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 XXIV - Indifference or insouciance of manki to worldliness

Argument:—Manki's relation of the miseries of his life and of

this world, together with the evils attendant on Human body and its senses and understanding.

Vasishtha said:—

Being thus accosted by me, Manki fell at my feet (in salutation); and then shedding the tears of joy from both his eyes, spoke to me on our way, with due respect (to my rank).

Manki said:—

2. O venerable sir, I have been long travelling in all the ten sides of the earth; but I have never met a holy man like yourself, who could remove the doubts arising in my mind.

3. Sir, I have gained today the knowledge which is the chief good of the body of a Brahman, whose sacred person is more venerable and far more superior in birth and dignity, than the bodies of all other beings in heaven and on earth; but sir am sorry at heart, at seeing the evils of this nether world.

4. Repeated births and deaths, and the continued rotations of pleasure and pain, are all to be accounted as painful, on account of their terminating in pain. (Pain is pain, and pleasure too ends in pain).

5. And because pleasure leads to greater pain (at its want), it is better, O sage, to continue in one's pain (which becomes a pleasure by long habit). The sequence of fleeting pleasure being but lasting pain, it is to be accounted as such even as long as it lasts.

6. O friend! all pleasures are as painful to me, as my pains have become pleasurable at this advanced age of mine; when my teeth and the hairs of my body, are falling off with the decay and wearing out of my internal parts also.

7. My mind is continually aspiring to higher stations in life, and is not persevering in its holy course; and the germ of my salvation, is choked by the thorns and thistles of my evil and worldly desires.

8. My mind is situated amidst its passions and affections, within the covert of my body, as the banian tree stands amidst its falling leaves in the interior of a rustic village; and the desires are flying like hungry vultures all over its body, in search of their abominable sustenance.

9. My wicked and crooked thoughts are as the brambles of creeping and thorny plants, and my life is a weary and dreary maze, as a dark and dismal night (where and when we are blind-folded to descry our right way).

10. The world with all its people, being parched and dried up like withered plants, without the moisture of true knowledge, and decaying day by day with incessant cares, is fast advancing towards its dissolution, without being destroyed all at once.

11. All our present acts are drowned in those of our past lives, and like withered trees bear no flower or fruit in our present life; and actions done with desire, terminate with the gain of their transitory objects. (Therefore no action nor meritorious deeds of religion, can ever tend to our salvation. (Which is had by our faith alone)).

12. Our lives are wasted in our attachment to family and dependants, and never employed to lead our souls across the ocean of the world; the desire of earthly enjoyments are decaying day by day, and a dreadful eternity awaits before us.

13. Our prosperity and possessions, whether they are more or less, are as noxious to our souls, as the thorny and poisonous plants growing in the hollow caves of earth; again they are attended with thoughts and cares causing fever heat in the soul, and emaciating the body.

14. Fortune makes the brave and fortunate people, fall sometimes in the hands of foes; as the man ardent with the desire of gems in his mind, is tempted to catch the gemming serpents, lying in dark caves (and lose his life in attempting to seize the treasure).

15. I being entirely inclined or given up to the objects of sense, am abandoned by the wise (who hate to touch the vile); and my mind which is polluted by worldly desires, and is all hollow within, is shunned by them as a dead sea with its troubled and turbid waters.

16. My mind is turning also about false vanities, as the rheumatic pains all about the body;

17. And I am also even with my innumerable deaths hunting after desired vacuity for sorrow, though my mind is purged from the dross of ignorance by reading sastra and associating good men; as the moon and stars which with its power of removing darkness, stand good in vacuity.

18. There is no end of the dark night of my ignorance, when the gloomy spectre of my egoism is playing its part; and I have not the knowledge, which like a lion may destroy the furious elephant of my ignorance, and burn down as fire the straws of my actions.

19. The dark night of my earthly desire or cupidity is not yet over, and the sun of my disgust of the world is not risen as yet; I still believe the unreal as real, and mind is roving about as an elephant.

20. My senses have been continually tempting me, and I know not what will be the end of these temptations, which prevent even the wise people, from observing precepts of the sastras.

21. This want of sight or disregard of the sastras, leads to our blindness by kindling our desires, and by blinding our understanding;—

22. Therefore tell me sir, what am I to do in this difficulty, and what is it that may conduce to my chief good, that I am asking thee to relate.

23. It is said that, the mist of our ignorance flies like the clouds, at the sight of wise men and purification of our desires; now sir, verify the truth of this saying of wise men, by your enlightening my understanding, and giving peace to my mind.