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 XCIV - Enlightenment of sikhidhvaja

Argument:—On the abandonment of the affections of the mind.

Vasishtha continued:—

As the disguised boy was admonishing in this manner on the relinquishment of mind (i.e. the mental passions and affections); the prince ruminated inwardly on its sense, and then spoke as follows.

Sikhidvaja said:—

2. I find my mind fluttering always, as a bird in the open sky of my bosom;and lurking incessantly as an ape, in the wilderness of my heart.

3. I know how to restrain my mind, as they do the fishes in the net; but know not how to get rid of it, when it is so much engaged with the objects of sense.

4. Please sir acquaint me first with the nature of the mind, and then teach me the method of relinquishing it for ever from me.

Kumbha replied:—

5. Know great prince, cupidity to be the intrinsic nature of the mind; and know the word desire to be used as a synonym for the mind. (The mind and will are synonymous terms).

6. The abandonment of the mind is very easy, and more facile than the stirring of it; it is attended with a greater delight, than the possession of a kingdom can afford, and is more pleasant than the scent of fragrant flowers.

7. But it is very difficult for the ignorant, to get rid of or forsake the desires of their minds; it is as hard to them as it is for a boor to wield the reins of a kingdom, and for a heap of grass to be as high as a mountain.

Sikhidvaja said:—

8. I understand the nature of the mind, to be replete with its desires; but I find my riddance from it, to be as impossible as the swallowing of an iron-bolt by anybody.

9. I find the mind as the fragrant flower in the great garden of the world, and the crater of the fire of all our woes; it is the stalk of the lotus of the world, and it is the bag that bears and blows the gusts of delusion all over the world. Now tell me how this thing may be easily removed from us.

10. The mind is the locomotive engine of the body, it is the bee that flutters about the lotus of the heart; now tell me how I may with ease get rid of this mind.

11. Kumbha answered:—The total extirpation of the mind, consists in the entire extinction of the world from it; the learned and the men of long foresight, call this to be the abandonment of the mind (i.e. when it is cast out with all its thoughts and cares).

Sikhidvaja rejoined:—

12. I think the extinction of the mind, is better than our abandonment of it, on account of securing the success of our purposes; but how can we know the gradual expurgation of the mind, from the hundreds of diseases to which it is subject.

Kumbha replied:—

13. Egoism is the root (seed) of the arbour of the mind, with all its branches and leaves and fruits and flowers; therefore root out the mind with its very root of egoism, and have thy breast as clear as the empty and lurid sky.

Sikhidvaja rejoined:—

14. Tell me, O sage, what is the root of the mind, what are its sprouts and fruits; tell me also how many stems and branches it has, and how is it possible to root it out at once.

Kumbha replied:—

15. Know prince that egoism and all the words expressive of the self as meity &c., and indicative of the mind, are the seeds of the tree of the mind.

16. The field of its growth is the supreme soul, which is the common source of all entities; but that field being filled with illusion, the mind is deluded to believe itself as the first born sprout springing out of this field. (The first born germ of the Divine spirit being the living soul, which originates in the mind).

17. The certain knowledge of the mind in its discrete state, is called its understanding (which in its concrete state is known as sensation); the buddhi or understanding is the state of maturity of the germ or sprout of the mind. (The infant mind is ripens into the understanding).

18. The understanding or buddhi, being subject to various desires, takes the name of chitta or wasteful mind; and this mind makes the living being, which is as hollow within it, as a carved image of stone (or moulded metal), and a mere false conception.

19. The body is the stem of this tree of the mind, and is composed of the skin and bones and juicy matters.

20. The branches of the tree of the mind, extend to a great distance all about it; and so the sensible organs of the body, protruding wide about it, perish at last in seeking for its enjoyment.

21. Now try to lop off the branches of the tree of thy mind, and try also to root out the noxious tree at once.

Sikhidvaja said:—

22. I can some how or other lop off the branches of the tree of mind, but tell me, O my sagely monitor, how I may be able to pull it out by its very root at once.

Kumbha replied:—

23. All our desires are the several branches of this tree, which are hanging with loads of fruits; and are lopped off by the axe of our reason.

