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...

Argument. Description of avarice as the Root of all Evils.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. The soul by following the unholy essence of the mind, which is the source of the world, is led to fall into the snare, which is laid by it for all living beings.

2. The soul then loses the brightness of its spiritual form, and takes the gross shape of the senses: it waits upon the guidance of the mind, and indulges in its impure imaginations.

3. It falls into avarice, which like a poisonous plant makes it senseless, and spreads a fearful anesthesia over it.

4. Avarice like a dark night, hides the soul under the gloom of oblivion, and produces endless pangs to the soul.

5. The god Siva withstood the flame of the kalpa conflagration, but no body can withstand the fierce fire of avarice.

6. It bears a form as formidable as that of a long, sharp and sable dagger; which is cold in appearance, but very injurious in her effects.

7. Avarice is an evergreen plant, bearing bunches of plenteous fruits on high;which when they are obtained and tasted, prove to be bitter and galling.

8. Avarice is a voracious wolf, prowling in the recess of the heart; and feeding unseen on the flesh and blood and bones of its sheltering body.

9. Avarice is as a rainy stream, full of foul and muddy water now overflowing and breaking down its banks, and then leaving empty its dirty bed.

10. The man stricken with avarice, remains niggardly and broken hearted at all times; his spirits are damped, and his sordid soul is debased before mankind. He is now dejected, and now he weeps and lays himself down in despair.

11. He who has not this black adder of greediness, burrowing in the recess of his heart, has the free play of his vital breath, which is otherwise poisoned by the breath of the viper rankling in his breast.

12. The heart which is not darkened by the gloomy night of greediness, feels the rays of humanity sparkling in it, like the glancing of the bright moon-beams.

13. The heart that is not eaten up by the corroding cares of avarice, is as an uncankered tree, blooming with its blossoms of piety.

14. The current of avarice, is ever running amidst the wilderness of human desires, with ceaseless torrents and billows, and hideous whirlpools and vortices around.

15. The thread of avarice, like the long line of a flying kite or tossing top, whirls and furls and pulls mankind, as its toys and playthings.

16. The rude, rough and hard-hearted avarice, breaks and cuts down the tender roots of virtues, with the remorseless axe of its hardihood.

17. Foolish men led by avarice, fall into the hell pit, like the ignorant deer into the black hole; by being enticed by the blades of grass, scattered upon its covering top.

18. Men are not so much blinded by their aged and decayed eyesight, as they are blinded by the invisible avarice seated in their hearts.

19. The heart which is nestled by the ominous owl of avarice, is as bemeaned as the god Vishnu, who became a dwarf in begging a bit of ground from Bali.

20. There is a divine power, which hath implanted this insatiable avarice in the heart of man; which whirls him about, as if tied by a rope, like the sun revolving round its centre in the sky.

21. Fly from this avarice, which is as heinous as the venomous snake. It is the source of all evils, and even of death in this mortal world.

22. Avarice blows on men as the wind, and it is avarice that makes them sit still as stones; avarice makes some as sedate as the earth, and avarice ransacks the three worlds in its rapid course.

23. All this concourse of men, is impelled to and fro by avarice, as if they are pulled by ropes; it is easy to break the band of ropes, but not the bond of avarice. (There is a play of words here, as that of band, bond and bondage).

24. Then Rama, get rid of avarice by forsaking your desires; because it is ascertained by the wise, that the mind dies away by want of its desires (to dwell upon).

25. Never observe the distinctions of my, thy and his in all thy wishes, but wish for the good of all alike; and never foster any bad desire (which is foul in its nature).

26. The thought of self in what is not the self, is the parent of all our woe; when you cease to think the not-self as the self you are then reckoned among the wise.

27. Cut off your egoism, O gentle Rama! and dwell in thy unearthly self by forgetting yourself, and by dispelling your fear from all created being. (Here is an alliteration of the letter bh [Bengali: bha] in the last line, as [Bengali: bhu, bhava, bhashra]).