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 XVI - Healing of avarice

Argument. The way to forsake the desires, and become liberated in this life and the next.

Rama said:—

1. It is too deep for me sir, to understand what you say to me, for the abandonment of my egoism and avarice.

2. For how is it possible, sir, to forsake my egoism, without forsaking this body and every thing that bears relation to it?

3. It is egoism which is the chief support of the body, as a post or prop is the support of a thatched house.

4. The body will surely perish without its egoism, and will be cut short of its durability, as a tree is felled by application of the saw to its root.

5. Now tell me, O most eloquent sir, how I may live by forsaking my egoism (which is myself); give me your answer, according to your right judgement.

Vasishtha replied:—

6. O lotus-eyed and respectful Rama! abandonment of desires, is said to be of two kinds by the wise, who are well acquainted with the subject; the one is called the jneya or knowable and the other is what they style the thinkable (or dhyeya).

7. The knowledge that I am the life of my body and its powers, and these are the supports of my life, and that I am something.

8. But this internal conviction being weighed well by the light of reason, will prove that neither am I related with the external body, nor does it bear any relation with my internal soul.

9. Therefore the performance of one's duties, with calmness and coolness of his understanding, and without any desire of fruition, is called the abandonment of desire in thought.

10. But the understanding which views things in an equal light, and by forsaking its desires, relinquishes the body without taking any concern for it, and is called the knowing abandonment of desires. (I.e. of which the Yogi has full knowledge).

11. He who foregoes with ease the desires arising from his egoism, is styled the thinking abjurer of his desires, and is liberated in his life time.

12. He who is calm and even-minded, by his abandonment of vain and imaginary desires; is a knowing deserter of his desires, and is liberated also in this world.

13. Those who abandon the desires in their thought, and remain with listless indifference to everything, are like those who are liberated in their life time.

14. They are also called the liberated, who have had their composure (insouciance) after abandonment of their desires, and who rest in the Supreme Spirit, with their souls disentangled from their bodies. (This is called the disembodied liberation [Bengali: bhu, bhaba, bhasra]).

15. Both these sorts of renunciation are alike entitled to liberation, both of them are extricated from pain;and both lead the liberated souls to the state of Brahma.

16. The mind whether engaged in acts or disengaged from them, rests in the pure spirit of God, by forsaking its desires. (There is this difference only between them, that the one has an active body, while the other is without its activity).

17. The former kind of yogi is liberated in his embodied state, and freed from pain throughout his life time; but the latter that has obtained his liberation in his bodiless state after his demise, remains quite unconscious of his desires. (The liberated soul is freed from desire after death. Their desires being dead with themselves, they have nothing to desire).

18. He who feels no joy nor sorrow at the good or evil, which befalls to him in his life time, as it is the course of nature, is called the living liberated man.

19. He who neither desires nor dreads the casualties of good or evil, which are incidental to human life; but remains quiet regardless of them as in his dead sleep, is known as the truly liberated man.

20. He whose mind is freed from the thoughts, of what is desirable or undesirable to him, and from his differentiation of mine, thine and his (i.e. of himself from others), is called the truly liberated.

21. He whose mind is not subject to the access of joy and grief, of hope and fear, of anger, boast and niggardliness, is said to have his liberation.

22. He whose feelings are all obtundent within himself as in his sleep, and whose mind enjoys its felicity like the beams of the full moon, is said to be the liberated man in this world.

Valmiki says:—

23. After the sage had said so far, the day departed to its evening service with the setting sun. The assembled audience retired to their evening ablutions, and repaired again to the assembly with the rising sun on the next day.