24. He alone is able to lop off the plant of his mind, who is unattached to the world, who hold his taciturnity and inward tranquillity, who is judicious in all discussions, and does whatever offers of itself to him at any time.

25. He who lops off the branches and brambles of the arbour of his mind, by his manliness of reason and discretion; is able also to root out this tree at once from his heart.

26. The first thing to be done with the mind, is to root it out at once from the heart and the next process is to lop off its branches;therefore employ thyself more to its eradication, than to the severing of its boughs and branches.

27. You may also burn it as the first step, instead of lopping the branches; and thus the great trunk of the tree of mind being reduced to ashes, there remains an entire mindlessness at last.

Sikhidvaja said:—

28. Tell me O my sagely guide, what is that fire which is able to burn away the seed of the tree of mind, which is covered all over with the cuticle of egoism.

Kumbha replied:—

29. Prince, the fire which is able to consume the seed of the noxious plant of the mind, is the expostulation of the question, "what am I that bear this corporeal form upon me."

Sikhidvaja said:—

30. O sage! I have repeatedly considered the questions in my own understanding, and found that my egoism does not consist in aught of this world, or this earth, or the woods which form its garniture.

31. That my ego lay no where in the hills and forests where I resided, nor in the shaking of the leaves before me; nor did it lie in any part of my gross body, or in its flesh, bones or blood.

32. It does not lie in any of the organs of action, nor in the organs of sensation; it does not consist in the mind or in the understanding, or in any part of the gross body.

33. As we see the form of the bracelet in gold, so do I conceive my egoism to consist in the intelligent soul; because it is impossible for any material substance, to have anything as intelligence (as I perceive my egoism to be possest of).

34. All real existence depends on the supreme soul for its subsistence, so all real entities subsist in the supreme essence; or else it is impossible for any thing to exist in a nullity, as there is no possibility for a forest to subsist in a vacuity (without a firm ground).

35. Thus sir, knowing it full well, that my egoism is an aspect or shadow of my internal soul and worthy to be wiped off from it; yet I regret at my ignorance of the intrinsic spirit from which it is to be wiped off, and the internal soul be set in full light.

Kumbha replied:—

36. If you are none of these material objects as you say, nor doth your egoism consist in materiality; then tell me prince, what you think yourself to be in reality.

37. Sikhidvaja answered:—I feel myself O most learned sir, to be that intelligent and pure soul, which is of the form of intelligence, which acquaints me of all existence, and which discriminates their different natures.

38. I perceive thus my egoism to be attached to my body, but whether it is a caused or causeless principle, is what I am perfectly ignorant of.

39. I am unable O sage, to rub out this sense of my egoism as an unreality and unessentiality; and it is on that I greatly regret in myself (for my inability to get rid of my egoism as you led).

Kumbha said:—

40. Tell me O prince, what is that great foulness, which thou feelest to be attached to thee, which makes thee act as a man of the world, and whether thou thinkest it as something or a mere delusion.

Sikhidvaja replied:—

41. The sense of my egoism, which is the root of the tree of my mind, is the great foulness that attaches to me; I know not how to get rid of it, for however I try to shun it, the more it clings about me.

Kumbha said:—

42. Every effect is produced from some cause or other, and this is the general law of nature everywhere; anything otherwise is as false as the sight of a second moon in the sky, which is nothing but a reflexion of the true moon.

43. It is the cause which produces the effect, whether it be a big one or the small rudiment of it; therefore explore into the cause of your egoism, and tell me what it is.

Sikhidvaja replied:—

44. I know my sagely guide, that it is mere illusion—maya, which is the cause of the fallacy of my egoism; but tell me sir, how this error of mine is to subside and vanish away from one.

45. It is from the proclivity of the mind towards the thinkables, that I am suffering all these pains and pangs within myself; now tell me O muni, about the means of suppressing my thoughts, in regard to external objects.

Kumbha said:—

46. Tell me whether your thinking and knowing, are the causes of your thinkables and knowables, or these latter actuate your thinking and knowing powers. If you can tell me this, then shall I be able to explain to you the process of the cause and effect.

47. Now tell me which do you think to be the cause and not the cause, of knowing and knowable, and of thinking and the thinkable, which are the subjects of my question to you.

