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 LV - Transcendentalism of uddalaka

Argument. Meditation on the Universality of the soul and Intellect.

Rama said:—

Venerable Sir! you are the sun of the day of spiritual knowledge, and the burning fire of the night of my doubts; and you who are the cooling moon to the heat of my ignorance, will deign to explain to me, what is meant by—community of existence (that you said just now).

2. Vasishtha answered:—When the thinking principle or mind is wasted and weakened, and appears to be extinct and null; the intellect which remains in common in all beings, is called the common intelligence (or Nous) of all.

3. And this intellect when it is devoid of its intellection and is absorbed in itself, and becomes as transparent as it is nothing of itself; it is then called the common (or Samanga) intellect.

4. And likewise, when it ignores the knowledge of all its internal and external objects, it remains as the common intellect and unconscious of any personality.

5. When all visible objects are considered to have a common existence, and to be of the same nature with one's self, it is designated the common intellect. (Or compression of the whole in one, like the contraction of the limbs of a tortoise).

6. When the phenomenas are all ingulphed of themselves, in the one common spirit; and there remains nothing as different from it, it is then called the one common entity.

7. This common view of all things as one and the same, is called transcendentalism; and it becomes alike both to embodied and disembodied beings in both worlds. It places the liberated being above the fourth stage of consummation.

8. It is the enlightened soul which is exalted by ecstacy (Samadhi), that can have this common view of all as one; and not the ignorant (who can not make this highest generalization).

9. This common view of all existence, is entertained by all great and liberated beings; as it is the same moisture and air, that is spread through the whole earth and vacuum.

10. Sages like ourselves, as Narada and others, and the gods Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, have this common view of all things in existence.

11. The saintly Uddalaka, entertained this view of the community of all beings and things; and having thereby attained to that state of perfection, which is free from fear or fall;he lived as long as he liked to live in this earthly sphere.

12. After lapse of a long time, he thought of enjoying the bliss of disembodied or spiritual liberation in the next world, by quitting his frail mortal frame on earth.

13. With this intention, he went into the cave of a mountain, and there made a seat for himself, with the dried leaves of trees; and then sat upon it in his posture of padmasana, with his eyes half closed under his eyelids.

14. He shut up the opening of the nine organs of sense, and then having compressed their properties of touch and the like, in the one single sense of perception, he confined them all within it in his intellect.

15. He compressed the vital airs in his body, and kept his head erect on his neck; and then by fixing the tip of his tongue to the roof of his palate, he sat with his blooming countenance turned upwards to heaven.

16. He did not allow his breath, to pass up or down or out of or inside his body, or fly into the air; nor let his mind and sight to be fixed on any object; but compressed them all in himself with his teeth joined together (in his struggle for compression).

17. There was a total stop of the breathing of his vital airs, and his countenance was composed and clear; his body was erect with the consciousness of his intellect, and his hairs stood on their ends like thorns.

18. His habitual consciousness of intellection, taught him the community of the intellect; and it was by his constant communion with the intellect, that he perceived a flood of internal bliss stirring in himself.

19. This feeling of his internal bliss, resulting from his consciousness of intellectual community; led him to think himself as identic with the entity of the infinite soul, and supporting the universal whole.

20. He remained with an even composure, in his state of transcendent quietness; and enjoyed an even rapture in himself, with a placid countenance.

21. Being unruffled by the transport of his spiritual bliss, and attaining the state of divine holiness; he remained for a long time in his abstract meditation, by abstracting his mind, from all thoughts and errors of the world.—

22. His great body remained as fixed as an image in painting, and shone as bright as the autumnal sky, illumined by the beams of the full moon.

23. In course of some days, his soul gradually forgot its mortal state, and it found its rest in his pure spiritual bliss; as the moisture of trees is deposited in the rays of the sun, at the end of autumn (in the cold season).

24. Being devoid of all desires, doubts and levity of his mind; and freed from all foul and of pleasurable inclinations of his body; he attained to that supreme bliss on the loss of his former joys, before which the prosperity of Indra appeared as a straw, floating on the vast expanse of the ocean.

25. The Brahman then attained to that state of his summum bonum which in unmeasurable, and pervades through all space of the measureless vacuum; and which fills the universe and is felt by the enraptured yogi alone. It is what is called the supreme and infinite bliss, having neither its beginning nor end, and being a reality, without any property assignable to itself.

26. While the Brahman attained to this first state of his consummation, and had the clearness of his understanding, during the first six months of his devotion; his body became emaciated by the sun beams, and the winds of heaven whistled over his dry frame, with the sound of lute strings.

27. After a long time had elapsed in this manner, the daughter of the mountain king—Parvati, came to that spot, accompanied by the Matris, and shining like flames of fire with the grey locks of hair on their heads, as if to confer the boon of his austere devotion.

28. Among them was the goddess Chamunda, who is adored by the gods. She took up the living skeleton of the Brahman, and placed it on her crown, which added a new lustre to her frame at night.

29. Thus was the disgusting and dead like body of Uddalaka, set and placed over the many ornaments on the body of the goddess; and it was only for her valuing it as more precious than all other jewels, on account of its intrinsic merit of spiritual knowledge.

30. Whoever plants this plant of the life and conduct (i.e., the biography) of Uddalaka in the garden of his heart, will find it always flourishing with the flowers of knowledge and the fruit of divine bliss within himself. And whoso walks under the shadow of this growing arbor, he is never to be subject to death, but will reap the fruit of his higher progress in the path of liberation.