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 XXVI - Relation of the cause of longevity

Argument: Reflection and Restraint of Respiration leading to the tranquillity of the soul, and the steadiness of the spirit, conducing to long life and felicity on earth.

Bhusunda continued.

1. This is the tranquillity of the mind, which I have attained by degrees, by means of my meditation of the nature and course of the vital breath in myself.

2. I sit quiet at all times, with view fixed at the movement of my breath; and never stir a moment from my meditative mood, though the mount Meru may shake under me.

3. Whether I am awake or asleep, or move about or remain unmoved in my seat, I am never at a loss of this meditation even in dream, nor does it slide a moment from my steadfast mind. (For who can ever live without breathing, or be unconscious of its ceaseless course, or that the breath is both the cause and measure of life).

4. I am always calm and quiet and ever steady and sedate, in this ever varying and unsteady world; I remain always with my face turned inward in myself, and fixed firmly in the object I have at heart. (This is the soul—the life of the life situated in the heart).

5. The breeze may cease to blow, and the waters may stop to flow but nothing can prevent my breathing and meditation of them, nor do I remember ever to live without them. (The gloss explains by metonymy the air to mean the planetary sphere, which rests and moves in it, the waters as the ever flowing [Sanskrit: vayu] currents of rivers, and the samadhi [Sanskrit: jyotichakraha] meditation as composed of breath and thought, to be in continuous motion and resistless in their course).

6. By attending to the course of my inhaling and exhaling breaths of life, I have come to the sight of the soul (which is their life), and have thereby become freed from sorrow by seeing the prime soul of all souls. (i.e. The highest soul of God).

7. The earth has been sinking and rising repeatedly, since the great deluge, and I have been witnessing the submersion and immersion of things, and the perdition and reproduction of beings, without any change of the sedateness of my soul and mind.

8. I never think of the past and future, my sight is fixed only on the present, and my mind sees the remote past and future as ever present before it. (Meditation makes a man a seer of all time).

9. I am employed in the business that presents itself to me, and never care for their toil nor care for their reward. I live as one in sleep and solely with myself. (This is the state of Kaivalya or solity).

10. I examine all what is and is not, and what we have or have not, and consider likewise all our desires and their objects; and finding them to be but frailties and vanities, I refrain from their pursuit and remain unvexed by their cares for ever.

11. I watch the course of my inspiration and expiration, and behold the presence of the super excellent (Brahma) at their confluence; whereby I rest satisfied in myself, and enjoy my long life without any sorrow or sickness.

12. This boon have I gained this day, and that better one shall I have on another, are the ruinous thoughts of mortal men, and unknown to me whereby I have so long living and unailing.

13. I never praise or dispraise any act of myself or others, and this indifference of mine to all concerns;hath brought me to this happy state of careless longevity. (Platonic imperturbability).

14. My mind is neither elated by success, nor it is depressed by adversity, but preserves its equanimity at all times, and is what has brought this happy state on me. (A sane and sound old age).

15. I have resorted to my religious relinquishment of the world, and to my apathy to all things at all times; I have also abandoned the desire of sensuous life and sensible objects, and these have set me free from death and disease.

16. I have freed my mind, O great muni! from its faults of fickleness and curiosity, and have set it above sorrow and anxiety, it has become deliberate calm and quiet, and this has made me longlived and unsickly.

17. I see all things in an equal light, whether it be a beauty or a spectre, a piece of wood or stone, a straw or a rock, or whether it is the air, water or fire, and it is this equanimity of mine that has made me sane and sound in every state of life.

18. I do not think about what I have done today, and what I shall have to do tomorrow, nor do I ail under the fever of vain thoughts regarding the past and future, and this has kept me forever sound and sane.

19. I am neither afraid of death, disease or old age, nor am I elated with the idea of getting a kingdom in my possession; and this indifference of mine to aught of good or evil, is the cause of my length of my life and the soundness of my body and mind.

20. I do not regard, O Brahman! any one either in the light of a friend or foe to me; and this equality of my knowledge of all persons, is the cause of my long life and want of my complaint.

