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...
Argument:—Recognisance of Chudala, relation of her adventures and reunion with her lord.
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Sikhidvaja was surprised to see princess, so suddenly appearing before him; he looked upon her with his eyes staring with mute astonishment, and then broke his silence, with uttering the following words in his faltering speech.
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What art thou, O lotus eyed maid, and whence comest thou to this place? why comest thou here, and how long hast thou been herein? say for what purpose dost thou abide in this forest.
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Thy gait and figure, thy features and thy form, thy sweet smiles, manners and courtesy, bespeak thee plainly, to be an ectype or counterpart of the image of my wedded wife.
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So it is my lord, as thou thinkest me to be thy lawful consort; I am no doubt thy princess Chudala, who has met thee today in her natural and undisguised form, as thou also hast found her as the same.
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I assumed to me the counterfeit forms of Kumbha and others, only to remonstrate with thee on thy mistaken course; and used every art and stratagem to recall thee only to the right path.
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Ever since thy foolish renunciation of thy kingdom, for the purpose of the performance of thy ascetic austerities in the forest. I have had recourse to the employment of every art, in order to reclaim thee to the right path of religion.
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I awakened to the light of truth in my form of Kumbha, and all the other forms which I took upon myself, were chiefly intended for thy instruction (and rousing thee from thy lethargy).
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The forms of Kumbha and others, were no real but magical appearance before thee; and thou that knowest the knowable, can very well discern the whole affair in your meditation.
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You will be convinced of all this, if you will but look into it by the light of your meditation and not otherwise. After Chudala said so far, the prince sat in his meditative mood and in the posture of his meditation—yogasana.
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He saw the whole affair, rising and exhibiting itself plainly before his mental vision; ever since the renunciation of his royalty, until his meeting with Chudala at the end (from first to last).
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All these he saw rising in his soul, in one moment of his meditation; and the successive events appeared before it, since the resignation of his kingdom to the present instant.
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The prince felt glad in himself, at seeing all these in his meditation;and he greatly rejoiced with his full open eyes, when his meditation was over at the end of the scene.
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He extended both his arms with the hairs standing at an end of his body through joy, and his countenance shining with the gladness of his heart; while the fondness of his heart had its vent, in the tears trickling in his eyes, and his limbs slackened by his want of self-control.
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And then embraced her to his bosom, as a weasel does its mate for a long time; and this continued embrace of theirs, indicated the permanency of their passion for one another.
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No body nor even the hundred hooded Vasuki serpent, can express with its hundred tongues, the height of the happiness which the happy pair felt on this occasion of their reunion; when their two bodies met together, like the two orbs of the sun and moon in their conjunction; or as their two disks were joined in one, by adhesion of some paste or clay.
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The two constant lovers continued in their close contact, like two contiguous rocks sticking to one another; till at last they parted apart, with the profuse perspiration of their bodies.
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They then gradually relaxed their arms from their mutual embraces, and their hearts which had ere long over flowed with delight, became now as light as two empty pots of water.
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They loosened their arms, and stared at one another with their fixed and mute gaze of amazement; and they sat silent with their deep felt love, after the fervour of their delight was over.
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Then did the prince lay his hand under the chin of his legal and royal consort, and bespoke to her in soft and sweet words distilling with honey.
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Matrimonial love, is righteous and sweeter far than the celestial ambrosia itself; how then was it, O my moon faced love, that thou couldst continue so long without tasting its sweets?
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Thou hast doubtless undergone much privation, and suffered great pains in the absence of thy husband, and so also was the toil exceedingly great, that thou hast taken on thyself, in order to redeem me from the dungeon of the world.
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I know not with whom to compare thee, for the great wisdom that thou hast displayed in thine act of my redemption, for even the pious ladies Sachi and Arundhati and the great goddesses Gouri, Gayatri and Sri (Ceres) and Sarasvati, fall short of thy admirable qualities.
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I see, my love, that even the personified powers of understanding and prosperity, the persons of the graces and clemency, and the virtues of forgiveness, sympathy and universal love, are unequal to thy unequalled virtues and beauty.
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I know no adequate recompense, that will compensate thy labour and repay my gratitude to thee, that hast spared no patience nor persevering pains, in the cause of my instruction and redemption.
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O say, what retribution will requite thy pains, and gladden thy mind; for thy redeeming me from the dark pit of ignorance, and reclaiming me from the boundless wilderness of errors.
