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 V - Narrative of a vidyadhara and his queries

Argument. said:—

Vasishtha relates the tale spoken to him by Bhusunda, and efficacy of divine knowledge in dispassionate souls and not in ungoverned minds.

Vasishtha continued:—

The sensible man who employs himself in his inquiry after truth, after controlling his nature, and restraining his organs of sense from their objects, becomes successful in them at last.

2. But the man of perverted understanding, that has no command over his own nature, finds it as impossible for him to gain any good or better state, as it is in vain to expect to obtain any oil from pressing the sands.

3. A little instruction even is as impressive in the pure mind, as a drop of oil sticks to the clean linen; but no education has any effect on the hard heart of fools, as the most brilliant pearl makes no impression in the gritty glass mirror. (It casts but a shadow which never lasts).

4. I will here cite an instance to this purport, from an old anecdote related to me by the aged Bhusunda in bygone days; when I was living with him on the top of Sumeru mountain. (This proves the longevity of the Aryans in the ancient homestead beyond the Altaian chain).

5. I had once in times of old, mooted this question among other things to the time worn Bhusunda, when he was dwelling in his solitary retreat in one of the caves of Meru, saying:—

6. O long living seer, do you remember to have ever seen, any such person of infatuated understanding, who was unconscious of himself and ignorant of his own soul? (The mugdha or infatuated is explained as one of ungoverned mind and senses and employed in vain labour and toil).

Bhusunda replied:—

7. Yes, there lived a Vidyadhara of old, on the top of the mountain on the horizon; who was greatly distressed with incessant toil, and yet anxious for his longevity (by performance of his devotion for prolongation of life).

8. He betook himself to austerities of various kinds, and to the observance of abstinence, self-restraint and vows of various forms; and obtained thereby an undecaying life, which lasted for many ages of four kalpas of four yugas each.

9. At the end of the fourth kalpa he came to his sense, and his percipience burst forth on a sudden in his mind, as the emeralds glare out of ground in the distant country (of Burmah); at the roaring of clouds. (Emeralds are called vaiduryas below from their production in the vidura or distant land of Burmah; where there are many ruby mines also; but vaiduryas are the sky coloured sapphire or lapis lazuli; and often called as emeralds).

10. He then reflected in himself saying:—What stability can I have in this world, where all beings are seen to come repeatedly into existence, to decay with age, and at last to die and dwindle away into nothing? I am ashamed to live in this state of things and under such a course of nature.

11. With these reflections he came to me, quite disgusted in his spirit at the frailties of the world, and distasteful of baneful vanities; and then proposed to me his query regarding the city with its eighteen compartments. (i.e. The body with its ten organs, five vital airs, the mind, soul, and body).

12. He advanced before me, and bowed down profoundly; and after being honoured by me, he took the opportunity to propose his questions to me.

13. The Vidyadhara said:—I see these organs of my body, which though so frail, are yet as hard and strong as any weapon of steel; they are capable of breaking and tearing every thing, and hurtful in their acts

of injuring others.

14. I find my senses to be dim and dark, and always disturbed and leading to dangers (by their mistake of things). Again the passions in the heart, are setting fire to the forest of our good qualities, and boiling with the waves of sorrow and grief; while the dark ignorance of our minds, envelops every thing in the deepest gloom. Hence it is that the control, over our bodily organs, senses and the passions and feelings of the heart and mind, is only attended with our real happiness, which is not to be had from any object of sense.