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 XXXVIII - On the external worship of the deity

Argument: The External worship of God in his outward temple, with bodily acts and service. And also of Internal adoration in spirit or the Way to Liberation.

The god continued:—

1. This god who is the supreme Lord, is the adorable one of the wise; in the form of the intellect and conscious soul, and as all pervading and support of all.

2. He is situated alike in the pot and painting, in the tree and hut, in the vehicle and in all men and brute animals; under the several names of Siva, Hara, and Hari, as also of Brahma, Indra, Agni, and Yama.

3. He is in the inside and outside of all as the universal soul, and always dwells in spirit and in the soul of every wise person. This Lord is worshipped in various forms by different people in the many modes as described below.

4. Hear me first relate to you, O great sage! how this god is worshipped in the outward form and formulas; and you will next hear me relate unto you, the inward form in which he is worshipped in spirit.

5. In all forms of worship you must cease to think of your body, and separate your mind from your person, however purified it may be (By your ablution and the like). You must then apply your mind diligently to think of the pure and bodiless soul, which witnesseth the operations of the body from its inside.

6. His worship consists in his inward meditation only, and in no other mode of outward worshipping, therefore apply your mind in the adoration of the universal soul, in its meditation in your soul only.

7. He is of the form of the intellect, the source of all light and glorious as millions of suns; He is the light of the inward intellect, and the receptacle (origin) of egoism and tuism. (i.e. of the subjective and objective).

8. His head and shoulders reach above the heaven of heavens, and lotus like feet descend far below the lowest abyss of vacuity.

9. His arms extend to the endless bounds of all sides and space; and hold in them the many worlds in the infinite firmament as their wielding weapons and arms.

10. The worlds rolling over one another, rest in a corner of his capacious bosom; His effulgence passes beyond the limit of the unlimited vacuum, and his person stretches beyond all imaginable bounds. (Extends through all extent, Pope).

11. Above, below, in all four quarters and in all sides of the compass, he extends unspent and without end; and is beset in all sides by the host of gods, Brahma, Rudra, Hari and Indra, and the demi gods also.

12. These series of creatures are to be considered as the rows of hairs on his body; and the different courses of their actions, are as the strings binding the machines of the world together.

13. His will and destiny are powers proceeding from his person, as his active agencies in nature, such is the Lord—the supreme one, who is always to be worshipped by the best of men.

14. He is the intellect only and the conscious soul, the all pervading and the all supporting spirit; and resides alike in the pot and painting, as in the moving car as also in living animals.

15. He is Siva, Hari, and Hara, Brahma, Indra, Fire, and Yama; He is the receptacle of endless beings, and the aggregate body of all essences or the sole entity of entities.

16. He contains this mundane sphere, together with all the worlds with their mountains and all other contents in himself; and the all powerful time which hurls them ever onward, is the warder at the doorway of his eternity.

17. The great god Mahadeva, is to be thought upon as dwelling in some part of this body of eternity and infinity, with his body and its members, and with a thousand ears and eyes. (This is same with the macrocosm of viraj in the vedas).

18. This figure has moreover a thousand heads and a thousand hands with their decorations. It has as many eyes all over its body with their powers of sight and so many ears also with their power of hearing.

19. It has the powers of feeling or touch and taste all over its person, as also, the power of hearing in the whole body, and that of thinking in its mind within.

20. It is however wholly beyond all conception, and is perfectly good and gracious to all. It is always the doer of all things that are done, and the bestower of every blessing on all beings.

21. It is always situated in the inside of all beings; and is the giver of strength and energy to all. Having thought upon the Lord of Gods in this manner, the devotee is to worship him in the usual method of the ritual.

22. Now hear me tell you, that are best acquainted with Brahma, of the mode of worshipping him in spirit; which consists only in adoring him in the conscious soul, and not in presenting offerings unto him.

23. It requires no illumination nor fumigation of incense; It has no need of flowers or decorations, nor does require the oblations of rice or sprinkling of perfumes or sandal paste.

24. It needs no exhalation of saffron or camphor, nor any painting or other things (as chouriflappers and the like); nor has it any need of pouring the water, which is easily obtainable every where.

25. It is only by effusion of the nectareous juice of the understanding, that the god is worshipped; and this is styled the best kind of meditation and adoration of deity by the wise.

26. The pure intellect which is known to be always present within one's self, is to be constantly looked into and sought after, heard about, and felt both when one is sleeping or sitting or moving about.

27. By constantly talking on the subject, and resuming the inquiry after leaving it off, one becomes fully conscious of himself; and then he should worship his lord the self-same soul in his meditation of it.

28. The offering of the heart in meditation of the Lord, is more delectable to him than the sweetest articles of food, offered with the choices and most fragrant flowers.

29. Meditation joined with self-consciousness or contriteness of soul, is the best padya and arghya water and offering that is worthy of the Lord; because the best meditation is that which is accompanied with the flower—self offering to the Lord. (For naught avails the most intense meditation of the mind, when the heart and soul are not devoted to the service of the Lord).

30. Without this kind of meditation, it is impossible the supreme soul in one's self; and therefore spiritual meditation is said to abound with the grace of God and the greatest enjoyment of happiness and prosperity. (So the sruti:—Meditation in spirit is attended with all enjoyment and felicity).

31. As the animal or irrational soul enjoys all its pleasures, in the abode of its body;so the rational and spiritual soul derives all its happiness from meditation. (Because the Lord being full of felicity, pours out the same into the spirit of his devotee).

32. The ignorant man that meditates on the Lord, for a hundred twinklings of the eye; obtains in reward thereof, the merit of making the gift of a milch-cow to a Brahman.

33. The man who worships the Lord in his soul, for half an hour in this manner; reaps the reward of making a horse sacrifice (according to law).

34. He who meditates on the Lord in spirit and in his own spirit, and presents the offering of his reflections unto him, is entitled to the merit of making a thousand horse sacrifices.

35. Whoso worships the Lord in this manner for a full hour, receives the reward of making the Raj sacrifice; and by worshipping him in this form in the midday; he obtains the merit of making many thousands sacrifices of such kind.

36. The man who worships him in this way for a whole day, settles in the abode of the deity. This is called the superior yoga meditation, and the best service of the Lord, as also the external adoration of the soul.

37. This mode of holy adoration destroys all sins; and whoso practices it for a minute with a steady mind, he is certainly entitled to the venerations of gods and demigods, and placed in the rank of emancipated spirits like myself.