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:—His coming to knowledge of himself by the instruction of his father Brihaspati.
Now I have narrated to you fully, and finished my relation of the narrative of Sikhidvaja; and hope you will imitate his example, to set you free from all sorrow and misery.
2. Shut out the visible world from thy sight, and shut in thy passions and affections in close confinement within thy heart; and continue with the dispassionateness of thy mind, for ever attached to the supreme spirit.
3. Reign in thy kingdom with the leteration of Sikhidvaja, and conduct yourself in a manner, that may secure to you the fruition of both worlds (namely—the peace and tranquillity of thy mind in this and the liberation of the soul in the next).
4. As Sikhidvaja came by degrees to attain his enlightenment, so also did Kacha the son of Brihaspati receive the light of his reason, as I shall now relate unto you.
5. Rama said, please to tell me sir, in short, how this Kacha the saintly son of the sage Brihaspati, came to his reason and right understanding, after he was deluded before by error as Sikhidvaja.
6. Vasishtha began by saying:—Hear Rama, another tale as interesting as that of Sikhidvaja, and the manner in which Kacha the progeny of the god like Brihaspati was awakened to the light of truth.
7. As he has passed the period of his youth, and was about to enter the career of worldly life, and had ere this acquired the full knowledge of worlds and things, he proposed the following query to his father.
8. He said, tell me, O father, that knowest all righteousness, how the animal spirit that is bound to the body by means of the too thin thread of life, is released from the bondage of it in this temporary world.
9. The soul, my son, is well able to fly away easily and swiftly over the perilous ocean of the world, by means of its abandonment of concerns with it.
10. Kacha hearing this holy dictum of his father, abandoned all his earthly properties and expectations, and left his house and went to the forest where he took his shelter.
11. Brihaspati was filled with sorrow at his departure; because it is the nature of good hearted men, to feel equal anxiety both at the union as well as the separation of their friends and inmates.
12. After the sinless Kacha had passed three and five years in his solitude, he came to meet unawares his reverent father, seeking for him in the wood.
13. The son rose and did homage to his venerable father, who embraced him in his arms and to his breast; and then bespoke to his father—the lord of speech, in words that flowed like honey from his lips.
14. You see father, that I have for these full eight years, forsaken every thing and betaken myself to this solitary retreat, and still why is it, that I do not enjoy the lovely and lasting peace of mind which I have been seeking so long?
15. Upon hearing these sorrowful words of Kacha, the lord of speech for Brihaspati told him again to abandon his all, and then left him and made his way to the upper sky.
16. After his father's departure, Kacha cast off his mantle made of the bark and leaves of trees; when his frail body appeared out of it like the clear autumnal sky, after the setting of the sun and the stars of heaven.
17. He then removed to another forest, where he took shelter in the cave of a rock, that defended him from rains and rainy clouds, as the autumnal sky protects the landscape from the floods of rain.
18. He lived afterwards all apart on one side of a wood, with his naked body and tranquil and vacant mind, and breathed only the breath of his life;and as he was afflicted on one occasion in this state of his body and mind, he happened to see his father standing before him.
19. The pious son rose from his seat, and did reverence to his sire with all the marks of filial piety; being then clasped in his close embrace, he asked him in his faltering words as follows:—
20. Behold my father how I have forsaken every thing, and have even cast away my ragged wrapper and my shelter of reeds and weeds; and yet why is that I do not find my rest in my god, and what must I yet do to attain to that state.
21. I told you my son, to forsake your all, and this all means the mind, which comprehends all things in it; it is by forsaking your mind that you can gain your perfect felicity, because the learned know the mind to be all in all, on account of its being the container of every thing in itself, and there being nothing, besides the ideas of them in our minds.
22. Saying so, the lord of speech—Brihaspati flew hastily into the sky;and his son Kacha, strove henceforth to relinquish the thoughts and operations of his mind.
23. But as found it impossible to subdue his mind, as also to suppress its action and motion; he then recalled his father to his mind, and thought in himself to be got into his presence.
24. He considered in himself, the mind to be no part of his body, nor anything among the known categories in nature; It is quite aloof and apart from all, and therefore perfectly guiltless in itself, why should I then abandon so innocent and constant a companion of mine.
25. I shall therefore have recourse to my father, to learn how and why the mind is accounted as the greatest enemy of men. Learning this fully from him, I will forthwith forsake it from me, and purchase my felicity thereby.
26. Having thought so, Kacha went upward to the upper sky, and meeting the lord of speech there, he bowed down to him, and did his homage with filial love and affection.
27. He then called him aside, and asked him to tell him the true nature and form of the mind, so that he could be enabled to detect it thereby, and forsake it accordingly from him.
28. Brihaspati answered:—The mind is known as the egoism of a man, by men acquainted with the mental science or psychology; the inward feeling of one's egoism, takes the name of his mind and no more.
29. Kacha rejoined and said:—O sire of unlimited understanding, that art the preceptor of thirty-three millions of gods; explain to me this intricate point of identity of the mind or intellect or egoism.
30. I see the difficulty both of forsaking his mind, as also of his forgetting his egoism or self-personality; and own also the impossibility of one's consummation, without his relinquishing both of these; tell me now, O thou greatest of yogi thinkers, how is it possible to get rid of them in any wise.
31. Brihaspati answered:—Why my son, the demolition of our egoism is as easy as the twinkling of our eyelids, and easier far than the crushing of flowers; and there is not the least pain in your rejecting this feeling.
32. Now hear my boy tell you how this is to be done in a trice, and how it is to be removed like long standing bias of ignorance, by the true knowledge of the nature of a thing.
33. There is no such thing in reality my son, as what you call your egoism or personality; it is an unreality appearing as reality, and a false chimera like the ghost of little boys. (Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark, thinking there are ghost and goblins lurking therein of Bacon's Essays).
34. Like the fallacy of water in the mirage, and the mistake of a serpent in the rope; and alike all other errors appearing as truths, the misconception of egoism is a mere delusion of the understanding.
35. As it is the delusion of our vision, that represents a couple of moons in the sky, and shows many things as their doubles; so it is the error of our understanding that presents to us our false egoism, instead of the one real and everlasting ego.
36. There is one real Ego alone, which is without beginning and end, and quite pellucid in itself; it is more transparent than the clear atmosphere, and an Intelligence that knows all things. (Pure omniscience).
37. He is always every where, as the light of all things and the life of all living beings;It is his essence only that spreads throughout all nature and shines in all her phenomena, as the same essence of water, displays itself in all the rolling surges and waves and moving bubbles in the sea.
38. Such being the case, tell me what is this special egoism of ours, and how and whence could a separate personality come to exist; where can you find dust to raise from water, or behold water to spring from fire. (Things of the same kind spring from the same source, and the product is never different from the original).
39. Shun my son your false belief of the difference of this one and that another, and thyself a quite another person (a tertium quid); and abstain to think thyself as a mean and contemptible being confined within the limits of space and time. (i.e. Know thyself as identic with the boundless and everlasting spirit and no other).
40. Know thyself (soul) as unbounded by space and time, and ever overspread all over in thy essential transparency, which is always the same in all seeming varieties, the one invariable, pure and simple Intellect.
41. Thyself (soul) is situated, in the fruits, flowers and leaves of all the trees on every side of thee; and abides in every thing like the pith and marrow for its subsistence, and as moisture for its growth. The pure intellect eternally inheres in every thing as its soul and essence, tell me then O Kacha, whence you derive the belief of your egoism and personal existence (as an embodied person).