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 LXXXVIII - A discourse on yoga meditation

Argument. The Liberated Sage's suspension of breathing in his breast, the emaciation of his body and absorption of his senses.

Vasishtha Continued:—

1. After Vita-havya had passed beyond the bounds of nature, and crossed over this ocean of misery; he pacified also the fluctuations of his mind (after he had restrained the actions of his bodily actions).

2. Being thus becalmed, and brought to the state of perfect inertness;he was absorbed in his ultimate supineness, as a drop of rain water and the particles of waves, mix in the main ocean.

3. Sitting continually in his torpid state; his body became thin and lean, without its food and functions, and it decayed fastly like the fading lotus in winter, without the supply of its proper moisture of water.

4. His vital breaths fled from the tree of his body (i.e. from his lungs and arteries), and entered into the cavity of the heart, like birds let loose from the net, and flying to their nests (concentration of vital airs into the heart).

5. His corporeal body which was composed of flesh and bones and the organs of sense, remained of course beneath the shady branches of the woodland retreat; but his spirit roved beyond the bounds of the elemental worlds above.

6. His individual intellect was absorbed in the ocean of the Universal Intellect; as the particles of metallic substances are fused together in the same metal. So the soul of the sage found its rest in its intrinsic nature of the supreme soul.

7. Thus have I related to you, O Rama! regarding the rest of the sage in his torpid quietism; all this is full of instruction, and you must consider well the hidden meaning which is contained therein. (The Gloss speaks a good deal about the mysticisms of yoga and the mysterious meanings of the words tanmaya and kaivalya, which are too long to be given in this place).

8. And know, O Rama, that by your good gifts of these things, and perfections, you will be able to attain to that state of beatitude.

9. Consider well, O Rama! all that I have told you already, and what I will at present and in future expound to you.

10. As I have myself known and well considered all these things in my long life, and by my experience of the past, and my knowledge of present and future events, so will you be also. (i.e. As he was a sage by his long experience, and a seer by his prescience).

11. Therefore have the clear sight or clairvoyance of the sage, as I have shown to you, and know that it is by means of your transcendental knowledge alone, that you can have your emancipation in both worlds (i.e. perfect liberation in the present life, ensures the freedom of the next; and bondage in this state, leads to perpetual bondage in future).

12. The light of knowledge dispels the darkness of ignorance, and destroys the mist of false fears and woes; and knowledge alone is the cause of that consummation, which nothing else can bring about.

13. See how the sage Vita-havya destroyed all his desires, by means of his knowledge; and how he cleared the mountain of his mind, from all its poisonous plants of worldliness.

14. Again his conscious knowledge or clairvoyance of other spheres, led the seer to penetrate into the solar orb of his desire on the wings of his rays; and thence return (by his reminiscence) to redeem his buried body from cave of earth. (So the soul of Jesus ascended to heaven after his crucifixion, and returned to redeem his dead and buried body from the grave after three days. It is also recorded of many Yogis to revivify their bodies, as it is predicted in the holy writ, of the resurrection of all dead bodies on the last day of judgment or Quiamat, when the rotten bones will stand up (quama), at the sound of the last trumpet of the Angel. This sort of resurrection is analogous to the daily resuscitation (jagara or waking) of animal bodies, after their susupta and swapna or sleeping and waking states of every body. But the relinquishment and reanimation of the body, was a voluntary act of the Yogi and entirely dependant on his free will and option. Hence the modern Yogis and Jugis, are known to bury their dead bodies, and not to burn them like Hindus. And all this depends on the knowledge of yoga philosophy as it is said here in the text).

15. This sage was the personification of the mind, and it is the mind which is personified in the sensible or visible forms of I, thou, he and this other. (Because the mind being the essential part of man makes his personality, and not the body which is but an appendage to the mind). The mind is also this world which consists in it, and without which it is not known to subsist. (The mind makes the world and is identified with it, wherefore Brahma the mind of God, is represented as the maker and identic with the world).

16. By knowing this transcendent truth, and being freed from the faults of passions and feelings, and far removed from the foibles and frailties of the world; the silent sage followed the dictates of his mind, and attained thereby the endless blissfulness of his soul:—the summum bonum of human life.