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 LVII - Negation of dualism

Argument. One Supreme Intellect pervades the whole, and is one with itself.

Vasishtha continued:—

The intellect residing in the soul, is felt by all like the poignancy inherent in pepper;and it is this, whereby we have the intellection of the ego and non-ego, and of the distinctions of the undivided dimension of infinite duration and space.

2. The soul is as the Universal ocean of salt, and the intellect is the saltishness inherent in it; it is this which gives us the knowledge of the ego and non-ego, and appears in the forms of infinite space and time (which are no other than its attributes).

3. The intellect of which we have the knowledge as inherent in the soul itself; is as the sweetness of the sugarcane of the soul, and spreads itself in the different forms of the ego and the non-ego of worldly objects.

4. The intellect which is known as the hardness inhering in the stonelike soul, diffuses itself in the shapes of the compact ego and the unsolid non-ego of the world.

5. The knowledge that we have of the solidity of our rock-like soul, the same solidifies itself in the forms of I and thou, and the diversities of the world all about us.

6. The soul which like the great body of water, presents its fluidity in the form of the intellect; the same assumes the forms of the whirlpools of the ego, and the varieties of non-ego in the world.

7. The great arbor of the soul, stretches itself in the exuberant branches of the intellect; producing the fruits of ego and the various forms of non-ego in the world.

8. The intellect which is but a gap in the great vacuum of the soul, produces the ideas of I and thou and of the universe besides.

9. The intellect is as vain as vanity itself in the vacuity of the soul;and gives rise to the ideas of ego and tu, and of the world besides.

10. The intellect situated within the environs of the soul, has its egoism and non-egoism situated without it (i.e. the soul contains the intellect, which deals with ideas lying beyond it).

11. When the intellect is known, to be of the same essence with that of the soul; then the difference of the ego and non-ego, proves to be but acts of intellection and no reality.

12. It is the reflexion of the inward soul [Sanskrit: antaratma] which is understood to be the ego [Sanskrit: aham], the mind [Sanskrit: citta] and anima or animated soul [Sanskrit: jivatma]. (The two souls are respectively called the nafs natigue and the nafs Jesmia in sufism, the former is Meram and Shaffat—luminous and transparent, and the latter nafs amera Jesmani—or bodily senses, and quate uhshi—or outrageous passions).

13. When the luminous and moon like soul, entertains and enjoys the ambrosial beams of the intellect within itself; it then forgets its egoism, which rises no more in its bright sphere.

14. When the sweetness of the intellect, is felt within the molasses of the soul; it is relished by the mind with a zest, which makes it forget its egoism in itself.

15. When the bright gem of the soul, shines with the radiance of the intellect in itself; it finds its egoism to be lost altogether, under the brightness of its intellectual light.

16. The soul perceives nothing in itself, for the total want of the perceptibles in it; nor does it taste anything in itself, for want of anything gustable therein. (The objective is altogether lost in it).

17. It thinks of nothing in itself, for want of the thinkables therein; nor does it know of aught in itself, for want of the knowables there. (The soul being absorbed in itself, is unconscious both of the subjective as well as objective).

18. The soul remains blank of all impressions of the subjective and objective, and also of the infinite plenum in itself; it remains in the form of a firm and solid rock by itself.

19. It is by way of common speech or verbiage, we use the words I and thou, and of the objective world, though they are nothing whatever in reality.

20. There is no seat nor agent of thought, nor fallacy of the world in the soul (all which are acts of the mind only): while the soul remains as a mute and pellucid cloud, in one sphere of the autumnal sky.

21. As the waters by cause of their fluidity, take the forms of vortices in the sea; so the intelligent soul assumes its errors of I and thou in its undivided self; owing to its delusion (maya) of the knower and known (or the subjective and objective).

22. As fluidity is inherent in water, and motion in air, so is egoism innate in the subjective knower, and objectively connate with the known world. (This is said of the intelligent or animated soul, and not of the supreme soul, which is both the subject and object in itself).

23. The more doth the knowledge of a man, increase in its verity, the clearer does the knowing man come to find, that his very knowledge of the known objects, is the display of Divine Omniscience itself. But should he come to know his egoism or subjectivity, owing to his vitality and activity; and conceive the Idison or objectivity of all others (beside himself); in this case the learned or knowing man is no better than an Egoist, and knowing the Living God or Jiva Brahma only.[1]

24. In as much as the intelligent soul (jiva), derives its pleasure from its knowledge of objects; in like manner is it identified with the knowledge, of its sameness with or difference from that object (i.e. it is according to the thought or belief of the thinker, that he is identified or differentiated from the object thought of).

25. Living, knowing and the knowledge of things, are properties of the animated or concrete soul—the jiva: but there is no difference of these in the discrete, or Universal and intellectual soul (which is one in all).

26. As there is no difference between the intelligent and the living soul (jiva), so there is no diversity between the intelligent soul and Siva (Ziv or Jove), the Lord of animated nature who is the undivided whole.

27. Know the all quiescent, and the unborn One, who is without beginning, middle and end; who is self manifest and felicity itself; and who is inconceivable and beyond all assignable property or quality. He is all quiescent, and all verbal and ocular indications of him are entirely false. Yet for the sake of our comprehension, he is represented as the Holy one, on or om.

Footnotes and references:


Perfection of knowledge, is the Omniscience of God, and leads the knower, to the belief of his Omnipresence. But imperfect knowledge, leads to the belief of the Ego and the Jīva or Living God, as distinct from the quiescent Brahma.