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 XC - Way to obtain the philosopher's stone

Argument:—Chudala's Interpretation of the Parable of the Precious stone and the glassy gewgaw.

Sikhidvaja said:—

Please explain unto me, O Divine boy! the purport of the parables of the true and false gems; and the unfettered and pent up elephant, which you have spoken before to me.

Chudala replied:—

2. Hear me now expound to you the meaning of my stories, and the purport of the words and their senses; which I have stored in your heart and mind, for the enlightenment of your understanding.

3. That searcher after the philosopher's stone, was undoubtedly acquainted with science, but had no knowledge of the truth (tatwajnana); he searched the gem but knew not what it was, and the same man is thyself.

4. You are versed in the sciences as he, and shinest above others as the shining sun on the mountain tops; but you have not that rest and quiet, which is derived from the knowledge of truth; and are immerged in your errors, as a block of stone in the water.

5. Know O holy man! that it is relinquishing of errors, which is said to be the philosopher's stone (because they are the only men that have set themselves above the reach of error). Try to get that O holy man! in your possession, and set yourself thereby above the reach of misery.

6. It is the relinquishment of gross objects, that produces the pure joy of holiness; it is the abandonment of the world, that gives one the sovereignty over his soul, and which is reckoned as the true philosopher's stone.

7. Abandonment of all is the highest perfection, which you must practice betimes; because it is contemning of worldly grandeur, that shows the greatest magnanimity of the soul.

8. You have O prince! forsaken your princedom together with your princess, riches, relatives and friends, and have rested in your resignation; as Brahma the lord of creatures, rested at the night of cessation of the act of his creation.

9. You have come out too far from your country, to this distant hermitage of mine; as the bird of heaven the great Garuda lighted with his prey of the tortoise, on the farthest mount of the earth. (The legend of Gaja-kachchhapa borne by Garuda, is narrated at length in the purana).

10. You have relinquished your egotism, with your abandonment of all worldly goods; and you purged your nature from every stain, as autumnal winds disperse the clouds from the sky.

11. Know that it is only by driving away the egoism of the mind as well as all desires from the heart, that one gets his perfection and has the fulness of the world or perfect bliss in himself. But you have been labouring under the ignorance of what is to be abandoned and what is to be retained, as the sky labours under the clouds. (It is not the abandonment of the world, but the greedy desires of the mind, that is attended with true felicity).

12. It is not your abandonment of the world, which can give you that highest felicity the summum bonum that you seek; it is something else that must be yet sought after by you. (True happiness is a thing of heavenly growth, and is to be obtained by the grace of God only).

13. When the mind is overflown by its thoughts, and the heart is corroded by the canker of its desire; all its resignation flies from it, as the stillness of a forest flies before the tempest.

14. Of what avail is the abandonment of the world to one, whose mind is ever infested by his troublesome thoughts; it is impossible for a tree to be at rest, that is exposed to the tempests of the sky. (Inward passions disturb the breast, as tempests rend the sky).

15. The thoughts constitute the mind, which is but another name for will or desire; and so long as these are found to be raging in one, it is in vain to talk of the subjection of the mind.

16. The mind being occupied by its busy thoughts, finds the three worlds to present themselves before it in an instant; of what avail therefore is the abandonment of this world to one, when the infinite worlds of the universe are present before his mind.

17. Resignation flies on its swift pinions, soon as it sees a desire to be entertained in it; as a bird puts on its wings, no sooner it hears a noise below.

18. It is insouciance and want of care, which is the main object of the abandonment of the world; but when you allow a care to rankle in your breast, you bid a fair adieu to your resignation; as one bid farewell to his honoured and invited guest.

19. After you have let slip the precious gem of resignation from your hand, you have chosen the false glossy gewgaw of austerity for some fond wish in your view. (All outward observances of rites and austerities proceed from some favourite object fostered in the mind, while the pure bliss of holiness is obtained from the purity of the heart only, and without any need of outward acts).

20. I see thy mind is fixed in wilful pains of thy austerities, as the sight of a deluded man is settled on the reflexion of the moon in the waters (from his error of its being the true moon).

21. Forsaking the indifference of your mind, you have become a follower of the prurience of your heart; and chosen for yourself the mortification of an anchorite, which is full of from its first to last.

22. He who forsakes the easy task of his devotion to God, which is fraught with infinite bliss; and betakes himself to the difficult duties of painful austerity, is said to make a suicide of his own soul. (The sruti calls them self-suicides (atmaghanojanah); who neglect the felicity of their souls).

23. You betook yourself to the vow of self-resignation, by your relinquishment of all earthly possessions; but instead of observing the forbearance of resignation, you are bound to the painful austerities of your asceticism in this dreary wilderness.

24. You broke the bonds of your princedom, and decamped from the bounds of your realm thinking them as too painful to you;but say are you not constrained here to the faster and far more irksome toils of your asceticism, and the unbearable chains of its rigid incarceration.

25. I think you are involved in much more care to defend yourself from heat and cold in the defenceless forest, and have come to find yourself to be more fast bound to your rigours than you had any idea of this before.

26. You thought in vain to have obtained the philosopher's stone before, but must have come to find at last; that your gain is not worth even a grain of glassy bauble.

27. Now sir, I have given you a full interpretation of the avidity of a man to pocket the invaluable gem; you have no doubt comprehended its right meaning in your mind, and will now store its purport in the casket of your breast.