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...
Argument: The divine state, above the quadruple conditions of waking, sleeping, dreaming and profound sleep.
The god continued:—
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Such is the constitution of this world, composed of reality and unreality, and bearing the stamp of the almighty; it is composed both of unity and duality, and yet it is free from both. (To the ignorant it appears as a duality, composed of the mind and matter;but the wise take it neither as the one or the other, but the whole to pan—the root of pantheism).
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It is the disfigurement of the intellect by foul ignorance, that views the outer world as distinct from its maker; but to the clear sighted there is no separate outer world, but both blend together in the unity.
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The perverted intellect which considers itself as the body, is verily confined in it; but when it considers itself to be a particle of and identic with the divine, it is liberated from its confinement. (In the mortal and material frame).
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The intellect loses its entity, by considering the duality of its form and sense; and be combined with pleasure and pain, it retains no longer its real essence.
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Its true nature is free from all designation, and application of any significant term or its sense to it; and the words pure, undivided, real or unreal, bear no relation to what is an all pervasive vacuity.
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Brahma the all and full (to pans plenum), who is perfect tranquillity, and without a second, equal or comparison, expands himself by his own power as the infinite and empty air; and stretches his mind in three different directions of the three triplicates. (Namely 1 of creation, preservation and destruction of the universe—2 the three states of waking, sleeping, and dreaming—3 the union of the three powers—the supernal, natural and material agencies. [Sanskrit: srishti, sthiti, pralaya, jagrat, nidra, sapta / adhidaiva, adhibhautika, adhibhauvikanca].
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The mind being curbed with all its senses and organs in the great soul, there appears a dazzling light before it, and the false world flies away from it, as the shade of night disappears before the sunlight. (This verse is explained in the gloss to refer both to the supreme spirit before creation, as also to the yogi who distracts his mind and senses from the outer world, and sees a blazing light stretched over his soul).
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The imaginary world recedes from view, and falls down like a withered leaf; and the living soul remains like a fried grain, without its power of vegetation or reproduction.
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The intellect being cleared from the cloud of illusion, overhanging the deluded mind, shines as clearly as the vault of the autumnal sky;and is then called pashyanti or seeing from its sight of the supernatural, and utsrijanti also from its renunciation of all worldly impressions. (This is called also the cognoscent soul, from its cognition of recondite and mysterious truths).
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The Intellect being settled in its original, pure and sedate state, after it has passed under the commotions of worldly thoughts; and when it views all things in an equal and indifferent light, it is said to have crossed over the ocean of the world. (The course of worldly life is compared to a perilous sea voyage, and perfect apathy and indifference to the world, is said to secure the salvation of the soul).
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When the intellect is strong in its knowledge of perfect susupti or somnolence over worldly matters; it is said to have obtained its rest in the state of supreme felicity, and to be freed from the doom of transmigration in future births. (The perfect rest of the next world, is begun with one's ecstasis in this).
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I have now told you, O great Vipra, all about the curbing and weakening of the mind, which is the first step towards the beatification of the soul by yoga; now attend to me to tell you, concerning the second step of the edification and strengthening of the intellect.
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That is called the unrestricted power of the intellect, which is fraught with perfect peace and tranquillity; which is full of light, clear of the darkness of ignorance, and as wide stretched as the clear vault of heaven.
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It is as deep as our consciousness in profound sleep, as hidden as a mark in the heart of a stone; as sweet as the flavour in salt, and as the breath of wind after a storm. (All these examples show the strength of the soul, to consist in its close compactness).
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When the living principle comes to its end at any place, in course of time; the intellect takes it flight like some invisible force in open air, and mixes with the transcendent vacuum.
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It gets freed from all its thoughts and thinkables, as when the calm sea is freed from its fluctuation; it becomes as sedate as when the winds are still, and as imperceptible as when the flower-cup emits its fragrance.
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It is liberated from the bonds and ideas of time and place (by its assimilation to infinity and immortality); it is freed from the thought of its appertaining to or being a part of anything in the world; it is neither a gross or subtile substance, and becomes a nameless essence. (The intellect or soul bears distinctive mark or peculiarity of its own, except that it is some thing which has nothing in common with anything in the world).
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It is not limited by time and space, and is of the nature of the unlimited essence of God; it is a form and fragment of the quadruple state of Brahma or virat [Sanskrit: turyya turyyamasa], and is without any stain, disease or decay.
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It is some thing witnessing all things with its far seeing sight, it is the all at all times and places, it is full light in itself, and sweeter far than the sweetest thing in the world. (Nothing sweeter than one's self).
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This is what I told you the second stage of yoga meditation, attend now, O sage! that art true to your vows, and dost well understand the process of yoga, to what I will relate to you regarding its third stage.
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This sight of intellect is without a name, because it contains like the Divine Intellect all the thinkables (or objects of thought) within its ample sphere, as the great ocean of the world, grasps all parts of the globe within its spacious circumference. It extends beyond the meaning of the word Brahmatma or the ample spirit of the god Brahma in its extension ad infinitum. (It resembles the comprehensive mind of God).
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It is by great enduring patience, that the soul attains in course of a long time, this steady and unsullied state of its perfection purushartha; and it is after passing this and the fourth stage, that the soul reaches to its supreme and ultimate state of felicity.
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After passing the successive grades and until reaching the ultimate state, one must practice his yoga in the manner of Siva the greatest of the yogis; and then he will obtain in himself the unremitting holy composure of the third stage.
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By long continuance in this course, the pilgrim is led to a great distance, which transcends all my description, but may be felt by the holy devotee who advances in his course.
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I have told you already of the state, which is beyond these three stages; and do you, O divine sage! ever remain in that state, if you wish to arrive to the state of the eternal God.
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This world which seems as material, will appear to be infused with the spirit of God when it is viewed in its spiritual light, but upon right observation of it, it is neither the one nor the other (but a reflection of divine mind).
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This what neither springs into being nor ceases to exist; but is ever calm and quiet and of one uniform lustre, and swells and extends as the embryo in the womb. (The embryo is to be understood in a spiritual sense from God's conception of the world in his mind).
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The undualistic unity of God, his motionlessness and the solidity of his intelligence, together with the unchangeableness of his nature, prove the eternity of the world, although appearing as instantaneous and evanescent. (The solid intelligence is shown in the instances of solidified water in ice and snow, and in the froth and salt of sea water).
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The solidity of the intellect produces the worlds in the same manner as the congealed water causes the hail-stones, and there is no difference between the existent and nonexistent, since all things are ever existent in the divine mind. (Though appearing now and then to me or you as something new).
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All is good (siva or solus) and quiet, and perfect beyond the power of description;the syllable om is the symbol of the whole, and its components compose the four stages for our salvation. (All is good. And God pronounced all was good. See the quadruple stages comprised in the letter om, in our introduction to the first volume of this work).