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...
Argument:—The acts of Delusion, and Deception of senses, and Indra's Vision of the World in an Atom.
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The universe which contains the totality of existence, and appears as a wide extended sphere; is not in need of any pre-existent place or time as recipients of its substance just as the etherial light (of the twilight), requires no prop or pillar in the heavens for its support. (The simultaneity of the seeming Containers—time and space, and their apparent contents—the wide world and the broad light, disproves the priority of the receptacles with regard to their occupants, as it is commonly understood to be. So the verse:—Here there is no container or contained, nothing first or last; But all is one that fills and contains this all. Gloss).
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The fabrication of this triple world (containing the celestial, terrestrial and infernal regions), is the mere thought or working of the mind; and all this is more quiet and calm, more minute and light, and much more translucent than the odor residing in the air.
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The world is a wondrous phenomenon of the intellect, which though it is as minute as a particle of fragrance borne by the wind; appears yet as big as a mountain to the sensation of the outward organs of sense. (This is the effect of the deception of the senses).
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Every one (animal being) views and thinks the world, in the same form and light as it presents unto him; just as the operations of the mind and visions in a dream, appear as they occur to their recipients and to no other besides. (The deceptive senses and dreams, depict objects in different aspects to different persons).
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Here I will instance an old legend, of what happened to Indra—the lord of Gods, when he was confined in a minute particle in times of yore.
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It came to pass once upon a time, that this world grew up as a small fig fruit on a branch of the Yuga tree, in the great arbour of a kalpa age. (The periods of a Yuga and kalpa are represented as a tree and forest by metaphor).
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The mundane fruit was composed of the three compartments of the earth, sky and infernal regions, containing the gods and demigods of heaven, the hills and living creatures on earth, the marshy lands below, with troops of gnats and flies (fluttering about the fig tree of the world, and representing the diseases and dangers that hover over it).
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It is a wondrous production of the intellect (which is its architect); and is as high as handsome full-blown buds with the juice of desire (i.e. it is full of all delights, that the heart can desire). It is odorous with all kinds of flavourous fragrances, that we can feel and tempting to the mind by the variety of its savours that are sweet to taste. (Does it allude to the forbidden fruit which was enticing to sight and sweet to taste, and meant the world itself that was to be avoided?).
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This tree grew upon the Brahma tree (otherwise called the udumvara or fig tree), which was over hung by millions of creepers and orchids;egoism is the stalk of the fruit, which appeared beautiful to sight.
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It is encompassed around with oceans, seas and arteries, and whose face-light is the principal door. It is salivating the starry heaven above and the moist earth below.
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It is ripened at the end of the Kalpa age, when it becomes the food of black crows and cuckoos (messengers of darksome death); or if it falls below there is an end of it, by its absorption in the indifferent Brahma.
There lived at one time the lord of gods said:—
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the great Indra in that fruit, just as a big mosquito resides in an empty pot in company with the small gnats as their great leader.
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But this great lord was weakened in his strength and valour by his study of and the lectures of his preceptor on spiritualism; which made him a spiritualist, and seer in all past and future matters.
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It happened once on a time, when the valiant god Narayana and his heavenly host, had been reposing in their rest; and their leader Indra was so debilitated in his arms; that the demigods rose in open rebellion against God.
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Then Indra rose with his flashing arms and fire, and fought with the fighting Asuras for a long time; but being at last defeated by the superior strength, he fled away in haste from the field.
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He ran in all the ten directions, and was pursued by the enemy wherever he fled; he could get no place of rest, as a sinner has no resting place in the next world (but continues to rove about in never ending transmigrations of his soul).
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Then as the enemy lost sight of him for a moment, he availed to himself of that opportunity; he compressed the thought of his big body in his mind, and became of a minute form on the out-side of himself. (It is the inner thought that moulds the outer body, according to the inner type).
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He then entered into the womb of an atom, which was glittering amidst the expanse of solar rays; as a bee enters into the cup or seed vessel of a lotus bud, by means of the consciousness of his personal minuteness.
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He had his instant rest in that state, and then his hope of final bliss in the next; by utter forgetfulness of the warfare, and attainment of the ultimate beatitude of the nirvana torpitude in the end. (All action is warfare, and cessation from it gives peace and rest).
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Then Indra otherwise called Hari, being seated in that mansion, saw an imaginary city in it, containing a grand edifice in the midst; with its walls studded with gems, pearls and corals.
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Hari (the Indra) beheld from within the city, a large country extending about it, and containing many hills and villages, pasture grounds for kine, forests and human habitations.
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Indra then felt the desire of enjoying that country, with all the lands and hills, the seas to their utmost boundaries, as he had formed in his imagination.
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Shakra (Indra) afterwards conceived the desire, of possessing the three worlds to himself, together with all the earth and ocean, sky and the infernal regions, the heavens, planetary spheres above and the ranges of mountains below.
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Thus did Indra remain there as the lord of gods, and in possession of all abundance for his enjoyments; and there was born to him afterwards, a son named Kunda of great strength and valour.
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Then at the end of his life time, this Indra of unblemished reputation, forsook his mortal frame, and became extinct in his nirvana dissolution, as when a lamp is extinguished for want of oil.
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Kunda reigned over the three worlds (of and like his father), and then having given birth to a boy he departed to his ultimate state of bliss, after expiration of the term of his life.
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That son also reigned in his time (like the sire), and then departed at the end of his life time, to the holy state of supreme felicity, by leaving a son after him.
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In this manner a thousand generations of the grandsons of the first Indra, have reigned and passed away in their time; and there is still a prince by name of Ansaka, reigning over the state of the lord of gods.
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Thus the generations of the lord of immortals, still hold their sovereignty over the imaginary world of Indra; in that sacred particle of sunbeam in empty air, although that atomic particle is continually going to decay and waste in this long course of time (yet the imagination of its existence has laid a firm hold on the minds of their posterity for ever).