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 LXVI - The wonderings of the mendicant

Arguments:—The wanderings of men agreeably to their pursuits, described in the character of the mendicant.

Valmiki related:—

1. After the sages Vasishtha and Viswamitra had taken their seats in the court hall, there met the groups of celestials and siddhas of air, and the monarch of earth and chiefs of men.

2. Then came Rama and Lakshmana with their companions in the court;which shone as a clear lake of lotus-beds unshaken by the gentle breeze, and brightened by the moonbeams glistening amidst it.

3. The sire of sages opened his mouth unasked by any body, and not waiting for the request of any one; because wise men are always kind hearted, and ready to communicate their knowledge to others of their own accord. (Here the sage spoke impromptu, to keep his promise of answering to Rama's query in the preceding chapter, on a future occasion. Gloss).

Vasishtha said:—

4. O. Rama! that art the moon in the sphere of Raghu's family, I have yesternight came to see the mendicant, with the all seeing eye of my intellectual vision after a long time.

5. I revolved over in my mind, and wandered wide and afar to find out where that man was, and so I traversed through all the continents and islands, and passed over all the hills and mountains on earth.

6. I had my head running upon the search, but could not meet anywhere a mendicant of that description; because it is impossible to find in the outer world, the fictions of our air built castle.

7. I then ran in my mind at the last watch of the night, and passed over the regions on the north, as the fleet winds fly over the waves of the ocean.

8. There I saw the extensive and populous country of Jina (China) lying beyond the utmost boundaries of Valmika (Bhalika or Bulkh); where there is a beautiful city, called as Vihara by the inhabitants.

9. There lives a mendicant, named Dirgha drik or foresighted whose head was silvered over with age, and who continues in his close meditation confined in his homely and lovely cottage.

10. He is used to sit there in his meditative mood, for three weeks together at a time, and keep the door of his cell quite fast, for fear of being disturbed in his silent devotion, by the intrusion of outsiders.

11. His dependants are thus kept out of doors for the time, that he is absorbed in meditation.

12. He thus passed his three weeks of deep meditation in seclusion, and it is now a thousand years, that he has been sitting in this manner, in communion with his own mind only.

13. It was in olden times, that there had been a mendicant of his kind, as I have already related unto you;this is the living instance of that sort, and we know not where and when a third or another like this may be found to exist.

14. I was long in quest like a bee in search of flowers, to find such another, in the womb of this lotus like earth, with all possible inquiry on my part.

15. I passed beyond the limit of the present world, and pierced through the mist of future creations, and there I met with what I sought of the resemblance of the present one.

16. As I looked into the world lying in the womb of futurity, and deposited in the intellectual sphere of Brahma; I met with a third one resembling to Brahma in his conduct.

17. So passing through many worlds one after another, I saw many things in futures, which are not in esse in the present world.

18. There I beheld the sages that are now sitting in this assembly, and many more Brahmans also, that are of the nature of these present, as also different from them.

19. There will be this Narada with his present course of life, as also differing from the same; so likewise there will be many others also, with their various modes of life.

20. So likewise there will appear this Vyasa and this Suka; and these Saunaka, Pulaha and Krutu, will reappear in future creations, with their very same natures and characters. (This doctrine of reappearance in a future world, is disbelieved in the sense of the transmigration of souls, but it is taken as strict article of faith by all Christians and Moslems, in the name of regeneration and resurrection which imply the same thing).

21. The same Agastya and Pulastya and the self-same Bhrigu and Angirasa, all of them and all others, will come to re-existence, with their very forms and traits of character. (The dead will rise again in their very bodies &c. Gospel).

22. They will be born and reborn sooner and later, so long as they are under the subjection of this delusion of regeneration and resuscitation; and will retain their similar births and modes of life, like all others to be reborn in this or the future world. (As a Brahman who is twice born on earth, retains his habits as before).

23. So the souls of men revolve repeatedly in the world, like waves rolling for ever in the waters of the sea; some of which retain their very same forms, while others are very nearly so in their reappearance.

24. Some are slightly altered in their figures, and others varying entirely in their forms, never regain their original likeness; so doth this prevailing error of regeneration, delude even the wise to repeated births (from which can never get their liberations). (The desire of revivification or regeneration, is so deeply implanted in all living souls, that no body wants to die but with desire to live again in some future state. "Ye shall not die." Gospel).

25. But what means the long meditation, of twenty days and nights of the mendicant, when a moment's thought of ours, and the results of our bodily actions, are productive of endless births and transformations.

26. Again where is the reality of these forms, which are mere conceptions of the mind; and these ideas and reflections, growing ripe with their recapitulation, appear as full blown flowers to sight; and resemble the water lily at morn, beset by the busy murmur of humming bees.

27. The gross form is produced from pure thought (i.e. the material from the immaterial mind);as a pile of flaming fire is kindled by a minute spark or a ray of sun beam. Such is the formation of the whole fabric of the world.

28. All things are manifest as particles of divine reflection, and each particle exhibiting in it a variety of parts (in its atoms and animalcules); nor are these nor those together are nothing at all, but they all exist in the universal, which is the cause of all cause, and the source of all sources.