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 LXXXII - Yoga instructions for acquirement of the supernatural powers of anima-minuteness &c.

Argument:—Means of acquiring the Quadruple Capacities of Anima minima, Mahima-maxima, Laghima-lightness and Garima-heaviness, together with the power of entering into the bodies of others.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. Hear me now tell you, how the bodies of yogis are capable of expansion and contraction at will; as to be multum in parvo;and parvum in multo.

2. There is above the lotus-like diaphragm of the heart, a blazing fire emitting its sparks, like gold coloured butterflies flirting about it, and flaring as flashes of lightning in the evening clouds. (This is the jatharagni or culinary fire).

3. It is fanned and roused by the enkindling animal spirit, which blows over it as with the breath of the wind; it pervades the whole body without burning it, and shines as brightly as the sun in the form of our consciousness.

4. Being then kindled into a blaze in an instant, like the early raise of the rising sun gleaming upon the morning clouds; it melts down the whole body (to its toes and nails), as the burning furnace dissolves the gold in the crucible. (It is impossible to make out anything of this allegory).

5. Being unextinguishable by water, it burns the whole outer body down to the feet; and then it coils inside the body, and remains in the form of the mind in the ativahika or spiritual body of man. (It is hard to find out the hidden sense of this passage also).

6. Having then reduced the inner body likewise, it becomes lifeless of itself;and becomes extinct as the frost at the blowing of winds (or blast of a tempest).

7. The force of the Kundalini or intestinal canal, being put out to the fundamental artery of the rectum; remains in the vacuity of the spiritual body, like a shadow of the smoke of fire.

8. This smoky shade parades over the heart like a swarthy maiden, and encloses in her bosom the subtile body composed of its mind and understanding, the living principle and its egoism.

9. It has the power to enter into the porous fibres of lotuses to penetrate the rocks, to stretch over the grass, to pop into houses and stones, to pry in the sky and ply in the ground, and remain and move about everywhere in the manner it likes of its own will. (This power is called sakti or energy which is omnipotent).

10. This power produces consciousness and sensibility, by the sap and serum which it supplies to the whole body; and is itself filled with juice, like a leather bag that is dipped into a well or water.

11. This great artery of Kundalini being filled with gastric juice, forms the body in any shape it likes; as an artist draws the lines of a picture in any form, as it is pictured in his mind. (Hence it depends on the gastric artery to extend and sketch out the body according to its own plan).

12. It supplies the embryonic seed placed in the foetus of the mother, with the power of its evolution into the fleshy and bony parts of its future body; as the tender sprout of the vegetative seed, waxes in time to a hard woody tree. (The act of evolution is attributed in the text to the triple causality of the physical nutrition in the stomach, the metaphysical cause of the intensity of thought in the growing mind, and the psychological tendency of the soul, produced from the fourth and prime cause of its prior propensity, which is inbred in grain and essential nature of every being, the intense thought is called [Sanskrit: hridaya bhavna]).

13. Know Rama, this certain truth which is acknowledged by the wise, that the living principles acquire its desired state and stature, be it that of a mountain or bit of straw. (This passage supports the free agency of man to go in either way in opposition to the doctrine of blind fatalism, and the arbitrary power of the Divine will).

14. You have heard, O Rama! of certain powers as of diminishing and increasing the bulk and stature of the body, attainable by the practice of yoga;you will now hear me give you an interesting lecture, regarding the attainment of these capacities by means of knowledge or jnana. (This is the theory or theoretical part of the practice or practical art of yoga).

15. Know for certain that there is but only one intelligent principle of the Intellect, which is inscrutable, pure and most charming; which is minuter than the minutest, perfectly tranquil and is nothing of the mundane world or any of its actions or properties.

The same chit said:—

16. intellect being collected in itself into an individuality (by its power of chayana integration) from the undivided whole, and assuming the power of will or volition—sankalpa itself, becomes the living soul by transformation of its pure nature to an impure one. (This power of integration is said to be a fallacy adyasa or misconception—adhyaropa of human mind, which attributes a certain quality to a thing by mistake or aropa as [Sanskrit: paratra parababhasah]: or mistaking a thing for another e. g. [Sanskrit: shuktau ratratavadabhasah]: i.e. taking the shell for silver from its outward appearance.

17. The will is a fallacy, and the body is a mistake;(because there is no mutation of volition or personality of the infinite intellect); and the ignor alone distinguish the living soul from the universal spirit, as the ignorant boy sees the demon in a shadow. (All these are false attributes of the true one).

18. When the lamp of knowledge brings the mind to the full light of truth, then the error of volition is removed from the living soul, as the cloud of the rainy weather are dissipated in Autumn.

19. The body has its rest, after the wishes have subsided in the mind;just as the lamp is extinguished after its oil is exhausted. (Mental anxieties cause the restlessness of the body).

20. The soul that sees the truth, has no more the knowledge of his body;as the man awakened from his sleep, has no longer the apparitions of his dream appearing before him.

21. It is the mistaking of the unreal for the real or what is the same, the ascribing of reality to the unreality that gives the colour of reality to false material bodies; but the knowledge of the truth removes the error of the corporal body, and restore the soul to its wonted splendour and true felicity.

22. But the error of taking the material body for the immaterial soul, is so deep rooted in the mind; that it is as difficult to remove, as it is for the strongest sun beams to perceive the mental gloom of men.

23. This impervious darkness of the mind, is only to be perceived by the sun-shine of knowledge; that our soul is the seat of immaculate and all pervading spirit of God, and that I myself am no other than the pure intellect which is in me. (The anal Huq of Mansur).

24. Those that have known the supreme soul meditate on it in this manner in their own souls, until they find themselves to be assimilated to the same by their extensive thought of it. (Here we have the curious doctrine of strong thought drirha-bhavana of Vasishtha again which inculcates the possibility of one's being whatever he strongly thinks himself to be. It is allied to the doctrine of the strength of belief—faith and bhakti of others).

25. It is hence, O Rama! that some men convert the deadly poison to sweet ambrosial food, and change the delicious nectar to bitter gall. (Thus Siva the God and yogi converts the snake poison to his food and the sweets offered to his topmost mouth to the bitterest bane).

26. So whatever is thought upon with intensity in any manner and on any occasion, the same comes to take place as it is seen in many instances.

27. The body when seen in the light of a reality, is found to be a real existence; but being looked upon as an unreality, it vanishes into nothing (or it mixes in the vacuity of Brahma).

28. You have thus heard from me, o righteous Rama! the theoretical mode (jnana-yukti) of attaining the capacities of magnifying and minimizing one's person at will; I will now tell you of another method of gaining these powers, to which you shall have now to attend.

29. You can practice by exhalation of your rechaka breath, to extract your vital power (life) from the cell of your Kundalini artery, and infuse it into another body; as the winds of the air, carry the fragrance of flowers into the nostrils. (This is the mode of ones forsaking its own body in order to enliven another).

30. The former body is left lifeless like a log of wood or block of stone, and such is the relation between the body and life; as that of a bucket and its water, which is powered out to enliven the plants.

31. Thus is the life infused in all movable and immovable things, in order to enjoy the pleasures of their particular states at its pleasure.

32. The living soul having relished the bliss of its consummate state, returns to its former body if it is still in existence, or it goes and settles some where else, as it may best suit its taste.

33. The yogis thus pass into all bodies and lives with their conscious souls, and fill the world also by magnifying their spirits over all space.

34. The yogi who is lord of himself by his enlightened understanding, and his knowledge of all things beside their accompanying evils; obtains in an instant whatever he wants to have, and which is present before the effulgence of divine light (anavarana Brahma jyoti).