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 XLII - Spirituality of prahlada

Argument. The merit of hearing the narrative of Vishnu, and the cause of Prahlada's awaking from his trance.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. The lotus-eyed Hari, having said thus much to Prahlada, departed with the whole concourse of the assembled gods, Kinnaras and men, from the abode of the Asura.

2. Then did Prahlada and his associates throw handfuls of flowers on the departing god, as he was mounted on the back of the king of birds (Garuda—the eagle or bird of heaven).

3. The god crossed the heavenly Ganges and reached at the milky ocean, where he took his serpent couch as the black bee sits on the lotus-leaf.

4. The God Vishnu sat on his serpent seat with as much ease, as Indra sits in heaven in the assembly of the gods; and as the lord of the demons, was made to sit in the infernal region wholly devoid of all his cares.

5. I have now related to you, Rama! the whole narrative of Prahlada's coming to his sense, from the state of his insensibility; and this account is as charming to the holy hearer, as the cooling moon-beams are refreshing to the tired traveller.

6. The man that ponders in his mind, the manner of Prahlada's resuscitation to life; is regenerated in that felicitous state, from the sinfulness of his former condition.

7. A cursory rehearsal of his narration, wipes off the sins of men;while the deep consideration of its spiritual sense, leads one to his eternal salvation.

8. The ignorant are released from their ignorance, and the deep thinker is released from his sins; therefore do not neglect to ponder well on it, for the remission of all your sins.

9. The man who considers well the manner of Prahlada's gaining his proficiency, gets a remission of all the sins committed by him in his repeated previous states of life.

Rama said:—

10. Tell me sir, how the sound of the panchajanya conch shell, roused the mind of the devout Prahlada from its immersion in holy meditation.

Vasishtha replied:—

11. Know Rama, that there are two states of liberation attending on sinless persons, the one is the emancipation of one in his embodied state in this life, and the other is after his departure from here.

12. The embodied liberation means one's continuance in his living body, but with a state of mind freed from its attachment to worldly things, and liberated from the desire of fruition and reward of all his meritorious acts.

13. The disembodied liberation is obtained after the soul is released from the body, and is settled in the Supreme Spirit. It is an enfranchisement from the recurrence of future life and birth in this mortal world.

14. The living liberated man is like a fried grain, whose regerminating power is parched within itself, and the desire of whose heart is purified from every expectation of future reward or regeneration.

15. He remains in the pure, holy and magnanimous state of his mind, who resigns himself solely to the meditation of the Great soul, and continues as if he were asleep in his living and waking states.

16. Being thus entranced in his inward meditation, he continues in a torpid state for a thousand years, and wakes again to his senses, if he is allowed to live long ever after that period.

17. Prahlada remained thus with his holy thoughts suppressed within himself, until he was roused from his trance by the shrill sound of the conch-shell.

18. Hari is the soul of all beings, and he who assimilates himself to that god in his thought; becomes identified with the supreme soul, which is the cause of all.

19. No sooner the god thought that Prahlada should come to his sense, than his sensation came immediately to him at the divine will.

20. The world has no other cause, but the divine spirit; which with the assistance of the causal elements, takes different forms on itself at the time of creation; and therefore it is the spirit of Hari that constitutes the world.

21. The worship of God in spirit, presents Hari to the spiritual sight;and the worship of Hari in his outward form, represents the figure to the soul and the inner mind.

22. Do you, O Rama! put out the visible sights from your view, and look at the inmost soul within yourself; being thus accustomed to spiritual meditation, you will soon have the sight of your God.

23. The world presents a scene of the gloomy rainy weather, with showers of woes falling on all sides; it is likely to freeze us in ignorance, unless we look to the sun of our reason (or, unless we abide under the sunshine of reason).

24. It is by grace of God that we can avoid the delusions of the world, as we may escape from a goblin by means of a spell.

25. It is at the will of the spirit, that the thick darkness of the mind, is dispersed and cleared off in time; the world is a network of delusion, which is scattered like a smoke by the breeze of reason.