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 LXXI - The prince's reply to the first question of the vitala

Arguments said:—

Answer to the first question regarding the Prime cause of all, shows the infinite worlds to be the trees and fruits of that original root.

Vasishtha related:—

The Raja smiled at hearing these questions of the Demon, and as he opened his mouth to give the reply, the lustre of his pearly teeth, shed a brightness on the white vault of the sky. (This shows how much the early Hindus prized their white teeth, though latterly they tinged them with blue vitriol).

2. This world was at first a rudimentary granule (in the Divine mind), and was afterwards encrusted by a dozen of elemental sheaths as its pellicles, skin and bark. (Does it mean the component elements or layers Bhuta-tatwa or Bhu-tatwa).

3. The tree which bears thousands of such fruits, is very high also with its equally out stretching branches, and very long and broad leaves likewise.

4. This great tree is of a huge size and very astounding to sight; it has thousands of prodigious branches spreading wide on every side.

5. There are thousands of such trees, and a dense forest of many other large trees and plants in that person.

6. Thousands of such forests stretch over it, abounding in thousands of mountains with their elevated peaks.

7. The wide extended tracts which contain these mountains, have also very large valleys and dales amidst in them.

8. These wide spread tracts contain also many countries, with their adjacent islands and lakes and rivers too.

9. These thousands of islands also contain many cities, with varieties of edifices and works of art.

10. These thousands tracts of lands, which are sketched out as so many continents, are as so many earths and worlds in their extent.

11. That which contains thousands of such worlds, as the mundane eggs, is as unlimited as the spacious womb of the firmament.

12. That which contains thousands of such eggs in its bosom, bears also many thousands of seas and oceans resting calmly in its ample breast.

13. That which displays the boisterous waves of seas, is the sprightly and sportive soul, heaving as the clear waters of the ocean.

14. That which contains thousands of such oceans, with all their waters in his unconscious womb, is the God Vishnu who filled the universal ocean with his all pervasive spirit. (And the spirit of God floated on the face of the waters, Moses. The waters were the first abode of Narayana).

15. That which bears thousands of such Gods, as a string of pearls about the neck, is the Great God Rudra.

16. That which bears thousands of such Great Gods Mahadevas, in the manner of the hairs on his person; is the supreme Lord God of all.

17. He is that great sun that he shines in a hundred such persons of the Gods, all of whom are but frictions of the rays of that Great source of light and life.

18. All things in the universe are but particles of that uncreated sun; and thus have I explained to you that Intellectual sun, who fills the world with his rays, and shows them light.

19. The all knowing soul is the supreme sun that enlightens the world, and fills all things in it with particles of its rays. (The soul is the sun, whose light of knowledge manifests all things unto us).

20. It is the Omniscient soul, which is that surpassing sun, whose rays produce and show everything to light; and without which as in the absence of the solar light, nothing would grow nor be visible in the outer world. (The sun's heat and light are the life and shower of the sight of the world).

21. All living beings who have their souls enlightened by the light of philosophy, behold the sphere of the universe to be a blaze of the gemming sun of the intellect; and there is not the least tinge of the erroneous conceptions of the material world in it. Know this and hold your peace.[1]

Footnotes and references:


By a figure of speech light and knowledge are synonymous terms, and so are their sources the sun and soul interchangeable to one another. And as the Divine spirit is the creator of all things, so is the sun producer and grower of everything in the visible world. Hence has risen the mistake of taking the sun—the savitar or producer for the Divine soul the creator among the sun worshippers, who believe the sun to be the soul of the universe. (Surya atmājagatah in the sruti). Hence has grown the popular error of address in the Gāyatrī hymn to the sun, which was used as an invocation of the supreme soul, and is still understood as such by theists.