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 CIV - On the conduct of living-liberated men

Argument:—Kumbha and Sikhidvaja's travel, and their conversation on various subjects; Kumbha's ideas of the predestined law of nature.

Vasishtha related:—

In this manner did these knowers of the knowable God, continue in their mutual conversation on spiritual matters, until the third watch of the day in that forest.

2. Then rising together they wandered in the delightful dales, and about in cooling lakes and pleasant rills.

3. In this manner they kept roving in that forest for full eight days, and passed their time in conversations on various subjects.

4. Then said Kumbha to the prince, let us walk to some other forest to which he gave his consent, with uttering the word om, and then they walked forward in each other's company.

5. In this manner they walked over many forest lands, and passed beside many jungles and shores; and they saw many lakes and thick woods, and rising hills and their thickets of dense woods and plants.

6. They traversed many woodland tracts and rivers, and saw many villages, towns and woods on their way;they passed by many sweet sounding rivers and groves, and many holy places and the abodes of men.

7. They were united together in equal love and friendship, and being of equal age and the same tenor of mind, they were of equal vivacity; and both walked or stayed together with their unanimity.

8. They worshipped the gods and the manes of their ancestors in the holy places, and ate what they got at any place;and lived together both in marshy and dry lands in concord and peace.

9. The loving pair bearing equal affection to one another in their hearts, dwelt together in mutual concord amidst the tamala woods and in the forests of the Mandara hills.

10. To them no place was their home or own, but they alike in all; nothing occurred to disturb their minds, which were always as undisturbed as a mountain amidst the winds.

11. They walked sometimes amidst the flying dust, and at others amidst the far stretching fragrance of sandal wood forests. They were now daubed with ashes, and then besmeared with the sandal paste.

12. They were sometimes clad in good garments, and sometimes in variegated raiments; now they were covered with the leaves of trees, and were decorated with flowers at another.

13. Remaining thus in mutual company for some days, and having the unanimity of their hearts and minds; the prince turned to be as perfected in his nature, as another Kumbha himself.

14. The holy and faithful Chudala, seeing the divine form of her husband Sikhidvaja, began to reflect within herself in the following manner.

15. How divinely fair has my husband become, and how very charming are these wood-land scenes; by living long in this place, we must be an easy prey to the God of love.

16. I see that although one is liberated in his life time, yet the sense of his liberation, cannot give him freedom from his obligation of tasting the pleasures that are presented before him. I think it is ignorance to refuse the king of a proffered enjoyment.

17. Seeing the husband to be noble minded, and free from all bodily disease and debility; and having a flowery grove before, it must be a wretched woman, that rejects to advance to her lord at such a time.

18. That wretched woman is verily undone, who is seated in her bower of flowers and has her husband presented before her; and yet fails to approach to him for her satisfaction.

19. Accursed is the woman, who being wedded to a handsome husband, and having him alone in her company fails to associate with him.

20. Of what good is it to one acquainted with true knowledge, to reject a lawful pleasure that presents itself before that person.

21. So I must contrive some artifice in this forest, whereby I may be successful to make my husband join with me.

22. Having thought so in her mind, Chudala who was disguised in the from of Kumbha, thus uttered to the prince, as the female kokila mutters to her mate from her flowery bower in the forest.

23. This is the first day of the new moon of the lunar month of chaitra, and this is a day of great festivity in the court of Indra in heaven.

24. So I must have to repair to the synod of the gods, and present myself before my father in that assembly. So my departure is ordained by destiny, nor can it be averted by any means.

25. You shall have to expect my return till eve in this forest, and spend the meantime, by diverting yourself in these flowery arbours, which will lull your anxiety for me to rest.

26. I shall positively return here from the azure sky, by the dusk of this day; and soon join your company, which is ever delightful to me.

27. So saying, she gave a stalk of flowers of the Nandana forest to her beloved, to serve as a token of her affection for him (and as a pledge of her return to him before it fades away).

28. The prince said "you must return soon" to me; and she instantly, disappeared from his sight, and mixed with the air, as the light autumnal cloud vanishes in the empty sky.

29. He flung flowers after her, as she mounted in the sky; and these floated in the air, like icicles in the cold season.

30. Sikhidvaja standing on the spot, first beheld her flight, and then her disappearance from him; as the peacock looks at the flight of a cloud with uplifted eyes (so immutable is the friendship of a true friend).

31. At last the body of Kumbha vanished from the sight of Sikhidvaja, and mixed in the open air, as the waves of the sea subside in the still and smooth waters.

32. Chudala then reached her celestial city, resembling the garden of paradise with its Kalpa arbours in full bloom, and its shining turrets waving with flags, hoisted on both sides of its charming paths.

33. She entered secretly her private apartment, and met the company of the maids waiting for her; as the graceful beauty of the vernal season, meets the long expectant arbours of the forest.

34. She attended to her state affairs, and discharged them quickly; and then flew aloft in the air and dropped at Sikhidvaja's abode, as the autumnal fruits and flowers drop on the ground.

35. She appeared there with a melancholy face, and as deeply dejected in her mind; just as the fair moon is darkened under the mist, and the beauteous lotus are hid under a fog.

36. Believing her as his Kumbha, Sikhidvaja rose up and stood in his presence; but being troubled in his mind to see him so sad and sorry, he asked the cause and thus addressed him saying:—

37. I greet thee, O Kumbha, but why appearest thou so sad today ; thou art the son of a deity and must not be sorry at anything, but please to take thy seat here.

38. Holy saints and the knowers of the knowable one like you, are never moved by joy or grief; but remain untouched by them, as the lotuses remain intact in the water.

Vasishtha said:—

39. Being thus accosted by the prince, Kumbha sat on his seat, and then said in reply, with a voice as thin and soft as the sound of a bamboo flute.

40. I know that the knowers of truth, who are not patient under all bodily accidents and mental anxieties, are not truthful men, but cheats who cheat people by their pretended truthfulness.

41. Know prince that the most learned are the most ignorant, who expect foolishly to evade the condition in which they are exposed by their nature.

42. The sesame seed has naturally the oil inherent in it, and the body has also its incidents connatural with it; he who is not subject to his bodily accidents, is able to sever the wind and air with his sword.

43. It is of course to evade the evils that are incidental to the body, but it is to undergo patiently what is unavoidable by our bodily powers.

44. Again as long as we have our bodies, we must exert our bodily organs to their proper actions;and never attempt to suppress by our understanding, as it is done by many wise men.

45. Even the great Brahma and the gods, are subject to the conditions of their bodily frames; nor have they with their great understandings, the power to avoid what is determined by irrevocable destiny.

46. It is beyond the power of both the wise and unwise, to deter the power of destiny; which makes all things to run in their destined course, as the waters of rivers run into the sea.

47. The same irrevocable destiny, determines equally the fates of the wise and unwise, and guides them as by her fingers to the same goal, until they get their release from the body.

48. The ignorant however, whether exposed to their states of prosperity and adversity, are always destined to undergo their effects upon their bodies.

49. Thus therefore it must be known by both the wise and unwise, that all beings are destined to roll in their re-iterated rotations of pleasure and pain (according to the results of their prior merits and demerits); and that there is no power to change the ever changeful ordinances of unchanging destiny.