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 XLI - Repose in one's essential nature

Argument:—The enlightenment of the understanding, accompanied by indifference and distaste of the world, is the cause of removing the ego, when looker, looking or view of it, is one [and] the same.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. It is absurd to find the sense of egoism or self personality, so deeply rooted in human nature (when the real ego of the divine soul, is known to pervade all over the universe). It is therefore right that you should extinguish this unnatural egoism of yours by correcting your own nature.

2. This is done by enlightenment of the understanding, accompanied by indifference and distaste of the world; which are associated with one another as the orb of the sun with its light.

3. There is no making or maker or act of this world, nor any looker, looking or view of it; this stupendous world is altogether inadmissible, it being but a picture on the plane of vacuum.

4. There is nothing prominent in it (as it appears to the naked eye); but all is situated on a perfect level, which is the calm intellect of one unvarying Brahma.

5. The divine soul exhibits the wonders of its Intellect, in the variegated colours of its imaginations; and there is no body who can count the pictures of worlds, which are painted on the plane of the infinite space of vacuity.

6. All these aerial bodies which are countless as the flying atoms, are continually in the act of dancing and playing their parts in the open arena of Brahma; as the players exhibit their various passions and emotions and gestures and gesticulations in a theatre.

7. The seasons are dancing in circles with their towering heads, and the points of compass are turning rotund with their encircling arms; the lower region is the platform of this stage, and the upper sky is the awning stretched on high. (The great vacuum is the stage, and all the worlds are as players in it).

8. The sun and moon are the two playful and rolling eyes, and the twinkling stars are glistening hair on their bodies; the seven regions of air are the members of the body, and the clear and all investing firmament, is the clean apparel on it.

9. The encircling seas about the islands, are as bracelets and wristlets round their arms;and the girding mountains of lands, are as girdles around their loins; the fleeting airs are as the winds of their breath, which are constantly breathing to sustain lives of living beings, and support their bodies thereby (i.e. by the vital breath).

10. The flowers, groves and forests form the wreathed decorations on their persons; the sayings of the sastrasvedas and puranas, are their recitations, the ceremonial acts are their action, and the results of their actions (viz. happiness and misery), are the parts that all have to play (in the theatre of the world).

11. Thus is all this but a dance of puppet show presented before us, with the sport of the waters gliding with the fluidity of Brahma, and the oscillation of the playful breezes.

12. The cause of causes, is the cause of unnatural (unquiet) movements of bodies; and it is the ever wakeful intellect, that remains sleepless in the sleeping state of nature, and is waking awakener of dreams in the swapnavastha or hypnotic state of man.

13. Do you remain, O Rama! thus sleepless in your sleeping state, and reflect on the nature of things as you see them in your dream. Be steady when you are awake, and never be drowned in your sleep nor deceived by your beguiling dreams (swapPersian khwab means sleep as well as dream).

14. The waking which has the semblance of sound sleep and has no liking nor cringing for anything; is said to be the idiosyncrasy of man by the wise and the harbinger of human liberation.

15. The living liberated man, sees his God as diffused throughout the universe; and not as the cause or instrument of its causation; and neither as witness of its sight. He does not leave to look on the outward phenomena, nor think of the inward noumenon that has displayed the whole.

16. He sees the world shining in and with the glory of God, and beholds it fair and perfect with the beauty and perfection of the Deity. (Thus wondrous fair;thyself how wondrous then! Milton).

17. Viewed in the reality of Brahma, the unreal world becomes a reality; it seems then to be as tranquil as the nature of God, and the creation is seen in himself till at last all is lost in the womb of a void—vacuum, as it were hid in the hollow cavern of a rock.

18. The universe seems as womb of a luminous gem, and though it is thickly peopled everywhere, yet it is as void as empty air; it is a nil and ens at the same time, and as something and nothing of itself. (Here is a play of antithetical words and attributes applied to the world).

19. It is in esse and in posse to the minds of many, but to one who bears no duplicity in his mind, it appears as an extended reflection of the infinite mind of One.

20. As an imaginary city, never disappears from the imagination; so the reflection never vanishes from the mind of God; wherein all things are present at all times.

21. As the glistening gold glitters with and scatters its rays all around, without changing or wasting itself; so Brahma appearing to shine in his creation, is yet quiet and undecaying in himself.

22. The phenomenal world ever continues the same, though it is subject to incessant productions and destructions of all beings; it appears as unproduced and indestructible, and as various and variegated as the very many beings in it.

23. Brahma is seated in his impenetrable tranquillity and in the form of the rising world, with ever rising or setting himself; He is as free and void as vacuity and without any nature or property of his own, and is known to the enlightened understanding.