48. Sikhidvaja answered:—I think, O sage, that the sensible objects of the body &c., are the causes of the thinking and thinkable (thoughts), and of knowing and the knowables or knowledge. (Because unless there be things in actual existence, we can neither think of or know anything, nor have any idea or knowledge of it at all).

49. Our knowledge of the entity of things, appears only in the sensible forms of bodies; or else the mere abstract thought of a thing, is as empty as an airy nothing.

50. As I can not conceive the non-entity of a positive entity, nor the abstract nature of a concrete body;so I know not how my egoism, which is the seed of my mind, can be at once ignored by me.

Kumbha said:—

51. If thou rely on thy material body as a real existence, then tell me, on what does your knowledge depend, when your soul is separated from the body.

Sikhidvaja replied:—

52. The body which is evident to view, and a real entity, cannot be taken for an unreality by any body; as the palpable sun light, cannot be called darkness by any man of common sense.

53. Who can ignore the body, which is replete with its hands and feet and other members; which is full of activity and vivacity, and whose actions are so palpable to sight; and which is so evident to our perception and conception.

Kumbha said:—

54. Know prince, that nothing can be said to exist, which is not produced by some cause; and the knowledge or consciousness that we have of it, cannot be but the product of mistake and error.

55. There can be no product without a similar cause, and no material form can come out from a formless and immaterial agent. How can any thing come to existence, without having its seed of the like nature?

56. Whatever product appears to present itself to anyone without its true cause, is as false an appearance as the mirage in the sand, before its deluded observer.

57. Know thyself to be no real existence, but a false shape of your error only; and with whatever earnestness you took to it, you will never get any water from this delusive mirage.

Sikhidvaja said:—

58. It is as useless to inquire the cause of a nonentity, as it is fruitless to look into the origin of the secondary moon which is but false reflex of the true one. Believing in a nullity, is as decorating the person of a barren woman's son.

Kumbha replied:—

59. The body with its bones and ribs, are products of no assignable cause; therefore know it as no entity, because it is impossible for the frail body to be the work of an Everlasting Maker.

Sikhidvaja said:—

60. Now tell me sir, why we should not reckon our fathers the causes and producers of our bodies, with all their members and parts, since they are known as the immediate causes of these.

Kumbha replied:—

61. The father can be nothing and no cause, without his having another cause for himself; because whatever is without a cause is nothing in itself.

62. The causes of all things and effects are called as their seeds, and when there is no seed in existence, it is impossible for a germ to be produced in the earth from nothing. (Ex nihilo nihil fit).

63. So when you cannot trace out the cause of an event, account the event as no event at all;because there can be no thing without its seed, and the knowledge of a causeless effect or eventuality, is an utter impossibility and fallacy of the understanding.

64. It is an egregious error to suppose the existence of a thing without its cause or seed, such as to suppose the existence of two moons in the sky, of water in the mirage and of the son of a barren woman.

Sikhidvaja said:—

65. Now tell me sir, why should not our parents be taken as the causes of our production, who had our grandfathers and grandmothers for the causes or seeds of their birth likewise; and why should we not reckon our first great grandfather (Brahma), as the prime progenitor of the human race?

Kumbha replied:—

66. The prime great grandfather, O prince, cannot be the original cause, since he also requires a cause for his birth, or else he could not come into existence.

67. The great grandfather of creation even Brahma himself, is the cause of production by means of the seeds of the supreme spirit which produced him; or else the visible form in which he appeared, was no more than a mere delusion.

68. Know the form of the visible world, to be as great a fallacy as the appearance of water in the mirage; and so the creativeness of the great grandfather Brahma, is no more than an erroneous misconception.

69. I will now wipe off the dark cloud of your error, that our great grandfather Brahma was conceived in the womb of the supreme spirit (whereby he is styled the padma-yoni or born of the lotus like navel string of God);and this will be the salvation of your soul. (And Adam's ancestors without end. Young).

70. Now therefore know, O prince, that the lord God shines forever with his intelligent soul and mind in Himself; it is from him that the lotus born Brahma and the whole universe, are manifest to our view, and that there is nothing which exhibits itself without Him.