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It is the true virtue of faithful wives, to raise their fallen husbands much more than the sastras or learning, riches, the spiritual guide and his teaching, can serve to save a man from his degradation. (Such accomplished wife, is very hard to be in India found in these days of degeneration).
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Faithful and affectionate wives, are by far more serviceable to their husbands, than a brother or relation or any friend or servant, or even a guru or one's riches ever can be.
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The faithful wife is the best guide of man, and her person serves to be his best abode and attendant than anything else in this world. Therefore the wife deserves to be always regarded above all others, with utmost diligence and attention.
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The happiness of both worlds depends entirely on the person of the disinterested and virtuous wife, who serves as a raft to her husband, for his going across the wide ocean of the perilous world.
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How shall I, O virtuous lady! repay the recompense of what thou hast done for me, and whom I now regard as the wisest and best of all the virtuous ladies in the whole world.
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Thy name must ever afterwards remain foremost of virtuous women in the world, in all future narratives of female virtues and respectable character among female sex.
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Methinks the virtuous lady Arundhati and others, whose names are immortalized for their virtues, in the record of sacred history, will feel jealous of thee as they came to learn thy chastity and other admirable qualities. So my dear, let me embrace thee again to my bosom.
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Saying so, Sikhidvaja again held Chudala to his fast embrace, as the weasel does his mate in their mutual fondness.
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My lord, I was sorry to find you entirely devoted to your dry ceremonial duties, and it was for that reason, that I took so much pains to dissuade you from them, and lead you to the knowledge of the intelligent soul.
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Now tell me, my lord, what shall we do in this place and what is the use of your extolling my virtues so far.
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O you most excellent among women, you are here at your liberty to do whatever you think best; as it is the prerogative of respectable ladies, to manage everything in their own way.
Chudala answered said:—
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Now my lord! as you have come to know, that you are released from the network of this world, and are set free on the shore from all its broils: you must have perceived now that your past austerities were all in vain and gone for nothing.
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You must have known that it is all in vain, when you say "I do this or that, and will get its reward, and will thus be settled in life etc."; say do you smile to think of these and other vagaries of your simple understanding.
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Do you know that these vagaries are the creatures of your avarice, and mere creations of your fancy? (because there is nothing that can do or bring out of your will or by your own power).
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Don't you yet perceive that these false creations of your imagination, are as unreal as the situation or appearance of mountains in the empty air?
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Say what is it that you have learnt after all, what is it that you depend upon, and what is the object that you seek at present, and in what light you view all your bodily acts either of your past or future life.
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O dear lady, with thy blooming eyes, resembling the leaves of a full blown blue lotus, I am likewise situated in and at the same place, wherein thou art located also.
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I am tranquil and alike (or likened to) the object of my meditation, and am situated in the true ego long after leaving the sense of my personality: I am arrived to that state (of rapturous delight) which is known to and felt by the heart only (lit, by way of the heart).
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There is no power any where, nor even that of Hari and Hara, that is able to obstruct that heart-felt joy of mine, which makes me think myself as nothing else or less than the very intellect (or a particle—chinmatra) itself.
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I am now free from errors, and liberated from the trammels of the world; I am neither this nor that, nor am I glad nor sorry at any thing or at any event in the world.
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I am neither any gross or subtile matter, nor am I like a ray of the solar light, that emanates from the body of the sun, and falls below by traversing through the midday sky. (i.e. The human soul is the image of God, and not a particle of the undivided essence of the Deity).
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I am of the essence of that glorious light, which is ever without its increase or decrease; I am always tranquil and ever even in my nature, and I am quite at ease, having no desire of mine own, nor anything to expect from any body.
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O thou most chaste lady, know me to be of that essence, which exists as extinct every where; I am what I am and what I cannot describe, and no other than this.
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O beauteous lady, with thy eye balls glancing like the flitting waves of rivulets! I bow down to thee as my instructor; because it is by thy good grace that I have come across the turbulent ocean of the world.
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I shall no more be soiled with the dirt of the earth, after being cleansed from it like a bit of gold from its alloy by repeated burnings.
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I am quite calm and easy, quiet and free from passions, and never divided in my attention nor distracted in my mind. I am beyond all things, I am ubiquitous and all pervading, and am situated as I am (without any change in me).
