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 LXXIX - Description of spiritual knowledge

Argument. The second method of suppressing the Mind by spiritual knowledge, being the Theory of self liberation.

Rama said:—

Sir, as you have related to me the methods of suspending the mind to a dead lock, by means of yoga practices; I hope you will kindly tell me now, the manner in which it is brought to stand still, by means of perfect knowledge.

Vasishtha replied:—

2. By perfect knowledge is meant the firm belief of a man, in the existence of one self manifest or Supreme Soul, that is without its beginning and end. This is what the wise mean by the term "full or perfect knowledge."

3. Its fulness consists in viewing all these visible forms as these pots and these pictures ghatapata, and all these hundreds cries of beings, to be manifest in the fullness of that spirit and not distinct from it.

4. It is imperfect knowledge that causes our birth and pain, and perfect knowledge that liberates us from these; as it is our defective sight, which shows us the snake in the rope, while our complete view of it removes the error.

5. The knowledge which is free from imagination, and its belief of the objective, and relies only on its conscious subjectivity, leads only to the liberation of men, which nothing else can do.

6. The knowledge of the purely subjective, is identic with that of the supreme spirit; but this pureness being intermingled with the impure objective matter, is termed avidya or ignorance.

7. Consciousness itself is the thing it is conscious of (or in other words, knowledge is identic with the known; i.e. the subjective is the same with the objective), and there is no difference between them. The soul knows only itself as there is no other beside itself. (Its parichinote is its subjective knowledge, and sanchinote the objective and effect of avidya or ignorance).

8. "Seeing the soul alone in its true light in all the three worlds," is equivalent to the expression "all this world is the soul itself"in the Sruti, and the knowledge of this truth constitutes the perfection of man.

9. The whole being the soul, why talk of an entity or a nullity; and what meaning can there be in bondage or liberation (which appertain to the same soul?)

10. The mind is no other than its perceptions, which are manifested by God himself; and the whole being an infinite vacuum, there is no bondage nor liberation of any one.

11. All this is the immense Brahma, extending in the form of this vast immensity; so you may enlarge your invisible soul by yourself, and by means of the knowledge of yourself.

12. By this comprehensive view of Brahma as all in all you can find no difference between a piece of wood or stone and your cloth; why then are you so fond of making these distinctions?

13. Know the soul as the only indestructible substance, which remains quiescent from first to the last; and know this to be the nature of your soul also.

14. Know this boundless universe with all the fixed and moving bodies it contains, to be a transcendent void; where there is no room for your joy or sorrow whatever.

15. The shapes of death and disease and of unity and duality, rise constantly in the soul, in the form of interminable waves in the sea.

16. He that remains in the close embrace of his soul, with his inward understanding, is never tempted to fall a prey to the trap of worldly enjoyments.

17. He that has a clear head for right judgment, is never moved by the force of earthly delights; but remains as unshaken as a rock against the gentle winds of the air.

18. The ignorant, unreasonable and stupid men, that are guided by their desires only; are preyed upon by continued misery, as the fishes of a dried tank are devoured mercilessly by cranes.

19. Knowing the world to be full of the spirit, and without the matter of ignorance avidya, close your eyes against its visible phenomena, and remain firm with your spiritual essence.

20. Plurality of things is the creation of imagination, without their existence in reality. It is like the multifarious forms of the waves in the sea, which are in reality its water only. The man therefore, that relies on his firm faith in the unity, is said to be truly liberated and perfect in his knowledge.