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 III - Description of the royal assembly

Argument. The Meeting of the next morning, and the concourse of attendants.

Valmiki continued:—

1. Rama passed in this manner the livelong night, in his lengthened chain of reflection; and in eager expectation of dawn, as the lotus longs for the rising sun at day break.

2. Gradually the stars faded away at the appearance of aurora in the east, and the face of the sky was dimly pale, before it was washed over with the white of twilight.

3. The beating of the morning and the alarm of trumpets, roused Rama from his reverie; and he rose with his moonlike face, blooming as the full-blown lotus in its leafy bed.

4. He performed his morning ablution and devotion, and joined with his brothers and a few attendants, in order to repair to the hermitage of the sage Vasishtha.

5. Having arrived there, they found the sage entranced in his meditation in his lonely solitude; and lowly bent down their heads before him from a respectful distance.

6. After making their obeisance, they waited on him in the compound, until the twilight of morning brought the day-light over the face of the sky.

7. The princes and chiefs, the saints, sages and Brahmans, thronged in that hermitage, in the manner of the celestials meeting at the empyrean of Brahma.

8. Now the abode of Vasishtha was full of people, and the crowds of the cars, horses and elephants waiting at the outside, made it equal to a royal palace in its grandeur.

9. After a while the sage rose from his deep meditation, and gave suitable receptions to the assembled throng that bowed down before him.

10. Then Vasishtha accompanied with Viswamitra, and followed by a long train of munis and other men, came out of the hermitage, and ascended and sat in a carriage, in the manner of the lotus-born Brahma sitting on his lotus seat.

11. He arrived at the palace of Dasaratha, which was surrounded by a large army on all sides, and alighted there from his car, as when Brahma descends from his highest heaven to the city of Indra, beset by the whole host of the celestials.

12. He entered the grand court hall of the king, and was saluted by the courtiers lowly bending down before him; as when the stately gander enters a bed of lotuses, amidst a body of aquatic birds (all staring at him).

13. The king also got up, and descended from his high throne; and then advanced three paces on barefoot to receive the venerable sage.

14. Then there entered a large concourse of chiefs and princes, with bodies of saints and sages and Brahmans and hori, potri priests.

15. The minister Sumantra and others came next with the learned pandits Saumya and others; and then Rama and his brothers followed them with the sons of royal ministers.

16. Next came the ministerial officers, the ministerial priests (hotripotris), and the principal citizens, with bodies of the Malava wrestlers and servants of all orders, and townsmen of different professions.

17. All these took their respective seats, and sat in the proper order of their ranks, and kept looking intently on the sage Vasishtha, with their uplifted heads and eyes.

18. The murmur of the assembly was hushed, and the recitation of the panegyrists was at a stop; the mutual greetings and conferences were at an end, and there ensued a still silence in the assembly.

19. The winds wafted the sweet fragrance from the cups of full blown lotuses; and scattered the dulcet dust of the filaments in the spacious hall.

20. The clusters of flowers hung about the hall, diffused their odours all around; and the whole court house seemed, as it were sprinkled over with perfumes of all sorts.

21. The queens and princesses sat at the windows, and upon their couches in the inner apartment, which was strewn over with flowers, and beheld the assemblage in the outer hall.

22. They saw everything by the light of the sun, which shed upon their open eyes through the net work on the windows; and also by the radiance of the gems, which sparkled on their delicate persons. The attendant women remained silent, and without waving their fans and chowries (for fear of the sounding bracelets on their arms).

23. The earth was sown with orient pearls by the dawning sun-beams, and the ground was strewn over with flowers glistening at the sun-light. The lightsome locusts did not light upon them, thinking them to be sparks of fire, but kept hovering in the midway sky as a body of dark and moving cloud.

24. The respectable people sat in mute wonder, to hear the holy lectures of Vasishtha;because the agreeable advice, which is derived from the society of the good, is beyond all estimation.

25. The Siddhas, Vidyadharas, saints, Brahmans and respectable men, gathered from all sides of the sky and forests, and from all cities and towns round about Vasishtha, and saluted him in silence, because deep veneration is naturally mute and wanting in words.

26. The sky was strewn over with the golden dust, borne by the fluttering bees from the cups of farinaceous lotuses; wherein they were enclosed at night; and the soft airs blew sonant with the tinkling sounds of ringing bells, hanging in strings on the doorways of houses. (The Gloss says: it is usual in Nepal and at Deccan, to suspend strings of small bells over the gate ways).

27. The morning breeze was now blowing with the fragrance of various flowers, and mixing with the perfume of the sandal paste; and making the bees fly and flutter on all sides, with their sweet humming music.