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 XLV - Dependance of all on god

Argument. The mind being a finite production, its product of the world, is as unreal as the thoughts of the mind.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. The world appearing as substantial, has nothing substantive in it; it is all a vacuity and mere representation of the imageries and vagaries of the mind.

2. Neither is time nor space filled by any world at all, but by the great spirit, who has no form except that of vacuum. (The spirit of God fills the infinite vacuity from all eternity).

3. This is all imaginary, and as visionary as a city seen in a dream; whatever is seen any where is fallacy, and existing in the infinite vacuity. (All is void amidst the great void of Brahma's Mind).

4. It is a painting without its base, and a vision of unrealities; it is an uncreated creation, and a variegated picture in empty air (without its canvas).

5. It is the imagination of the mind, that has stretched the three worlds, and made the many bodies contained in them. Reminiscence is the cause of these creations, as the eyesight is the cause of vision.

6. The pageantry of the world is an erroneous representation, like the elevations and depressions in a painting; they are not distinct from the supreme spirit, in which they are situated as buildings stand on their foundation. (Or as statues in bas-relief).

7. The mind has made the body for its own abode, as some worms make their cortices or coatings, and the soul also has its sheaths or koshas (namely the annamaya kosha &c.).

8. There is nothing which the mind can not get or build in its empty imagination, however difficult or unattainable it may appear to be.

9. What impossibility is there of the same powers residing in Omnipotence, which are possessed by the mind in its secluded cell? (The spiritual powers must be greater than the mental).

10. It is not impossible, O Rama! for any thing to be or not to be at any time or always, when there is the omnipotent Lord, who can create or annihilate all things at his will. (The positive and the negative are co-eternal with the eternal Mind, though it is an impossibility in the order of nature, as; "It is impossible for the same thing to be, and not to be at the same time."Locke).

11. Mind that, when the mind is empowered to make its own body, and to form others in its imagination, how much more is the power of the almighty to make and unmake all things at his will.

12. It is divine will that has brought the gods, the demigods and all mankind into existence; and it is by the cessation of the (creative) will, that they cease to exist as the lamp is extinguished for want of its oil.

13. Behold the sky and all things under it to be displayed by the divine will, and understand the universe as the visionary scene of thy dream laid open to thy sight.

14. There is nothing that is born or dies here at any time, because every thing is a nullity in its true sense.

15. There is also nothing, that becomes more or less in any wise when there is nothing in existence; for how can that (soul) have a body when it is bodiless below, and can it be parted, when it is an undivided whole?

16. Rama! seeing by thy keen sightedness, that all these bodies are bodiless (I.e. only imaginary beings), why shouldst thou fall into the error (of taking them for realities?).

17. As the mirage is made to appear by the heat of the sun, so do these false appearances seem as true to thee from the certainty of thy mind. So also are Brahma and others but creatures of thy fancy.

18. They are as false as the sight of two moons in the sky by thy false imagination, it is the great fallacy of thy mind, that represents these false forms of the world before thee.

19. As the passenger in a boat sees the fixed objects on earth to be moving about him, so these varieties of visible objects offer themselves to thy view.

20. Know the world as an enchanted scene, presented by the magic of thy error (maya);it is a fabrication of the working of thy mind, and is a nullity though appearing as a reality.

21. All this world is Brahma, what else is there beside him? What other adjunct can he have, what is that? Whence did it come, and where is it situated?

22. That this is a mountain and that is a tree, are appendages affixed by our error and mistake, it is the prejudgment of the mind, that makes the unreality appear as a reality.

23. The world is the creation of error and idol of fools;shun your fond desire and thoughts of it, Rama, and think of thy unworldly soul.

24. It is as false as the visionary scene of a prolonged dream, and an aerial building of the fancies of the mind.

25. Shun this grand display of the world, which is so substantial to sight, and so inane when felt; It is the den of the dragons of desire, foaming with the poison of their passions.

26. Knowing the world as unreal, try to regard it as nothing;because the wise will never go after a mirage knowing it such.

