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...
Conversation of a prince and a Vetala, and Dissipation of Error and manifestation of truth.
Life becomes no life (becomes immortal), and the mind turns to no mind, immerges in the soul; no sooner is the cloud of ignorance dispersed by the bright sun beams of right reason. This is the state which is termed moksha or liberation (from error) by the wise.
2. The mind and its egoism and tuism (subjectivity and objectivity), appear as water in the mirage, but all these unrealities vanish away, no sooner we come to our right reason;
3. Attend now to the queries of a vetala, which I come to remember at present, concerning our erroneous and dreaming conception of the phenomenal world, and which will serve to example by the subject of our last lecture.
4. There lived a gigantic vetala in the vast wilderness of the Vindhya mountains, who happened to come out on an excursion to the adjoining districts in search of his prey of human beings.
5. He used to live before in the neighbourhood of a populous city, where he lived quite happy and well satisfied with the victims; which were daily offered to him by the good citizens.
6. He never killed a human being without some cause or harm, although he roved through the city, pinched by hunger and thirst. He walked in the ways of the honest and equitable men in the place.
7. It came to pass in course of time that he went out of the city, to reside in his woody retreat; where he never killed any man, except when pressed by excessive hunger, and when he thought it was equitable for him to do so.
8. He happened to meet there once a ruler of the land, strolling about in his nightly round;to whom he cried out in a loud and appalling voice.
9. The vetala exclaimed:—Where goest thou, O prince, said he, thou art now caught in the clutches of a hideous monster, thou art now a dead man, and hast become my ration of this day.
10. The ruler replied:—Beware, O nocturnal fiend! that I will break thy skull into a thousand pieces, if you will unjustly attempt to kill me by force at this spot, and make thy ration of me.
11. The vetala rejoined:—I do not tell thee unjustly, and speak it rightly unto thee; that as thou art a ruler, it is thy duty to attend to the petition of every body (wherein if thou failest, thou surely diest before me).
12. I request thee, O prince! to solve the questions that I propose to thee; because I believe thou art best able to give a full and satisfactory answer to every one of them. (These questions are dark enigmas, which are explained in the next chapter).
13. Who is that glorious sun, the particles of whose rays, are seen to glitter in the surrounding worlds: and what is that wind (or force), which wafts these dusts of stars, in the infinite space of vacuum.
14. What is that self-same thing, which passes from one dream to another, and assumes different forms by hundreds and thousands, and yet does not forsake its original form.
15. Tell me what is that pithy particle in bodies, which is enveloped under a hundred folds or sheaths, which are laid over and under one another, like the coats or lamina of a plantain tree.
16. What is that minute atom which is imperceptible to the eye, and yet produces this immeasurable universe, with its stupendous worlds and skies, and the prodigious planets on high and mountains below, which are the minutest of that minute particle.
17. What is that shapeless and formless thing atom, which remains as the pith and marrow under the rocks of huge mountains, and which is the substratum of the triple world (of heaven, earth and infernal regions).
18. If you, O wicked soul, fail to answer to these queries, then shalt thou be a killer of thyself, by your being made my food this moment. And know that at the end, I will devour all thy people, as the regent of death destroys every body in the world.