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...
Argument:—Investigation into the Kundalini artery, as the source of consummation.
The seeds of these pentuples are contained in the inside of the great artery, and are expanding every moment by the vibration of the vital breath in the beings.
2. The vibration of the Kundalini being stopped, it roused the intellect by its touch, and the rising of the intellect is attended with rising of the intellectual powers as follows.
3. This intellect is the living principle from its vitality, and the mind from its mental powers; it is the volitive principle from its volition, and is called the understanding, from its understanding of all things.
4. It becomes egoism with its octuple properties called the puryashtakas, and remains as the principle of vitality in the body in the form of the Kundalini artery. (The gloss gives no explanation of the psychological truths).
5. The intellect abides in Kundalini entrails in the form of triple winds. Being deposited in the bowels and passing downwards, it takes the name of the apana wind; moving about the abdomen it is called the samana wind; and when seated in the chest it rises upwards, it is known by the name of the udana wind.
6. The apana wind passing downward evacuates the bowels, but the samana wind of the abdominal part serves to sustain the body; and the udana rising upward and being let out, inflates and invigorates the frame.
7. If after all your efforts, you are unable to repress the passing off of the downward wind; then the person is sure to meet his death, by the forcible and irrepressible egress of the apana wind (this irrepressible egress is called abishtambha). (The translator regrets for his inability to give the English terminology of these psychological words in the original).
8. And when one with all his attempts, is unable to suppress his rising breath of life; but it forces of his mouths or nostrils, it is sure to be followed by his expiration.
9. If one by his continual attention, can succeed to repress the outward and inward egress of his vital breath, and preserve calm quiet of his disposition, he is sure to have his longevity accompanied with his freedom from all diseases.
10. Know that the decomposure of the smaller arteries, is attended with distempers of the body, but the disturbance of the greater arteries is followed by serious consequences. (There are a hundred great arteries, attached to the main conduit of Kundalini, besides hundreds of small veins and nerves diverging from them throughout the body. The yogi has the power of stopping the current of his breath and blood into these by his restraint of respiration—pranayama).
11. Tell me, O holy sage! how our health and sickness connected with the organs and arteries of the body (rather than with the blood and humours circulating through them).
12. Know Rama, that uneasiness and sickness, are both of them the causes of pain to the body;their healing by medicine is their remedy, which is attended with our pleasure; but the killing of them at once by our liberation (from the sensations of pain and pleasure), is what conduces to our true felicity. (Because both health and sickness are attended with but short lived pleasure and pain, and cannot give us the lasting felicity to our souls).
13. Some times the body is subject both to uneasiness and sickness also, as the causes of one another; sometimes they are both alleviated to give us pleasure, and at others they come upon us by turns to cause our pain only.
14. It is ailing of the body, that we call our sickness, and it is the trouble of the mind that we term our uneasiness. Both of them take their rise from our inordinate desires, and it is our ignorance only of the nature of things, that is the source of both. (Our intemperance and covetousness, which are dispelled by our right knowledge).
15. Without the knowledge of the natures and virtues of things, and the want of the government of our desires and appetites, that the heart string loses its tenuity and even course; and is swollen and hurried on by the impulse of passions and inordinate desires.
16. The exultation at having obtained something, and ardour for having more; equally boil the blood of the heart, and shroud the mind under a shadow of infatuation, as an impervious cloud in the rainy weather.
17. The ever increasing greediness of the mind, and the subjection of the intellect under the dominion of foolhardiness, drives men to distant countries in search of a livelihood. (One's natal land is enough to supply him with a simple living).
18. Again the working at improper seasons (as at night and in rain and heat), and the doing of improper actions;the company of infamous men, and aptitude to wicked habits and practices.
19. The weakness and fulness of the intestines caused by sparing food on the one hand, and its excess on the other, cause the derangement of the humours and the disorder of the constitution.
20. It is by cause of this disordered state of the body, that a great many diseases grow in it, both by reason of the deficit as well as the excess of its humours; as a river becomes foul both in its fulness and low water in the rain and summer heat.
21. As the good or bad proclivities of men, are the results of their actions of prior and present births, so the anxieties and diseases of the present state, are the effects of the good and bad deeds both of this life as also those of the past.
