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. Pantheistic Adoration of the universal soul.
1. Om is the proper form of the One, and devoid of all defalcation; that Om is this all, that is contained in this world. (The Sruti says:—Om is Brahma, and Om is this all, it is the first and last &c.).
2. It is the intelligence, and devoid of flesh, fat, blood and bones; it abides in all things, and is the enlightener of the sun and all other luminous bodies.
3. It warms the fire and moistens the water (i.e. gives heat and moisture to the fire and water). It gives sensation to the senses, and enjoys all things in the manner of a prince. (Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze &c. Pope).
4. It rests without sitting, it goes without walking; it is active in its inactivity, it acts all without coming in tact with any thing.
5. It is the past and gone, and also the present and even now; it is both the next moment, and remote future also; it is all that is fit and proper, and whatever is unfit and improper likewise. (Changed through all, and yet in all the same. All Discord, harmony not understood, tends to universal good. (Pope)).
6. Undaunted, it produces all productions, and spreads the worlds over one another; it continues to turn about the worlds, from the Sphere of Brahma to the lower grounds of grass. (So Pope:—Spreads through all extent, spreads undivided, operates unspent).
7. Though unmoving and immutable, yet it is as fleeting and changeable as the flying winds; it is inert as the solid rock, and more transparent than the subtile ether. "These as they change, are but the varied God." Thomson.
8. It moves the minds of men, as the winds shake the leaves of trees; and it directs the organs of sense, as a charioteer manages his horses.
9. The Intellect sits as the lord of this bodily mansion, which is carried about as a chariot by the equestrians of the senses; and sitting at its own ease as sole monarch, it enjoys the fruitions of the bodily actions.
10. It is to be diligently sought after, and meditated upon and lauded at all times; because it is by means of this only, that one may have his salvation from the pains of his age and death, and the evils of ignorance.
11. It is easily to be found, and as easy to be familiarised as a friend; it dwells as the humble bee, in the recess of the lotus-like heart of every body.
12. Uncalled and uninvoked, it appears of itself from within the body;and at a slight call it appears manifest to view. (So the Sruti:—The soul becomes palpable to view).
13. Constant service of and attendance on this all-opulent Lord, never make him proud or haughty, as they do any other rich master to his humble attendants.
14. This Lord is as closely situated in every body, as fragrance and fluidity, are inherent in flowers and sesamum seeds; and as flavour is inseparably connected with liquid substances.
15. It is by reason of our unreasonableness, that we are ignorant of the Intellect, that is situated in ourselves; while our reasoning power serves to manifest it, as a most intimate friend to our sight.
16. As we come to know this Supreme Lord, that is situated in us by our reasoning; we come to feel an ineffable delight in us, as at the sight of a beloved and loving friend.
17. As this dearest friend appears to view, with his benign influence of shedding full bliss about us; we come to the sight of such glorious prospects, as to forget at once all our earthly enjoyments before them.
18. All his fetters are broken loose and fall off from him, and all his enemies are put to an end; whose mind is not perforated by his cravings, like houses dug by the injurious mice.
19. This one in all (to pan) being seen in us, the whole world is seen in Him; and He being heard, every thing is heard in Him: He being felt, all things are felt in Him; and He being present, the whole world is present before us.
20. He wakes over the sleeping world, and destroys the darkness of the ignorant; He removes the dangers of the distressed, and bestows His blessings upon the holy. (So the sruti: suptesujagarti. God never sleeps. Jones. The ever wakeful eyes of Jove. To wake over the sleeping worlds. Iliad).
21. He moves about as the living soul of all, and rejoices as the animal soul in all objects of enjoyment; it is He that glows in all visible objects in their various hues. (Shines in the sun, and twinkles in the stars; blazes in the fire, and blushes in flowers. Pope).
22. He sees himself in himself, and is quietly situated in all things; as pungency resides in peppers, and sweetness in sugar &c.
23. He is situated as intelligence and sensations, in the inward and outward parts of living beings; and forms the essence and existence of all objects, in general, in the whole universe.
