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 XIV - Narration of bhusunda and description of mount meru

Argument: Vasishtha's visit to Meru in expectation of seeing Bhusunda and his description of the Mountain.

Vasishtha related:—

1. The vast universe, O Rama! is but an evolution of the will of the Infinite Brahma, just as the various representations in the mirage, are but eversions of solar rays. (Or these are the reflections of the self-same Deity, as the Fata Morgana are the reflex of solar light).

2. Here the divine Brahma that is born of the lotiform navel of Brahma, takes the title of the creator and preserver of all, that has been produced by the supreme spirit; and is called also the great father of all, for his producing the prime progenitors of mankind. (Here Brahma resembles Adam of the scriptures).

3. This divine being brought me forth from his mind, where fore I am called the manasaputra or progeny of the mind, of the mind of this holy personage. He made me settle first in the fixed polar circle of the starry frame, I viewed the revolutions of the planetary spheres, and the successive Manvantaras before me. (The Manus were all the progeny of the divine mind, whence they bear their name of Manu or mind-born).

Residing once in the imperial court of the lord of gods said:—

4. Indra, I heard the accounts of many long living persons and people, from the mouths of Narada and other messengers of the gods. (Narada is the Mercury of Hindu mythology, and answers an angel of the scriptures).

5. There was once on a time the sage Salatapa among them;who was a person of great understanding, a man of honor and taciturn in his speech; and said by way of conversation:—

6. That there was in the north east summit of Mount Meru, a spot full of sparkling gems, where there was a kalpa tree of the chuta or mango kind, which yielded its fruits in all seasons of the year.

7. The tree was covered all over with fresh and beautiful creepers, and a branch of it extending towards the south, had a large hollow in its top, containing the nest of birds of various kinds.

8. Among them there was a crow's nest, belonging to one old raven by name of Bhusunda, who lived quite happy with himself; as the god Brahma dwells content in his lotus-bed.

9. There is no one in the womb of this world so long lived as he, nor even the gods in heaven, can boast a greater longevity than he among the feathered tribe; and it is doubtful whether there may be another as old as he in times to come. (Old as Adam and as old as Methuselah).

10. This crony crow was beauteous even in old age, and had become passionless and great-minded by his long experience. He remained quiet with the tranquillity of his mind, and was as graceful as he was full of knowledge of all times. (Achromatic as old Nestor of the present, past and future—trikalajna).

11. If any one may have the long life of this crow, his life becomes meritorious, and his old age is crowned with sapience. (The vigour of life is productive of meritorious works, and its decay is fraught with wisdom).

12. In this manner, he related the virtues of the bird in full, at the request of the gods in heaven; and did not utter any thing more or less, before the assembly of the deities who knew all things.

13. After the gods had been satisfied with the narration of the veteran crow, I felt a great curiosity in me, to see and know more of this superannuated bird (for who is it that has not an eager desire to learn the art of longevity).

14. With this desire, I hastened to the spot, where the crow was said to rest in his happy nest; and I reached in a short time, to the summit of Meru, which was shining with its precious stones. (The decent from heaven to the lofty top of Meru could not be long, since the gods are said to be all situated on this high mountain. ([Sanskrit: tasminnadrau trayasvimsat vasatihiga nadevatah], and again ([Sanskrit:yavatmerausyitadevah]).

15. The peak of the mountain was flaming as fire, with the glare of its gems and red earth—gairika, and these painted the upper sky, with the bright hue of florid honey and sparkling wine.

16. The mountain shone as brightly as it were burning with the blaze of the last conflagration, and the sky was reddened by their reflection with shades of clouds; appearing as the smoke of fire or the blue lustre of sapphire.

17. The mountain appeared to be formed by a collection of all kinds of colours on earth, which gave it the appearance of the variegated sky in west at the time of the setting sun.

18. The flame of fire proceeding from its crater, and emitted through the crevice on its top, seemed as the culinary fire of the Yogi, carried up from his bowels to the cranium in Yoga. (This is styled the Utkranti Yoga or lifting the physical powers, and concentrating them all in the head—the seat of intellect).

19. The ruddy peaks and pinnacles of Sumeru, resembled his arms and fingers painted with lac-dye; in order to lay hold on his consort the fair moon by way of sport. (It means the mountain tops reaching to and touching the orb of the moon. So Kalidasa makes his Himalaya transcend the sphere of the sun).

20. The lurid flame of wild fire on this mountain, seemed as the burning blaze of sacrificial fires, which are fed with clarified butter were rising to heaven. (Hence fire is styled the bearer of our offerings to the gods above—havya-vahana, because there is nothing on the earth except the flames of fire—that has the power of rising upwards, whence they are termed Urdha—jwalana—havir—bhujas. ([Sanskrit: urdha jvalana havirbhujam]).

21. The mount with its elevated summit seemed to kiss the face of the sky, and to raise its fingers in the form of its peaks and pinnacles, with their blazing gems resembling the nails of the fingers, in order to count the scattered stars.

22. The clouds were roaring on one side of it with the loud noise of the drums, and the young plants and creepers were dancing in the happy arbours on another, clusters of flowers were smiling as blooming beauties on this side, and the swarms of humming bees were hovering on them on that.

23. Here the lofty palm trees seemed to be smiling with shewing their teeth in their denticulated leaves, on seeing the giddy groups of Apsaras, swinging and strolling about loosely in their amorous dalliances under their shade.

24. There the celestials were resorting in pairs to their grottos in the mountain, in order to relieve themselves of their trouble of trudging over the rugged paths of the craggy mountain; and they were clothed in the white vest of the open sky (nudity), and having the stream of Ganges falling from high for their sacred thread. (Here Meru means any mountain and Ganga is put for any stream descending from it).

25. The hoary mountain stood as a grey headed hermit, holding the reeds (with which it abounded) as canes in his hand; and the celestial inhabitants of the mount, rested in the coverts of the creepers, being lulled to sleep by gurgling sound of the waters falling from precipice to precipice.

26. The mountain king was crowned by the full blown lotuses that grow on its top, and was regaled by the sweet fragrance; which the odoriferous breezes bore from them. It was decorated with the gems of the starry frame on its crown, and charmed with the sweet songs of the gandharvas playing their strains on it. His hoary head pierced the silvery region of heaven, and was one with it in being the abode of the gods.

27. The many coloured tops of Meru, emitting the various colours of the red, white, black, blue, yellow, and gray stones that are embodied in its body, lent the sky its variegated hues in the morning and evening, while the versicolor blossoms on its tops, invited the Heavenly nymphs to their rambles and sports over them.