22. I have told you Rama, about the growth of the diseases and anxieties in the quintessential bodies of men;now hear me tell you the mode of extirpating them from the human constitution.
23. There are two sorts of diseases here common to human nature, namely—the ordinary ones and the essential; the ordinary ones are the occurrences of daily life, and the essential is what is inborn in our nature. (The ordinary cares for supplying our natural wants are of the first sort, and the inbred errors and affections of the mind are of other kind).
24. The ordinary anxieties are removed by the attainments of the objects in want; and the diseases growing out of them, are also removed by the removal of our anxious cares.
25. But the essential infirmities of one's dispositions, being bred in the blood and bone, cannot be removed from the body, without the knowledge of the soul; as the error of the snake in the rope, is removed only by examination of the rope. (So the affection will be found to rise in the mind and not rooted in the soul).
26. The erroneous affections of the mind, being known as the source of the rise of all our anxious cares and maladies;it is enough to put a stop to this main spring in order to prevent their outlets, so the stream that breaks its banks in the rains, carries away the arbours that grew by it in its rapid course. (The fissures of stopping the source, and breaking out of the course, are quite opposed to one another).
27. The non-essential or extrinsical diseases that are derived from without, are capable of being removed by the application of drugs, the spell of mantras and propitiating as well as obviating charms; as also by medicaments and treatments, according to the prescriptions of medical science and the practice of medical men.
28. You will know Rama, the efficacy of baths and bathing in holy rivers, and are acquainted with the expiatory mantras and prescriptions of experienced practitioners; and as you have learnt the medical Sastras, I have nothing further to direct you in this matter.
29. But tell me sir, how the intrinsic causes produce the external diseases; and how are they removed by other remedies than those of medicinal drugs, as the muttering of mantra incantations and observance of pious acts and ceremonies.
30. The mind being disturbed by anxieties the body is disordered also in its functions, as the man that is overtaken by anger, loses the sight of whatever is present before his eyes.
31. He loses sight of the broad way before him, and takes a devious course of his own; and like a stag pierced with arrows, flies from the beaten path and enters himself amidst the thickest.
32. The spirit being troubled, the vital spirits are disturbed and breathe out by fits and snatches; as the waters of a river being disturbed by a body of elephants, rise above its channel and over flow the banks. (Violent passions raging in the breast burst out of and break down their bounds).
33. The vital airs breathing irregularly, derange the lungs and nerves and all the veins and arteries of the body; as the misrule in the government, puts the laws of the realm into disorder.
34. The breathings being irregular, unsettles the whole body; by making the blood vessels quite empty and dry in some parts, and full and stout in others, resembling the empty and full flowing channels of rivers.
35. The want of free breathing is attended both with indigestion and bad digestion of the food, and also evaporation of the chyle and blood that it produces; and these defects in digestion, bring forth a great many maladies in the system.
36. The vital breaths carry the essence of the food we take to the inferior organs, as the currents of a river carry the floating woods down the stream.
37. The crude matter which remains in the intestines, for want of its assimilation into blood, and circulation in the frame by restraint of breathing; turn at the end to be sources of multifarious maladies in the constitution.
38. Thus it is that the perturbed states of the mind and spirit, produce the diseases of the body, and are avoided and removed by want of mental anxiety. Now hear me tell you, how the mantra-exorcism serve to drive away the diseases of the body.
39. As the karitaki fruit (chebule myrobalan) is purgative of its own nature, and purges out the crudities from the bodies; so the headwork into the mysterious meaning of the mantras, removes the crude diseases from the frame. (Such are the mystic letters ya, ra, la, va, in the liquids y, r, l, v), signifying the four elements of earth, water, air and fire; curative of many diseases by reflection on their hidden meaning.
40. I have told you Rama, that pious acts, holy service, virtuous deeds and religious observances, serve also to drive the diseases from the body; by their purifying the mind from its impurities, as the gold is depurated by the touch stone.
41. The purity of the mind produces a delight in the body; as the rising of the full moon, spreads the gentle moonbeams on earth. (Every good act is attended with a rapture, recompenses the deed; or as the maxim goes "virtue has its own reward").
