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 X - Description of creation as an emanation from brahma

Argument:—Brahma existing without attributes and functions, and the inexistence of the world at any time or any where beside him.

Bhusunda continued:—

1. Know O Vidyadhara! the world as an evolution of Divine intelligence, and not as an inert mass and distinct from that intelligence as it appears to be. And as the reflection of fire (or fiery sunbeams) in water, is nothing different from the nature of the cold water; so the reflection of the world in the Divine intelligence, is not at all distinct from the substance of that Intelligence itself.

2. Therefore remain at rest without making any distinction, between your knowledge of the world or its absence (because the refutation of the existence of gross matter altogether, refutes the existence of the gross world also); and because a picture drawn only on the tablet of the painter's mind, and not painted on an outward plate, is as false as the knowledge of the fairy land in the empty air or vacuum.

3. The omnipotence of Brahma, contains also the insensible (or gross) matter in his intelligence; as the calm and clear water of the sea, contains the matter of the future froth and foam within itself.

4. As the froth is not produced in the water, without some cause or other; so the creation never proceeds from the essence of Brahma, without its particular cause also. (This cause is said to be Maya).

5. But the uncaused and causeless Brahma, can have no cause whatever for his creation of the world; nor is any thing at this world or other, ever born or destroyed in himself. (No material substance is ever born or lost in the spiritual essence of God).

6. The entire want of a cause (either material or formal), makes the growth and formation of the world an utter impossibility, it is as impossible as the growth of a forest or the sight of a sea in the mirage of a desert as it appears to be.

7. The nature of Brahma is being the same as infinity and eternity, it is tranquil and immutable at all times; and is not therefore liable to entertain a thought or will of the creation at any time. Thus there being no temporary cause for such, the world itself must be identic with Brahma himself.

8. Therefore the nature of Brahma is both as empty as the hollow vacuity of air, as also as dense as the density of a rock; so it is the solidity of Brahma that represents the solid cosmos, as his tenuity displays the inane atmosphere.

9. Whether you can understand anything or nothing, regarding the mysterious nature of the Deity, remain quite unconcerned about it; and rest your soul in that Supreme spirit, wherein all intelligence and its absence are both alike. (To him no great or small but are all alike).

10. The everlasting bliss of the uncreated God, has no cause for his creation of the world, which cannot augment his bliss; therefore know all that is and exists to the increate God himself, from the improbability of his making a creation to no purpose whatsoever.

11. Of what use is it to reason with the ignorant, concerning the production and destruction of creation (i.e. about the existence or inexistence of the objective world); when they have not the Divine Intellect in their view (as all in all or as both the subjective and objective in itself).

12. Wherever there is the Supreme being, there is the same accompanied with the worlds also (as it is impossible to have the idea of God, without the association of the world); because the meaning of the word world, conveys the sense of their variety.

13. The supreme Brahma is present in everything in all places, such as in the woods and grass, in the habitable earth and in the waters likewise. So the creatures of God teem in every part of creation together with the all-creative power.

14. It is improper to ask, what is the nature and constitution of Brahma; because there is no possibility of ascertaining the essence and absence of the properties of that infinite and transcendental entity.

15. All want—abhava being wanting in him, who is full—purna in himself; and any particular nature—bhava being inapplicable to the infinite One, who comprehends all nature in him; all words significant of his nature are mere paralogism.

16. Inexistence and non-entity being altogether impossible, of the everlasting and self-existent being; who is always existent in his own essence, any word descriptive of his nature, is but a misrepresentation of his true nature and quality.

17. He is neither I nor thou (the subjective or the objective); who is unknowable to the understanding, and invisible to the people in all the worlds; and yet He is represented as such and such, as false phantoms of the brain which presents themselves as ghosts to boys.

18. That which is free from or beyond the sense of I and thou—the subject and object, is known as the truly Supreme; but what is seen under the sense of I and thou, proves to be null and void.

19. The distinction of the world from the essence of Brahma, is entirely lost in the sight of them, that have unity of Brahma only before their view. The subjective and objective are of equal import to them, who believe all sensible objects as mere productions of fancy from the very substance of Brahma, as the various ornaments are but transformations of the same material of gold &c.