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 XXXIII - Resolution of duality into unity

Argument: Unity, the source, substance, and ultimum of plurality, which is resolved to unity. The Doctrine of monotheism. One in all and all into one.

Vasishtha said:—

1. Tell me, my lord, that bearest the crescent of the moon on thy fore-head, how the pure and simple essence of the intellect, which is an infinite unity and ever uniform and immutable in its nature, is transmuted to the finite dualities of the variable and impure soul and mind. (Moreover the whole equal to a part is quite absurd and impossible).

2. Tell me, O great god! how this uncaused prime cause, becomes diffused in endless Varieties, and how can we get rid of the plurality of our creeds by our wisdom, for putting an end to our miseries. (By means of our belief in the true unity).

The god replied:—

3. When the omnipotent God (sad), remains as one unity of immensity (Eka Brahma); it is then of course absurd, to speak of his duality or plurality, and of the manifestation of a part or minim of himself. (The whole cannot be a part).

4. Taking the monad for a duad, is to ascribe duality to unity;and the imputation of dualism or bipartition to the simple intellect, is wholly futile from its nature of indivisibility. (So says the sruti: The one is no dual nor a bipartite thing. In Him there is no plurality, diversity or any particularity whatever. [Sanskrit: natu taddvitiyamasti tati-nya hvibhaktam / nanuneha nanastikincana.])

5. The want of the number one, causes the absence both of unity, duality;because there can be no dual without the singular, nor a single one unless there be the number two above it. (i.e. There can be no duality without the prime and preceding unity; nor even the unity unless it is followed by duality; because the prime number would be indefinite and indetermined without the succeeding ones).

6. The cause and its effect being of one nature (or essence), they are both of the same kind, as the fruit and the seed contained in it. The difference which is attributed to them from the change of one thing to the other, is a mere fiction of imagination.

7. The mind itself evolves in its thoughts at its own will; the changes occurring in itself, are no way different from its own nature; as the mutual productions of seed and fruit, are of the same nature, the same fruit produces the same seeds, and these again bring forth the same fruits &c. (So the mind and its thoughts, are the same things and of the self-same nature).

8. Many modifications incessantly rise in the infinite mind of the almighty Maker as its eternal will, and these taking place in actu in positive existences, and substantive forms bear the relation of causes and their effects in this world.

9. These productions are likened to the waves of waters in the sea, and mirage to the progeny of a barren woman, and the horns of a hare—all which are nil and not in being. They are all as negative as the water on the mountaintop, and as the barley corn growing on the head of a hare. (In all these instances the producer or container is a reality; but the produced or contained waves etc. are false; and so is Brahma the producer and container of all as positive entity, but the production of the world is null and void).

10. Herein enquiring into the real truth, we must refrain from logomachy; and find that though all things tend to stablish the unity, yet it is difficult even in thought to do away with the difference of things, as that of words and their senses. (that is to say, though unity is the result of right reason, yet duality is inseparable from common sense).

11. The essence of divine omnipotence, is not divisible into portions or their fractions, like the waves of the sea, that are broken into bubbles and particles of waters.

12. As the leaves and stalks and branches and flowers of trees, are no other than the same substance; so unity and duality, meity and tuity and the objectivity of the phenomenal world, are not different from the essence of the subjective intellect, which contains and puts forth itself in all these forms.

13. All time and place and variety of figures and forms, being but modifications of the intellect, it is improper for us to question the reality of those, and assert the certainty of this intellect.

14. The entities of time and space, and the powers of action and destiny (divine ordinance), are all derived from and directed by the intellect and bear their intellectual natures also.

15. As the power of thinking, the thought and its object, jointly compose the principle of mind; so the whole universe and every thing that bears a name, are all included under the term chit or intellect; as the water and its rise and fall, are all included under the word wave.

16. The thoughts which continually rise and fall, in the great ocean of the intellect; are like the waves which heave and set down, on the surface of the boisterous sea.

17. It is this supreme intellect which is known by the various appellations of the Lord, God, Truth, Siva and others; as also by the various names of vacuum, unity and the supreme spirit.

18. Such is the nature of God, whom no words can express; and who is styled the Ego or the subjective "I am that I am"and whom it is beyond the power of speech to describe.

19. All that is seen all around, are but the leaves, fruits, flowers and branches of the all creeping plant of the intellect; which being diffused in all, leaves nothing that is different from it.

20. The divine intellect [Sanskrit: chit] being omniscient [Sanskrit: mahavidya] has the great nescience or ignorance [Sanskrit: maha avidya] underlying it (as the lighted lamp is accompanied by the shadow under it); and then looking at this side of itself it takes the name of the living soul, and beholds this shadowy world stretched outside the divine mind, as we see another moon in the reflection of that luminary, cast upon a nebular circle beyond it.

21. Then thinking itself as another or a living being jiva, and other wise than what it is (i.e. the immortal spirit paramatma); it becomes just of the same nature, as it thinks and forms itself by its own will.

22. Being thus transformed from its perfect and immaculate state, to that of an imperfect and impure nature; it is made to wade amidst the stream of this world, without ever thinking (of its fall from the state of original purity).

23. The intellectual form being then assimilated with the elemental (puryashtaka) body, receives its vital or mortal life and living soul, which lives by reflection of the essence of the supreme intellect.

24. The spiritual body is also transformed to the frail living body, which being joined with quintessence of quintuple elements, comes to know itself as material substance (dravymas miti).