42. The vital airs breathe freely from the purity of the mind, and these tending to help the culinary process in the stomach, produce the nutrition of the body, and destroy the germ of its diseases. (The germs of growth and decay and of life and death, are both connate in the nature of all living beings; and the increase of the one, is the cause of the decrease of the other).
43. I have thus far related to you, Rama! concerning the causes of the rise and fall of the diseases and distempers of the living body, in connection with the subject of the main artery of Kundalini; now hear me relate to you regarding the main point of one's attainment of consummation or siddhi by mean of his yoga practice.
44. Now know the life of the puryashtaka or octuple human body, to be confined in the Kundalini artery, as the fragrance of the flower is contained in its inner filament.
45. It is when one fills the channel of this great artery with his inhaling breath, and shuts it at its mouth (called the Kurma opening), and becomes as sedate as a stone; he is then said to have attained his rock like fixity and firmness, and his siddhi or consummation of garima or inflation.
46. Again when the body is thus filled with the inflated air, and the wind confined in the Kundalini artery, is carried upwards by the vital breath (of respiration), from the base or fundamental tube at the bottom, to the cell of the cranium in the head, it touches the consciousness seated in the brain, and drives away the fatigue of the process. (This is called the ascent of the vital air in its heavenward journey).
47. Thence the wind rises upward as smoke into the air, carrying with it the powers of all the arteries attached to it like creepers clinging to a tree; and then stands as erect as a stick, with its head lifted upwards like the hood of a snake. (The art of mounting in the air, is as the act of jumping and leaping into it).
48. Then this uprising force carries the whole body, filled with wind from its top to toe into the upper sky; as an aerosol floats upon the water, or as air balloon rises in the air. (The early Hindus are thus recorded to have made their aerial journeys by force of the inflated air, instead of the compressed gas smoke of modern discovery).
49. It is thus that the yogis make their aerial excursions, by means of the compression of air in the wind pipes in their bodies; and are as happy (in their descrying the scattered worlds all about), as poor people feels themselves at having the dignity of the king of Gods. (Indra).
50. When the force of the exhaling breath (rechaka prabaha) of the cranial tube, constrains the power of the Kundalini, to stand at the distance of twelve inches in the out side of the upper valve between eye-brows.
51. And as the same exhaling makes it remain there for a moment by preventing its entering into any other passage, it is at that instant that one comes to see the supernatural beings before his sight. (It is said in phrenology, that fixed attention, farsightedness and supernatural vision, are seated between the eye-brows).
52. Tell me sir, how we may be able to see the supernatural siddhas, without feeling them by the rays and light of our eye sight, and without having any supernatural organ of perception of our own.
53. It is true, Rama, as you say, that the aerial spirit of siddhas, are invisible to earthly mortals with the imperfect organs of their bodies, and without the aid of supernatural organs.
54. It is by means of the clairvoyance obtained by the practice of yoga, that the aerial and beneficent siddhas became visible to us like the appearances in our dreams.
55. The sight of the siddhas is like that of persons in our dream, with this difference only, that the sight of a siddha is fraught with many real benefits and blessings accruing thereby unto the beholder.
56. It is by the practice of posting the exhaled breath, at the distance of twelve inches on the outside of the mouth, that it may be made to enter into the body of another person. (This is the practice of imparting one's spirit into the body of another person, and of enlivening and raising the dead).
57. But tell me sir, how you maintain the immutability of nature (when everything is seen to be in the course of its incessant change at all times). I know you will not be displeased at this interruption to your discourse, because good preachers are kindly disposed, to solve even the intricate of their hearers.
58. It is certain that the power known as nature, is manifest in the volition of the spirit, in its acts of the creation and preservation of the world. (Here nature is identified with eternal will of God).
59. Nature being nothing in reality, but the states and powers of things; and these are seen some times to differ from one another, as the autumnal fruits are found to grow in the spring at Assam (these varieties also called their nature).
60. All this universe is one Brahma or the immensity of God, and all its variety is the unity of the same. (i.e. the various modalities of the unvaried one); these different existences and appearances, are only our verbal distinctions for ordinary purposes, and proceeding from our ignorance of the true nature of Brahma. We know not why these words concerning divine nature, which are irrelevant to the main subject, are introduced in this place.
