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 XCVI - Enlightenment of sikhidhvaja

Argument:—Kumbha's Lecture on Effacing the Impression of Phenomenals from the mind of Sikhidvaja or vanity of the visible world.

Vasishtha said:—

1. Sikhidvaja having thus found his rest in the spirit of Brahma, remained quiet for some moments, as the steady and unflagging flame of a lamp in a calm.

2. And as he was about to be absorbed in his unwavering meditation, he was suddenly roused from his trance by the diverting voice of Kumbha.

Kumbha said:—

3. Prince, I see you are not to wake from the sleep of your entranced meditation, wherein you are situated in your perfect bliss; you must neither be absorbed in your contemplation, nor be a stranger to your abstract meditation altogether (but must observe your middle course between Platonism and perturbation).

4. The mind that is undivided in its attention, is cleansed from all duplicity;and being freed from its knowledge of parts and particulars, becomes emancipated in its living states.

5. Being thus enlightened by Kumbha, the prince became full of enlightenment; and being roused from his trance, he shone as brightly as a rich gem when taken out of its cover.

6. The prince who in his state of quietism, beheld the unreality of visible things; and now perceived them spread all about him, thus spoke about them to Kumbha.

Sikhidvaja said:—

7. Though I know full well about all these things, yet I want to propose some queries regarding them; to which I hope you will give your answers, for my correct and perfect knowledge of them.

8. Tell me, how can we intermingle the impure conception of the universal or mundane soul representing the mundees or universe, with the pure idea of the supreme soul, which is ever calm, quiet and transparent. (The universal soul, is called viswatma, viswarupa and viraja, and is opaque with its contents; while the supreme is quite pure and clear, and untinged with the shade of creation).

Kumbha replied:—

9. You have asked well, O prince, and this shows the clearness of your understanding; and if this is all that you want to know, hear me then explain it fully to you.

10. Whatever is seen here and every where together, with all the moving and unmoving beings which it contains, are all of them perishable, and are extinct at the end of every kalpa age (in which the creator wishes to create a new world).

11. Then there remains the true and essential reality at the end of the kalpa age, amidst an obscure chaotic state, which is deprived both of light and darkness.

12. This essential reality is the divine intellect, which is pure and quiet and as clear as the transparent air; it is free from all attributes and imputations, and full of transcendental intelligence.

13. The one that remains at the end of a kalpa, is the supreme soul which extends over all space, and is purely bright, transparent and quiet; it is enveloped in light and is pure intelligence.

14. It is inscrutable and unknowable, it is even and quiet, and full of bliss; it is called Brahma—the great, the final extinction of all bodies and is full of all knowledge.

15. It is the minutest of the minute, and the largest of whatever is large in the universe; it is the greatest and greatest of aught that is great and heavy, and it is the best of whatever is good and excellent.

16. It is so very small, that if you place this sky beside it, the latter will appear as big as the great mount of Meru by the side of a small mite.

17. It is again so very big and bulky, that this stupendous world being placed side by side to it, the latter must appear as an atom before it or vanish into nothing.

18. This is attributed with the epithet of universal soul, for its pervading all over the universe and being its intrinsic soul; while its extrinsic appearance, is called by the title of Viraj.

19. There is no difference between this attribute and its attributive, as there is none between the air and the wind or the air in motion;and as the sky and vacuum are synonymous words, so the very same intellect is the phenomenal world, and the same consciousness is manifested in the forms of egoism and tuism.

20. As the water becomes the wave at a certain time and place, by cause of the current wind; so the world rises and falls at times in the supreme soul, without any external cause (except the will of the supreme spirit).

21. As gold is transformed to bracelets at certain times and place, by means of some or other; so the spirit of God is transformed to the visible world at certain times, without any other assignable cause whatever (save by the supreme will).

22. The most glorious God, is the Lord of his Kingdom of the world; He is one with his creation, ever pure, quiet and undecaying, and pervades over all these world which are scattered as turfs of grass all around us.

23. This transcendentally good and great God is the only real existence, and comprises all temporary and finite existences within himself; and we know by our reason, that this glorious creation of the universe is all derived from him.

24. Know him, O prince, to be the essence of the extended universe, and to extend over all in his form of an entire intellect, and an unity that never admits of a duality (under all the varieties and diversities in nature).

25. There is no reason therefore, for our conceiving a duality beside his unity; since it is the sole principle of the supreme soul, that is fully manifest in all in its ever undiminished and unextinguished state.

26. The Lord always remains as the all in all, and as manifest in all the various forms; and being neither visible nor perceptible by us, he can neither be said to be the cause or effect of anything (but is the unknown all in himself).

27. The Lord being neither perceptible nor conceivable by us is something super-eminently good and superfine; He is all and the soul of all, too fine and transparent, and is known only by our conception of him; and no sensible perception whatever. (The knowledge of God, is innate and inborn in us. Locke).