25. This substance being next infused with the vital breath, receives soon after its vigor and strength like the seed of a plant; and then it feels itself to be endued with life, and to be conceived in the uterus in its own conception.

26. The same erroneous conception of its gross materiality, misleads to the belief of its own egoism and personality. It conceives also its state of a moving or unmoving being, and this conception of it converts it instantly into the like form. (We have the forms, as we picture to ourselves in our minds).

27. Again the simultaneous meeting of former reminiscence with the later desire of a person, changes its former habitual and meaner form, to that of a larger and grosser kind. (Thus one that had been a contemptible gnat in its previous state of existence, is come to a big elephant in its next birth, not from its remembrance of its former state of life, but from its settled desire of becoming the would be being in the next. So it is the will [Sanskrit: vasana] that supersedes the former impression [Sanskrit: samskara] of what one had been before, and transforms it to what it wishes to be afterwards. Hence the will is the parent of thoughts).

28. The difference and duality of one from its identity and unity, are results of one's thinking himself other wise than what he really is; as a man becomes a devil by thinking himself possessed by a ghost.

29. The thought of the duality of one self-same soul, in its two aspects of the supreme and human souls; is driven away by the persuasion that I do nothing, and the agency of all actions rests in the great God himself.

30. The unity is considered as a duality, by the dualistic opinions of men; while on the other hand the belief in unity, destroys the conviction of dualism and plurality from the minds of men.

31. There is no duality or secondary being in the soul, which may be regarded as the supreme soul, because there is but one soul only, which is unchangeable and unperishable at all times and every where. (All other changing and finite beings, are but reflections of the supreme).

32. All works of imagination are dispersed, with the dispersion of the fumes of fancy; as one's aerial castle and the fairy city, vanish after the flight of the phrenzy and the visionary dream.

33. It is painful to raise a fabric of imagination, but there is no pain whatever in breaking it down;because the chimera of imagination is well skilled in building the aerial cities, and not in demolishing them. (Which belongs to the province of reason only).

34. If the fullness of one's desires and fancies, is fraught with the pains and troubles of life, it must be the want of such wishes and views, that will serve to set him free from these pains for ever.

35. If even a slight desire is enough to expose a man to many cares in life, then its utter privation must afford him complete rest and quiet, in his transient state of being.

36. When your mind has got loose, from the manifold folds of your serpentine desires; you will then come to enjoy the sweets of the garden of paradise. (Had it not been for the serpent's insinuation to taste the fatal fruit, our first parents would be left to enjoy all the sweets of Paradise).

37. Drive away and disperse the clouds of your desire, by the breeze of your reason; and come and enjoy your rest, under the calm and clear autumnal sky of your indifference—nonchalance.

38. Dry the impetuous current of your rapid desires, by the charms of amulets and mantras;and then restrain yourself from being borne away by the flood, and restrict your mind to its dead inaction.

39. Rely thy trust in the intellectual soul chidatma, seated in the cavity of thy heart, and look on mankind driven to and fro by the gusts of their desire, like fragments of straw flying at random in the perturbed air.

40. Wash out the dirt of thy desires from thy mind, by the pure water of thy spiritual knowledge; and after securing the perfect tranquillity of thy soul, continue to enjoy the highest bliss of a holy life.

41. God is all powerful and omnipresent, and displays himself in all forms every where (He is seen in the same manner as one desires to behold him in a temporal or spiritual light. [Sanskrit: vrashma karanena bhogmakaranena ba yatha bhavayate tatha pashyati]).

42. It is the thought or imagination, that makes the false world appear as true; and it depends upon the thought also, that the world vanishes into nothing. (The existence and inexistence of the world; depend alike on the thoughts of divine and human minds; the positive and negative are all creations of the mind).

43. It is the net work of our thoughts and desires, that is interwoven with the threads of our repeated births; but the winds of our apathy and indifference blow off this web, and settle us in the state of supreme felicity.

44. Avarice is a thorny plant, that has taken deep root in the human heart; it is fostered under the shade of the arbor of desire, root out this tree of desire, and the thorny bush of avarice will fade away of itself.

45. The world is a shadow and a pseudoscope, and rises to view and disappears by turns; it is an error of the brain that presents the sight of the course of nature (sansriti), like that of the fairy land presented to us in a dream.

46. The king that forgets his nature of the Lord, mistakes himself for a prince, or that he is born or become the ruler of the land; this concept of his which springs from ignorance of his divine nature, vanishes soon after he comes to the real knowledge of himself.

47. The king in possession of his present royalty, has no reminiscence of his past and former state;as we do not recollect the foulness of the past rainy weather, in the serenity of the present autumn.

48. The thought that is predominant in the mind, naturally prevails over the fainter and weaker ones, as the highest pitch in music suppresses the bass tones, and takes possession of the ear.

49. Think in yourself that you are one (unit or the unity), and that you are the soul (or supreme soul); keep this single reflection before you, and holding fast to it, you will become the object of your meditation. (This is called [Sanskrit: atmapuja] spiritual adoration, or assimilating one's self to the supreme soul).

50. Such is the spiritual meditation of spiritualists like yourself, who aspire to the highest felicity of the supreme Being; while the external form of worship, is fit only for ungoverned minds, that rapt only for their temporal welfare. In formal worship composed of the worshipper, the formalities of the ritual and the articles of offerings, are symbolical of ignorant minds, and too insignificant to the wise.