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 LXXX - Investigation of the phenomenals

Argument. Description of Divine Meditation, which keeps the mind from its attention to temporary enjoyments.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. I will now describe to you that pensive excogitation, which keeps the reasoning mind, from attending to objects placed in its presence.

2. The eyes are for seeing only, and the living soul is for bearing the burthen of pain and pleasure alone; they are like the eyes and bodies of a beast, or like bull of burden, which sees and carries a load of food, without being able to taste it.

3. The eyes being confined to the visible phenomena, can do no harm to the soul residing in the body; as an ass fallen into a pit, is but a slight loss to its owner.

4. Do not O base man, regale thy eyes, with the dirty stuff of the sight of visibles; which perish of themselves in the twinkling of an eye, and put thee to peril also (by the diseases and difficulties which they load upon thee).

5. The acts which are deemed as one's own deeds and beings, and whereby the acutely intelligent man thinks himself to be living, and by which he counts the duration of his lifetime, (according to the saying, that our lives are computed by our acts, and not by the number of our days);these very acts, turn at last, against him, for his accountableness of them.

6. Do not rely thy eyes on visible objects, which are unreal in their nature, and are produced to perish soon after, and to please thy sight for a moment only. Know them as destroyers of thy otherwise indestructible soul.

7. O my eyes! that are but witnesses of the forms, which are situated in the soul; it is in vain that ye flash only to consume yourselves, like the burning lamps after a short while.

8. The vision of our eyes is as the fluctuation of waters, and its objects are as the motes that people the sun-beams in the sky. Whether these sights be good or bad, they are of no matter to our minds.

9. Again there is that little bit of egoism beating in our minds, like a small shrimp stirring amidst the waters; let it throb as it may, but why should we attribute it with the titles of "I, thou or he or this or that"?

10. All inert bodies and their light appear together to the eye, the one as the container of the other; but they do not affect the mind, and therefore do not deserve our notice.

11. The sight of objects and the thoughts of the mind, have no connection with one another (because the sight is related to the eye, and the thoughts bear relation with the mind); And yet they seem to be related to each other, as our faces and their reflections in the mirror. (The retina of the eye receive the reflections, and convey them to the sensory of the cranium, in the form of reflections or thoughts, and hence their mutual relations).

12. Such is their inseparably reciprocal relation in the minds of the ignorant; but the wise who are freed from their ignorance, remain aloof from the visibles with their mental meditations alone.

13. But the minds of the vulgar are as closely connected with the visibles, as the sacrificial wood with the lac dye.

14. It is by diligent study, that the chain of mental thoughts are severed from the visibles; in the like manner, as our wrong notions are removed by means of right reasoning.

15. After dispersion of ignorance, and the connexion of the visibles from the mind, there will be no more a blending of forms and figures and their reflections and thoughts in it.

16. The sensible impressions which have taken possession of the inner mind, are to be rooted out from it as they drive out a demon from the house.

17. O my mind! says the intelligent man, it is in vain that thou deludest me, who have known thy first and last as nothing;and if thou art so mean in thy nature (as the progeny of barren woman) thou must be so as nothing even at present.

18. Why dost thou display thyself in thy five fold form of the five senses unto me? Go make thy display before him who acknowledges and owns thee as his. (As for me I own the intellect and not the mind).

19. Thy grand display of the universe yields me no satisfaction, since I am convinced, O vile mind, all this to be no better than a magic play.

20. Whether thou abidest in me or not it is of no matter to me; because I reckon thee as dead to me as thou art dead to reason. (As the mind is perverse to reason, so are reasonable men averse to it. The mind is all along used in the sense of the sentient mind, and not the superior intellectual faculty—chit, which is distinct from chitta, synonymous with manas the mind.)

21. Thou art a dull unessential thing, erroneous and deceitful and always reckoned as dead, the ignorant alone are misled by thee and not the reasonable. (It is hard to determine what the attributes of the mind may mean. It is said to be dead, because it is kept in mortification and subjection).

