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 XXX - Sermon on spirituality

Argument:—Removal of the Error of plurality arising from the conviction of Egoism, and inoculation of spiritual knowledge for Reunion of the soul with the Divine Spirit.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. [Sanskrit available]
Egoism is the greatest ignorance, and an insuperable barrier in the way of our ultimate extinction; and yet are foolish people seen to pursue fondly after their final felicity [with] their egoistic efforts, which is no better than the attempt of madman.

2. [Sanskrit available]
Egoism is the sure indicator of the ignorance of unwise people, and no cool-headed and knowing man is ever known in his egoship or the persuasion of his self-agency. (But this an article of the Christian creed).

3. [Sanskrit available]
The wise and knowing man, whether he is embodied or liberated state, renounces the dross of his egotism, and relies in the utter extinction or nullity of himself, which is as pure and clear as the empty vacuity of heaven, and free from trouble and anxiety (which await on self-knowledge and selfish activities in general).

4. [Sanskrit available]
The autumnal sky is serene and clear, and so are the waters of the calm and unperturbed sea; the disk of the full moon is fair and bright, but none of these is so cool and calm and full of light, as the face of the wise and knowing sage, (shining with the radiance of truth and holy light).

5. [Sanskrit available]
The features of the sage and wise, are ever as sedate and steady, even in the midst of business and trifles;as the figures of warriors in battle array in a painting, even when engaged in the bustle of warfare and fury of fight.

6. [Sanskrit available]
All worldly thoughts and desires are nothing to the anaesthetic spirit of the self-extinct sage (in his nirvana); they are as imperceptible as the slender lines in a painting, and as lean as the rippling curls on the surface of the sea, which are not distinct and disjoined from its waters.

7. [Sanskrit available]
As the rolling waves of the sea, are no other than its heaving water, so the visible phenomena in the world, are no other than the spirit of Brahma disporting in itself.

8. [Sanskrit available]
Hence the soul that is undisturbed by the wave like perturbations, and is calm and quiet both in the inside and outside of it as the still ocean, and which is raised above temporal matters in its holy devotion, is said to be freed from all worldliness.

9. [Sanskrit available]
The ego rises of itself as an uncreated thing, and in the form of consciousness in the all comprehensive intellect of God, just as the waves rise and fall in the waters of the deep, and have no difference in their nature.

10. [Sanskrit available]
As the rising smoke exhibits in the sky, the various forms of forts, warcars and elephants; and as none of them, is any other than the self-same smoke; so are all these phenomena and notions, noway different from the nature of their Divine origin (but mere evolutions or vibartarupas of the same).

11. [Sanskrit available]
By considering the fallacy of your consciousness (of the ego), you will, O ye my royal hearers, get rid of your error; and then you will exult in your knowledge of truth, and be victorious (over yourself). Do not despair, for ye are wise enough to know the truth.

12. [Sanskrit available]
As the growing sprout conceives in it, the would be tree with all its future flowers and fruits; so the ignorant man conceives in his vacant mind, the false ideas of himself—his soul, his ego and of everything else according to its fancy.

13. [Sanskrit available]
The conceptions of the mind are as false as the sight of things, such as the sight of a rod in a rising flame (and that of a circle in the twirling of a lighted torch). And though the presiding soul is always true, yet these thoughts of the mind are as untrue as its fancy of fairies in the orb of the moon.

14. [Sanskrit available]
Now my royal hearers, do you continue to enjoy your peace, by considering at your pleasure, about the rise, end and continuance of the world; and remain [free] from disease in all places and times.

15. [Sanskrit available]
Conduct yourselves with calmness, in whatever turns to be favourable or unfavourable to you; for unless you deport yourselves as dead bodies, you cannot perceive the felicity of your final extinction—nirvana or hebetude. (Be as a dead man, in order to taste the bliss of your spiritual deadness).

16. [Sanskrit available]
He who lives long in this world, by giving up his egoism and egoistic desires from his mind; and renounces the animality of his life to live and lead an intellectual life, attains verily the state of Supreme felicity.

17. [Sanskrit available]
Living the animal life (for the gratification of carnal appetites), leads only to the bearing of woes and misery; and men thus bound by the chain of their animal desires, are as big boats, burdened with loads of their ballast and cargo.

18. [Sanskrit available]
They are never blest with liberation, who are strangers to reasoning and addicted to the gross thoughts of ignorance; for how is it possible to obtain in this life, what is attainable only by the deceased in the next world. (This means the disembodied liberation—Videha mukti, which is to be had after one's death).

19. [Sanskrit available]
Whatever a man fancies in this life, and desires to have in the next (as his hopes of heavenly rewards); he dies with the same and finds them in his future life; but where there is no such fancy, desire or hope, that is truly the state of everlasting bliss.

20. [Sanskrit available]
Therefore be fearless with the thought of there being no such thing, as yourself or any one else (that you may believe as a real entity); by knowing this truth, you will find this poisonous world, turn to a paradise to you. (Think of nothing, and you will have no fear for anything).

21. [Sanskrit available]
Examine your whole material body, as composed of your outer frame and the inner mind; and say in what part you find your egoism to be situated; if no where, then own the truth of your having no ego any where.

22. [Sanskrit available]
Seeing all and every part of it up to the seat of your egoism, and finding it to be seated no where; you see only an open space (which [is] identic with the soul), and whereof no part is ever lost or destroyed.

23. [Sanskrit available]
In this (attainment of liberation) you are required to do no more, than to exert your manliness in relinquishing your enjoyments, cultivating your reasoning powers, and governing yourself by subduing the members of your body and mind. Therefore, ye ignorant men, that are desirous of your liberation, delay no longer to practice the government of yourselves (by shunning everything that relates not to yourselves).

24. [Sanskrit available]
The learned explain liberation to consist in the meditation of God, without any desire of the heart or duplicity in the mind; and this they say is not possible to do, without the assistance of spiritual knowledge. But the world being full of error, it is requisite to derive this knowledge from spiritual works moksha sastras, or else it is very likely to be entrapped in the very many snares, which are for ever set all about this earth.

25. [Sanskrit available]
Knowing full well the unreality of the world, and the uncertainty of one's self and body, and of his friends, family and wealth and possessions; whoso is distrustful of them and identifies himself with his intelligence and pure vacuity, verily finds his liberation in this, and in no other state whatsoever.

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