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 XCVIII - Admonition of sikhidhvaja continued

Argument:—The non-entity of the mind, proved from the non-existence of sensible objects, and the want of these proving only the entity of one Brahma only.

Sikhidvaja said:—

1. I understand, that there is no such thing as the mind also; but as I have no clear and correct knowledge of this subject, I beg of you to tell me, whether it is so (as I believe) or not.

Kumbha replied:—

2. You have truly said, O prince, that there is no such real entity as the mind at any time and in any space whatever; and that which appears as the mind, is no other than a faculty of the only one everlasting Brahma.

3. Anything besides which is fallible or unconscious of itself, as the mind or anything of this world, can never be a positive or self-existence substance; therefore the words I, thou and this or that are only coinings of our imagination, and have no existence in reality.

4. There is no reality of the cosmos or any of its contents; and all that seem to be in existence, are no more than the various representations of the one self-existent Brahma himself. (Because there is no duality beside the unity of Brahma).

5. It is said that there was no mind or its personification of Brahma, and the final dissolution of the world, and this proves the unreality of both of them. Again it is said that the mind took the form of Brahma and created the world in the beginning, which proves also the mind to be the divine mind, and represented by substitution of the metaphor of Brahma.

6. As there can be no material object without the prior existence of a material cause, so it is impossible to believe the existence of the sensible mind and the myriads of the sensible objects in absence of their material cause, which never existed from before. (The spirit alone was the pre-existent thing, which could not create anything except in its own immaterial form).

7. Hence there is no such thing, as a dull and unconscious world; and all that appears to exist as such, is no other than a representation of the Divine spirit (which reflects itself in various ways) as the gold exhibits its ornaments to view.

8. It is entirely false to believe, that the nameless and formless Deity does this all; and because the world is visible, yet there is no proof of its reality in our subjective knowledge of it.

9. That the nameless and formless spirit of God, which has no shelter nor support for itself, should make this world for the abode of others, is a laughable assumption of the ignorant only (therefore this world is his own abode and the stage of his own action).

10. From these reasons it is plain that there is no world in existence, nor even the mind, which is but a part of it; the world being a non-entity, there can be no mind which is conversant alone with it.

11. The mind means no more than the wish, and then only there is said to be a wish in any one, when there is an object to be wished for; but this world which appears to be so very desirable, being a nullity itself, how can there be the mind to desire it. (The mind is a nullity for want of any of its objects to dwell upon or engage its attention).

12. That which is manifested unto us under the name of the Mind, is no other than a manifestation of the spirit of God in itself, and is designated by various appellations.

13. This visible which is so desirable to everybody, is no production of any one; it is an uncaused entity ever existent in the divine mind, from before its production by the mind of Brahma the creator. (Being prior to the mind, it is no production of it).

14. Therefore the divine soul, is of the form of an intellectual vacuum, and is a void as the transcendent air; it is full with the light of its intelligence, and having no shadow of the gross world in it.

15. The slight light which shines in the divine soul, is like the twilight that fills the etherial sphere; is the reflection of the mirror of the supreme intellect, and is neither the dim light of the mind, nor any reflection of the phenomenal world. (The nature of spiritual light, as quite distinct from the mental and physical lights).

16. Our knowledge of I, thou and this world (i.e. of the subjective and objective), are never real nor reliable; it is like the appearance of our dreams, that serve only to delude us to mistake.

17. As the absence of the desirable world, removes our desire of it; so the privation of our desire, displaces the mind which is the seat of our wishes.

18. The ignorant believe that this visible world is the mind, (because it is the display of the divine mind and the mind dwells upon it); but the unreal and formless mind had not this visible form, before it developed itself in the form of creation. (The world is not the mind because it is posterior in the order of creation, being created by the mind of the great Brahma).

19. But this world is said to be coeval with the eternal mind, which is altogether impossible; because we read nowhere in the sastras, nor find in the ordinary course of nature, that a visible object has ever come into existence without some cause or other, either in the beginning of creation or at any time afterwards. (Hence the visible world is not coeval with the mind its maker).

20. How can eternity, uncreatedness and everlastingness be predicated of this visible world, which is a gross material substance, and subject to decay and dissolution.

21. There is no testimony of the sastras, nor ocular evidence nor any reasonable inference, to show any material thing to be uncaused by some agent or other, and to survive the final dissolution of the world.

22. There is no written testimony of the vedas, and of other sastras and siddhantas to show, that any material thing is ever exempt from its three conditions of birth, growth and decay, and is not perishable at the last dissolution.

23. He that is not guided by the evidence and dictates of the sastras and vedas, is the most foolish among fools, and is never to be relied upon by good and sensible men.

24. It is never possible for any one to prevent the accidents, that are incidentals to perishable things, nor can there be any cause to render a material object an immaterial one.

25. But the immaterial view of this world, identifies it with the unchangeable Brahma, and exempts it from the accidents of action and passion, and of growth and decay.

26. Therefore know this world to be contained, in the undivided and unutterable vacuity of the Divine Intellect; which is infinite and formless void, and is for ever more in its undivided and undivisible state.

27. Brahma who is omniform and ever tranquil in himself, manifests his own self in this manner in the forms of creation and dissolution all in himself.

28. The lord now shows himself to our understanding, as embodied in his body of the world, and now manifests himself unto us, as the one Brahma in his spiritual form.

29. Know after all, that this world is the essence of the one Brahma only, beside which there is no separate world or any thing else in existence; and it is our imagination only which represents it sometimes in one form and then in another.

30. All this is one, eternal and ever tranquil soul, which is unborn and without any support and situated as it is. It shows itself as various without any variation in its nature, and so learn to remain thyself with thyself as motionless as a block of wood, and with thy dumb silence in utter amazement at all this. (The principles of vedanta philosophy being abstraction and generalisation, it takes the world and all things in their abstract light, and generalises them all under the general spirit of God).