61. Tell me sir, how our bodies are thinned as well as thickened, in order to enter into very narrow passages as also to feel and occupy large spaces (by means of the anima and garima yogas, of minimizing the body to an atomic spright and of magnifying it to a stalwart giant).
62. As the attrition of the wood and saw, causes a split in the midst; and as the friction of two things (as of a flint and stone) produces a fire between them, in the same manner doth the confrication of the inhaling and exhaling breath, divide the two prana and apana gases, and produce the jatharagni in the abdomen. (The prana air is explained elsewhere as passing from the heart through the mouth and nostrils, and the apana as that which passes from the region of the navel to the great toe. The jatharagni is rendered some where as gastric fire).
63. There is a muscle in the abdominal part of these ugly machine of the internal body, which extends as a pair of bellows both above and below the navel, with their mouths joined together and shaking to and fro like a willow moved by the water and air.
64. It is under these bladder that the kundalini artery rest in her quiescent state; and ties as a string of pears in a casket of the yellow padmariya james. (This place under the navel is called the muladhara, whence the aorta strength upwards and downwards).
65. Here the kundalini string turns and twirls round like a string beads counted about the finger; and coils also with its reflected head and a hissing sound like the hood of a snake stricken by a stick (it requires too much anatomy to show these operations of the arteries).
66. It thrills in the string of the lotus like heart, as a bee flutters over the honey cup of the lotus flower; and it kindles our knowledge in the body like the luminous sun amidst the earth and sky. (It gives action to the heart string, which arises its cognitive faculties).
67. It is then that the action of the heart, moves all the blood vessels in the body to their several functions;as the breeze of the outer air, shakes the leaves of trees.
68. As the high winds rage in the sky and break down the weaker leaves of the branches of trees, so do the vital airs coil in the body and crush the soft food, that has been taken in the stomach.
69. As the winds of the air batter the lotus leaves, and at last dissolve them into the native element; so the internal winds break down the food like the leaves of trees, and convert the food ingested in the stomach into chyle, blood, flesh, skin, fat, marrow and bones one after another.
70. The internal airs clash against one another the produce of the gastric fire, as the bamboos in the wood produce the living fire by their friction.
71. The body which is naturally cold and cold-blooded, becomes heated in all its parts by this internal heat, as every part of the world becomes warmed by the warmth of the sun.
72. This internal fire which pervades throughout the frame and flutters like golden bees over the loti-form heart, is meditated upon as twinkling stars in the minds of the ascetic yogis.
73. Reflections of these lights are attended with the full blaze of intellectual light, whereby the meditative yogi sees in his heart objects, which are situated at the distance of millions of miles from him. (This is called the consummation of clairvoyance or divyadrishti).
74. This culinary fire being continually fed by the fuel of food, continues to burn in the lake of the lotus-like muscle of the heart, as the submarine fire burns latent in the waters of the seas.
75. But the clear and cold light which is the soul of the body, bears the name of the serene moon; and because it is the product of the other fire of the body, thence called the samagni or the residence of the moon and fire (its two presiding divinities).
76. All hotter lights in the world are known by the names of suns (as the planetary and cometary bodies); and all colder lights are designated as moons (as the stars and satellites) and as these two lights cherish the world, it is named as the suryagni and somagni also.
77. Know after all the world to be a manifestation of the combination of intelligence and ignorance (i.e. of the intellect and soul matter), as also of an admixture of reality and unreality among who has made it as such in himself manifest in this form.
78. The learned call the light of intelligence, by the terms knowledge, sun and fire, and designate the unrealities of ignorance, by the names of dullness and darkness, ignorance and the coldness of the moon.
(i.e. There are antithetical words expressive of Intelligence and ignorance; the former designated as the light of knowledge and reason, the daylight and the light of lamp &c., and the latter as the darkness of night, and the coldness of frost &c.).
79. I well understand that the product of the air of breath
&c. (by their friction as said before); and that the air proceeds from the moon, but tell me sir, whence comes the moon into existence?
80. The fire and moon are the mutual causes and effects of one another, as they are mutually productive as well as destructive of each other by turns.
