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 XXXVIII - Scrutiny into the nature of god

Argument. Hari's care for preservation of the order of the world, and his advice to Prahlada.

Vasishtha continued:—

Now Hari who slept on his couch of the snake, in his watery mansion of the Milky ocean, and whose delight it was to preserve the order of all the groups of worlds;—

2. Looked into the course of world in his own mind, after he rose from his sleep at the end of the rainy season for achieving the objects of the gods. (Vishnu rises after the rains on the eleventh day of moon [Sanskrit: unthanaikadashi]).

3. He surveyed at a glance of his thought the state of the triple world, composed of the heaven, the earth and the regions below; and then directed his attention to the affairs of the infernal regions of the demons.

4. He beheld Prahlada sitting there in his intense hypnotic meditation, and then looked into the increasing prosperity of Indra's palace.

5. Sitting as he was on his serpentine couch in the Milky Ocean, with his arms holding the conch-shell, the discus, and the club and lotus in his four hands;—

6. He thought in his brilliant mind and in his posture of padmasana, about the states of the three worlds, as the fluttering bee inspects into the state of the lotus.

7. He saw Prahlada immerged in his hypnotism, and the infernal regions left without a leader; and beheld the world was about to be devoid of the Daitya race.

8. This want of the demons, thought he, was likely to cool the military ardour of the Devas; as the want of clouds serves to dry up the waters on earth.

9. Liberation which is obtained by privation of dualism and egoism, brings a man to that state of asceticism; as the want of moisture tends to dry up and deaden the promising plant.

10. The Gods being at rest and contented in themselves, there will be no need of sacrifices and offerings to please and appease them; and this will eventually lead to the extinction of the gods (for want of their being fed with the butter and fat of the sacrifices).

11. The religious and sacrificial rites, being at an end among mankind, will bring on (owing to their impiety), the destruction of human race, which will cause the desolation of the earth (by wild beasts).

13. What is the good of my providence, if I were to allow this plenteous earth to go to ruin by my neglect? (It would amount to Vishnu's violation of duty to preserve the world).

14. What can I have to do in this empty void of the world, after the extinction of these created beings into nothing, than to charge my active nature to a state of cold inactivity, and lose myself into the anaesthesia of final liberation or insensibility.

15. I see no good in the untimely dissolution of the order of the world, and would therefore have the Daityas live to its end.

16. It is owing to the struggles of the demons, that the deities are worshipped with sacrifices and other religious rites for their preservation of the earth; therefore they are necessary for the continuation of these practices in it.

17. I shall have therefore to visit the nether world, and restore it to its right order; and appoint the lord of the demons to the observance of his proper duties; in the manner of the season of spring returning to fructify the trees.

18. If I raise any other Daitya to the chieftainship of the demons, and leave Prahlada in the act of his meditation; it is sure that he will disturb the Devas, instead of bearing obedience to them. Because no demon can get rid of his demoniac nature like Prahlada.

19. Prahlada is to live to old age in his sacred person, and to reside therein to the end of the kalpa age, with this very body of his (without undergoing the casualties of death and transmigration).

20. So it is determined by Destiny, the divine and overruling goddess; that Prahlada will continue to reign to the end of the kalpa, in this very body of his.

21. I must therefore go, and awaken the Daitya chief from his trance, as the roaring cloud rouses the sleepy peacocks, on the tops of hills and banks of rivers.

22. Let that self ridden (swayam-mukta) and somnolent (samadhistha) prince, reign unconcerned (amanaskara) over the Daitya race; as the unconscious pearl reflects the colours of its adjacent objects.

23. By this means both the gods and demigods, will be preserved on the face of the earth; and their mutual contention for superiority, will furnish occasion for the display of my prowess.

24. Though the creation and destruction of the world, be indifferent to me; yet its continuation in the primordial order, is of much concern to others, if not to my insusceptible self.

25. Whatever is alike in its existence and inexistence, is the same also in both its gain and loss (to the indifferent soul). Any effort for having any thing is mere foolishness; since addition and subtraction presuppose one another. (Gain is the supplying of want, and want is the privation of gain).

26. I shall therefore hasten to the infernal region, and awaken the Daitya prince to the sense of his duty; and then will I resume my calmness, and not play about on the stage of the world like the ignorant. (The sapient God is silent;but foolish souls are turbulent).

27. I will proceed to the city of the Asuras amidst their tumultuous violence, and rouse the Daitya prince as the sunshine raises the drooping lotus; and I shall bring the people to order and union, as the rainy season collects the fleeting clouds on the summits of mountains.