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 LXXXIV - The mental or imaginary world of the sage

Argument:—The sensuous Mind and the senses as roots of Evil, and their Extinction as the source of God.

Vasishtha continued:—

Hear now Rama, how that great sage of enlightened understanding, remonstrated in silence with his refractory senses.

2. I will tell you the same openly what he admonished in secret to his senses; and by hearing these expostulations of him, you will be set above the reach of misery.

3. O my senses, said he, I know your special essences to be for our misery only; and therefore I pray you, to give up your intrinsic natures for the sake of my happiness.

4. My admonitions will serve to annihilate your actualities, which are no more than the creatures of ignorance.

5. The amusement of the mind with the exilition of its sensitivity, is the cause of its fury and fever heat, as the kindlings of fire is for burning one's self or others in its flame (i.e. the excitement of passions and sensations is painful to the peaceful mind of man).

6. The mind being disturbed and bewildered, makes the restless feelings and sensations, flow and fall to it, with the fierceness of boisterous rivers falling into the sea, which it breaks out and runs in the form of many a frith and firth into the land. (I.e. the sensational man is subject to the excess of sensitive excitability and intolerance).

7. The sensitive minds burst forth in the passions of their pride and egoism, clashing against one another like the conflicting clouds; and fall in showers of hailstorms on the heads of others. (Sensational men are bent on mutual mischief and injury).

8. The cares of prosperity and adversity, are the tormenting cankers in their breasts, and they pierce and perforate the hearts to such a degree, as they are intent upon uprooting them from their innermost recesses. (Heart burning anxieties attending both on fortune and misfortune).

9. They are attended with hiccoughs and hard breathings in the chest, with groaning and sobbing in the lungs, like hooting owls in the hollow of withered trees; whether covered with tufts of moss on their tops, or resembling the hoary haired heads on the dried trunks of old and decayed bodies. (Men growing old, yet pant and pine for riches the more.) [Sanskrit: ghanasha vivitasaca jiryatopi na jiryyati]

10. The cavities of the heart inside the body, are perplexed with crooked cares resembling the folds of snakes, hoary hairs likening hoar frost over hanging the head, and the apish wishes lurk about in the caves within the bosom.

11. Avarice is as a dancing stork, clattering her pair of sharp bills (to entice men towards her); and then pull off their eyes from their decayed frames, as also the intestinal cords of the body. (The avaricious man is deprived of his good sense, sight and heartstrings).

12. Impure lust and lawless concupiscence, symbolized as the filthy cock, scratches the heart as his dunghill, and sounds as shrill on this side and that (Hence the cockish rakes are called coxcombs, and cockneys, from their hoarse whistling as the horse neighs, and strutting on stilts as the cock-a-hoop).

13. During the long and gloomy nights of our ignorance we are disturbed by the fits of phrenzy, bursting as the hooting owl from the hollow of our hearts; and infested by the passions barking in our bosoms like the Vetala demons in the charnel vaults and funeral grounds.

14. These and many other anxieties, and sensual appetites disturb our rest at nights, like the horrible Pisacha ogres appearing in the dark.

15. But the virtuous man who has got rid of his gloom of ignorance, beholds every thing in its clear light, and exults like the blooming lotus in the dawning light of the day.

16. His heart being cleared of the cloud of ignorance, glows as the clear sky unclogged by fogs and mists; and a pure light envelopes it, after the flying dust of doubts has been driven from it.

17. When the doubts have ceased to disturb the mind with the gusts of dubiety and uncertainty; it becomes as calm and still as the vault of the sky, and the face of a city after the conflicting winds have stopped to blow.

18. Mutual amity or brotherly love, purifies and cheers the heart of every body; and grows the graceful trees of concord and cordiality, as the plants bring forth their beautiful blossoms and anthers in spring.

19. The minds of ignorant and unskilful men, are as empty as a barren waste; and are shriveled with cares and anxieties, as the lotusbed is withered under the shivering cold and ice. (Here is a pun on the word jadya, used in its double sense of dulness and frost, both of which are cold and inert jada).

20. After the fog and frost of ignorance, is dissipated from the atmosphere of the mind; it gains its glaring lustre, as the sky gets the sunshine, after the dispersion of clouds in autumn. (Learning is the light of the lamp of the mind, as sunshine is that of the clear sky).

21. The soul having its equanimity, is as clear and cheerful and as deep and undisturbed, as the deep and wide ocean, which regains its calm and serenity, after the fury of a storm has passed over it.

22. The mind is full within it with the ambrosial draughts of everlasting happiness, as the Vault of heaven is filled with the nectarous moonbeams at night. (Happiness is the moonlight of the mind).