81. Their production is by alternation as that of the seed and its sprout (of which no body knows is the cause or effect of the other). Their reiteration is as the return of day and night, (of which we know not which precedes the other). They last awhile and are lost instantly like the succession of light and shade (the one producing as also destroying the other).
82. When these opposites come to take place at the one and same time, you see them stand side by side as in the case of the light and shade occurring into the daytime, but when they occur at different times, you then see the one only at a time without any trace of the other, as in the occurrence of the daylight and nocturnal gloom by turns. (These two are instances of the simultaneous and separate occurrence of the opposites. Gloss).
83. I have also told you of two kinds of causality; namely, the one in which the cause is co-existent with its effect, and the other wherein the effect comes to appearance after disappearance of its cause or the antecedent.
84. It is called the synchronous causation which is coeval with its effect, as the seed is coexistent with its germ, and the tree is contemporaneous with the produced seed.
85. The other is named the antecedent or preterite cause, which disappears before the appearance of its consequent effect; as the disappearance of the day is the cause of its subsequent night; and the preteriteness of the night, causes the retardation of the following day. (In plain words it is the concurrence and distance of the cause and effect, called the [Sanskrit: samavayo] and [Sanskrit: amasavayo karana] or the united or separate causality in Nyaya-terminology).
86. The former kind of the united cause and effect (called the [Sanskrit: sadrupa parinama] (i.e. the presence of both causality and its effectuality);is exemplified in the instance of the doer and the earthen pot, both of which are in existence; and this being evident to sight, requires no example to elucidate it.
87. The kind of the disunited cause and effect (called the [Sanskrit: binasharupa parinama] in which the effect is unassociated with its (cause); the succession of day and night to one another, is a sufficient proof of the absence of its antecedent causality. (This serves as an instance of an unknown cause, and hence we infer the existence of a pristine darkness, prior to the birth of day-light [Sanskrit: tame asit] teomerant).
88. The rationalists that deny the causality of an unevident cause, are to be disregarded as fools for ignoring their own convictions, and must be spurned with contempt. (They deny the causality of the day and night to bring one another by their rotation which no sensible being (can ignore). They say [Sanskrit: dinasa ratri nirmmasa katritamsti])
89. Know Rama, that an unknown and absent cause is as evident as any present and palpable cause, which is perceptible to the senses; for who can deny the fact, that it is the absence of fire that produces the cold, and which is quite evident to every living body.
90. See Rama, how the fire ascends upward in the air in form of fumes, which take the shape of clouds in the azure sky, which being transformed afterwards into fire (electricity); becomes the immediate cause of the moon (by its presence [Sanskrit: ajnat karana]).
91. Again the fire being extinguished by cold, sends its watery particles upwards, and this moisture produces the moon, as the absent or remote cause of the same. ([Sanskrit: mauna karana]).
92. The submarine fire likewise that falls into the feeding on the foulness of the seven oceans, and swallows their briny waters, disgorges their gases and fumes in the open air, and these flying to the upper sky in the form of clouds, drop down their purified waters in the form of sweet milky fluids in the milky ocean (which gives birth to the milk white moon). (It is said that there is an apparatus in the bosom of the clouds, for purifying the impure waters rising in vapours in the atmosphere from the earth and seas below).
93. The hot sun also devours the frigid ball of the moon or (the moon beams), in the conjunction at the dark fortnight (amavasya), and then ejects her out in their opposition in the bright half of every month, as the stork throws off the tender stalk of the lotus which it has taken. (The sun is represented to feed on, and let out the moon beams by turns in every month).
94. Again the winds that suck up the heat and moisture of the earth in the vernal and hot weather, drop them down as rain water in the rainy season, which serves to renovate the body of exhausted nature. (This passage is explained in many ways from the homonymous word some of which it is composed; and which severally means the moon, the handsome, the soma plant and its juice).
95. The earthly water being carried up by the sun beams, which are called his karas or hands, are converted into the solar rays, which are the immediate cause of fire. (Here the water which is by its nature opposed to fire, becomes the cause of that element also).
96. Here the water becomes fire both by privation of its fluidity and frigidity, which is the remote cause of its formation as also by its acquirement of aridity or dryness and calidity or warmth; which is the immediate of its transformation to the igneous element. (This is an instance of the double or mixed causality of water in the production of fire. Gloss).
