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 CXIII - The parable of the vain man continued

Argument: Interpretation of the parable of the Aerial man.

Rama said:—

1. Please sir, give me the interpretation of your parable of the false man, and tell me the allusion it bears to the fanciful man, whose business it was to watch the air or sky (and to make his new posts for that purpose).

Vasishtha replied:—

2. Hear me, Rama, now expound to you the meaning of my parable of the false man, and the allusion which it bears to every fanciful man in this world.

3. The man that I have represented to you, as a magical engine (maya yantra), means the egoistic man, who is led by the magic of his egoism, to look upon the empty air of his personality as a real entity (and whose sole care it is to preserve its vital air as its only property).

4. The vault of the sky, which contains all these orbs of worlds; is but an infinite space of empty void, as it was ere this creation came into existence, and before it becomes manifest to view.

5. There is the spirit of the inscrutable and impersonal Brahma, immanent in this vacuity and becomes apparent in the personality of Brahma, in the manner of the audible sound issuing out of the empty air, which is its receptacle and support.

6. It is from this also that there rises the subtle individual soul with the sense of its egoism, as the vibration of current winds springs from the motionless air; and then as it grows up in time in the same element, it comes to believe its having an individual soul and a personality of its own.

7. Thus the impersonal soul being imbibed with the idea of its personality, tries to preserve its egoism for ever; it enters into many bodies of different kinds, and creates new ones for its abode upon the loss of the former ones.

8. This egoistic soul, is called the false and magical man; because it is a false creation of unreality, and a production of vain ignorance and imagination.

9. The pit and the pot, and the cottage and the hut, represent the different bodies, the empty vacuity of which, supplies the egoistic soul with a temporary abode.

10. Now listen to me to relate to you the different names, under which our ignorant spirit passes in this world, and begins itself under one or other of these appellations.

11. It takes the various names of the living soul, the understanding, mind, the heart, and ignorance and nature also; and is known among men, by the words imagination, fancy and time, which are also applied to it.

12. In these and a thousand other names and forms, doth this vain egoism appear to us in this world; but all these powers and faculties are mere attributives of the true ego which is imperceptible to us.

13. The world is verily known to rest without its basis, in the extended and vacuous womb of the visible firmament; and the imaginary soul of the egoist is supposed to dwell in it, and feel all its pain and pleasure in vain. (But the sense of the unreality of the world, as also of one's personality, exempts from the sensations of pleasure and pain).

14. Therefore O Rama, do not like the imaginary man in the fable, place any reliance in your false personality; nor subject yourself like the egoistic man, to the fancied pleasure and misery of this world. (14b) Do not trouble yourself, like the erroneous man, with the vain care of preserving your vacuous soul; nor suffer like him the pain of your confinement in the hollow of the pit, pot and others.

15. How is it possible for any body, to preserve or confine the vacuous spirit in the narrow limit of a pot and the like; when it is more extended than the boundless sky, and more subtile and purer than the all pervading air.

16. The soul is supposed to dwell in the cavity of the human heart, and is thought to perish with the decay and destruction of the body; hence people are seen to lament at the loss of their frail bodies, as if it entailed the destruction of their indestructible soul.

17. As the destruction of the pot or any other hollow vessel, does not destroy the subtile air, which is contained in the same; so the dissolution of the body, does not dissolve the embodied and intangible soul.

18. Know Rama, the nature of the soul, to be as that of the pure intellect; it is more subtile than the circumambient air, and minuter far than the minutest atom; it is a particle of our consciousness only, and indestructible as the all pervasive air, which is never to be nullified.

19. The soul is never born, nor does it die as any other thing at any place or time; it extends over the whole universe, as the universal soul of Brahma, which encompasses and comprehends all space, and manifests itself in all things.

20. Know this spirit as one entire unit, and the only real entity; it is always calm and quiet, and without its beginning, middle and end. Know it as beyond the positive and negative, and be happy with thy knowledge of its transcendental nature.

21. Now extricate your mind from the false cogitation of your egoism, which is the abode of all evils and dangers, and is an unstable thing depending on the life of a man;it is full of ignorance and vanity, and its own destruction and final perdition (in hell fire). Therefore get rid of your egoistic feeling, and rely only on the ultimate and optimum state of the one everlasting Deity.