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 XL - Resuscitation of prahlada

Argument. On the necessity of the observance of duty, both in the secular as well as Religious Life

The lord continued:—

1. It is the soundness of the body, which men call life; and it is the quitting of the present body for a future one, which they call death. (Activity is the life of the body).

2. You are released from both these states, O high minded youth! and have nothing to do with your life or death any more. (Because the living liberated are freed from the cares of life, and future transmigrations also).

3. It is for your acquaintance, that I relate to you the components of life and death; by knowledge of which you will not have to live nor die, like other living beings on earth (in pain and misery).

4. Though situated in the body, yet you are as unembodied as the disembodied spirit; and though embosomed in vacuity, yet are you as free and fleet as the wind, on account of your being unattached to vacuum. (Unattachment of the soul to the body and vital spirit, constitutes its freedom).

5. Your perception of the objects of the touch, proves you to be an embodied being;and your soul is said to be the cause of that perception; as the open air is said to be the cause of the growth of trees, for its putting no hindrance to their height. But neither the soul is cause of perception, nor the air of the growth of trees. (It is the mind which is the cause of the one, as moisture of the other).

6. But the perception of outward things, is no test of their materiality to the monoistic immaterialist; as the sight of things in a dream, is no proof of their substantiality, nor of the corporeality of the percipient soul. (All external perceptions, are as those in a dream).

7. All things are comprehended, in yourself, by the light of your intellect; and your knowledge of the only One in all, comprehends every thing in it. How then can you have a body either to take to yourself or reject it from you?

8. Whether the season of the spring appears or not, or a hurricane happens to blow or subside; it is nothing to the pure soul, which is clear of all connection whatever. (The soul is unconnected with all occurrences).

9. Whether the hills fall headlong to the ground, or the flames of destruction devour all things; or the rapid gales rend the skies, it is no matter to the soul which rests secure in itself.

10. Whether the creation exists or not, and whether all things perish or grow; it is nothing to the soul which subsists of itself. (The increate soul is self existent and ever lasting).

11. The Lord of this body, does not waste by waste of its frame, nor he is strengthened by strength of the body; neither does it move by any bodily movement, nor sleep when the body and its senses are absorbed in sleep.

12. Whence does this false thought rise in your mind, that you belong to the body, and are an embodied being, and that you come to take, retain and quit this mortal frame at different times?

13. Forsake the thought, that you will do so and so after doing this and that;for they that know the truth, have given up such desires and vain expectations. (Since God is the disposer of all events).

14. All waking and living persons, have something or other to do in this world, and have thereby to reap the results of their actions; but he that does nothing, does not take the name of an active agent, nor has anything to expect (but lives resigned to the will of Providence).

15. He who is no agent of an action, has nothing to do with its consequence; for he who does not sow the grains, does not reap the harvest. (For as you sow, so you reap).

16. Desinence of action and its fruition, brings on a quiescence, which when it has become habitual and firm, receives the name of liberation (which is nothing to have or crave, save what God gave of his own will, agreeably to the prayer, "Let not mine, but thy will be done").

17. All intellectual beings and enlightened men, and those that lead pure and holy lives, have all things under their comprehension, wherefore there is nothing for them left to learn anew or reject what they have learnt. (The gods and sages are all knowing, and have nothing to know or unknow any more).

18. It is for limited understandings and limited powers of the body and mind, to grasp or leave out some thing; but to men of unbounded capacities, there is nothing to be received or left out. (Fulness can neither be more full, nor wanting in any thing).

19. When a man is set at ease after cessation of his relation of the possessor or possession of any external object, and when this sense of his irrelation becomes a permanent feeling in him, he is then said to be liberated in his life time. (Total unconnection is perfect freedom).

20. Great men like yourself, being placed in this state of perpetual unconcern and rest; conduct themselves in the discharge of their duties, with as much ease as in their sleep. (Here is the main precept of the combination of internal torpitude with bodily action in the discharge of duties).

21. When one's desires are drowned in his reliance on God, he views the existing world—shining in his spiritual light.

22. He takes no delight in the pleasing objects about him, nor does he regret at the afflictions of others; all his pleasure consisting in his own soul (at its total indifference).

23. With his wakeful mind, he meets all the affairs of his concern with his spiritual unconcern; as the mirror receives the reflections of objects, without being tainted by them.

24. In his waking he reposes in himself, and in his sleep he reclines amidst the drowsy world;in his actions he turns about as frolicsome boys, and his desires lie dormant in his soul.

25. O thou, great soul, thus continue to enjoy thy supreme bliss, for the period of a Kalpa (a day of Brahma), by relying your mind in the victorious Vishnu, and with enjoying the prosperity of thy dominions by exercise of your virtues and good qualities. (The ultimate lesson is, to be observant of the duties which are paramount on every body, with relinquishment of all personal desire for oneself).