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 LIII - The rational rapture of uddalaka

Argument. Description of the Soul unsullied by its desires and egoism, and the Difference subsisting between the body and mind.

Uddalaka continued:β€”

The intellect is an unthinkable substance:it extends to the limits of endless space, and is minuter than the minutest atom. It is quite aloof of all things, and inaccessible to the reach of desires, &c.

2. It is inaccessible by the mind, understanding, egoism and the gross senses; but our empty desires are as wide extended, as the shadowy forms of big and formidable demons.

3. From all my reasonings and repeated cogitations, I perceive an intelligence within myself, and I feel to be the stainless Intellect.

4. This body of mine which is of this world, and is the depository of my false and evil thoughts, may last or be lost without any gain or loss to me, since I am the untainted intellect.

5. The Intellect is free from birth and death, because there is nothing perishable in the nature of the all pervasive intellect: what then means the death of a living being, and how and by whom can it be put to death?

6. What means the life and death of the intellect, which is the soul and life of all existence: what else can we expect of the intellect, when it is extended through and gives life to all?

7. Life and death belong to the optative and imaginative powers of the mind, and do not appertain to the pure soul; (which is never perturbed by volition or imagination).

8. That which has the sense of its egoism has also the knowledge of its existence and inexistence (and that is the mind); but the soul which is devoid of its egoism can have no sense of its birth or death (since it is always existent of itself).

9. Egoism is a fallacy and production of ignorance, and the mind is no other than a appearance as the water in a mirage; the visible objects are all gross bodies; what then is that thing to which the term ego is applied.

10. The body is composed of flesh and blood, and the mind is considered as a nullity of itself; the heart and the members are all dull objects, what then is it that contains the ego?

11. The organs of sense are all employed in their respective functions for supporting the body; and all external bodies remain as mere bodies;what then is it to which you apply the term ego?

12. The properties of things continue as properties, and the substances always remain as substances; the entity of Brahma is quite calm and quiet, what then is the ego among them?

13. There is only one Being which is all pervading and subsisting in all bodies; it exists at all times and is immensity in itself. It is only the Supreme Spirit that is the intelligent soul of all.

14. Now tell me which of these is the ego, what is it and what its form;what is its genus and what are its attributes; what is its appearance and of what ingredients it is composed? What am I and what shall I take it to be, and what reject as not itself?

15. Hence there is nothing here, which may be called the ego either as an entity or nonentity; and there is nothing anywhere, to which the ego may bear any relation or any resemblance whatever.

16. Therefore egoism being a perfect non-entity, it has no relation to anything at all; and this irrelation of it with all things being proved, its fiction as a duality (beside the unity of God), goes to nothing whatever.

17. Thus every thing in the world being full of the spirit of God, I am no other than that reality, and it is in vain that I think myself as otherwise, and sorrow for it.

18. All things being situated in one pure and omnipresent spirit; whence is it that the meaningless word ego could take its rise?

19. So there is no reality of any object whatever, except that of the supreme and all-pervading spirit of God; it is therefore useless for us to inquire about our relation with anything which has no reality in itself.

20. The senses are connected with the organs of sense, and the mind is conversant with the mental operations; but the intellect is unconnected with the body, and bears no relation with any body in any manner.

21. As there is no relation between stones and iron nails, so the body, the senses, the mind and the intellect bear no relation with one another, though they are found to reside together in the same person.

22. The great error of the unreal ego having once obtained its footing among mankind, it has put the world to an uproar with the expressions of mine and thine, as that this is mine and that is thine, and that other is another's and the like.

23. It is want of the light of reason that has given rise to the meaningless and marvellous expression of egoism; which is made to vanish under the light of reason, as ice is dissolved under heat of solar light.

24. That there is nothing in existence, except the spirit of God is my firm belief, and this makes me believe the whole universe, as a manifestation of the great Brahma himself.

25. The error of egoism presents itself before us in as vivid and variety of colours as the various hues which tinge the face of the sky;it is better to obliterate it at once from the mind, than retain any trace of it behind (as I am this child, youth, old man, &c.).

26. I have altogether got rid of the error of my egoism, and now recline with my tranquil soul in the universal spirit of God, as the autumnal cloud rests in the infinite vacuum of the sky.

27. Our accompaniment with the idea of egoism is productive only of our misconduct and misery, by producing the great variety of our acts of selfishness.

28. Egoism hath taken a deep root in the moist soil of our hearts, and sprouts forth in the field of our bodies with the germs of innumerable evils.

