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 XXIII - Speech of virochana on subjection of the mind

Argument. The soul and mind personified as a monarch and his minister.

Virochana said:—

1. There is an extensive country, my son, somewhere in this universe, with a spacious concavity therein, whose ample space is able to hold thousands of worlds and many more spheres in it.

2. It is devoid of the wide oceans and seas and high mountains, as there are in this earth; and there are not such forests, rivers and lakes, nor holy places of pilgrimage, as you see here below.

3. There is neither land nor sky, nor the heavenly orbs as on high; nor are there these suns and moons, nor the regents of the spheres, nor their inhabitants of gods and demons.

4. There are no races of Yakshas and Rakshas, nor those tribes of plants and trees, woods or grass; nor the moving and immovable beings, as you see upon the earth.

5. There is no water, no land, no fire nor air; nor are there the sides of the compass, nor the regions you call above and below. There is no light nor shadow, nor the peoples, nor the gods Hari, Indra and Siva, nor any of the inferior deities or demigods there.

6. There is a great sovereign of that place, who is full of ineffable light. He is the creator and pervader of all, and is all in all, but quite quiescent in all places and things.

7. He had elected a minister, who was clever in administration and brought about what was impossible to be done, and prevented all mishaps from coming to pass.

8. He neither ate nor drank, nor did nor knew anything, beside minding and doing his master's behests. In all other respects he was as inactive as a block of stone.

9. He conducted every business for his master, who remained quite retired from all his business, with enjoyment of his rest and ease in his seclusion, leaving all his concerns to be managed by his minister.

Bali said:—

10. Tell me sir, what place is that which is devoid of all population, and free from all disease and difficulty; who knows that place, and how can it be reached at by any body.

11. Who is that sovereign of sovran power, and who that minister of so great might; and who being quite apart from the world, are inseparably connected with it, and are invincible by our almighty demoniac power. (This monarch and master is the soul and his minister is the mind).

12. Relate to me, O thou dread of the gods! this marvelous story of the great might of that minister, in order to remove the cloud of doubt from my mind, and also why he is unconquerable by us.

Virochana replied:—

13. Know my son, this mighty minister to be irresistible by the gigantic force of the Asura giants, even though they were aided by millions of demons fighting on their side.

14. He is invincible, my son, by the god of a thousand eyes (Indra), and also by the gods of riches and death (Kubera and Yama), who conquer all, and neither the immortals nor giants, can ever overpower him by their might.

15. All weapons are defeated in their attempt to hurt him, and the swords and mallets, spears and bolts, disks and cudgels, that are hurled against him, are broken to pieces as upon their striking against a solid rock.

16. He is unapproachable by missiles, and invulnerable by arms and weapons, and unseizable by the dexterity of warriors; and it is by his resistless might, that he has brought the gods and demigods under his subjection.

17. It was he (the proud mind) that defeated our forefathers, the mighty Hiranyas (Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu), before they were destroyed by the great Vishnu;who felled the big Asuras, as a storm breaks down the sturdy and rocklike oaks.[1]

18. The gods Narayana and others (who had been the instructors of men), were all foiled by him and confined in their cells of the wombs of their mothers (by an imprecation of the sage Bhrigu, who denounced them to become incarnate in human forms).

19. It is by his favour that Kama (Cupid), the god with his flower bow and five arrows, has been enabled to subdue and overcome the three worlds, and boasts of being their sole emperor. (Kama called also Manoja, is the child of mana or mind, and Kandarpa for his boast of his triumph).

20. The gods and demigods, the intelligent and the foolish, the deformed and the irascible, are all actuated by his influence. (Love is the leader to action according to Plato).

21. The repeated wars between the gods and Asuras, are the sports of this minister (who deliberates in secret the destinies of all beings. The restless mind is continually at warfare).

This minister is only manageable by its lord said:—

22. the silent soul, or else it is as dull as an immovable rock or restless as the wind.

23. It is in the long run of its advancement in spiritual knowledge, that the soul feels a desire in itself to subdue its minister; who is otherwise ungovernable of its nature by lenient measures. (Govern your mind or it will govern you. The mind is best taught by whip).

24. You are then said to be valiant, if you can conquer this greatest of the giants in the three worlds, who has been worrying all people out of their breath. (The mind longs for occupation).

25. After the rising of the intellect, the world appears as a flower-garden, and like the lake of blooming lotuses at sunrise; and its setting covers the world in darkness as at sunset. (I.e. in unconsciousness).

26. It is only by the aid of this intellect of yours, and by removal of your ignorance, that you can subdue this minister, and be famed for your wisdom. (Good government of the mind, is more renowned than that of a realm).

27. By subduing this minister, you become the subduer of the world, though you are no victor of it; and by your unsubjection of this, you can have no subjection over the world, though may be the master of it.

28. Therefore be diligent to overcome this minister, by your best and most ardent exertions, on account of effecting your perfect consummation, and securing your everlasting happiness.

29. It is easy for him to overcome the triple world, and keep all its beings of gods and demons, and the bodies of Nagas and men, together with the races of Yakshas and Rakshas, and the tribes of serpents and Kinnaras, who has been able to subdue this minister by his superior might. (Govern yourself, and you govern all besides).

Footnotes and references:

1.

It is recorded, that the forefathers of Bali to the fourth ascent, were all destroyed by Vishnu, who took upon him the first four shapes of his ten incarnations, namely: those of the fish, tortoise, the boar and the biform man and lion, to destroy them one after another; till he took his fifth form of the dwarf, to kill

Bali also. Hence it was one family of the Asuras at Mavalipura in Deccan, that called down Vishnu five times from his heaven for their destruction.