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 XXXIX - Mode of the internal worship of the deity

Argument: The inward form in which, He is worshipped in spirit.

The god resumed:—

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I will now relate to you, the form of the inward worship of the spirit in spirit;which is reckoned as the holy of holies, and dispeller of all darkness.

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This mode of worship depends also on mental meditation, and is conducted in every state of life, whether when one is sitting or walking, or waking or sleeping.

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It requires the supreme Siva, who is always situated in the body of man; and who is the cause of the perception of all things, to be worshipped in spirit and in the spirit of man.

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Whether you think him, as sleeping or rising, walking or sitting; or whether conceive him touching or intangible contact with any thing, or quite unconnected and aloof from every thing about him.

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Or whether you take him as enjoying the gross objects, or shunning them all by his spiritual nature; or as the maker of all outward objects, and the ordainer of all forms of action.—

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Or whether you consider him as remaining quiescent in all material bodies, or that he is quite apart from all substantial forms; you may worship him in whatever form your understanding presents him to you, or what you can best conceive of him in your consciousness.

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Whoever has fallen in and is carried away by the current of his desires and who is purified from his worldliness by the sacred ablution of his good sense; should worship the Siva lingam as the emblem of understanding with the offering of his knowledge of it. (The Lingam is the type of unity, represented by the figure, as the syllable om is the type of trinity expressed by its three letters).

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He may be contemplated in the form of the sun, shining brightly in the sky; as also in that of the moon, which cools the sky with its benign moon beams. (Because the sun and moon are included under the eight forms of as we see in the Prologue to Sakuntala. [Sanskrit: ye he alah vidharttah] etc.).

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He is always conscious in himself of all sensible objects, which are ever brought under his cognizance by means of his senses, as the breath brings fragrance to the nostrils.

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He gives flavour to all sweets, and enjoys the sweetness of his felicity (ananda) in himself; and employs the breathings as his horses, and borne in the car of respiration, sleeps in the cell of the heart.

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Siva is the witness of all sights, and actor of all actions;he enjoys all enjoyments, and remembers all what is known.

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He is well acquainted with all the members of his body, and knows all that is in existence and inexistence; he is brighter than all luminous objects, and is to be thought upon as the all-pervading spirit.

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He is without parts and the totality of all parts, and being situated in the body, he resides in the vacuity of the heart; he is colourless himself and yet paints all things in their variegated colours, and is the sensation of every member of the body.

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He dwells in the faculty of the mind, and breathes in the respirations of the beings;he resides within the heart, throat and palate of the mouth, and has his seat amidst the eyebrows and nostrils (as intelligence and breath of life).

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He is situated beyond the limit of the thirty six categories of the saiva sastras, as also of the ten saktis ([Sanskrit: dashamahavidya]) that are known to the saktas; he moves the heart and gives articulation to sounds, and makes the mind to fly about as a bird of the air.

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He resides both in equivocal and alterative words, and is situated in all things as the oil in sesame seeds.

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He is without the blemish of parts (being a complete whole in himself), and is compact with all the parts of the world taken together. He is situated alike in a part of the lotus-like heart of the wise, as well as in all bodies in general.

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He is as clear as the pure and spotless intellect, and the imputation of parts to him is the work of mere imagination only. He is as palpably seen in everything at all places, as he is perceptible to us in our inward perception of him.

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Though originally of the nature of universal intelligence yet he appears in the form of the individual soul according to the desire of men; and residing in every individual, he is divided into endless dualities (of universal and particular souls).

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Then this God (the intelligent individual soul) thinks himself as an embodied being, endued with hands and legs, and the other parts and members of the body, with its hairs, nails, and teeth.

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He thinks of being possest of manifold and various powers and faculties, and is employed in a variety of actions according to the desires of the mind. He feels glad on being served by his wives and servants (and thinking himself as their master).

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He thinks the mind as a porter at the gate, and conductor of the information of the three worlds unto him; and his thoughts are as the chambermaids, waiting at his door with their pure attires.

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He believes his knowledge of egoism as his greatest power and consort (sakti), and his power of action as his mistress; he thinks his knowledge of various lores to be his decorations only.

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He knows his organs of sense and action to be the doors of the abode of his body, and is conscious of his being the infinite soul and inseparable from the same.

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He knows himself to be full of the universal spirit; filled by and filling others with the same; and bears his admirable figure of the body, by his dependance on the Divine spirit.

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That he is filled with the god-head within him, and is therefore no contemptible soul himself. He never rises nor sets nor is he glad or displeased at any time. (But enjoys the serenity of the Eternal soul).

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He never feels himself satiate or hungry, nor longs after nor forsakes anything; he is ever the same and of an even tenor, temper and conduct and form at all times.

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He retains the gracefulness of his person, the clearness of his mind, and the calmness of his views at all times; he is ever the same since his birth, and the equanimity of his soul never forsakes him at any time.

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He is devoted to the adoration of his God, for longsome days and nights, and the mind abstracted from his body, becomes the object of his worship. (The gloss explains it otherwise, and makes the mindless body the worshipped object).

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This God is worshipped with whatever offerings are available by the devotee, and with all the powers of the understanding, employed in the adoration of the sole Intellectual spirit.

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He is to be worshipped with all things agreeably to the received ritual, and no attempt is to be made to make any offering, which was never made at any time before.

