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 LIV - Corrective of desires

Argument. The rise, progress and decline of Human Wishes.

The Son asked:—What is this desire, father? how is it produced and grown, and how is it destroyed at last?

Dasura replied:—

2. The desire or will is situated in the mind or mental part of the one eternal, universal and spiritual substance of God.

3. It gets the form of a monad from a formless unit, and then by its gradual expansion extends over the whole mind, and fills it as a flimsy cloud soon covers the sky.

4. Remaining in the divine Intellect, the mind thinks of thinkables, as they are distinct from itself; and its longing after them is called its desire, which springs from it as a germ from its seed.

5. The desire is produced by the desiring of something, and it increases of itself both in its size and quantity, for our trouble only, and to no good or happiness at all.

6. It is the accretion of our desires which forms the world, as it is the accumulation of waters which makes the ocean; you have no trouble without your desire, and being free from it, you are freed from the miseries of the world (wherein one has to buffet as in the waves and waters of the sea).

7. It is by mere chance, that we come to meet with the objects of our desire; as it is by an act of unavoidable chance also, that we are liable to lose them. They appear before us as secondary luminaries in the sky, and then fly away as the mirage vanishes from view.

8. As a man who has the jaundice by eating a certain fruit, sees every thing as yellow as gold with his jaundiced eye; so the desire in the heart of man, pictures the unreal as a reality before him.

9. Know this truth that you are an unreality yourself, and must become an unreality afterwards. (Because there is but one self-existent entity, and all besides is but suppositions not entities).

10. He who has learnt to disbelieve his own existence and that of all others, and knows the vanity of his joy and grief, is not troubled at the gain or loss of any thing (which is but vanity of vanities, the world is vanity).

11. Knowing yourself as nothing, why do you think of your birth and your pleasures here? You are deluded in vain by the vanity of your desires.

12. Do not entertain your desires, nor think of anything which is nothing; it is by your living in this manner, that you may be wise and happy.

13. Try to relinquish your desire, and you will evade all difficulties; and cease to think of anything, and your desire for it will disappear of itself.

14. Even the crushing of a flower is attended with some effort, but it requires no effort to destroy your desire, which vanishes of itself for want of its thought.

15. You have to expand the palm of your hand, in laying hold of a flower; but you have nothing to do in destroying your frail and false desire.

16. He that wants to destroy his desire, can do it in a trice, by forgetting the thought of his desired object.

17. The thoughts being repressed from other objects, and fixed in the Supreme Spirit, will enable one to do what is impossible for others to effect.

18. Kill your desire by desiring nothing, and turn your mind from all things, by fixing it in the Supreme, which you can easily do of yourself.

19. Our desires being quieted, all worldly cares come to a stand still, and all our troubles are put to a dead lock.

20. Our wishes constitute our minds, hearts, lives, understandings and all our desiderative faculties; all which are but different names for the same thing without any difference in their signification.

21. There is no other business of our lives than to desire and to be doing, and when done to be desiring again: and as this restless craving is rooted out of the mind, it sets it free from all anxiety.

22. The world below is as empty, as the hollow sky above us; both of those are empty nothings, except that our minds make something or other of them, agreeably to its desire or fancy.

23. All things are unsubstantial and unsubstantiated by the unsubstantial mind; thus the world being but a creation of our fancy a desideratum, there is nothing substantial for you to think about.

24. Our reliance on unrealities proving to be unreal, leaves no room for our thinking about them; the suppression of their thoughts produces that perfection, insouciance, than which there is nothing more desirable on earth. Forget therefore all that is unreal.

25. The nice discernment of things, will preserve you from the excess of joy and grief, and the knowledge of the Vanity of things, will keep out your affection for or reliance on any person or thing.

26. The removal of reliance upon the world, removes our attachment to it;and consequently prevents our joy or sorrow at the gain or loss of any thing.

27. The mind which becomes the living principle, stretches out its city of the world by an act of its imagination;and then turns it about as the present, past, and future worlds (i.e. The mind produces, destroys and reproduces the world, as it builds and breaks and rebuilds its aerial castles).

28. The mind being subject to the sensational, emotional and volitive feelings; loses the purity of its intellectual nature, and plays many parts by its sensuousness.

29. The living soul also forgets the nature of the universal soul from which it is derived, and is transformed to a puny animalcule in the heart of man, where it plays its pranks like an ape in the woods.

30. Its desires are as irrepressible, as the waves of the ocean, and they rise and fall by turns like the waves, in expectation of having every object of the senses.

31. Our desire like fire, is kindled by every straw; and it burns and blows out in its invisible form within the mind.

32. Our desires are as fickle as flashes of lightning, and proceed from the minds of the ignorant, as the lightning darts itself from the watery clouds ([Bengali: nalada]); they are equally fleeting and misguiding, and must be speedily avoided by the wise.

33. Desire is undoubtedly a curable disease, as long as it is a transient malady of the mind; but it becomes incurable, when it takes a deep root in it.

34. The knowledge of the unreality of the world, quickly cures the disease of desire; but the certainty of worldly knowledge, makes it as incurable as the impossibility, of removing the blackness of a coal.

35. What fool will attempt to wash a coal white, or convert a materialist to a spiritualist? Or turn a raven or Negro to whiteness?

36. But the mind of a man, is as a grain of rice covered under its husk, which is soon unhusked upon the threshing-floor.

37. The worldliness of the wise, is as soon removed as the husk of rice, and the blackness of a cooking kettle.

38. The blemishes of a man, are blotted out by his own endeavours; wherefore you must try to exert yourself to action at all times.

39. He who has not been able to master over his vain desires, and hobby whims in this world, will find them vanish of themselves in course of time, as nothing false can last for ever.

40. The light of reason removeth the false conception of the world, as the light of the lamp dispels the darkness from the room at sight, and night vision removes the secondary moon (of optical deception).

41. The world is not yours, nor are you of this world;there is no body nor anything here akin to you, nor are you so to any; never think otherwise, nor take the false for true.

42. Never foster the false idea in your mind, that you are master of large possessions and pleasant things; for know yourself and all pleasant things, are for the delight of the Supreme Maker and Master of all.