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 XXVIII - Demonstrated conclusion of the doubtful truth.

Argument:—Act, actor and action are one the same, the word Daiva and its explanation; oscillation of intellect is the cause of creation.

Rama said:—

1. Please sir, explain to me moreover regarding the acts of men, which become the causes of their repeated births, as seeds are sources of the germs of future trees; and those to which the word daiva or divian is applied, imply the Divine dispensation, destiny or fate.

Vasishtha replied:—

2. The meaning of daiva or destiny, is as that of a potter in producing the pottery; it is the act of intelligence (samvid), and not of blind chance, nor of human effort or manliness.

3. How is it possible for any action to be done by manly exertion only, without some effort of the understanding directing human energy to action; it is this intelligent power that makes the world and all what it contains.

4. The prosperity of the world depends on the understanding, exerting itself with a desire to bring about some certain end; and it ceases with the course of the course of the world, upon the exertion of the understanding to no purpose.

5. The insouciance or want of desire in the mind, is called its negative act, and the mind that merely moves on without engaging in any pursuit, is as a current stream without its undulation. (So mere living is no life without its action).

6. There is no difference between a thinking and unthinking soul, unless the mind of one is actuated by its imagination, to the invention of some manly art or work.

7. As there is no essential duality or difference in the water and its waves, and between desire and its result; so there is no distinction betwixt the intellect and its function, nor is there any difference in the actions from the person of their agent.

8. Know Rama, the action as the agent, and the actor the same with his action; both these are quite alike as the ice and coldness. (i.e. Man is known by his act, and the actions bespoke the man).

9. As the frost is cold and coldness the same with frost, so the deed is the same as its doer, and the doer is alike the deed done by him. (Every one is accountable for his deed, and the deed recurs to the doer of it).

10. The vibration of the Intellect (i.e. the divine will), is the same as destiny which is also the agent of action; these are synonymous terms expressing the same thing, and destiny, deed and other words have no distinct meaning.

11. The oscillation of the intellect is the cause of creation, as the seed is the source of the germ of a tree; want of this vibration is productive of nothing, wherefore intellectual activity contains in it the germinating seed of the whole world. (i.e. The action of the mind causes all things, and its inaction is the cause of total suspense).

12. The divine mind contains in its infinite expanse all the ample space of time and place; and is of its own nature sometimes in its fluctuation, and at others at a standstill like the vast ocean on earth.

13. The causeless and uncausing seed of the intellect, being moved by desire, becomes cause of the minutiae of material bones, as the seed becomes productive of its germs and sprouts.

14. All vegetable productions as the grass and all sorts of plants and creepers, vegetate from within their particular seeds as their origin; and these seeds originate from the pulsation of the divine mind, which is increate and without any [cause] for it. (The pulsation of the divine mind is its creative will, which is the seed or source of creation).

15. There is no difference between the seed and its sprout, as there is no distinction of the heat from fire; and as you find the identity of the seed and its sprout, so must you know the identity of man with his acts. (i.e. Actions make the man, and the man does his actions like himself).

16. The divine Intellect exerts its power in the bosom of the earth, and grows the sprouts of the unmoving vegetable creation as from its seed; and these become great or small, straight or crooked as the waves of the sea as it would have them to be.

17. What other power is there beside that of the intellect, to grow the sturdy oaks and arbours from the soft clay and humid moisture, which compose the bosom of the earth?

18. It is this Intellect that fills the seeds of living beings with the vital fluid, as the sappy juice abiding in the inside of plants, gives growth to the flowers and fruits on the outside.

19. If this all inhering intellect, were not almighty also at the same time, say then what other power is there, that could produce the mighty gods and demigods in air, and the huge mountains on earth.

20. The divine mind contains in it the seeds of all moving and unmoving beings, which have their being from the movement of this intellectual power, and from no other source whatever.

21. As there is no difference in the alternate production of the seed and the germ or fruit from one another, so there is no difference in the commutual causation of man and his acts and the vice versa. In this manner also there is no shade of difference, betwixt the swelling waves and the sinking waters of the sea. (Man is but a bubble of its own blowing in the vast ocean of Eternity).

22. Fie to that silly and beastly being, who does not believe in the reciprocality of man and his action or of the agent and the act, by the law of mutatis mutandis inculcated in the vedas.

23. The prurience that is inherent in one's consciousness, is the embryonic seed of his resuscitation to life; in the manner of the germination of plants: it is therefore meet to render this seed abortive by frying it in the fire of inappetency.

24. The doing of a thing with listlessness, and the performance of an act whether good or bad without taking it to the mind, is what is called lukewarmness by the learned.

25. Or it is exemption from desire, that is said to loosen a man from all connection; therefore try by all means in your power, to create in your mind a total unconcern for every one, and indifference to all things whatsoever.

26. In whatever manner you think it possible for you to rid of your lickerish desires, whether by means of your theoretical or practical yoga (the raja and hatha yogas), or by means of your manly exertion; you must root every desire from your heart, in order to secure your best welfare and perfect felicity.

27. But then you must endeavour to the utmost of your manly power, to suppress some portion of your egoism, in order to prevent the rise of selfish passions and desires within your health.

28. There is no other course of fording the unfordable expanse of the world, save by the exercise of our manly virtues; nor is there any other way of extinguishing our ardent desires, except by the extinction of egoism.

29. It is the inherent consciousness of the ever existent soul, which is both the prime seed as well as the first germ of the world; the same is the source both of action as also of its cause and effect of the person of man. It is that which is designated as destiny and the weal and woe of all.

30. In the beginning there was no other seed nor its sprout, nor even any man nor his action; nor was there any such thing as destiny or doom or any other prime cause, but all that existed was the Supreme intellect which is all in all.

31. There is neither any seed nor its germ in reality, nor is there any action or its active agent de facto; but there [is] only one Supreme intellect in absolute and positive existence, and it is under the auspices of this hallowed name, that you see O sage! all these gods and demigods, and all men and women, are performing their respective parts as actors on the stage of the world.

32. Knowing this certain truth, and thinking thyself as the imperishable one, be freed from thy thoughts of the agent and action; give up all thy desires and false imagination, and live to reflect with thy body of self-consciousness alone. (Consider thyself as an intellectual being, and not the dull corporeal body).

33. Remain fearless, O Rama, and be more graceful with the calm composure of thy mind. Allay all thy desires and lay aside thy fears with them. Rely on thy clear intellect and continue to do thy endless acts (by guidance of the same). Be full in thyself with the Supreme soul, and thus thou shalt have the fulness of thy desires fulfilled in thee.