23. The mind becomes conscious of the soul, after the dispersion of its ignorance; and then it views the whole world in its consciousness, as if it were situated in itself.

24. The contented mind finds its body to be full of heavenly delight, which is never perceived by those living souls which are ensnared by their desires of worldly enjoyments. (The bliss of content is unknown to the prurient).

25. As trees burnt by a wildfire, regain their verdure with the return of spring; so do people tormented by the troubles of the world, and wasted by age and burden of life, find their freshness in holy asceticism.

26. The anchorites resorting to the woods, are freed from their fear of transmigration;and are attended by many joys which are beyond all description. (No words can describe the spiritual joys of the soul).

27. Think, O insatiate man! either thy soul to be dead to thy carnal desires or thy desires to be dead in thy soul; in both cases, thou art happy, whether in possession or extinction of thy mind (i.e. having a mind without desires, or desires without the mind).

28. Delay not to chose whatever thou thinkest more felicitous for thyself; but better it is to be in possession of thy mind and kill thy cares and desires, than kill thy mind with thy troublesome desires and anxieties.

29. Mind the nullity of that which is painful to thee, because it is foolishness to part with what is pleasant to thyself; and if thou hast thy inward understanding at all, remain true to thyself by avoiding the false cares of the world.

30. Life is a precious treasure, and its loss is liked by no body; but I tell thee, in truth this life is a dream, and thou art naught in reality. (And this is the Verdict of the Sruti and no dictum of mine). Gloss.

31. Yet be not sorry that thou livest in vain, because thou hast lived such a nullity from before, and thy existence is but a delusion. (Think they living in the only living God, and not apart from Him).

32. It is unreasonable to think thyself as so and so, because the delusion of self-existence of one's self, is now exploded by right reason.

33. Reason points the uniform entity of the selfsame Being at all times; it is sheer irrationality that tells thee of thy existence, at it is the want of true light that exhibits this darkness unto thee.

34. Reason will disprove thy entity as light removes the darkness; and it was in thy irrationality, my friend, that thou hast passed all this time in vain idea of thy separate existence.

35. It is because of this irrationality of thine, that thy gross ignorance has grown so great, as to be sad because of thy calamities only; and thy delusive desires have subjected thee to the devil, as boys are caught by their fancied demons and ghosts.

36. After one has got rid of his former states of pain and pleasure, and his transitory desires in this temporary world; he comes to feel the delight of his soul, under the province of his right reason.

37. It is thy reason that has wakened thee from thy dulness, and enlightened thy soul and mind with the light of truth; therefore should we bow down to reason above all others, as the only enlightener of our hearts and souls.

38. After the desires are cleared from thy heart, thou shalt find thyself as the great lord of all; and thou shalt rejoice in thyself, under the pure and pristine light of thy soul. (Swarupa).

39. Being freed from thy desires, thou art set on the footing of the sovran lord of all; and the unreasonableness of desires growing in thy ignorance, will do away under the domain of reason.

40. And whether thou likest it or not, thy desires will fly from thy mind under the dominion of thy reason; as the deep darkness of night, flies at the advance of day light.

41. The thorough extinction of thy desires, is attended with thy perfect bliss; therefore rely on the conclusion of thy nullity by every mode of reasoning (i.e. Be persuaded of thy impersonality, and the desires will be extinct of themselves).

42. When thou hast lorded over thy mind and thy organs, and thinkest thyself extinct at all times, thou hast secured to thy spirit every felicity for ever.

43. If thy mind is freed from its disquiet, and is set at rest, and becomes extinct in thy present state, it will not be revivified in future; when thou shalt have thy anaesthesia for ever. (The mind being killed in this life, will never be reborn any more.—Mindlessness is believed to be the Summum bonum or supreme bliss and beatitude).

44. When I remain in my spiritual state, I seem to be in the fourth or highest heaven in myself; hence I discard my mind with its creation of the mental world from me for ever. (The third heaven is the Empyrean, and the fourth is full with the presence of God alone).

45. The soul only is the self-existent being, beside which there is nothing else in existence; I feel myself to be this very soul, and that there is nothing else beside myself.

46. I find myself to be ever present everywhere with my intelligent soul, and beaming forth with its intellectual light. This we regard as the Supreme soul, which is so situated in the translucent sphere of our inward hearts. (The heart is regarded as the seat of the soul, and the mind as nothing).

47. This soul which is without its counter-part, is beyond our imagination and description; therefore I think myself as this soul, not in the form of an image of it, but as a wave of the water of that profound and unlimited ocean of the Divine soul.

48. When I rest in silence in that soul within myself, which is beyond the knowables, and is selfsame with my consciousness itself; I find also all my desires and passions, together with my vitality and sensibility, to be quite defunct in me.