24. He forms the vacuity of the sky, and the velocity of the winds; He is the light of igneous bodies, and the moisture of aqueous substances.
25. He is the firmness of the earth, and the warmth of the fire; He is the coldness of the moon, and the entity of every thing in the world.
26. He is blackness in inky substances, and coldness in the particles of snow; and as fragrance resides in flowers, so is he resident in all bodies.
27. It is his essence which fills all space, as the essence of time fills all duration; and it is his omnipotence that is the fountain of all forces, as it is his omnipresence that is the support of every thing in every place. (This is the pervasion, of omnipresence wrongly called as pantheism).
28. As the Lord unfolds everything to light, by the external organ of sight and the internal organ of thinking; so the Great God enlightens the gods (sun, moon, Indra and others) by his own light. (The Natural Theism which represented the visible heavens and heavenly bodies as gods, maintained also the doctrine of the One Invisible God, as shining and supporting them all by his presence. Gloss).
29. I am that I am, without the attributes (of form or figure or any property) in me; and I am as the clear air, unsullied by the particles of flying dust; and as the leaves of lotuses, untouched by their supporting and surrounding waters.
30. As a rolling stone gathers no moss, so there is nothing that touches or bears any relation to my airy mind; and the pain and pleasure which betake the body, cannot affect my form of the inner soul.
31. The soul like a gourd fruit, is not injured by the shower of rain falling on the outer body resembling its hard crust; and the intellect like the flame of a lamp, is not to be held fast (or fastened) by a rope.
32. So this ego of mine which transcends every thing, is not to be tied down by any thing to the earth; nor does it bear any relation with the objects of sense or my mental desires, or anything existent or not in existence in this world.
33. Who has the power to grasp the empty vacuum; or confine the mind? You may cut the body to a thousand pieces, but you cannot divide the invisible and the indivisible vacuous Spirit rising in me.
34. As the pot being broken or bored, or removed from its place, there is no loss sustained by its containing or contained air; so the body being destroyed, there is no damage done to the unconnected soul; and the mind is as false a name, as that of a demon or Pisacha.
35. The destruction of the gross body, does not injure the immaterial soul; and what is the mind, but the perceptive power of my desires and gross pleasures and pains. (The organ of the mind is destroyed with the body).
36. I had such a percipient mind before, but now I have found my rest in quiescence. I find it is another thing beside myself, because it perceives and partakes of the enjoyments of life, and is exposed to the dangers that betake the body.
37. There is another one in me (i.e. the soul or intellect), which beholds the actions of the other (i.e. of the mind) as a theatric act;and witnesses the exposure of the body to peril, as its last sad and catastrophe.
38. It is the wicked spirit, that is caught in ignorance; but the pure spirit has nothing to suffer: and I feel in myself neither the wish of my continuing in worldly enjoyments, nor a desire of forsaking them altogether. (I enjoy my life while it lasts).
39. Let what may come to pass on me, and whatever may happen to pass away from me; I have neither the expectation of pleasures for me, nor an aversion to the suffering of pain. (in my gain or loss of any thing, in my resignation of myself to God).
40. Let pleasure or pain betake or forsake me as it may, without my being concerned with or taking heed of either;because I know the fluctuating desires, to be incessantly rising and setting in the sphere of my mind.
41. Let these desires depart from me, for I have nothing to do with them, nor have they any concern with me. Alas! how have I been all this time, misled to these by ignorance, which is my greatest enemy.
42. It is by favour of Vishnu, and by virtue of my pure Vaishnava faith, rising in me of itself, that my ignorance is now wholly dispelled from me, and the knowledge of the True One is revealed unto me.
43. My knowledge of truth has now driven away my egoism (or knowledge of myself) from my mind; as they drive a spirit from its hiding-place in the hollow of a tree.
45. It is now become as a sacred arbour, blooming with heavenly flowers; and freed from the evils of ignorance, penury, and vain wishes, which infested it erewhile.