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Man being endued with the body, should worship the Lord with his bodily actions (as prostration, genuflexion &c.); and with all things that conduce to bodily enjoyment.

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So is Siva to be worshipped with eatables and victuals, food and drink of the best and richest kind; and with beddings and seats and vehicles as one may afford to offer.

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Men must also entertain their souls, which are the abodes of the Divine spirit in their bodies; with all kinds of things that they think pleasurable to themselves; such as excellent food and drink and all things affording enjoyment and pleasure.

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They must diligently serve the supreme soul in their souls, under any calamity, difficulty, danger or disease that may befall on them, as also when they are overtaken by illusions of their understandings.

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The ends of all the attempts of mankind in this world, being no more than life, death and sleep, they are all to be employed in the service of the soul of nature.

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Whether reduced to poverty or elevated to royalty, or carried by the currents of casualty; men must always serve their souls, with the flowers of their best endeavours.

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Whether overwhelmed by broils, or buffeting in the waves of mishaps, whether undergoing the troubles or enjoying the comforts of domestic life, men must serve their souls at all times.

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When the gentle beams of fellow feeling, overspread the breast of kind hearted men, and when the sweet influence of sympathy melts the heart, it is then must meet to serve the soul seated in it.

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When a man has restrained the turbulent passions of his breast, by the power of his right judgment; and spread the vest of soft tenderness and sweet content over his heart and mind; let him then worship in its serene aspect within himself.

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Let men worship the soul, on the sudden changes of their fortunes;both when they come to the possession, or loss of their enjoyments. (Because the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken them away).

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The soul should be adhered to and adored, both when you lose or abandon your legal or illegal possession and enjoyment, of anything on earth.

Isha said:—

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the lord of wealth is to be worshipped with relinquishment of all wealth, which one may have got by his own exertion or otherwise. (Give your all to the giver of all).

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Regret not for what is lost, and make use of what you have got; and adore the supreme soul without any inconstancy in your mind and soul.

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Retain your constancy amidst the scene of the wicked pursuits of men, and maintain your vow of the holy devotion of the supreme spirit at all times.

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Every thing appears as good in the sight of the Godly, who view all things in God; and they all seem to be mixed with good and evil to the worshipper of God and Mammon. Therefore look on all things as situated in the divine spirit, and continue in your vow of the adoration of the supreme soul.

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Things which appear as pleasant or unpleasant at first sight, are all to be taken in an equal light, by those that are firm in their vow of the adoration of the one universal soul.

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Give up thinking yourself as such or not such a one, forsake all particularities, and knowing that all is the universal One, continue in your vow of adoring the supreme soul.

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Worship the supreme spirit as it always resides in all things, in their various forms and multifarious changes, and that it is all and all in their modifications also.

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Forsake both your pursuit after or avoidance of any thing, and remaining in your indifference of both extremes, continue in your adoration of the soul at all times.

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Neither seek nor forsake any thing, but receive what comes to thee of itself or by thy own lot; and enjoy all things as the sea does the streams of water, which fall to it of their own accord.

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Fallen (placed) in this wide world of misery, man should take no heed of the lesser or greater sights of woe, that incessantly present themselves to his view. They are as the fleeting tincts and hues that paint the vacuous vault of the skies, and soon vanish into nothing.

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All good and evil betide us by turns at the junction of their proper time, place and action; therefore take them with unconcern to you, and serve your own soul. (Which is same with the soul of souls).

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Whatever things are mentioned as fit offerings of the service of the supreme spirit, it is the equanimity of your soul which is deemed the best and fittest offering. (A contrite spirit is most acceptable unto the Lord).

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Things of different tastes, as the sour, bitter, acid, sharp and pungent, are useless in the service of the spirit; it is the calm and sweet composure of the soul, which is delectable to the holy spirit.

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Equanimity is sweet to taste, and has the supernatural power of transforming every thing to ambrosia. (The man of an even mind, enjoys the sweetness of contentment in every state of life).

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Whatever a man thinks upon with the ambrosial sweetness of his disposition, the same is immediately changed to ambrosia, as the nectarious dew drops under the moon beams.

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Equanimity expands the soul, and gladdens the minds, as the sunlight fills the vault of heaven; and it is the unchangeable sedateness of the mind, which is reckoned as the highest devotion.

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The mind of man must shine with an even lustre, as the bright moon beams in their fullness, and it must blaze with the transparent light of the intellect, as a bright crystal in the sunlight.

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He who is employed in his outward actions of life, with his mind as bright as the clear sky; and which is freed from the mist of worldly affections, is said to be the full knowing devotee.

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The true devotee shines as brightly, as the clear autumnal sky, when the worldly impressions are quite effaced from the heart, and are not seen even in dream, when the cloud of ignorance is cleared away, and the fog of egoism is utterly scattered.

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Let your mind be as clear as the moon, and as spotless as the blazing sun; let it hide the thoughts, of the measurer and measured (i.e. of the creator and created) in it; let it have the simple consciousness of itself, like a newborn child (without its innate ideas); and perceiving only the steady light of the intellect the seed of all intelligence; you will then come to attain the state of highest perfection in your life time.

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Living amidst the fluctuations of pain and pleasure, attending on the lot of all living beings, and occurring at their fixed times and places and actions of man, do you remain in the steady service of your soul—the leader of your body, by tranquilizing all the passions and desires of your heart and mind.

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