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 CXX - Continuation of the same: on the seven stages of edification

Argument:—The three stages of the seekers of Liberation, and the three others of the Liberated.

Manu continued:—

Enlightenment of the understanding by the study of the sastras and attendance on holy and wise men, is said to be the first stage of yoga by yogis. (These seven stages have been spoken of before in other words in the Utpatti-prakarana).

2. Discussion and reconsideration of what has been learnt before, is second stage of yoga; the third is the rumination of the same in one's self and is known under the name of nididhyasana or self-communion of meditation. The fourth is silent meditation in which one loses his desires and darkness in his presence before the light of God. (This is called the atmasakshyat kara also; and all these four stages are expressed in the vedic text. [Sanskrit: atmavare svitava mantaba nididhyasitava karttavasveti]).

3. The fifth stage is one of pure consciousness and felicity, wherein the living-liberated-devotee remains in his partly waking and partly sleeping state. (This is half hypnotism).

4. The sixth stage in one's consciousness of ineffable bliss, in which he is absorbed in a state of trance or sound sleep. (This is known as samadhi or hypnotism).

5. One's resting in the fourth and succeeding stages, is called his liberation, and then the seventh stage is the state of an even and transparent light, in which the devotee loses his self consciousness.

6. The state above turya or fourth stage, is called nirvana or extinction in God; and the seventh stage of perfection relates to disembodied souls only and not to those of living beings.

7. The first three stages relate to the waking state of man, and the fourth stage concerns the sleeping state, in which the world appears in the manner of a dream.

8. The fifth stage is the stage of sound sleep, in which the soul is drowned in deep felicity; and the unconsciousness of one's self in the sixth stage, is also called his turya or fourth state: (because it is beyond the three states of waking, sleeping or dreaming and sound sleep [Sanskrit: jagatnidrasusuptah]).

9. The seventh stage is still above the turya state of self-unconsciousness; and which is full of divine effulgence, whose excellence no words can express nor the mind can conceive.

10. In this state the mind being withdrawn from its functions, it is freed from all thoughts of the thinkables, and all its doubts and cares are drowned in the calm composure of its even temperament.

11. The mind that remains unmoved amidst its passions and enjoyments, and is unchanged in prosperity and adversity, and retains full possession of itself under all circumstances, becomes of this nature both in its embodied and disembodied states of life and death.

12. The man that does not think himself to be alive or dead, or to be a reality or otherwise; but always remains joyous in himself, is one who is verily called to be liberated in his life time. (The happy minded are accounted as liberated in life).

13. Whether engaged in business or retired from it, whether living with a family or leading a single life (i.e. whether leading a social or solitary mode of life), the man that thinks himself as naught but the intellect, and has nothing to fear or care or to be sorry for in this world, is reckoned as liberated in this life.

14. The man who thinks himself to be unconnected with any one, and to be free from disease, desire, and affections; and who believes himself to be a pure aerial substance of the divine intellect, has no cause to be sorry for anything.

15. He who knows himself to be without beginning and end, and decay and demise, and to be of the nature of pure intelligence; remains always quiet and composed in himself, and has no cause for sorrow at all.

16. He that deems himself to belong to that intellect, which dwells alike in the minute blade of grass, as well as in the infinite space of the sky, and in the luminous sun, moon and stars, and as also in the various races of beings, as men, Nagas and immortals; has no cause whatever for his sorrow.

17. Whoso knows the majesty of the divine intellect, to fill all the regions both above and below and on all sides of him, and reflects himself as a display of his endless diversity, how can he be sorry at all for his decay and decline.

18. The man that is bound to (or enslaved by his desire), is delighted to have the objects he seeks; but the very things tending to his pleasure by their gain, prove to be painful to his heart at their loss. (Hence the wise are never elated or dejected, at either gain or loss of temporal things, but are ever pleased and content with their spiritual souls only which they can never lose).

19. The presence or absence of some thing, is the cause of the pleasure or pain of men in general; but it is either the curtailment or want of desires that is practiced by the wise. (The diminishing of desires is practiced by yogis in the fourth and its two succeeding stages; but its utter annihilation occurs only in the seventh and last stage of yoga).

20. No act of ours nor its result (whether good or bad), conduces either to our joy or grief, which we do with unconcern or little desire or expectation of its reward.

21. Whatever act is done with ardent employment of the members of the body, and the application of the whole heart, mind and soul to it, such an act tends to bind a man; otherwise an indifferent action like a fried grain, does not germinate into any effect.

22. The thought that I am the doer and owner of a deed, overpowers all bodily exertions, and sprouts fourth with results, that are forever binding on the doer (i.e. an indifferent action may pass for nothing, but a conscious and meditated act is binding on the actor).

23. As the moon is cool with her cooling beams; and the sun is hot by his burning heat; so a man is either good or bad according as the work he does.

24. All acts which are done or left undone, are as fugacious as the flying cotton on cotton trees; they are easily put to flight by the breath of understanding (Jnana or wisdom). All the acts of men are lost by discontinuance of their practice (as in Jnana khanda).

25. The germ of knowledge growing in the mind, increases itself day by day, as the corn sown in good ground soon shoots forth into the paddy plant.

26. There is one universal soul, that sparkles through all things in the world, as it is the same translucent water, that glistens in lake and large oceans and seas.

27. Withhold sir, your notions of the varieties and multiplicities of things, and know these as parts of one undivided whole, which stretches through them as their essence and soul.