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 XX - Lecture on the extinction of the living soul

Argument:—Extinction of individual souls in the universal, by their abandonment of desires.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. This primary purusha or the male agent—Virat, is a volitive principle; and whatever he wills to do at anytime, the same appears instantly before him in its material form of the five elements.

2. It is this will, O Rama! that the sages say to have become the world;because by its being intent upon producing the same, it became expanded in the same form. (The will of the Deity is the deed itself).

3. Virat is the cause of all things in the world, which came to be produced in the same form as their material cause. (Because the product is alike its producing cause, being a fac-simile of the same).

4. As the great Virat is collectively the aggregate of all souls, so is he distributed likewise into the individual soul of every body. (Hence every soul knowing itself to be a particle of the Divine, cannot think itself as otherwise).

5. The same Virat is manifest in the meanest insect as also in the highest Rudra, in a small atom as in the huge hill, and expands itself as the seed vessel to a very large tree (all which are mistaken as parts of the illusive world).

6. The great Virat is himself the soul of every individual, from the creeping insect to the mighty Rudra of air; and his infinite soul extends even to atoms, that are sensible and not insensible of themselves.

7. In proportion as Virat expands and extends his soul to infinity, so he fills the bodies of even the atomic animalcules with particles of his own essence.

8. There is nothing as great or small in reality in the world, but everything appears to be in proportion as it is filled and expanded by the Divine spirit.

9. The mind is derived from the moon, again the moon has sprung from the mind; so doth life spring from life and the fluid water flows from the congealed snow and ice and vice versa. (So there is nothing as greater or less or as the source and its outlet).

10. Life is but a drop of the seminal fluid, distilled as a particle by the amorous union of parents. (This life being transmitted from generation to generation, there is no one greater or less than another).

11. This life then reflects in itself, and derives the properties of the soul, and likens it in the fulness of its perfections. (Hence the soul and life are identified to one and the same principle by many).

12. The living soul has then the consciousness of itself, and of its existence as one pure and independent soul; but there is no cause whatever, as to how it comes to think itself a material being composed of the five elements.

13. It is through opposition of nature that leads one into error, but in fact nature ever remains the same; as wrong interpretation of language imbues bad ideas whereas character remains the same.

14. The living soul is conscious of its self-existence, by its knowledge of living by itself;it is the instinct of the perception of things by the mind, and not merely as the breath of life or external air, which is devoid of consciousness.

15. But being beset by the frost of ignorance, and confined to the objects of sense, the living soul is blinded of its consciousness and is converted to the breathing soul or vital life, and so loses the sight of its proper course.

16. Being thus deluded by the illusion of the world, the soul sees the duality instead of its unity, and being converted to the breathing of vital life, it is lost to the sight of the soul which is hidden under it.

17. We remain confined to this world of ignorance, as long as we enjoy the idea of ego; but as soon as we give up the idea of ego, we become a free man.

18. Therefore O Rama! When you will be able to know that there is no salvation and confinement in this world, as well as no sat and asat, then and there you will be a true free man.