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 VIII - Description of the temple of illusion

Argument:—Destruction of the arbour of the world by the fire of reason, and description of the fabric of the world as the mansion of Delusion—Maya-mandapa.

Bhusunda continued and said:—

1. Now Vidyadhara! You have heard, how the mundane arbour comprises the earth with her mountains and cavern abodes, and stretches to all sides and touches the skies, bearing all living being continually moving and living upon it (i.e. its produce).

2. Such is the mundane tree, growing out of the seed of egoism; but this seed being roasted by the fire of reason, ceases to sprout forth any more (i.e. into new life in future births).

3. The visibles are not existent, nor is I or thou (i.e. the subjective or objective) ever a positive reality, and this fallacy of their positivity is wholly burnt away by the knowledge of tajjnana or their identity with God (i.e. in the extinction of all distinctive knowledge in the entity of the sole unity).

4. As it is the thought of I and thou that begets the idea of egoism and tuism, which becomes the seed of the world; so it is the thought of non-ego et tu, that removes the idea of egoism and tuism, and this is the true and best knowledge of God.

5. Think of the inexistence of the world before its creations, and say where was then this knowledge of egoism and tuism, or this delusion of the unity or duality.

6. Those who strive diligently to get rid of their desires altogether, according to the instructions of their preceptors (as given before);verily they become successful in obtaining the supreme state (of the knowledge and presence of God).

7. As the confectioner becomes skilful in his profession, by his learning and practice of the art of confectionary; so the inquirer after truth becomes successful by constant application to it and by no other means. (So also doth the yogi thrive in his yoga, by and under the direction of his spiritual guide).

8. Know the world to be the wonderful phenomenon of the intellect, and it does not exist in the outer space as it appears to the naked eye, but in the inner mind (which bears the prototype of the world).

9. As a picture is the fac-simile of the pattern, which is inscribed in the painter's mind; so it is the twinkling of our thought only, that unfolds or obscures the world unto us by its opening and closing.

10. This thought or fancy of the mind, portrays to sight a large edifice supported upon big and huge columns, and studded with gems and pearls;and gilt over with gildings of bright gold.

11. It is surrounded by a thousand pillars of precious stones, rising high like the pinnacles of Sumeru; and emitting the various of the rainbows, and glittering with the brightness of the evening sun on the clouds.

12. It is furnished with many a fountain (of the seas and rivers), for the sport of men, women, and children living under it; and amidst the decorations of all kinds of animals in it.

13. It is full of elements, with its enemy of darkness that is light, darkness and light are its alternate result, hence it has derived its name—chitra picture.

14. There were lakes of lotuses with kalpa trees, beside them for the sport of women, who plucked their flowers for their decorations of them, and which scattered about their fragrance as plentifully; as the clouds sprinkle their rain-waters all around.

15. Here the great kulachalas or boundary mountains, were as light as toys in the hands of boys; and they were tossed and whirled about as play things, by the breath of little lads. (i.e. Mountains are minute things with respect to the great fabric of the universe).

16. Here the bright evening clouds were as the glittering earrings of the ladies, and the light and fleet autumn clouds like flying fans and flappers; the heavy clouds of the rainy season, moved as slow as the waving fans of palm leaves; and the orb of the earth moved about as a dice on the chessboard, under the canopy of the starry heavens.

17. Here all living creatures and the sun and moon, are moving about as the dice and king and queen on the chessboard; and the appearance and disappearance of the world in the arena of vacuum, are as the gain or loss in the chess play of the gods (Brahma and others).

18. As a thought that is long dwelt upon and brooded over in the mind, comes to appear as really present before the sight of its entertainer (i.e. as the imagination assumes the shape of an apparition to sight).

19. So is this formal world a visible representation of the thoughts or workings of the mind, it is as an exquisite performance of the mind of the artist, from the prototype ingrafted in the soul.

20. It is the apparition of an unreality, and is present in appearance but absent in substance; it is verily the appearance of an unreality, by whatever cause it may have come to appear. (The Cause is said to be the original ignorance or delusion (adi-avidya or maya).

21. It is as the sight of the forms of ornaments, in the same substance of gold; and the vault of the world, is as full of ever changing wonders, as the changeful and wondrous thoughts of the mind. Wherefore it is the cessation of thought, that causes the extinction of the world. (Nothing exists to us whereof we have no thought).

22. Hence it lies entirely in your power, to have or leave the world as you may like; either disregard your temporal enjoyments, if you have your final liberation; or continue in your acts and rites, in order to continue in your repeated transmigrations through endless births and deaths.

23. I understand you have attained your state of rationality; and have purified your soul in this your second or third stage of Yoga; I believe you will not fall back or come down to a lower order, therefore hold your silence and rely in the purity of the soul and shut out invisibles from your sight.