46. Loaded with the treasure of sacred knowledge, I find myself sitting here as one supremely-rich; and knowing all that is to be known, I see the sights that are invisible to others.
47. I have now got that in which nothing can be wanting, and wherein there is no want besides; it is by my good fortune that I am freed from all evils, and the venomous serpents of worldly cares.
48. My chill and frigid ignorance is melted down, by the light of knowledge; and the hot mirage of my desires, is now quenched and cooled by my quietude:I see the clear sky on all sides without any mist or dust and I rest under the cooling umbrage of the tranquillity of my soul.
49. It is by my glorification of God, and my thanksgivings to Vishnu, my holy rites and also by my divine knowledge and quietism; that I have obtained by grace of my God, a spacious room and elevated position in spirituality.
50. I have got that god in my spirit, and have seen and known him also in his spiritual form. He is beyond my own ego, and I remember him always in this manner.
51. I remember Vishnu as the great Spirit, and eternal Brahma in his nature; while my egoism or selfishness is confined as a snake, in the holes of my organic frame, which is wholly the land of death. (The animal soul is born to die with the mortal body).
52. It is entangled in the bushes of its pricking desires, resembling the prickly karanja ferns; and amidst the tumults of raging passions, and a thousand other broils of this world.
53. It is placed amidst the conflagration of calamities, and is encircled by the flames of smarting pain at all times; it is subjected to continual ups and downs of fortune, and repeated risings and fallings in its journey in this world.
54. It has its repeated births and deaths, owing to its interminable desires; and thus I am always deceived by this great enemy—my own egoism.
55. The animal soul is powerless at night, as if it were caught in the clutches of a demon in the forest; so I feel it now to be deprived of its power and action, while I am in this state of my meditation. (The animal spirit is dormant in its states of physical and spiritual trance).
56. It is by grace of Vishnu, that the light of my understanding is roused; and as I see my God by means of this light, I lose the sight of my demoniac egoism (i.e. I become unconscious of my existence at the sight of my Lord).
57. The sight of the demoniac egoism dwelling in the cavity of my mind, disappears from my view in the like manner; as the shadow of darkness flies from the light of a lamp, and as the shade of night is dispersed by day light.
58. As you know not where the flame of the lighted lamp is fled, after it is extinguished; so we know not where our lordly egoism is hid, at the sight of our God before us.
59. My rich egoism flies at the approach of reason, as a heavy loaded robber, flies before the advance of day light; and our false egoism vanishes as a demon, at the rising of the true Ego of God.
60. My egoism being gone, I am set at ease like a tree, freed from a poisonous snake rankling in its hollow cavity. I am at rest and in my insensibleness in this world, when I am awakened to my spiritual light.
61. I have escaped from the hand of my captor, and gained my permanent ascendency over others; I have got my internal coldness sang-froid, and have allayed the mirage of my thirst after vain glory.
62. I have bathed in the cold bath of rain water, and am pacified as a rock after the cooling of its conflagration; I am cleansed of my egoism, by my knowledge of the true meaning of the term.
63. What is ignorance and what are our pains and affliction? what are our evil desires, and what are our diseases and dangers? All these with the ideas of heaven and liberation, together with the hope of heaven and the fear of hell, are but false conceptions proceeding from our egoism or selfishness (or the cravings and loathings of our hearts).
64. As a picture is drawn on a canvas and not in empty air, so our thoughts depend on our selfish principle and upon its want. And as it is the clear linen, that receives the yellow colour of saffron; so it is the pure soul that receives the image of God. It is egoism which vitiates the soul with the bilious passions of the heart, as a dirty cloth vitiates a goodly paint, with its inborn taint.
65. Purity of the inward soul, is like the clearness of the autumnal sky; it is devoid of the cloudiness of egoism, and the drizzling drops of desires. (I.e. a pure soul is as clear as the unclouded sky).
66. I bow down to thee, O my soul inmost! that art a stream of bliss to me, with pure limpid waters amidst, and without the dirt of egoism about thee.
