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 LIV - Admonition of arjuna in the spiritual knowledge

Arguments said:—

1. The causes of the feelings of Pleasure and Pain, and Happiness and Misery in this world, and the modes and means of their prevention and avoidance.

The lord continued:—

Listen moreover, O mighty armed Arjuna, to the edifying speech, which I am about to deliver unto you, for the sake of your lasting good and welfare.

2. Know O progeny of Kunti, that the perception of the senses, or the feelings conveyed to our minds by the organic sense, such as those of cold and heat and the like, are the causes of our bodily pleasure and pain; but as these are transitory, and come to us and pass away by turns, you must remain patient under them.

3. Knowing neither the one nor the other to be uniform and monotonous, what is it thou callest as real pleasure or pain? A thing having no form or figure of its own, can have no increase or decrease in it.

4. Those who have suppressed the feelings of their senses, by knowing the illusory nature of sensible perceptions; are content to remain quiet with an even tenor of their minds, both in their prosperity and adversity; are verily the men that are thought to taste the ambrosial draught of immortality in their mortal state.

5. Knowing the soul to be the same in all states, and alike in all places and times; they view all differences and accidents of life with indifference, and being sure of the unreality of unrealities, they retain their endurance under all the varying circumstances of life.

6. Never can joy or grief take possession of the common soul, which being ecumenical in its nature, can never be exceptional or otherwise.

7. The unreal has no existence, nor is the positive a negative at any time; so there can be nothing as a positive felicity or infelicity either in any place, when God himself is present in his person every where. (They are all alike to God and Godly soul).

8. Abandon the thoughts of felicity or infelicity of the world (nor be like the laughing or crying philosopher with your one sided view of either the happiness or misery of life), and seeing there is no such difference in the mind of God, stick fast in this last state of indifference to both.

9. Though the intelligent soul, and the external phenomena, are closely situated in the inside and outside of the body; Yet the internal soul is neither delighted nor depressed, by the pleasure or pain which environ the external body.

10. All pleasure and pain relating the material body, touch the mind which is situated in it; but no bodily hurt or debility affects the soul, which is seated beyond it.

11. Should the soul be supposed to participate, in the pleasure or pain which affect the gross body, it is to be understood as caused by the error, rising from our ignorance only.

12. The gross is no reality, and its feelings of pain or pleasure are never real ones, as to touch the intangible soul; for who is so senseless, as not to perceive the wide separation of the soul from the body?

13. What I tell you here, O progeny of Bharata, will surely destroy the error arising from ignorance, by the full understanding of my lectures.

14. As knowledge removes the error and fear of the snake, arising from one's ignorance in a rope; so our misconception of the reality of our bodies and their pleasures and pains, is dispelled by our knowledge of truth.

15. Know the whole universe to be identic with increate Brahma, and is neither produced nor dissolved by itself, knowing this as a certain truth, believe in Brahma only, as the most supreme source of all tree knowledge.

16. You are but a little billow in the sea of Brahma's essence;you rise and roll for a little while, and then subside to rest. You foam and froth in the whirlpool of Brahma's existence, and art no other than a drop of water in the endless ocean of Brahma.

17. As long as we are in action under the command of our general, we act our parts like soldiers in the field; we all live and move in Brahma alone, and there is no mistake of right or wrong in this. (Act well our part and there all honour lies).

18. Abandon your pride and haughtiness, your sorrow and fear, and your desire of pain or pleasure; it is bad to have any duality or doubt in you, be good with your oneness or integrity at all times.

19. Think this in yourself from the destruction of these myriads of forces under your arms, that all these are evolved out of Brahma, and you do more than evolve or reduce them to Brahma himself.

20. Do not care for your pleasure or pain, your gain or loss, and your victory or defeat; but resort only to the unity of Brahma, and know the world as the vast ocean of Brahma's entity.

21. Being alike in or unchanged by your loss or gain, and thinking yourself as nobody; and go on in your proper course of action, as a gust of wind takes its own course.

22. Whatever you do or take to your food, whatever sacrifices you make or any gift that you give to any one, commit them all to Brahma, and remain quiet in yourself. (With an assurance of their happy termination by the help of God).

23. Whoever thinks in his mind, of becoming anything in earnest; he undoubtedly becomes the same in process of time; if therefore you wish to become as Brahma himself, learn betimes to assimilate yourself to the nature of Brahma, in all your thoughts and deeds. (It is imitation of perfection, that gives perfection to man).

24. Let one who knows the great Brahma, be employed in doing his duties as occur unto him, without any expectation and any reward; and as God does his works without any aim, so should the Godly do their works without any object.

25. He who sees the inactive God in all his active duties, and sees also all his works in the inactive Gods; that man is called the most intelligent among men, and he is said the readiest discharger of his deeds and duties.

26. Do not do thy works in expectation of their rewards, nor engage thyself to do any thing that is not thy duty or improper for thee. Go on doing thy duties as in thy yoga or fixed meditation, and not in connection with other's or their rewards.

27. Neither be addicted to active duties, nor recline in your inactivity either; never remain ignorant or negligent of thy duties in life, but continue in thy work with an even temper at all times.

28. That man though employed in business, is said to be doing nothing at all;who does not foster the hope of a reward of his acts, and is ever contented in himself, even without a patron or refuge.

29. It is the addictedness of one's mind to anything, that makes it his action, and not the action itself without such addiction; it is ignorance which is the cause of such tendency, therefore ignorance is to be avoided by all means.

30. The great soul that is settled in divine knowledge; and is freed from its wont or bent to any thing, may be employed in all sorts of works, without being reckoned as the doer of any. (One is named by the work of his profession, and not by his attendance to a thousand other callings in life).

31. He who does nothing, is indifferent about its result (whether of good or evil), this indifference amounts to his equanimity, which leads to his endless felicity, which is next to the state of God-head. (The sentence is climacteric rising from inactivity to the felicity of the Deity).

32. By avoiding the dirt of duality and plurality (of beliefs), betake yourself to your belief in the unity of the supreme spirit, and then whether you do or not do your ceremonial acts, you will not be accounted as the doer.

33. He is called a wise man by the learned, whose acts in life are free from desire or some object of desire; and whose ceremonial acts are burnt away by the fire of spiritual knowledge. (It is said that the merit of ceremonial observances, leads a man only to reward in repeated births; but divine knowledge removes the doom of transmigration, by leading the soul at once to divine felicity, from which no one has to return to revisit the earth.)

34. He who remains with a peaceful, calm, quiet and tranquil equanimity of the soul, and without any desire or a avarice for anything in this world, may be doing his duties here, without any disturbance or anxiety of his mind.

35. The man who has no dispute with any one, but is ever settled with calm and quiet rest of his soul; which is united with the supreme soul, without its Yoga or Ceremonial observance, and is satisfied with whatever is obtained of itself; such a man is deemed as a decoration of this earth.

36. They are called ignorant hypocrites, who having repressed their organs of actions, still indulge themselves in dwelling upon sensible pleasures, by recalling their thoughts in this mind.

37. He who has governed his outward and inward senses, by the power of his sapient mind; and employs his organs of action, in the performance of his bodily functions and discharges of his ceremonial observances without his addictedness to them, is quite different from the one described before.

38. As the overflowing waters of rivers, fall into the profound and motionless body of waters in the sea; so the souls of holy men enter into the ocean of eternal God, where they are attended with a peaceful bliss, which is never to be obtained by avaricious worldlings.