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 XXI - Repression of desires by means of yoga-meditation

Argument. Desires are the shackles of the soul, and release from them leading to its liberation.

Vasishtha continued:—

Pavana being admonished by Punya in the said manner, became as enlightened in his intellect, as the landscape at the dawn of day.

2. They continued henceforward to abide in that forest, with the perfection of their spiritual knowledge, and they wandered about in the woods to their hearts content.

3. After a long time they had both their extinction, and rested in their disembodied state of nirvana; as the oilless lamp wastes away of itself.

4. Thus is the end of the great boast of men, of having large trains and numberless friends in their embodied states of lifetime, of which alas! they carry nothing with them to their afterlife, nor leave anything behind, which they can properly call as theirs.

5. The best means of our release from the multifarious objects of our desire, is the utter suppression of our appetites, rather than the fostering of them.

6. It is the hankering after objects, that augment our appetite, as our thinking on something increases our thoughts about it. Just so as the fire is emblazoned by supply of the fuel, and extinguished by its want.

7. Now rise O Rama! and remain aloft as in thy aerial car, by getting loose of your worldly desires; and looking pityingly on the miseries of grovelling mortals from above.

8. This is the divine state known as the position of Brahma, which looks from above with unconcerned serenity upon all. By gaining this state, the ignorant also are freed from misery.

9. One walking with reason as his companion, and having his good understanding for his consort, is not liable to fall into the dangerous trap-doors, which lie hid in his way through life.

10. Being bereft of all properties, and destitute of friends, one has no other help to lift him up in his adversity, beside his own patience and reliance in God.

11. Let men elevate their minds with learning and dispassionateness, and with the virtues of self-dignity and valour, in order to rise over the difficulties of the world.

12. There is no greater good to be derived by any other means, than by the greatness of mind. It gives a security which no wealth nor earthly treasure can confer on men.

13. It is only men of weak and crazy minds, that are often made to swing to and fro, and to rise and sink up and below, in the tempestuous ocean of the world.

14. The mind that is fraught with knowledge, and is full with the light of truth in it, finds the world filled with ambrosial water, and moves over it as easily, as a man walking on his dry shoes, or on a ground spread over with leather.

15. It is the want of desire, that fills the mind more than the fulfilment of its desires; dry up the channel of desire, as the autumnal heat parches a pool.

16. Else it empties the heart (by sucking up the heart blood), and lays open its gaps to be filled by air. The hearts of the avaricious are as dry as the bed of the dead sea, which was sucked up (drained), by Agasti (son of the sage Agastya).

17. The spacious garden of human heart, doth so long flourish with the fruits of humanity and greatness, as the restless ape of avarice does not infest its fair trees. (The mental powers are the trees, and the virtues are the fruits and flowers thereof).

18. The mind that is devoid of avarice, views the triple world with the twinkling of an eye. The comprehensive mind views all space and time as a minim, in comparison to its conception of the infinite Brahma with itself.

19. There is that coolness (sang-froid) in the mind of the unavaricious man, as is not to be found in the watery luminary of the moon; nor in the icy caverns of the snow-capt Himalayas. And neither the coldness of the plantain juice nor sandal paste, is comparable with the cool-headedness of inappetency.

20. The undesirous mind shines more brightly, than the disk of the full moon, and the bright countenance of the goddess of prosperity (Lakshmi).

21. The urchin of appetence darkens the mind in the same manner, as a cloud covers the disk of the moon, and as ink-black obliterates a fair picture.

22. The arbour of desire stretches its branches, far and wide on every side, and darkens the space of the mind with their gloomy shadow.

23. The branching tree of desire being cut down by its root, the plant of patience which was stinted under it, shoots forth in a hundred branches.

24. When the unfading arbour of patience, takes the place of the uprooted desires; it produces the tree of paradise, yielding the fruits of immortality. (Patience reigns over the untransmuted ill).

25. O well-intentioned Rama! if you do not allow the sprouts of your mental desires, to germinate in your bosom, you have then nothing to fear in this world.

26. When you become sober-minded after moderating your heart's desires, you will then have the plant of liberation growing in its full luxuriance in your heart.

27. When the rapacious owl of your desire, nestles in your mind, it is sure you will be invaded by every evil, which the foreboding bird brings on its abode.

28. Thinking is the power of the mind, and the thoughts dwell upon the objects of desire; abandon therefore thy thoughts and their objects, and be happy with thy thoughtlessness of everything.

29. Anything that depends on any faculty, is lost also upon inaction of that faculty; therefore it is by suppression of your thinking (or thoughts), that you can put down your desires, and thereby have rest and peace of your mind.

30. Be free minded, O Rama! by tearing off all its worldly ties, and become a great soul by suppressing your mean desires of earthly frailties: for who is there that is not set free, by being loosened from the fetters of desire, that bind his mind to this earth.