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 XXXV - Description of the supreme brahma

Argument:—The One undivided Brahma with and without his attributes and his real and unreal forms.

Vasishtha continued:—

The state of the soul is as placid, as that of the untroubled mind in the interval of one's journey from one place to another, when it is free from the cares of both places (of trouble).

2. Be therefore quite unconcerned in your mind in all states of your life, whether when you sit or walk or hear or see anything, for the purpose of securing your unalterable composure.

3. Being thus devoid of your desires, and undistinguished in society, continue as steadfast as a rock, in the particular conduct of your station in life.

4. Being placed in this manner beyond the reach of ignorance, one is blest with the light of knowledge in his mind.

5. After disappearance of ignorance from the mind, there can be no trace of any thought left in it; nor can the mind think of anything, when tranquillity has got her ascendency in it.

6. Brahma is verily one with the world, and the selfsame one appearing as many to our ignorance; which represents the plenitude of Brahma as a multitude, and his pure spirit as extended matter.

7. The plenum (of creation) appears as vacuum (of annihilation), and vacuity appearing as substantiality; brightness deemed by darkness, and what is obscure is brought to light.

8. The unchangeable is seen as changing and the steady appearing as moving; the real appears as unreal, and the unreality as reality; so that seeming as otherwise, and so the vice versa also.

9. The indivisible appears as divided, and energy appearing as inertia;the unthinkable seems as the object of thought, and the unparted whole seeming to shine in innumerable parts.

10. The unego appears as the very ego, and the imperishable One appearing as perishable; the unstained seem as tainted, and the unknowable known as the knowable all of the known world.

11. The luminous One appearing as deep darkness of chaos, and the oldest in time manifested as the new born creation; and the One minuter than an atom, bearing the boundless universe in its bosom.

12. He the soul of all, is yet unseen or dimly seen in all these his works; and though boundless and endless in Himself, he appears as bounded in the multitudinous works of his creation.

13. Being beyond illusion, He binds the world in delusion; and being ineffable light, he centres his brightness in the dazzling sun. Know then, O best of inquirers, that Brahma resembles the endless expanse of the vast ocean.

14. This immense treasure of the universe, so enormous in its bulk, appears yet as light as a feather, when put into balance with the immensity of Brahma; and the rays of his illusion, eluding the moon-beams in their transparency, are as invisible as the glare of the mirage.

15. Brahma is boundless and unfordable (as the ocean), and is situated in no time nor place nor in the sky, where he has set the forests of the clusters of the stars, and the huge mountains of the orbs of planets.

16. He is minutest of the minute (by his inhering in the bodies of the smallest minutiae); and the bulkiest of the bulky. He is the greatest among the great, and the chiefest of the chief.

17. He is neither the doer, deed nor instrument of doing anything; and neither is the cause of another, nor has he any cause for himself. (In Vedanta, all causality is denied of the all pervading Brahma). And being all empty within, Brahma is full in Himself.

18. The world which is the great casket of its contents, is as void as a vast desert; and notwithstanding its containing the countless massy and stony mountains in it, it is as ductile as the plastic ether and as subtile as the rarefied air.

19. All things however time worn appear anew every day; the light becomes dark by night, and darkness is changed to light again.

20. Things present become invisible to sight, and objects at a distance present themselves to view, the intellectual changes to the material, and the material vanishes to the superphysical (thought or spirit).

21. The ego becomes the non-ego, and the non-ego changes to the ego;one becomes the ego of another, and that other and the ego, become as something other and different than the ego.

22. The full ocean of the bosom of Brahma, gives rise to the innumerable waves of world; and these waves like worlds evolve from and dissolve into the ocean of Brahma's breast, by their liquid like and plastic nature.

23. The vacuous body of Brahma bears a snow white brightness over all its parts, whence the whole creation is full of a light as fair as snow and frost. (Light is the first appearance or work of God, and envelopes the whole universe that was formed in and after it).

24. This God being beyond the space of all time and place, and without all forms, figures, and shapes whatever; stretches out in space and all times of day and night, the unreal figures in the world like the unstable waves of the sea.

25. In this light there shines the bright filament of the worlds, in the ample space of the sky; appearing as so many ancient arbours standing in a long and large forest, and bearing the five elements as their pentapetalous leaves.

26. The great God has spread out this light, as a clear mirror before his sight; in order as he wished to see the shadow of his own face, represented in the pellucid twilight (which proceeded at first from him).

27. The unbounded intellect of God, produced of its own free will the spacious firmament, wherein the lord planted the tree of his creation, which brought forth the luminous orbs as its fruits in different parts of it.

28. The lord created a great many varieties of things, both in the inside as well as outside of himself; which appear as internal thoughts in his intellect, and as all entities and non-entities in his outer or physical world.

29. In this manner, the divine mind exhibits the different forms of things, in itself and of its own will, as the tongue displays the varieties of speech within the cavity of the mouth.

30. It is the flowing of the fluid of divine will, which forms the worlds; and it is the conception of pleasant sensations in the mind, that causes these torrents and whirlpools in the ocean of the world. (i.e. The will is the cause of creation, and the feelings and passions are as whirlwinds and whirlpools in the mind).

31. It is from the divine mind that all things proceed, as the light issues from fire; as it is the lulling of the creative mind to rest, that the glow of all visible objects are extinguished and put out of sight.

32. All the worlds appertain to the divine intellect, as the property of whiteness adheres to the substance of snow; and all things proceeded from it, as the cooling moon-beams issue out of the lunar orb.

33. It is from flush of the hue of this bodiless intellect, that the picture of the world derives its variegated colouring; and it is this intellect alone which is to be known, as an infinite extension without its privation or variation at any time.

34. This stupendous Intellect, like the gigantic fig-tree (ficus religiosa) of the forest, stretches out its huge branches on the empty air of heaven, bearing the enormous bodies of orbs of worlds, like clusters of its fruits and flowers.

35. Again this colossal intellect appears as a huge mountain, firmly fixed in the air, and letting down many a gushing and running stream, flowing with numberless flowers, falling from the mountain trees.

36. In this spacious theatre of vacuum, the old actress of destiny, acts her part of the representation of worlds in their repeated rotations and succession.

37. In this stage the player boy—time is also seen to play his part, of producing and destroying by turns an infinity of worlds, in the continued course of Kalpa and Mahakalpa ages, and in the rotation of the parts of time.

38. This playful time remains firm in his post, notwithstanding the repeated entrances and exits of worlds in the theatre of the universe; just as a fixed mirror ever remains the same, though shadows and appearance in it, are continually shifting and gliding through it.

39. The Lord God is the causal seed of the worlds, whether existing at present or to come into existence in future; just in the same manner as the five elemental principles are causes of the present creation. (Here Brahma is represented, as in all other passages, as the material cause of the world).

40. The twinklings of his eye cause the appearance and disappearance of the world, with all its beauty and brightness; but the Supreme soul having no outward eye or its twinkling, is confined in his spirit only. (The physical actions which are attributed to God, are always taken in their figurative sense).

41. The very many great, and very great creations and dissolutions of worlds, and the incessant births and deaths of livings, which are continually going on in the course of the nature; are all the various forms of the One unvaried spirit, whose breath, like the inflation of air, produces and reduces all from and into itself. Know this and be quiet and still.