67. I hail thee, O thou my soul! that art an ocean of joy to me, uninfested by the sharks of sensual appetites, and undisturbed by the submarine fire of the latent mind.
68. I prostrate myself before thee, O thou quick soul of mine! that art a mountain of delight to me, without the hovering clouds of egoistic passions, and the wild fires of gross appetites and desires.
69. I bow to thee, O thou soul in me! that art the heavenly lake of Manas to me, with the blooming lotuses of delight, and without the billows of cares and anxieties.
70. I greet thee my internal spirit! that floatest in the shape of a swan (hansa) in the lake of the mind (manas) of every individual, and residest in the cavity of the lotiform cranium (Brahmarandhra), with thy outstretched wings of consciousness and standing.
71. All hail to thee, O thou full and perfect spirit! that art the undivided and immortal soul, and appearest in thy several parts of the mind and senses; like the full-moon containing all its digits in its entire self.
72. Obeisance to the sun of my intellect! which is always in its ascendency and dispels the darkness of my heart; which pervades everywhere, and is yet invisible or dimly seen by us.
73. I bow to my intellectual light, which is an oilless lamp of benign effulgence, and burns in full blaze within me and without its wick. It is the enlightener of nature, and quite still in its nature.
74. Whenever my mind is heated by cupid's fire, I cool it by the coolness of my cold and callous intellect coolness; as they temper the red hot-iron with a cold and hard hammer.
75. I am gaining my victory over all things, by killing my egoism by the Great Ego; and by making my senses and mind to destroy themselves.
76. I bow to thee, O thou all subduing faith, that dost crush our ignorant doubt by thy wisdom; dispellest the unrealities by thy knowledge of the reality, and removest our cravings by thy contentedness.
77. I subsist solely as the transparent spirit, by killing my mind by the great Mind, and removing my egoism by the sole Ego, and by driving the unrealities by the true Reality.
78. I rely my body (i.e. I depend for my bodily existence), on the moving principle of my soul only; without the consciousness of my self-existence, my egoism, my mind and all its efforts and actions.
79. I have obtained at last of its own accord, and by the infinite grace of the Lord of all, the highest blessing of cold-heartedness and insouciance in myself.
80. I am now freed from the heat of my feverish passions, by subsidence of the demon of my ignorance;from disappearance of the goblin of my egoism.
81. I know not where the falcon of my false egoism has fled, from the cage of my body, by breaking its string of desires to which it was fast bound in its feet.
82. I do not know whither the eagle of my egotism is flown, from its nest in the arbour of my body, after blowing away its thick ignorance as dust.
83. Ah! where is my egoism fled, with its body besmeared with the dust and dirt of worldliness, and battered by the rocks of its insatiable desires? It is bitten by the deadly dragons of fears and dangers, and pierced in its hearts by repeated disappointments and despair.
84. O! I wonder to think what I had been all this time, when I was bound fast by my egoism in the strong chain of my personality.
85. I think myself a new-born being to day, and to have become highminded also, by being removed from the thick cloud of egoism, which had shrouded me all this time.
86. I have seen and known, and obtained this treasure of my soul, as it is presented to my understanding, by the verbal testimonies of the sastras, and by the light of inspiration in my hour of meditation (samadhi).
87. My mind is set at rest as extinguished fire, by its being released from the cares of the world; as also from all other thoughts and desires and the error of egoism. I am now set free from my affections and passions, and all delights of the world, as also my craving after them.
88. I have passed over the impassable ocean of dangers and difficulties, and the intolerable evils of transmigration; by the disappearance of my internal darkness, and sight of the One Great God in my intellect.
Footnotes and references:
(This is the doctrine of the indwelling spirit pervading all nature). Or as the poet says:—
A motion or spirit that impels All thinking things, all objects of thought, And rolls through all things"(Wordsworth)
Nor love thy life nor hate, but live while thou livest; How long or short, permit to heaven. Dum vivimus, vinamus.