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 LX - Production of living beings

Argument. Production of the bodies of Living Beings, according to the degrees of their Reason.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. O strong armed Rama! after the great father of creation, he took himself to his activity, he formed and supported the worlds by his energy and might.

2. All living and departed souls, are tied like buckets by the rope of their desire, and made to rise and fall in this old well of the world, by the law of their predetermined destiny (or Fate that binds Siva or Jove himself).

3. All beings proceeding from Brahma, and entering the prison house of the world, have to be concentrated into the body of the air-born Brahma;as all the waters of the sea have to be whirled into the whirlpool in the midst of the sea. (All things were contained in and produced from Brahma the Demiurge).

4. Others are continually springing from the mind of Brahma, like sparks of fire struck out of a red-hot iron;while many are flying to it as their common centre.

5. Rama! all lives are as the waves in the ocean of the everlasting spirit of Brahma; they rise and fall in him according to his will.

6. They enter into the atmospheric air, as the smoke rises and enters the clouds, and are at last mixed up together by the wind, in the spirit of Brahma.

7. They are then overtaken by the elementary particles, or atoms flying in the air, which lay hold on them in a few days; as the demons seize the host of gods with violence. (These become the living and embodied souls, joined with the many properties of the elements).

8. Then the air breathes the vital breath in these bodies; which infuses life and vigour in them.

9. Thus do living beings manifest themselves on earth, while there are others flying in the form of smoke as living spirits. (So the spiritualists view the spirits in the etherial clouds).

10. Some of them appear in their subtle elemental forms in their airy cells in the sky, and shine as bright as the beams of the luminous moon. (These are lingadehas or individual spiritual bodies).

11. Then they fall upon the earth like the pale moonbeams falling upon the milky ocean.

12. There they alight as birds in the groves and forests, and become stiffened by sipping the juice of fruits and flowers.

13. Then losing their aerial and bright forms of the moon-beams, they settle on those fruits and flowers: and suck their juice like infants hanging upon the breasts of their mothers. (These are the protozoa, the first and embryonic state of living beings).

14. The protozoa are strengthened by drinking the juice of the fruits, which are ripened by the light and heat of the sun, and then they remain in a state of insensibility;until they enter the animal body.

15. The animated animalcules, remain in the womb with their undeveloped desires; in the same manner as the unopening leaves, are contained in the seed of the bata or Indian fig tree.

16. All lives are situated in the Great God, as fire is inherent in the wood, and the pot resides in the earth; and it is after many processes that they have their full development.

17. One that has received no bodily form, and yet moves on without manifesting itself, is said to be a satya or spiritual being, and has a large scope of action (as the gods).

18. He is said to have a satvika birth, who gets his liberation in or after his life time; but whoever is obliged to be reborn by his acts, is said to belong to the rajas-satvika class.

19. Any one of this class who is born to rule over others, becomes giddy with pride (tamas), he is said to be of the nature of ignorance tamasika, and I will now speak of this class of beings.

20. Those who are born originally with their satvika nature, are pure in their conduct and have never to be born again.

21. Men of raja-satvika temperament have to be reborn on earth; but being elevated by their reasoning powers, they have no more to be born in this nether world.

22. Those who have directly proceeded from the Supreme Spirit (without any intermixture of these natures), are men fraught with every quality, and are very rare on earth.

23. The various classes of tamasa creatures of ignorance, are both insensible and speechless; and are of the nature of immovable vegetables and minerals, that need no description.

24. How many among the gods and men, have been reborn to the cares of the world, owing to the demerit of their past action; and I myself though fraught with knowledge and reason, am obliged to lead a life of the rajasa-satvika kind (owing to my interference in society).

25. It is by your ignorance of the Supreme, that you behold the vast extension of the world; but by considering it rightly you will soon find all this to be but the One Unity.

Notes on the Suranika, Satvika &c.

a. The Vidhyanika; is the sphere of the eternal laws of God, presided over by Brahma, who is thence styled the Vidhi or dispensator of the laws of the creation of the mundane system.

b. The Suranika; is the sphere of the Supernatural powers or the divine agencies, governing and regulating the management of created nature. This is the angelic sphere of deities.

c. Naranika; is the sphere of human being, consisting also of the subordinate orders of beings, placed under the dominion of man. This is the sublunary sphere wherewith we are concerned.

d. The Satvika;are righteous men, endued with the quality of goodness.

e. The Rajasika; is the body politic, guided by the laws of society.

f. The Tamasika; is the ignorant rabble, and infatuated people.