28. Being inexpressible by words, and manifest in all without manifestation or appearance of himself; cannot be the cause of whatever is real or unreal. (Anything that is indefinite in itself, cannot cause another of a definite or indefinite form).

29. That which has no name of itself, cannot be the seed of another; no nameless nothing can grow anything, nor can a commensurable world spring out of an incommensurable spirit. (A material and measurable thing, must have a material mensurator for its origin. Hence it is wrong to say: God measured the seas without a measuring rod).

30. The exhaustless mass of divine intellect, is indeed no cause or casual instrument or effect of any thing; because the product of the divine soul, must be some thing of the form of the invisible soul, which is its everlasting consciousness or intelligence.

31. So, O sage, nothing is produced by the supreme Brahma nor does anything arise from Him, like the waves from water which have their winds for their causality. (But the spirit of Brahma, is as the still water and has no stir or perturbation in it).

32. All distinction of time and place, being absent in the uniform and unchanging spirit of Brahma, there can be no creation or destruction of the world from him, and hence the world is increate and without any cause.

Sikhidvaja said:—

33. I know that the waves of water, have their cause in the winds of the air, and so I understand this world and our egoism

&c., have their causality in the supreme spirit (which produces the worlds by its will, and acquaints me of my egoism by its intelligence).

Kumbha replied:—

34. Know now the positive truth, O prince as I tell you after all, that there is nothing as a separate world or our egoism &c. existent in supreme spirit; though the world and the Ego exist as one with the divine spirit, without bearing their distinct names and personalities at all. (i.e. The world and its gods as one and the same thing).

35. As the subtile ether, contains the subtle element of vacuum in its bosom; so the divine soul entertains in itself, the fine spun idea of the mundane system without its substance.

36. Whether you behold this world in its true form of divine intelligence, or in any other form of gross matter; it is to be understood rightly as no other than a representation of the divine intellect.

37. The full knowledge of a thing, makes it sweet to the understanding, though it be as bitter as gall to taste; but the imperfect knowledge of a thing, as that of the world makes it appear as full of woe, though it is no such thing in reality. (Hence the crying and laughing philosophers took two different views of the world).

38. Ambrosia the water of life being taken in the light of poison, will act as poison in the constitution of the patient; so the lord of the intellect appears in a favourable or unfavourable light, as knowledge and ignorance of him represents him to our understanding.

39. The blessed lord God appears to us in the propitious or unpropitious aspect, as our true and false knowledge paints him to our minds, just as the blinding eye sees many a false sight in the light of the sun.

40. The essence of Brahma, always remains the same in his essential form of the intellect; though the turpitude of our understanding, will now represent him in one form and then in another at a different time and under different circumstances.

41. In fact the body and the embodied soul, appear as any other sensible object in the world; but being viewed in reality in their abstract light, they blend in the spiritual form of God.

42. Therefore it is in vain to make any inquiry, concerning the nature of the world and our egoism &c.; because what is really existent is to be inquired into, and not that which is a nullity in itself.

43. It is vain to ask about an appearance, which being looked into vanishes into nothing; as it is in vain to speak of the essence of gold, when it presents us no figure of it.

44. Therefore there is no entity of the world and our egoism, without the existence of God, these things having no cause, are self-same with the one self-existent Deity.

45. The world does not appear to be prominent, and to rest by itself to view; it rests in relief in the spirit of God, and shows itself as separate to us by illusion only.

46. These existences being composed of the five elements, produce many other beings;as the copulations of the male and female, produce their offspring in infinity; so the divine intellect being joined with the illusory intelligence, presents endless form to our view.

47. It is by the inherent knowledge of the divine soul, that it represents itself the shapes of many things that are comprised in his omniscience. He is full in himself and manifests his fullness in himself, and is never wanting in his fullness which always subsist in Him. (So the sea is ever full with its waves and waters, which roll for ever in its bosom).

48. The fullness or plenum of the world is derived from the fullness of God;and yet the divine fullness remains entire, as when you deduct the infinite, that remains the infinite also as the remainder.

49. The divine intellect though forever the same and serene, appears to shine forth in the creation with our knowledge of the same, and set at its dissolution with our imperceptibility of it; so our egoism being the same with the divine ego, appears to be different from it, as our fluctuating minds depict it in various lights.

50. The ego never becomes many, nor forsake its undecaying state;it is of a luminous form and having no beginning nor end of its essence; but assumes as many forms, as the ever varying mind imposes upon it. (The unchanging soul assumes many forms with the changeful mind).

51. The self-same soul believes itself as viraj—the lord of the world at one time, and as contemptible being at another; it sometimes sees itself in its true form of a divinity, and its thought makes it think as some other thing at another time.

52. The world appears as a vast and extended space, perfectly quiet in its nature, inexpressible by words and their senses, (as its real nature). All its objects are of wonderful shape to view, and appear to us according to our conceptions or without showing their real nature's unto us. (The true nature of things is hidden from our knowledge).