperishable and omnipresent Brahma, who is without beginning and end, whose mind is without error, and of the form of Intellectual light.

15. How endless beings are put to motion, by the momentum of a particle of his motionless body; and resembling the rolling of boisterous waves on the surface of the clear and tranquil ocean.

Rama asked said:—

16. How sir, do you speak of a part of the infinite Spirit, and of the momentum of the motionless God; as also of a change and effort of it, that is altogether without them (vikaravikrama).

Vasishtha replied:—

17. It is the usual and current mode of expression, both in the sastras and language of the people to say, "all this is made by or come from Him", but it is not so in its real and spiritual sense.

18. No change or partition, and no relation of space or time, bear any reference to the Supreme, who is unchangeable, infinite and eternal; nor is there any appearance or disappearance of Him at any time or place, who is ever invisible every where.

19. There never was nor can there ever be any way, of representing the incomprehensible, except by symbolical expressions; it was therefore in accordance to common speech, that I have made use of those words.

20. Whatever words or sentences are used here as symbolical of some sense, whether they express as "produced from it tajja" or as a change of the same—tanmaya", the same should be used, in that sense all along.

21. It is tajja, as when we say "fire proceeds from fire" (meaning, the "mundane Brahma comes out of the spiritual Brahma." Here fire is symbolical of Brahma and the world). It is tanmaya in the expression "Brahma is the producer and produced" (which means the identity—and transformation of the creator to the creation).

22. The first form is applied to the world as proceeding from Brahma:but the other form of the producer and produced, means also the creative power which made the world.

23. The expression idam—anyat = idem alius or this is one thing and that another, is false, the difference is verbal and not real; because there is no proof of it in the nature of God, which is one and all.

24. The mind, by reason of its birth (tajja) from Brahma, is possessed both of the power and intelligence of his Intellect, and is enabled to accomplish its intended purpose, by means of its intense application.

25. To say that one flame of fire, is the producer of another, is mere logomachy, and there is no truth in this assertion. (Because it is no other thing produced by another, but the very thing).

26. That one is the producer of another is also a paralogy;because the one Brahma being infinite, could produce no other thing, beside reproducing himself. (For where and whence could he get another thing to create a thing anew beside in himself?).

27. It is the nature of disputation to contradict one another by replies and rejoinders; but it is not right to foil the adversary by false sophistry.

28. The learned know Brahma as the ocean rolling in its endless waves, and as significant words and their significations, which go together as Brahma and his creation.

Brahma is the intellect said:—

29. Chit, Brahma is the mind—manas, Brahma is intelligence—Vijnana, and Brahma is substance—Vasthu; He is Sound—sabda, He is understanding—chit, and He is in the principles of things—Dhatus.

30. The whole universe is Brahma, and yet He is beyond all this. In reality the world is a nullity, for all is Brahma alone.

31. This is one thing and that is another, and this is a part of the great soul, are all contradictory assertions of ignorance (false knowledge), as no words can express the true nature of the unknown.

32. The spirit rises as the flame of fire, and this flame is significant of the mind. Its tremor signifies the fluctuation of the mind, which in reality is not the case, there being no rise or fall of the Divine Mind.

33. It is untruth that wavers and equivocates in double entendres. It prevaricates the truth, as the defective eye views the double moon in the sky.

34. Brahma being all (to pan) of himself, and all pervading and infinite of his own nature, there can be no other thing beside himself, and anything that is produced of him, is likewise himself.

35. Beside the truth of the existence of Brahma, there is nothing which can be proved as absolutely certain; and it is a scriptural truth which says, "verily all this is Brahma."

36. This also must be the conclusion, which you will arrive at by your reasoning, and which I will propound with many instances and tenets in the Book of Nirvana or Extinction.

37. There are many things here in connection with this single question of which you are ignorant, and all which you will come to know fully in future, for dispelling your doubts on the subject.

38. The unreality having disappeared, the reality appears to view, as the darkness of night being dispelled, the visible world comes to sight.

39. The spacious world which appears to your false sight of it, will vanish, O Rama! on your attaining to the state of calm quietism. The fallacious appearances must disappear from your vision, as soon as the light of truth comes to dawn upon your soul.