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 IV - Inquiries of rama

Argument. Dasaratha's Praise of Vasishtha's speech, and Rama's Queries by behest of the sage.

Valmiki continued:—

Then king Dasaratha made this speech to the chief of sages, and spoke in a voice sounding as a deep cloud, and in words equally graceful as they were worthy of confidence.

2. Venerable sir, said he, your speech of yesterday bespeaks of your intellectual light, and your getting over all afflictions by your extremely emaciating austerities.

3. Your words of yesterday, have delighted us by their perspicacity and gracefulness, as by a shower of enlivening ambrosia.

4. The pure words of the wise, are as cooling and edifying of the inward soul; as the clear and nectarious moon-beams, serve both to cool and dispel the gloom of the earth.

5. The good sayings of the great, afford the highest joy resulting from their imparting a knowledge of the Supreme, and by their dispelling the gloom of ignorance all at once.

6. The knowledge of the inestimable gem of our soul, is the best light that we can have in this world;and the learned man is as a tree beset by the creepers of reason and good sense.

7. The sayings of the wise serve to purge away our improper desires and doings, as the moon-beams dispel the thick gloom of night.

8. Your sayings, O sage, serve to lessen our desires and avarice which enchain us to this world, as the autumnal winds diminish the black clouds in the sky.

9. Your lectures have made us perceive the pure soul in its clear light, as the eye-salve of antimony (collyrium antigoni nigrum); makes the born-blind man to see the pure gold with his eyes.

10. The mist of worldly desires, which has overspread the atmosphere of our minds, is now beginning to disperse by the autumnal breeze of your sayings.

11. Your sayings of sound wisdom, O great sage! have poured a flood of pure delight into our souls, as the breezy waves of nectarious water, or the breath of mandara flowers infuse into the heart.

12. O my Rama! those days are truly lightsome, that you spend in your attendance on the wise; otherwise the rest of the days of one's lifetime, are indeed darksome and dismal.

13. O my lotus-eyed Rama! propose now what more you have to know about the imperishable soul, as the sage is favourably disposed to communicate everything to you.

14. After the king had ended his speech, the venerable and high-minded sage Vasishtha, who was seated before Rama, addressed him saying:—

Vasishtha said:—

15. O Rama—the moon of your race, do you remember all that I have told you ere this, and have you reflected on the sense of my sayings from first to the last.

16. Do you recollect, O victor of your enemies? the subject of creation, and its division into the triple nature of goodness &c.;and their subdivision into various kinds?

17. Do you remember what I said regarding the One in all, and not as the all, and the One Reality ever appearing as unreality; and do you retain in your mind the nature and form of the Supreme Spirit, that I have expounded to you?

18. Do you, O righteous Rama, that art deserving of every praise, bear in your mind, how this world came to appear from the Lord God of all?

19. Do you fully retain in your memory the nature of illusion, and how it is destroyed by the efforts of the understanding;and how the Infinite and Eternal appears as finite and temporal as space and time? (These though infinite appear limited to us).

20. Do you, O blessed Rama! keep in your mind, that man is no other than his mind, as I have explained to you by its proper definition and arguments?

21. Have you, Rama! considered well the meanings of my words, and did you reflect at night the reasonings of yesterday in your mind? (As it behoves us to reflect at night on the lessons of the day).

22. It is by repeated reflection in the mind, and having by heart what you have learnt, that you derive the benefit of your learning, and not by your laying aside of the same in negligence.

23. You are then only the proper receptacle of a rational discourse and a holy sermon, when you retain them like brilliant pearls in the chest of your capacious and reasoning breast.

Valmiki said:—

24. Rama being thus addressed by the sage—the valiant progeny of the lotus-seated Brahma, found his time to answer him in the following manner. (Vasishtha's valour is described in his services to king Sudasa).

Rama replied:—

25. you Sir, who are acquainted with all sastras and creeds have expounded to me, the sacred truths, and I have, O noble Sir, fully comprehended their purport.

26. I have deposited every thing verbatim that you said in the casket of my heart, and have well considered the meaning of your words during the stillness of my sleepless nights.

27. Your words like sun-beams dispel the darkness of the world, and your radiant words of yesterday, delighted me like the rays of the rising sun.

28. O great sir, I have carefully preserved the substance of all your past lectures in my mind, as one preserves the most valuable and brilliant gems in a casket.

29. What accomplished man is there, that will not bear on his head the blessings of admonitions, which are so very pure and holy, and so very charming and delightful at the same time?

30. We have shaken off the dark veil of the ignorance of this world, and have become as enlightened by your favor, as the days in autumn after dispersion of rainy clouds.

31. Your instructions are sweet and graceful in the first place (by the elegance of their style); they are edifying in the midst (by their good doctrines); and they are sacred by the holiness they confer at the end.

32. Your flowery speech is ever delightsome to us, by the quality of its blooming and unfading beauty, and by virtue of its conferring our lasting good to us.

33. O sir, that are learned in all sastras, that art the channel of the holy waters of divine knowledge, that art firm in thy protracted vows of purity, do thou expurgate us of the dross of our manifold sins by your purifying lectures.