29. Here is death closely following the course of life, and there is a new life hereafter awaiting upon our death; now there is a state of being distinct from its privation or not being, and again there is reverse of it in our transmigration, to our great annoyance only.

30. This I have gained, and this I will gain, are the thoughts that constantly employ the minds of men; and the desire of a new gain is incessantly kindled in the minds of the senseless, as the ceaseless flame of the sun-stone is increased in summer heat.

31. That this I want and this must have are thoughts ever attendant on egoism; and the dull-headed pursue dull material objects with as much ardour, as the heavy clouds hasten to halt on high-headed hills.

32. Decay of egoism withers away the tree of worldliness, which then ceases to germinate in the manner of a plant on sterile rocks. (Or as seeds cast on sandy sounds).

33. Your desires are as black serpents creeping in the hole of your heart; but skulking their heads, at the sight of the snake-eater Garuda of reason.

34. The unreal world gives rise to the error of appearing as real; as the unreal I and thou (or ego and nonego) seem to be realities, though they are caused by mere pulsations of the unreal mind.

35. This world rises at first without a cause and to no cause, how then call it a reality which is sprung from and to no cause at all. (The visible world is produced by, and continues with our error which, is no cause in reality).

36. As a pot made of earth long before, continues in the same state at all times, so the body which has long ago come to existence, still continues and will continue the same. (The body being made of earth, remains in and returns to the earth again).

37. The beginning and end of billows is mere water and moisture, and the intermediate part only presents a figure to view; so the beginning and end of bodies is mere earth and water, and the intermediate state is one of bustle and commotion.

38. It is the ignorant only that trust in this temporary and fluctuating state of the body; which, like the billow, is hastening to subside, in its original liquid and quiet state.

39. What reliance is there in any body, which makes a figure in the middle, and is an unreality both in its prior and latter states.

40. So the heart also is as quiet as the intellect, both at first and in the end; and remains immerged in itself, both when it exists in the body or not. What then if it heaves for a little while in the midst? (i.e., the palpitation of the heart between its prior and latter states of inaction).

41. As it comes to pass in our dreams, and in our deluded sights, of marvellous things; and as it happens in the giddiness of ebriety, and in our journeying in boats:β€”

42. And as it turns out in cases of our vitiated humours, and delusion of senses, and also in cases of extreme joy and grief, and under some defect of the mind or body:β€”

43. That some objects come to sight, and others disappear from it; and that some appear to be smaller or larger than they are and others to be moving; so do all these objects of our vision, appear and disappear from our sight in the course of time.

44. O my heart! all thy conduct is of the same nature, at the different times, of thy joy and grief; that it makes the long of short and the short of long; as the short space of a single night, becomes as tedious to separated lovers as an age; and an age of joyous affluence as short as a moment.

45. Or it is my long habit of thinking that makes the untruth appear as truth to me; and like the mirage of the desert, our mirage of life, presents its falsehoods as realities unto us.

46. All things that we see in the phenomenal world are unrealities in their nature; and as the mind comes to know the nothingness of things, it feels in itself its nothingness also.

47. As the mind becomes impressed with certainty, of the unsubstantiality of external objects; its desire of worldly enjoyments fade away, like the fading verdure of autumn.

48. When the mind comes to see the pure soul by means of its intellectual light, it gets itself ridden of its temporal exertions; and being thereby freed from its passions and affections, it rests with its calm composure in itself.

49. And the heart attains its perfect purity, when, by compressing its members of sensational organs, it casts itself into the flame of the supreme soul, where all its dross is burnt away.

50. As the hero boldly faces his death, with the thought of his ascending to heaven, by fighting bravely in battle, so the mind conquers all impediments by casting off all its worldly desires and attachments.

51. The mind is the enemy of the body, and so is the latter an enemy of the former (because the growth of the one puts down the vigour of the other); but they both die away without the half of each other, and for want of desire which supports them both.

52. Owing to their mutual hostilities, and their passions and affections towards each other, it is better to eradicate and destroy both of them, for our attainment of supreme bliss. (As the control of the body and mind leads to temporal happiness, so the utter extinction of both, is the means to spiritual bliss).

53. The existence of either of these (i.e. of the body or mind) after death is as incapable of heavenly felicity, as it is for an aerial fairy to fare on earth. (I.e., neither the body nor mind survives one's death, as it is believed by many; and even if it does, its gross nature would not permit it to enjoy the pure spiritual felicity of heaven).

54. When these things (the body and mind), that are naturally repugnant and opposed to one another, meet together in any place or person, there is a continued clashing of their mutual mischiefs, like the crashing of conflicting arms.