21. I regard all existence as the reflection of the self-existent one, who is all in all and without his beginning and end; I know myself as the very intellect, and this is the cause of my diuturnity and want of disease and decay.

22. Whether when I get or give away any thing, or when I walk or sit, or rise and breathe, or am asleep or awake; I never think myself as the gross body but its pure intelligence, and this made me diuturnal and durable for ever. (The intelligent soul never dies).

23. I think myself as quite asleep, and believe this world with all its bustle to be nothing in reality (but the false appearance of a dream); and this has made me long-lived and undecaying.

24. I take the good and bad accidents of life, occurring at their stated times, to be all alike to me, like my two arms both of which are serviceable to me; and has made me longeval and imperishable.

25. With my fixed attention, and the cool clearness of my mental vision, I see all things in their favourable light (that they are all good, and adapted to their various uses); I see all things as even and equal, and this view of them in the same light, has made me lasting and wasteless. (So says the Bharata: "All crookedness leads to death, and evenness to the one even Brahma").

26. This material body of mine to which I bear my moiety, is never viewed by me in the light of my ego; and this has made me undying and undecaying. (The deathless soul is the ego, and the dying body the non-ego).

27. Whatever I do and take to my food, I never take them to my heart; my mind is freed from the acts of my body, and this freedom of myself from action, has caused my undecaying longevity. (Because action being the measure of life, its want must make it measureless and imperishable).

28. Whenever, O Sage, I come to know the truth, I never feel proud of my knowledge, but desire to learn more about it; and this increasing desire of knowledge, has increased my life without its concomitant infirmity. (Knowledge is unlimited, and one needs be immortal in order to know all).

29. Though possessed of power, I never use it to do wrong or injure to another; and though wronged by any one, I am never sorry for the same; and though ever so poor, I never crave any thing of any body; this hath prolonged my life and kept me safe and sound. (It is the Christian charity not to retaliate an injury, but rather to turn to him the right cheek who has slapped on the left).

30. I see in these visible forms the intellect that abides all bodies, and as I behold all these existent bodies in an equal light, I enjoy an undecaying longevity.

31. I am so composed in my mind, that I never allow its faculties, to be entangled in the snare of worldly desires and expectations; nor do I allow these to touch even my heart, and this conferred on me the bliss of my unfading longevity.

32. I examine both worlds as two globes placed in my hands, and I find the non-existence of the visible world as it appears to a sleeping man; while the spiritual and invisible world appear full open to my view, as it does to a waking person, and this sight of mine has made me as immortal as the world of immortality.

33. I behold the past, present and future as set before me;and I see all that is dead and decayed, and all that is gone and forgotten, as presented anew in my presence. This prospect of all keeps me alive and afresh to them alike.

34. I feel myself happy at the happiness of others, and am sorry to see the misery of other people; and this universal fellow feeling of mine with the weal and woe of my fellow creatures, has kept me alive and afresh at all times.

35. I remain unmoved as a rock in my adversity, and am friendly to every one in my prosperity; I am never moved by want or affluence, and this steadiness of mine is the cause of my undecayed longevity.

36. That I am neither related to nor belong to any body, nor that any one is either related or belongeth to me; is the firm conviction that has laid hold of my mind, and made me live long without feeling sick or sorry for another.

37. It is my belief that I am the one Ego with the world, and with all its space and time also, and that I am the same with the living soul and all its actions; and this faith of mine has made me longeval and undecaying.

38. It is my belief that I am the same Intelligence, which shows itself in the pot and picture; and which dwells in the sky above and in the woods below. That all this is full of intelligence is my firm reliance, and this has made me long abiding and free from decay.

39. It is thus, O great sage! that I reside amidst the receptacle of the three worlds, as a bee abides in the cell of a lotus flower, and am renowned in the world as the perennial crow Bhusunda by name.

40. I am destined to dwell here forever in order to behold the visible world, rising and falling in tumultuous confusion, in the infinite ocean of the immense Brahma, and assuming their various forms like the waves of the sea at their alternate rise and fall for all eternity.