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 LXXVI - The world compared with the ocean

Argument. The world likened to the ocean, and the women to its waves. The means of passing over it, and the delight when it is got over.

Vasishtha continued:—

These worlds which have sprung from Brahma the creator, are upheld by ignorance, and become extinct before right reason (i.e. their materiality melts away before the light of true philosophy).

2. The worlds are vortices of water, and whirlpools in the ocean of Brahma. They are as numerous as the particles of light, and as innumerable as the motes that fly in the sunbeams.

3. It is the imperfect knowledge of the world that is the cause of its existence (or makes it appear as an entity); but full knowledge of it makes it vanish into nothing. (These are the two opposite systems of materialism and immaterialism).

4. The world is a dreadful ocean unbounded and unfordable;and there is no means of getting over it, save by the raft of right investigation and diligent scrutiny.

5. This ocean is full with the water of ignorance, and its vast basin is filled with fatal whirlpools and overwhelming waves of discord and dangers.

6. Here goodness and good actions float on the surface, as its froth and foams; but they hide the deadly latent heat of hellfire underneath. Here roll the incessant billows of avarice, and there snores the huge whale, and the great leviathan of the mind.

7. It is the reservoir of the endless channels and rivulets of life, running as its streams and currents; and it is the depository of innumerable treasures of brilliant gems hidden under its depth. It is infested by the serpents of diseases, and the horrid sharks of the senses.

8. See Rama, the playful women, resembling the tremulous billows of this ocean; and are able to attract and pierce the hearts of the wise, with the hooks and horns of their looks.

9. Their lips are as red as rubies, and their eyes are as black as blue lotuses; their teeth are as the unblown blossoms of fruits and flowers, and their sweet smiles are as the hoary froth of the sea.

10. The curled locks of their hairs are as the crisped creepers of blue lotuses, and their twisted eyebrows are as the slanting of little billows; their backsides are as protruded islets, and their throats and necks are lined over like conchshells.

11. Their foreheads are as plates of gold, and their graces as the sharks of the sea; their loose glances are as the splashing waves, and their complexions are gold coloured like the sands on the sea shore.

12. Such is this ocean-like world, with its tremendous surges and rolling waves; and it is the part of manhood to buffet it over by manly exertions, in order to save one's self from sinking under them.

13. Fie for that man! who having good sense for his vessel, and reason for his helmsman, does not conduct himself across the wide expanse of this worldly ocean.

14. He is reckoned the most valiant man, who measures the immeasurable expanse of this ocean (by his knowledge of the Infinite soul, which comprehends the whole within itself).

15. Considering well about this world with the learned, and looking into all its hazards with the eye of the mind, he who relies his trust in the Lord, becomes blest forever.

16. You are truly blest, O Rama! that are employed from your early youth to scrutinize about this world.

17. Men who consider the world, and take it in the same light of a dangerous ocean as you do, are not likely to be drowned in it, when they steer their bark in it after due consideration.

18. The enjoyments of the world are to be duly considered, ere one dares to come to the enjoyment of them; and like the ambrosia, before they feed on any other fare (like Garuda—the head of the fowls of the air).

19. He who considers beforehand the employment he should engage in, and the enjoyments he ought to share in this world, fares well in his present and future life; or else he falls to danger like the inconsiderate man.

20. The judicious and preadmonished man, prospers in his fame and fortune, and rises in his power and understanding in his life; as the trees come to flower and fructify in spring.

21. Rama! you will shine with the elegance of the bright and cooling moonbeams, and with the beauty of perpetual prosperity, if you will but begin your worldly career with full knowledge, of all that is to be known respecting the world before hand.