27. The foolish man that runs after some imaginary object of his heart's desire, is surely exposed to trouble and disappointment for his folly.

28. Whoever desires to have any thing in this world, after knowing it as an unreality, surely perishes with his soul for his forsaking the reality.

29. It is only that error of the mind, which makes it mistake a rope for a snake; and it is the variety of the thoughts and pursuits of men, that makes them roll about in the world.

30. When some vain thought labors in the mind, like the moon appearing to move under the water;it beguiles little children only, and not the wise as yourself.

31. He who pursues the virtues for his future happiness, surely kindles the fire of his intelligence to destroy the frost of his ignorance.

32. All the gross bodies that are seen here in this world, are all the creatures of the working of the mind, as the building of aerial castles in our thought.

33. It is the heart's desire that produces these things, as it is want of desire that destroys them all. The unrealities appear as true as the fairylands appearing to view. (Fairy cities are like the sight of castles in the icebergs).

34. Know Rama, that nothing that is existent is lost on the dissolution of the world, nor what is inexistent of its nature, can ever come into existence.

35. Say Rama, what things you call as entire or broken, or to be growing or decaying, when these ideas are but the formations of your sound or unsound mind or the working of your fancy.

36. As children make and break their toy-dolls of clay at will, so the mind raises and erases its thoughts of all things in the world (by its repeated recollections and oblivions of them).

37. As nothing is lost or drowned in the talismanic tank of a conjuror, so nothing is dead or dissolved in the magical sea of this world (samsara sagara).

38. The unrealities being all untrue, it is true that nothing is lost by their loss. Hence there is no cause for our joy or sorrow in this unreal world. (Why sorrow, when a fragile is broken, or a mortal is no more).

39. If the world is altogether an unreality, I know not what may be lost in it; and if nothing whatever is really lost in it, what reason can there be for the wise to sorrow for it?

40. If the Deity is the only absolute existence, what else is there for us to lose in it? The whole universe being full with Brahma, there can be no cause of our joy or sorrow for any thing whatever.

41. If the unreality can never come to existence, it cannot have its growth also. What cause is there of our sorrow for their want of growth or existence?

42. Thus every thing is but unreal and mere cause of our delusion, what is there that may be reckoned as the best boon for us, that the wise man can have to desire. (No real bliss is to be found on earth).

43. But all this when taken in the sense of their being full with the Divine Spirit, what thing is there so very trifling for the wise man to dispose or refuse to take?

44. But he who considers the world as an unreality, is never subject to joy or sorrow at his gain or loss of any thing. It is only the ignorant that is elated or depressed at the one or the other.

45. That which was not before nor will remain afterwards, is likewise the same nihility at present; therefore whoso desires the nullity, is said in the Sruti to be null himself. (The Sruti says: Nothing there was, nothing there is, and nothing will last in the end except the being of God).

46. What was before and what will be in the end, the same is in being (in esse) even at present; therefore, what is always in esse, it is that entity alone that is seen everywhere and at all times.

47. There are the unreal sky and moon and stars, seen underneath the water; it is only the deluded boys that like to look at them, but never the wise (who look at the reality and not at its shadow).

48. Children take a liking for light, empty and gaudy baubles; which are of no good or use to them nor any body at all, and are rather led to sorrow at their loss, than derive any good from their gain whatever.

49. Therefore act not as a child, O lotus-eyed Rama! but conduct yourself as the wise, and by looking at these fleeting baubles as ever evanescent, rely in the Everlasting alone.

50. Rama! be not sad or sorry to learn, that all these with thyself and myself are nothing in reality; nor be glad or joyous to know, that all these and ourselves are real entities. But reckon alike whether these be or not be; because it is the One Being, that becomes and unbecomes anything, it is the only Being, and all things that becomes.

Valmiki said:—

51. As the sage was saying in this manner, the day glided away to its dusk; the sun departed to his eventide and evening service, and with him the assembly parted to their evening ablutions and rest, after which they assembled again to the court with the rising sun.