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 XCII - The prince's abjuration of his asceticism

Argument: The prince coming to his sense, took all his relics of asceticism and set them on fire.

Chudala continued:—

1. Tell me prince, what made you decline to accept the advice of the princess Chudala, who is equally skilled in morality, as well as in Divine knowledge.

2. She is an adept among the knowers of truth, and actually practices all what she preaches to others; her words are the dictates of truth, and deserved to be received with due deference.

3. If you rejected her advice, by your over confidence in your own judgment; yet let me know, why she prevented you not, from parting with your all to others. (There is a proverb that men should rely on their own judgment and that of their elders; but never on those of other people and women).

Sikhidvaja replied:—

4. But I ask you another question, and hope you will reply to it, i.e. how do you say that I have not relinquished my all, when I have resigned my realm, my habitation and my country all together; and when I left my wife and all my wealth behind.

Chudala replied:—

5. You say truly O prince! that you have forsaken your kingdom and habitation, and your lands and relatives, and even your wife and wealth, but that does not make your relinquishment of all, since none of these truly belong to thee; they come of themselves and go away from man;it is your egoism only which is yours, and which you have not yet got rid of.

6. You have not yet abandoned your egoism, which is the greatest delight of your soul; you cannot get rid of your sorrows, until you are quite freed from your egoistic feelings.

Sikhidvaja said:—

7. If you say that my kingdom and possession, were not my all, and that this forest which I have resorted to forms my all at present; and these rocks and trees and shrubs form my present possessions, then I am willing to quit all these even, if that would constitute resignation of all.

Vasishtha said:—

Hearing these words of the brahman boy said:—

8. Kumbha, the cold blooded prince Sikhidvaja held silence for a while, and returned no answer.

9. He wiped off his attachment to the forest from his heart, and made up his mind to slide away from it; as the current of a stream in the rainy weather, glides along and carries down the dust and dirt of the beach.

Sikhidvaja said:—

10. Now sir, I am resolved to leave this forest, and bid adieu to all its caves and arbours;say now does not this relinquishment of all, form my absolute abnegation of all things.

Kumbha replied:—

11. The foot of this mountain with all its wood-lands, arbours and caverns are no properties of yours, but the common fells and dales of all; how then can your forsaking of them, form your self-abnegation at all?

12. The best boon of your egoism which has fallen to your lot, is still unforsaken by you; you must get rid of this, in order to be freed from the cares and sorrows of this sublunary world of woes.

13. If none of these things is mine, then my hermit's cell and grove, which I own as mine are what I am willing to resign, if that would make my total abnegation.

Vasishtha said:—

14. The self-governed Sikhidvaja being awaked to his sense, by these admonitions of Kumbha—the Brahman boy; he remained silent for a moment, with the light that shone within him.

15. His pure conscience returned to his mind, and the blaze of his right knowledge, burnt away the dross of his attachment to the hermitage; as a gust of wind drives the dusts from the ground.

Sikhidvaja said:—

16. Know me sir, to have now taken away my heart from this hermitage, and forsaken my attachment to all its sacred bowers and arbours; now therefore consider me to have resigned my all and every thing in world.

Kumbha replied:—

17. How can I consider you as fully resigned, by your resigning these groves and arbours and everything appertaining to them; none of which belong to you, nor are you their master or deserter in anyway. (Know there is but one being, who is the sole master of all).

18. Thou hast another thing to be forsaken by thee, and that is the greatest and best thing that has fallen to thy lot in this world; it must be by your resignation of that thing, that you can set yourself free from all. (The prince was so very infatuated with his knowledge of the gross sensibles, that he would never come to know what egoism meant).

Sikhidvaja said:—

19. If this even be not the all that I have, and which you want me to resign; then take these earthen pots and basins, these hides and skins and this my cell also, and know me to forgo all these forever and betake myself elsewhere.

Vasishtha said:—

20. So saying the dispassionate prince rose from his seat, with his composed and quiet mind; as when an autumnal cloud rises on the top of a mountain, and disperses elsewhere.

21. Kumbha saw from his seat, the motions and movements of the prince, with her smiles and amazement, as when the sun laughs from above, to see the foolish attempts of men on the earth below.

22. Kumbha looked steadfastly on Sikhidvaja, and sat silently with the thought, "Ah! let him do whatever he likes for his sanctification and renunciation of the temporal articles of this world, which do not serve for his spiritual edification at all."

23. Sikhidvaja then brought out all his sacred vessels and seats from his grotto, and collected them all in one spot; as the great ocean yielded up all her submerged treasures, after the diluvian flood was over.

24. Having collecting them in a pile, he set fire to them with dried fuel; as the sun-stone or sun-glass burns down the combustible by its fire.

25. The sacred vessels and chattels which were set on fire and burnt down by it, were left behind by the prince who sat on a seat beside Kumbha; as the sun sets on the mount Meru, after he had burnt down in the world by the fire of dissolution.

26. He said to his rosary, you have been confident to me your master, as long as I turn you on my fingers as my counting beads.

27. And though I have turned you over and over, with my sacred mantras in this forests; yet you have been of no service to me at all.

28. And though I have travelled with you, Oh my reliquary! and seen many holy places in thy company; but as you proved of no good to me, I now resign you to the flames.

29. The burning fire rose in flames and flashes in the sky, and they appeared as stars glittering in it; he then cast his seat of the deer's skin on the fire, and said: I have borne you about me so long on my back as an ignorant stag.

30. It was by my ignorance, that I held you so long with me; and now you are at liberty to go your own way; where may peace and bliss attend on you forever.

31. Ascend with the rising fire to heaven, and twinkle there as the stars on high; so saying he took off his hide garment from his body with his hands, and committed it to the flames.

32. The funeral pyre of the prince spread as a sea of fire and it was driven about as a conflagration by the winds blowing from the mountains; when the prince thought of throwing his water pot also into the fire.

33. And said to it, you sir, that bore the sacred water for all my sacerdotal functions;O my good water pot, it is true that I have not the power of rendering the proper recompense of your past services.

34. You were the best model of true friendship, good nature, benevolence and constancy to me; and the best exemplar of goodness and all good qualities in thy great bounty.

35. O thou! (my water pot), that wast the receptacle of all goodness to me; now depart your own way, by your purification in the same sacred fire, as thou wast at first found by me (from the potter's fire). Be thy ways all blissful to thee! so saying he cast his water pot into the consecrated fire.

36. Because all good things are to be given to the good or to the fire; but all bad things are cast off, like the dust of the earth; and as foolish men fall to the ground, by their secret craft.

37. It is well for thee, my low mattress, to be put to fire and reduced to worthless ashes; so saying, he took up his wet matted seat, and cast it into the flaming fire.

38. The seat on which he used to sit in his pure meditation on God (i.e. his kusasana or his seat made of kusa-grass), he soon committed to the flames; because it is better to give up a thing betimes, of which one must get rid shortly afterwards.

39. This my alms-pot which contained the best articles of food, which were presented to me by good people; I now commit to this flame with whatever it has in it.

40. The fire burns a thing but once, and the burnt article ceases to burn any more; hence I shun all the implements to my ceremonial rites, in order to set me free from the bondage of all actions for ever more.

41. Be ye not sorry therefore, that I forsake you thus; for who is there, that will bear about him things that are unworthy of himself. So saying, he threw into the fire all his cooking vessels, and the plates and dishes of his kitchen; and all things whatever he had need of in his hermitage. And these began to burn in a blaze, us the world was burnt down by the all destructive fire of the kalpanta.