22. It was so long through our ignorance, that we had been ignorant of thee; it is now by the light of reason, that we find thee as dead as darkness, under the light of a lamp. There is always an impervious darkness under the lighted lamp (zer cheragh tarikist).

23. Thou hast long taken possession of this mansion of my body, and prevented me, O wily mind, from associating with the good and wise.

24. Thou liest as dull as dead body at the door of this bodily mansion, against the entrance of my worshipped guests (of good virtues) to it.

25. O the gigantic monster of the world! which has its existence in no time. Art thou not ashamed, O my mind, to assume to thyself this deceitful form the world, and appear before me in this hideous shape?

26. Go out of this abode of my body, thou demoniac mind, with the train of thy female fiends of avarice and her companions, and the whole host of thy devilish comrades of rage, wrath and the like.

27. Seeing the advance of reason to the temple of the body, the demon of the mind flies from it, as the savage wolf leaves its den at the approach of the hunter.

28. O pity for these foolish folks! that are so subdued by this dull and deceitful mind, as the unwary people are spellbound by the magic wand.

29. What is thy boast and might in subduing the ignorant rabble, exercise thy power upon me, that defy thy power to prevail over the unity of my belief.

30. I need not try to defeat the power of my foolish mind, after I have already baffled its attempts against me, and laid it to dust.

31. I had ere long taken thee for a living thing, and passed many a livelong life, and day and night, with thy company in this dreary world.

32. I have now come to know the nullity of the mind, and that it is put to death by my power; I have hence given up my concern with it, and betaken to my reliance in the ever existent soul only.

33. It is by good luck, that the living liberated men come to know the demise of their minds; and cease to spend their lives under the illusion of its existence.

34. Having driven away the deceitful demon of the mind, from the mansion of my body; I am situated at rest without any troublesome thought or turbulent passion in me.

35. I smile to think in myself the many follies, to which I was led for a long time under the influence of my demoniac mind.

36. It is by my good fortune, that the gigantic demon of my mind, is at last vanquished by the sword of my reason, and driven out of the mansion of my body.

37. It is by my good fortune also, that my heart is after all purified from its evil inclination, by the suppression of my demoniac mind; and that my soul now rests alone in peace, in the abode of my body.

38. With the death of the mind, there is an end of my egoism and all my troublesome thoughts and cares; and the expulsion of the ogres of evil passions from my breast, by the breath or mantra of reason, has made it a place of rest for my soul.

39. What is this mind with its egoism and eager expectations to me, than a family of intractable inmates, of whom I have fortunately got rid by their wholesale deaths.

40. I hail that pure and ever prosperous soul which is selfsame with my inward soul, and identic with the immutable intellect; (and not with the changeful mind).

41. I hail that ego in me, which is yet not myself nor I nor any other person, nor is it subject to sorrow or error.

42. I hail that ego in me, which has no action nor agency, nor any desire nor worldly affair of its own. It has no body nor does it eat or sleep (but it is as itself).

43. This ego is not myself nor any other, and there is nothing as I or anybody else. The ego is all in all, and I bow down to that being. (There is no direct evidence as what the ego is, but is pointed by mere indirect and negative evidences as what it is not).

44. The ego is the first cause and support of all, it is the intellect and the soul of all worlds. It is the whole without parts; I therefore bow down to that ego.

45. I prostrate to the selfsame Ego of all, which is eternal and immutable, which is the sole immense soul and without its parts. It is all, in all and abides at all times.

46. It is without any form or designation, and is manifest as the immense spirit. It abides in itself, and I bow down to that ego.

47. It is the same in all things in its too minute form, and is the manifester of the universe. It is the essence of my existence and abiding in me, in which state I bow down to it.

48. It is the earth and ocean with all their hills and rivers, which are not the ego, nor they are the ego itself. I bow to the selfsame ego which comprises the world with all its contents.

49. I bow to that undecaying and indestructible Lord which is beyond thought, and is ever charming and ever the same. Who manifests the endless universe with all its worlds and many more yet invisible and unformed bodies. He is unborn and undecaying, and his body is beyond all attributes and dimensions.