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 LXII - On the nature of quietism and quietus

Argument. A discussion about Active and Inactive Devotion and Godliness.

Vasishtha related:—

1. The prince Parigha then resumed his confidential speech, expressive of the affection he formerly bore to Suraghu and added:—

Parigha said:—

2. [Sanskrit available]
[Sanskrit available]
Whatever acts of goodness are done by men of well governed minds, in this earth of strife, they all redound to their happiness; but the evil deeds of ungoverned minds are not so, but lead to their misery.

3. [Sanskrit available]
Do you rely, sir, in that state of perfect rest which is free from desire; and do you rest in that state of supineness—samadhi, which is styled transcendental Coma or trance (paramopsama)?

Suraghu replied:—

4. [Sanskrit available]
Tell me sir, what you mean by the abandonment of all desires; and what is meant by that perfect lethargy, which they call as transcendental coma or trance.

5. [Sanskrit available]
Tell me, O high minded Sir, how can that man be called unentranced, who is enrapt in his supreme intelligence (or knowledge of the supreme), and at the same time is attendant to his worldly concerns.

6. [Sanskrit available]
Men of enlightened understandings, however, they are employed in the observance of their usual worldly affairs, are yet said to be enraptured with their knowledge of the solity of the supreme soul.

7. [Sanskrit available]
But how can one be said to be beatified, whose mind is unsubdued and whose nature is indomitable; although he may keep his position in the posture of padmasana with his folded palms.

8. [Sanskrit available]
The knowledge of truth which burns away all worldly desires as straws, is termed the true catalepsy (samadhi) of the soul; rather than the sedentariness and taciturnity observed by secluded devotees.

9. [Sanskrit available]
The knowledge which is attended with continued rest and self-content, and gives an insight into the nature of things, is called the paragoge (paraprajna), and repose (samadhi) of the soul by the wise. (Paragogies or palpable knowledge, is opposed to anagogies or hidden knowledge).

10. [Sanskrit available]
Immobility of the mind by pride and enmity, is known by the term samadhi or quietness to the wise; when the mind is as unmoved as the fixed rock against the howling winds of the passions (i.e. the mind which is unshaken and unmoved by passions and desires).

11. [Sanskrit available]
The mind is also said to have its stillness samadhi, when it is devoid of anxious thoughts and cares, and is acquainted with the natures of its wished for objects; and yet freed from its choice of and aversion to the objects of its liking or dislike. This is also said to be the fulness or perfection of the mind.

12. [Sanskrit available]
Again the mind of the magnanimous, is said to stand in its stillness of samadhi or quietism, ever since it is joined with its understanding, and acts conjointly with the same.

13. [Sanskrit available]
But this pause of samadhi being stretched too far to a dead lock, is liable to break down by itself;as the fibre of a lotus-stalk upon its being drawn too long by the hand of a boy. Dead and dormant quiescence is the opposite extreme of sensible quietism.

14. [Sanskrit available]
As the sun does not cease from giving his light to the other hemisphere, after he sets from dispensing the day over this part, so doth our intelligence continue to glow, even after it has run its course in this life. (So there is no dead stop called the entire pause—purna samadhi, or utter extinction of the soul at any time).

15. [Sanskrit available]
As the course of a stream is never at a stop, notwithstanding the incessant gliding of its currents; so the course of our thoughts hath no suspension from its knowing of further truths. (The mind is ever progressive in its acquisition of knowledge, which proves the impossibility of its cessation).

16. [Sanskrit available]
As the ever continuous duration, never loses the sight of the fleeting moments of time; so the sempiternal soul is never in abeyance, to mark the flitting thoughts of its mind.

17. [Sanskrit available]
As the ever current time, never forgets to run its wonted course; so the intelligent understanding is never remiss, to scan the nature of the mysterious Intellect, which guides its course.

18. [Sanskrit available]
The thoughts of an intelligent being, run in as quick a succession; as the continued rotation of the parts of time; and this is when the mind wanders at random, and is not settled in the sole object of its meditation.

19. [Sanskrit available]
As the lifeless soul has no perception of any external object; so the soul unconscious of itself, has no knowledge of the course of time; as in the state of sleep, delirium and insensibility.

20. [Sanskrit available]
As there is no skilful man, without some skill or other in the world; so there is no intelligent being, without the knowledge of his soul and self-consciousness here.

21. [Sanskrit available]
I find myself to be enlightened and wakeful, and pure and holy at all times; and that my mind is tranquil, and my soul at its rest on all occasions.

22. [Sanskrit available]
I find nothing to intercept the sweet repose of my soul, which has found its anchorage in my uninterrupted communion with the holy spirit.

23. [Sanskrit available]
Hence my mind is never without its quiescence at any time, nor is it unquiet at any moment, its being solely resigned to spiritual meditation.

24. [Sanskrit available]
I see the all pervading and everlasting soul, in every thing and in every manner; and know not whether it be the rest or unrest on my soul, which has found both its quiet and employment, in its perpetual meditation of the Divine Spirit.

25. [Sanskrit available]
Great men of quiescent spirits, continue always in an even and uniform tone and tenor of their minds with themselves; therefore the difference betwixt the rest and restlessness of the soul, is a mere verbal distinction, and bear no shade of difference and in their signification.

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