97. The fire being absent, there remains the presence of the moon; and the absence of the moon, presents the presence of fire.
98. Again the fire being destroyed, the moon takes its place; in the same manner, as the departure of the day introduces the night in lieu of it.
99. Now in the interval of day and night, and in the interim of daylight and darkness, and in the midst of shade and light, there is a midmost point and a certain figure in it, which is unknown to the learned. (This point which is neither this nor that, nor this thing or any other, is the state of the inscrutable Brahma).
100. That point is no nullity nor an empty vacuity (because it is neither the one or the other). Nor it is a positive entity and the real pivot and connecting link of both sides. It never changes its central place between both extremes of this and that, or the two states of being and not being.
101. It is by means of the two opposite principles of the intelligent soul and inert matter, that all things exist in the universe; in the same manner, as the two contraries of light and darkness bring on the day and night in regular succession. (so the self moving and self shining sun is followed by the dull and dark moon, which moves and shines with her borrowed force and light).
102. As the course of the world commenced with the union of mind and matter, or the mover and the moved from the beginning;so the body of the moon, came to be formed by an admixture of aqueous and nectarious particles in the air. (The body of the moon formed of the frozen waters, were early impregnated with the ambrosial beams of the sun). (This bespeaks of the creation of the solar orb prior to the formation of the satellite of the earth).
103. Know Rama, the beams of the sun to be composed of fire or igneous particles, and the solar light to be the effulgence of the intellect; and the body of the moon to be but a mass of dull darkness (unless it is lighted by its borrowed light from the sun). (The sun is said to shine with intellectual light, because it disperses the outer gloom of the world, as the other removes the darkness of the mind. Gloss).
104. The sight of the outward sun in the sky, destroys the out spreading darkness of night; but the appearance of the intellectual luminary, dispels the overspreading gloom of the world from the mind.
105. But if you behold your intellect in the form of the cooling moon, it becomes as dull and cold as that satellite itself; just as if you look at a lotus at night, you will not find it to be as blooming as at sunshine (but may be at the danger of contracting lunacy or stupefaction of the intellect by looking long at the cold luminary).
106. Fire in the form of sun light enlightens the moon, in the same manner as the light of the intellect illumes the inner body (lingadeha);our consciousness is as the moonlight of the inner soul, and is the product of the sun beams of our intellect. (So says the Bharata:—As the sun illumes the worlds so doth the intellect enlighten the soul).
107. The intellect has no action, it is therefore without attribute or appellation; it is like light on the lamp of the soul, and is known as any common light from the lantern which shows it to the sight.
108. The avidity of this intellectual after the knowledge of the intelligibles, brings it to the intelligence of the sensible world; but its thirst after the unintelligible one, is attended with the precious gain of its Kaivalya or oneness with the self same one. (Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for spiritual knowledge, for they shall verily be satisfied therewith).
109. The two powers of the fire and moon (agni-soma), are to be known as united with one another in the form of the body and its soul, and their union is expressed in the scriptures as the contact of the light and lighted room with one another, as the reflexion of the sunshine on the wall. (The two powers of igneous and lunar lights are represented in the conjoined bodies of the Agni soma deities).
110. They are also known to be separately of themselves, in different bodies and at different times; such as bodies addicted to dullness, are said to be actuated by the lunar influence;and persons advancing in their spirituality, are said to be led on by force of the solar power.
111. The rising breath (prana) which of its nature hot and warm, is said to be Agni's or igneous;and setting breath of apana which is cold and slow is termed the soma or lunar, they abide as the light and shade in every body, the one rising upward and passing by the mouth, and the other going down by the anus.
112. The apana being cooled gives rise to the fiery hot breath of prana, which remains in the body like the reflexion of something in a mirror.
113. The light of the intellect produces the brightness of consciousness, and the sun-beams reflect themselves as lunar orbs; in the dew drops on lotus leaves at early dawn.
114. There was a certain consciousness in the beginning of creation, which with its properties of heat and cold as those of agni and soma; came to be combined together in the formation of human body and mind.
115. Strive Rama, to settle yourself at that position of the distance of out side the mouth apana, where the sun and moon of the body (i.e. the prana and apana breaths) meet in conjunction—amavasya.