55. The base man that has a liking for this world of conflicts is like one left to burn in a conflagration of showering flames.

56. The mind stout with its avaricious desires loads the body with labour, and feeds upon its precious life, as a ghost-yaksha preys upon the body of a boy.

57. The body being harassed and oppressed with toil, attempts to stop and stay the mind; as an impious son intends to kill his father, when he finds him to stand an open foe to his life. (It is lawful to kill an enemy of one's life for self-defence). [Sanskrit: unclear]

58. There is no one who of his nature is a foe or friend to another;but becomes a friend to one that is friendly to him, and a foe to him that deals inimically unto him.

[Sanskrit: 2 lines of verse, illegible]

59. The body being put to pain attempts to kill the mind; and the mind is ever intent to make the body the receptacle of its afflictions. (The intimate connection of the body and mind causes them to participate in one another's pains).

60. What good then can possibly accrue to us from the union of the body and mind, which are repugnant to one another, and which of their own nature can never be reconciled together.

61. The mind being weakened, the body has no pain to undergo; wherefore the body is always striving to weaken the mind.

62. The body, whether it is alive or dead, is subjected to all sorts of evils by its hostile mind, unless it is brought under the subjection of reason. (I.e. the unreasonable mind is an enemy of the body).

63. When both the body and mind become stout and strong, they join together to break all bonds, as the lake and rainwater join together to overflow on the banks.

64. Though both of them are troublesome to us in their different natures, yet their union to one end is beneficial to us, as the co-operation of fire and water is for the purpose of cooking.

65. When the weak mind is wasted and worn out, the body also becomes weakened and languid;but the mind being full, the body is flushed like a flourishing arbor, shooting forth with verdure.

66. The body pines away with its weakened desires, and at the weakness of the mind; but the mind never grows weak at the weakness of the body;therefore the mind requires to be curbed and weakened by all means.

67. I must therefore cut down the weed wood of my mind, with the trees of my desires and the plants of my thirstiness; and, having reclaimed thereby a large tract of land, rove about at my pleasure.

68. After my egoism is lost, and the net of my desires is removed, my mind will regain its calm and clearness, like the sky after dispersion of the clouds at the end of the rainy weather.

69. It is of no matter to me whether this body of mine, which is a congeries of my humours, and a great enemy of mine, should waste away or last, after the dissolution of my mind.

70. That for which this body of mine craves its enjoyments is not mine, nor do I belong to it; what is the good therefore of bodily pleasure to me? (When I have to leave this body and that pleasure also for ever).

71. It is certain that I am not myself the body, nor is the body mine in any way; just as a corpse with all its parts entire, is no body at all. (The personality of man, belongs to his mind and not to his person).

72. Therefore I am something beside this body of mine, and that is everlasting and never setting in its glory; it is by means of this that

I have that light in me, whereby I perceive the luminous sun in the sky.

73. I am neither ignorant of myself, nor subject to misery, nor am I the dull unintelligent body, which is subject to misery. My body may last or not, I am beyond all bodily accidents.

74. Where there is the soul or self, there is neither the mind, nor senses nor desire of any kind; as the vile Pamaras never reside in the contiguity of princes. (Mahibhretas mean mountains also).

75. I have attained to that state in which I have surpassed all things;and it is the state of my solity, my extinction, my indivisibility, and my want of desires.

76. I am now loosened from the bonds of my mind, body and the senses, as the oil which is extracted from the seeds of sesamum, and separated from the sediments.

77. I walk about freely in this state of my transcendentalism, and my mind which is disjoined from the bonds of the body considers its members as its dependent instruments and accompaniments.

78. I find myself to be now situated in a state of transparency and buoyancy, of self-contentment and intelligence, and of true reality; I feel my full joy and calmness, and preserve my reservedness in speech.

79. I find my fulness and magnanimity, my comeliness and evenness of temper; I see the unity of all things, and feel my fearlessness and want of duality, choice and option.

80. I find these qualities to be ever attendant on me. They are constant and faithful, easy and graceful and always propitious to me; and my unshaken attachment to them has made them as heartily beloved consorts to me.

81. I find myself as all and in all, at all times and in every manner;and yet I am devoid of all desire for or dislike to any one, and am equally unconcerned with whatever is pleasant or unpleasant, agreeable or disagreeable to me.

82. Removed from the cloud of error and melancholy, and released from dubitation and duplicity in my thoughts, I peregrinate myself as a flimsy cloud, in the cooling atmosphere of the autumnal sky.