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 XLIX - Gadhi’s gaining of true knowledge

Argument. Gadhi gains his knowledge and Liberation from Hari in his Life time.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. Vishnu being gone, Gadhi began to wander again about the Bhota country, as a cloud continues to move about in the air.

2. Having collected many informations about himself in the life of the chandala, he betook himself again to the worship of Vishnu in the cave of a mountain.

3. In course of a short time, Hari appeared to him again; as it is his nature to be pleased with a little devotion, made with sincerity of heart.

4. The god spoke to Gadhi with as much complaisance, as the watery cloud addresses the peacock; and asked him what he wanted again by his repeated devotion.

Gadhi replied:—

5. Lord! I have again wandered about the countries of the Bhotas and Kirs for these past six months, and found no discrepancy in the accounts, they gave of me lately from the former ones.

6. Thou hast told me, Lord! all this to be mere delusion, (which prove to be positive facts by the testimony of every body). I know the words of the great, serve to dissipate and not increase the delusion (as it is done by thy words).

The lord said:—

7. It often happens that many things are of simultaneous occurrence at the one and same time; as the kakataliya sanyoga or the synchronous flying of the crow and the falling of the fruit upon him. Thus it was that the idea of the Chandala was of contemporaneous growth in the minds of all the Bhotas and Kirs as of thyself: as there are many men that are prepossessed with the same opinion with others, however wrong it may be.

8. It was by cause of this, that they corresponded with thy thoughts, and related thy story as thou didst reflect it thyself: because a cogitation or reflection of something cannot be otherwise at the same time (but it must appear to every body alike).

9. It is true that a Chandala had erected a house at the border of the village, which thou didst see to be now reduced to ruins; but it was an erroneous conception of thine, to think thyself the very man, and to have built the very house. (It was the mistake of thy personality for another, as it often overtakes the minds of many men).

10. Sometimes the same mistake lays hold on many minds, as the multitude is seen to be led astray, by the simultaneous current of the same opinions in many ways.

11. In this manner many men see at once the same dream, as the giddy heads of drunken men, fall equally into the same kind of dizziness at the same time, of seeing the earth and skies turning and rolling round them.

12. Many boys are seen at once to join in the same sport, and a whole herd of stags is observed to meet together in the same verdant field.

13. Many men are seen simultaneously to pursue the same employment, for the purpose of gaining the like object of their pursuit (as it is seen in the flight and fighting of an army for their safety or victory).

14. It is commonly said, that time is the giver (or producer) and obstructer of the objects of human pursuits as of all other events; but time is as quiescent as the supreme spirit, and it is the desire and exertion of people, that are the causes of their desired effects.

15. Time is a formless void, and is identic with the nature and form of the increate great Lord God himself. It is neither the giver nor taker of anything to or from any one at any time.

16. Time according to its common reckoning by years, kalpas and yuga-ages, is classed among the categories of substance;but time far from being a substance, is the source of all substances.

17. Men of deluded understanding are subject to the errors, arising from the like cause of their fallacy; and it was owing to this false conception, that the Bhota and Kiri people, fell into the very same error. (Like cause means, the same kind of bias or prejudice &c.).

18. Therefore employ thyself to do thy duty, and try to know thy true-self; get rid of the error of thy personality (as so and so), and move about as freely as I do by myself (as a free aerial spirit).

19. Saying this, the lord Vishnu disappeared from his sight; and Gadhi remained in his cave, with great perplexity of his mind.

20. He passed some months on the same hill, and then resumed his devotion to Vishnu with redoubled fervency.

21. He saw his god appearing again to his view, when he bowed down before him, and addressed him as follows:—

Gadhi said:—

22. O Lord! I am quite bewildered with the thought of my Chandalship, and my reflection on the delusions of this world.

23. Do thou deign to extricate me from my errors, and employ me to the only act of adoring the Holy one.

The lord said:—

24. This world, O Brahman! is a delusion, like the enchantment of the conjurer Sambara; all things here, are the wondrous productions of imagination, and proceed from forgetfulness of the self.