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If you remain in this manner, O thou lord of my life, and dearly beloved one of my heart, then tell me, my lord, what is it that is now best agreeable to your most noble disposition.
Sikhidvaja answered said:—
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I know of nothing, O good lady, that is either delectable or detestable to me; I do the same as you do, and am exactly of the same mind like yours in every thing.
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O thou that art as fair as the firmament, know that I have nothing to choose for myself, beyond what I am possest of; and leave it to you to choose and do whatever you think proper for us.
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I will act as you will do, like your shadow or reflection in the mirror; because my mind being devoid of its desire and effort, I will patiently bear with whatever comes to pass on me.
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I will neither excite nor prevent, nor praise or blame thee for aught thou doest; but leave thee at thy full liberty, to do whatever thou best choosest for thyself.
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If it is so as you say, then hear me tell you what is best to be done by you at present; you are to set yourself to imitate the conduct of living-liberated persons, and set yourself released from your ignorance, by knowing the unity of the Deity, pervading all things in every place.
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We are both as devoid of desires, as the empty void of the sky is without its population; but that which I wish to do is what you do not wish at all. (i.e. I wish to manage the state, which you dislike to do).
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Say what man is there, who neglects his life and livelihood, and remains only, in his intellect? (No one can make his intellectual culture without having his life and living). And as there are three stages of human life, namely, its beginning or boyhood, its middle or youth, and its end or old age, and we being situated in the midst of it, must do the duties appertaining to this state, before we proceed to the last stage of our being.
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And as we are by birth the prince and princess of a realm, it is paramount on us to rule our state, and pass our days in the discharge of the duties of our royalty until our end.
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Tell me, O fickle minded lady, what you mean by the three stages; and how we stand at the midmost one, without having a whit to care for the final one.
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Know prince, that we are royal personages by births, and must all along continue as such from the first to the last stage of our lives.
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Why then do you allow the imbecility and hermitage of old age, to overtake you in the prime of your youth;when it is your duty to remain in your city and palace, and govern your princely state.
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And then I will reign there as thy consort queen, and crown the ladies in the royal apartment; and all young maidens of the city will dance about in jovialty, to see their prince and princess again in the royal palace.
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And then the city glittering with its uplifted flags, and resounding with its loud beating drums, and decorated with wreaths of flowers hanging all about it; will resemble a vernal garden, smiling with its verdant plants, blooming buds and blushing flowers all around.
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Hearing these words of the princess, the king smilingly spoke to her in his mellifluous words, which bespoke them to proceed from the simplicity and frankness of his soul.
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If such is your pleasure, O long sighted (eyed) lady, to incite me to earthly pleasures, then tell me what cause had I to slight the heavenly happiness, which was proffered to me by god Indra.
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Know prince, that I also have no taste in earthly enjoyments, nor any great zest for its grandeur or greatness. I depend upon the bounty of nature, and live as I receive from her hand.
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Hence I have no relish for heavenly joys or earthly royalty, nor do I derive any pleasure from the performance of virtuous and manly acts. My delight is in the undisturbed equanimity of my mind, and the positive rest of my position.
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It is only after I have lost my feeling of pleasure in something, and that of pain in another, that I gain my equanimity and indifference to both, and am settled in my perfect rest and tranquillity.
Sikhidvaja responded said:—
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You have rightly said, O large eyed dame, with your calm and cool understanding; that it is all alike, whether we get or lose a kingdom, since we derive no lasting good nor suffer great evil, either from its gain or loss.
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Let us remain in perfect ease, by shunning all thoughts of pleasure or pain; and getting release of the envy, emulation and jealousy; and continue in the same state of thoughtlessness as we are at present. (Lovely lasting peace of mind, sweet delight of human kind; that neither envy nor ambition knows &c. see ode on contentment).
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In this manner did the conjugal pair, pass the day in their sweet endearments and mutual conversation; and the day glided on swiftly and sweetly over their feast of reason and flow of the soul.
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They rose on the departure of the day, to discharge their duties on the parting days; and though they were ill provided for the emergencies of night, yet they well knew how to suit themselves to every occasions in every place.
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Disdaining heavenly bliss, the loving pair lived together in perfect contentment with their conjugal bliss; and they both slept in the same bed-stead, loving and loved by one another.
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The live long night passed away swiftly in their heaven like happiness of conjugal enjoyment, and upon their conferral of reciprocal love and affection;and by exciting their anxiety for mutual embrace.