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 XLIV - Narrative of gadhi and his destruction

Argument. Narrative of Gadhi in illustration of the Adoration of Vishnu.

Vasishtha said:—

1. Rama; it is the government of the restless mind alone, that is able to destroy the delusion, which causes the interminable transmigrations in this mortal world. There is no other means to this end.

2. Hear attentively, O sinless Rama! this story which I am going to relate to you, in order to show you the intricacy of understanding the nature of worldly delusions.

3. There is the large district of Kosala on the surface of this land, which is full of forests and fruitful trees, forming as groves of Kalpa arbors; and abounding with minerals like the Sumeru mountain.

4. There lived a learned Brahman, known by the name of Gadhi;who was intelligent and versed in the Vedas, and remained as an image of virtue.

5. From his youth he continued with the calmness of his mind, and remained abstracted from and indifferent to worldly affairs; and was of as pure and unsullied a soul as the clear sky above.

6. Then intent on some fixed purpose of his mind, he left the company of his friends, and went out to a forest to perform his austere devotion.

7. He found there a lake filled with full-blown lotuses, and the moon shining in the sky with the scattered stars about her; and all shedding their lustre like showers of rain.

8. He went down into the lake, and stood in the midst of the waters up to his neck; his body was below water, and his head floated over it as a lotus; and he stood upon his devotion, intent with a view to have the sight of Vishnu present before him.

9. He thus passed full eight months, continuing with his body immerged in the water of the lake; and his face was shrivelled and wan, like the lotuses of his lake for want of sun shine.

10. When he was emaciated by his austerities, his god Hari appeared before him, in the manner of a dark cloud of the rainy weather, appearing over the parched earth of the hot season.

The lord said:—

11. Rise O Brahman! from amidst the water, and receive thy desired blessing of me; because the tree of thy vow, is now pregnant with its expected fruit.

The brahman replied:—

12. I bow to thee, O my lord Vishnu! thou art the receptacle of the three worlds, and the reservoir of innumerable starry worlds, which rise as lotuses in the lake of thy heart, and whereon thou sittest like the black bee (to behold their beauty).

13. I want to behold my lord, the spiritual delusion which thou hast ordained to blind fold this world, and known as Vishnu Maya.

Vasishtha said:—

To this the god replied:—

14. you shall verily behold this delusion, and get rid of it afterwards, by virtue of thy devotion. Saying so, the god disappeared from his sight as an aerial castle.

15. Vishnu being gone, the good Brahman got up from his watery bed, in the manner of the fair and humid moon, rising from amidst the cool and white milky ocean.

16. He was glad in his soul at the sight of the lord of world, and his heart was as full blown with joy; as the Kumuda (selenian) lotuses unfold at the sight of the moon.

17. He then passed some days in that forest, overjoyed in his mind by the sight of Hari, and employed himself in discharge of his Brahmanical duties.

18. Once on a time as he had been bathing in the lake, overspread with full-blown lotuses, he thought upon the words of Vishnu, as the great sages reflect in their minds the sense of texts of Vedas.

19. Then in the act of his discharging his sacerdotal functions in the midst of sacred water, he made his mental prayer for the expurgation of his sins. (This is the ceremony agha-marshna).

20. As he was performing this act in the midst of the water, he chanced to forget his sacred mantras (texts), and was drowned in deep water in the confusion of his mind.

21. He thought that his body had fallen down like a mountain tree, in the dale below by a blast of wind; and that his dead corpse was taken up and mourned over by his friends.

22. He thought that his vital breath had fled away from his being, and the members of his body were as motionless as the shrubs of sugar cane;laid down on the ground by a hurricane.

23. He thought his countenance to have faded away, and grown as pale as the withered leaf of a tree; and that his body now turned to a carcass, was lying on the ground like a lotus-bud torn from its stalk.

24. His eye balls were as dull and dim, as the stars of the morning are shorn of their beams; and the ground seemed to be as dry to him as in a drought of rain water, and filled with flying dust on all sides.

25. He believed his dead body was beset all about by his kind friends, weeping upon it with their sad and sorrowful countenances, and loudly lamenting and crying over it like birds upon trees.

26. He thought his faithful wife sitting at his feet as handsome lotus flower, and weeping as profusely with a shower of tears from her lotus-like eyes, as the rushing of waters at the breaking of an embankment.

27. His sorrowing mother with her loud wailing and mournful ditties, was buzzing like the humming bee; and holding the chin newly over-grown with whiskers in her tender hand.

28. His friends were sitting by his side with their dejected looks, and with trickling tears dropping down their faces and cheeks; and these washed his dead body, as the melting dews on withered leaves, bedew the parent tree.

29. The members of his body now ceased to befriend him, like strangers who decline to become friends for fear of future separation, or turning unfriendly ever afterwards in life.

30. The open lips leaving the teeth bare, seemed to deride at the vanity of human life; as the white and bony-teethed ascetics and cynics do on fickleness of worldly events.

31. His mouth was as speechless, as that of a devotee in his meditation; and the body was as motionless, as it was made of mud and clay; it slept to wake no more, like a sage absorbed in his hypnotism.

32. It remained quiet with its lifted ears, as if to listen to the cries and wailings of the mourning friends; in order to judge the degrees of their affection and grief for him.

33. Then the relatives raised their loud lamentations, with the sobbing and beating of their breasts, swooning and rising, and shedding floods of tears from their leaky eyes.

34. Afterwards the sorrowful relations, removed the disgusting corpse with their bitter cries for its funeral, seeing it no more in future in this passing world.

35. Then they bore the body to the funeral ground with its rotten flesh and entrails, and daubed all over with mud and dust, and placed it on the ground, strewn over with unnumbered bones and skeletons, and dried and rotten carcasses.

36. Flights of flying vultures shaded the sunbeams on high, and the burning piles drove the darkness below; the fearful glare of open mouthed jackals flashed on all sides, as they were flames of living fire.

37. There the ravens were bathed in floods of blood, and the crows dipping their wings in it; ravenous birds were tearing the entrails, and the old vultures were entrapped in those strings.

38. The friends of the dead burnt the corpse in the funeral flame and reduced to ashes; and the moisture of the body flew in fumes, as the waters of the ocean are evaporated by the marine fire.

39. The burning wood of the funeral pile, consumed the dead body with loud cracking noise; and the dry fuel of the pile, flashed in ambient flames with curling smoke over them.

40. The devouring fire gnawed down the bones with crackling noise, and filled the atmosphere with the filthy stink and stench. It gorged up all that was soft or hard, as the elephant devours the reeds with the moisture contained in their cellular vessels.