25. It was your error that made you see many things, in your sleeping and waking dreams.

26. The Kirs were led also to see the same things like thyself, and to mistake those falsities as true, owing to the same error laying hold of all of you at the same time. (As the tricks of a juggler are thought to be true by the observers).

27. Now hear me tell you the truth as it was for your own good; and whereby your error will fade away, like a creeping plant in the chilling month of November.

28. The Chandala Katanjaka, whom thou thinkest to be thyself, was a man really existent in the same locality before.

29. Who being bereaved of his family there, went out from that place to wander about in foreign parts; when he became king of the Kiris, and afterwards immerged himself in the fire.

30. This state of Katanjaka entered into thy mind, when thou hadst been standing amidst the water in thy devotion;and the thoughts of the whole career of the Chandala, had altogether engrossed thy mind.

31. Things which are seen or thought of once, can hardly escape from the memory; and it sometimes happens that the mind comes to see many things in its imagination, which it has never seen before its eyes.

32. In the manner of a man's vision of a kingdom in his dream, and like the delirium caused by the vitiated humours, of the body; the mind sees many day dreams and deliriums in its waking and healthy states also.

33. The past conduct of Katanja presented itself to your mind, as the past and future events of the world, are present before the mental vision of an oracle (lit.:—a seer of the three times).

34. That this is I, and these things and those friends are mine; is the mistake of those that are devoid of their self-knowledge;(as thou didst think that Katanja to be thyself, and his house, goods and relatives to be thine also).

35. But that 'I am all in all' is the belief of the truly wise, which prevents them from falling into such mistakes; and keeps them from the wrong notions of individualities and particularities, from their belief in the generality of all persons and things.

36. This general and oecumenical view of all things, preserves people from the mistaken notions of pleasure and pain; and makes the drowning wretch as buoyant, as the floating gourd or bottle tied to a sinking net.

37. But thou art entangled in the snare of thy desire, and art lost to thy good sense;nor canst thou be at thy perfect ease, as long as thou dost suffer under the symptoms of thy sickness.

38. It is because of thy imperfect knowledge, that thou art incapable to ward off the errors of thy mind;just as it is impossible for a man to protect himself from the rain, without his endeavours to raise a shed or shelter for himself.

39. Thou art easily susceptible of every impression of thy untutored mind, as a small tree is easily over-reached by a tall person.

40. The heart is the nave or axis of the wheel of delusion; if thou canst stop the motion of this central power, there is nothing to disturb thee any more. (self-regret, says the gloss, serves to stop the motion of the heart).

41. Now rise and repair to the sacred bower on this mountain, and there perform your austerities for full ten years with a steady mind; so that thou mayst attain to thy perfect knowledge at the end of this period.

42. So saying, the lotus-eyed god disappeared from that place, as a flimsy cloud or candle-light or the billow of Jamuna, is put out by a slight gust of the wind.

43. Gadhi then gradually gained his dispassionateness, by means of his discrimination; as the trees fade away for want of moisture, at the end of autumn.

44. Now getting rid of the vagaries of his mind, Gadhi remained to reflect upon and blamed himself, for his fostering the false thoughts of the Chandala and the like.

45. He then with his heart melting in pity and sorrow for himself, repaired to the Rishya-mukha mount, for the purpose of making his penitence; and he sat there in the manner of a rainy cloud, stopping on the top of a mountain.

46. He relinquished all his desires, and performed his austere devotion (as it was his duty); and at last he attained the knowledge of his self, after the expiration of the tenth year of his penitence.

47. Having obtained his knowledge of himself like the great-souled Brahma, and getting rid of his fears and sorrows in this world of retribution; he wandered about with the joy of a living liberated being, and with perfect tranquillity of his mind, resembling the serene lustre of the full-moon, revolving in the sphere of the sky.