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 CXXI - Continuation of the same

Argument: The causes of the Elevation and degradation of living being.

Manu continued:—

1. The soul is originally full of bliss by its nature, but being subject to ignorance, it fosters its vain desire for temporal enjoyment, whence it has the name of the living soul (which is subjected to misery). This corresponds with the scriptural doctrine, that man was originally made in the image of his Maker (i.e. full of bliss); but being tempted by delusion to taste the forbidden sweetness, became the mortal and miserable human soul).

2. But when the desire of pleasure, is lessened by the viveka or discriminative knowledge of man, he forsakes his nature of a living and mortal being, and his soul becomes one with the supreme spirit. (Man by his knowledge retrieves his godly nature).

3. Do not therefore allow your desire of earthly enjoyment, to draw your soul up and down to heaven and hell; as a bucket tied in its neck with a cord, is cast down and again lifted up from a well.

4. Those selfish folks who claim something as theirs from that of another, are grossly mistaken and led into error, and are destined like the dragging bucket to descend lower and lower. (The more niggardliness the more degradation or the more selfishness the greater baseness).

5. He who gets rid of his knowledge that, this is I and that is another, and that this is mine and that is the others, gradually rises higher and higher according to his greater disinterestedness. (Disinterestedness characterises an elevated mind).

6. Delay not to rely your dependance in your enlightened and elevated soul, stretching over and filling the whole space of the sky, end comprehending all the worlds in it. (This magnanimity is characteristic of the catholicity of Hindu religion).

7. When the human mind is thus elevated and expanded beyond all limits, it then approaches the divine mind, and is assimilated to it. (This extinction is called its nirvana).

8. Any one who has arrived to this state, may well think in himself to be able to effect whatever was done by the Gods Brahma, Vishnu, Indra (by his intellectual body Varuna and others; who were of such elevated souls and minds).

9. Whatever acts are attributed to any of the Gods or other persons, is no more than the display of divine pleasure in that form.

10. Whoso is assimilated to the divine intellect, and has become deathless and unmindful of his mortal state, has a share of supreme felicity for his enjoyment, which bears no comparison: (unspeakable delight attends on the soul of the spiritualist).

11. Continue to think this world as neither a vacuum nor a plenum; nor a material or spiritual substance. It is neither an intellectual being, nor a quite insensible thing.[1]

12. By thinking in this way, you will have composure of your disposition, or else there is no separate place or time or condition for your liberation or salvation.

13. It is by the absence of our egoism and ignorance, that we get rid of our personal existence, and it is our contemplation of the nature of God, and his presence before us in our meditation (sakshat kara) of him, that constitutes our moksha or liberation.

14. It is the even delight and perpetual tranquillity of the soul, that constitutes our bliss and liberation;and these are to be obtained by means of calm and cool reasoning in the sense of sastras, avoiding all impatience and fickleness of our mind and temper, and the pleasure derived from our taste in poetry and light studies and trifling amusement. (It requires us to be free from the fluctuations of our desires and options of which there is no end).

Footnotes and references:


Should you think it a nullity by the Sruti which says neti-neti it is naught, you deny the creatorship of God, who has created it as something substantial and tangible.

Again on the other hand, if you consider it as a hypostatic reality, you introduce in that case positive duality, beside the reality of one unity alone. So every other position being liable to objection, you must think it as neither the one nor the other, but as something incomprehensible, or reflection of the Divine Mind.