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 XLVIII - On the dignity of right discrimination

Argument:—The state of holy Resignation.

Vasishtha continued:—

After a man has come to his resignation of the world, and to his association with holy men; and after he has well digested the precepts of the sastras, and abandoned his carnal appetites and enjoyments:—

2. And then having a distaste to worldly objects, and gained the reputation of being a man of probity; and being outwardly an inquirer after truth, and inwardly full of enlightenment.

3. He does not long for wealth, but shuns it as one flies from darkness;he gives away whatever he has in hand, as a man casts aside the dry and rotten leaves from his house.

4. Every one is seen to be worn out with toil and care, for the supportance of his family and friends throughout his life; and yet like a weary traveller labouring under his load, he is rarely found to cast off his burthen, as long he has strength to bear it.

5. A man in full possession of his senses, and the sensible objects all about him, is yet quite insensible of them, if he is but possessed of the calm, quiet of his mind.

6. Wherever he remains, whether in his retired solitude or remote from his country; or in a forest or sea or distant deserts or gardens; he is perfectly at home in every place.

7. But he is not in love with any place, nor dwells secure in any state whether it be the company of friends in a pleasure garden, or in learned discussions in the assembly of scholars.

8. Wherever he goes or stays, he is always calm and self-governed, silent and self-communing; and though well informed himself, yet he is ever in quest of knowledge by reason of his inquiry after truth.

9. Thus by his constant practice, the holy sage sits on the low ground or in water, and reclines himself in the supreme One in the state of transcendent bliss.

10. This is the state of perfect quietude, both of inner soul as also of the outward senses; and the yogi remains quite insensible of himself, with his consciousness of indubitable truth: (of the unity of his soul with the Supreme spirit).

11. This transcendent state, consists in the unconsciousness of sensible objects; and the consciousness of a vacuum full with the presence of omniscience spirit (or soul).

12. Firstly one's concern with the knowledge of unity, and lastly his unconsciousness of himself and everything besides, whether of a void or substance, constitutes what is called the state of highest felicity.

13. The saint who is mindless of everything, and rests in his consciousness; has no taste of (or desire for anything), but remains as a block of stone amidst the encircling water (without tasting it).

14. The self-conscious person who has attained to that exclusive state of perfection (nirodha-padam), which shuts out all objective thoughts from it, remains silent and slow, and quite unmindful of everything beside itself; and he reposes in his own in being (i.e. rests in himself), as a human figure does in its picture.

15. He who has known the One that is to be known, sees in his heart all things as nothing; all magnitudes dwindle into minuteness (before his sight of the boundless majesty of God), and the whole plenum appears as vacuum to him.

16. The knower of God, has no more the knowledge of himself or others (the ego, tu, and the world besides); and all space and time and existence appear as non-existent before him.

17. The seer who has seen the glory of God, is situated in the region of light; and like a lighted lamp, he dispels his inner darkness, together with all his outward fears, animosities and affections.

18. I bow down before that sun-like sage, who is set beyond darkness on every side, and is raised above all created things; and whose great glory is never liable to be darkened.

19. I cannot describe in words the most eminent state of divine seer, whose soul is fraught with divine knowledge, whose mind is quite at rest, and whose knowledge of duality is wholly extinct.

20. Know, O most intelligent Rama, that the Great Lord God is pleased to bless him with the bliss of his final extinction in him; in reward of his serving him by day and night with sincere devotion.

Rama rejoined:—

21. Tell me, O chief of sages, who is this Lord God, and how He is propitiated by our prayers and faith in him; explain this mystery to me, for you are acquainted with all truth.

Vasishtha replied:—

22. Know, O highly intelligent Rama, that the Lord God is neither at a distance nor unattainable by us; the Lord is the all knowing soul, and the soul is the great God.

23. In Him are all things, and from him have come all these; He is all, and everywhere with all; He is immanent in and self same with all, he is everlasting and I bow down to him.

24. From him comes out this creation, as well as all its change and dissolution; He is the uncaused cause of all, which rise as winds in the hollow vault of heaven.

25. Him do all these creatures—the moving as well as unmoving, worship always (in their hearts), as well as they can; and present them the best offerings that they can find.

26. So men by adoring Him in their repeated births, with all their hearts and minds and in the best manner that they can; propitiate at last the supreme object of their adoration.

27. The great Lord God and Supreme soul, being thus propitiated by their firm faith; sends to them at last his messenger (or angel), with his good will for their enlightenment.

28. Rama asked:—Tell me, great sage, how does the lord God and supreme soul, send his messenger to man; and who is this messenger, and in what manner he throws the light in the mind.

Vasishtha replied:—

29. The messenger sent by the divine spirit, is known by the name of wise discrimination, which shines as coolly in the cell of the human heart, as the moonlight does in the clear firmament.

30. It is this which awakens and instructs, the brutish and cupidinous soul to wisdom, and by this means saves the unwise soul, from the turbulent ocean of this world.

31. This enlightening and intellectual spirit, residing in the human heart; is denominated as the pranava or adorable, in the Veda and Vedic sastras.

32. This holy spirit is propitiated daily, by men and the serpent tribe, and by gods and demigods also; by their prayers and oblations, by their austerities and almsgivings, as also by their sacrificial rites and recitals of the scriptures.

33. This Lord has the highest heaven for his crown, and the earth and infernal regions for his footstools; the stars glisten as hairs on his person; his heart is the open space of the sky, and all material bodies, are as the bones of his body.

34. He being the intellectual soul of all, spreads undivided every where; He is ever wakeful, and sees and moves every thing, as it were with his hands and feet, and his eyes and ears and the other organs of his body.

35. The living or sentient soul, being awakened to wisdom, by destroying the demon of the sensualistic mind;takes upon it a bright spiritual form and becomes a spiritual being.

36. Now shun the various wishes of your heart, which are ever changeful and full of evils; and exert your manliness to exult your soul to the state of meeting with divine grace.

37. The rambling mind resembles a demon, buffeting with the waves of furious ocean of the world; it is the enlightened soul only that shines like a luminary, over the dark dreary and dismal waste of the earth.

38. See thy mind is wafted away by the gale of its greediness, to the vast billowy ocean of the world; and hurled to the deep cavity of its whirlpools, from whose depth no man can rise again.

39. You have the strong ship of your divine wisdom alone, that can get you across the sea of your ignorance; and bear you up above the billows of your carnal appetites and passions.

40. In this manner the lord being propitiated by his worship, sends his holy spirit as his messenger, for sanctification of the human soul; and thus leads the living being to his best and most blest state, by the gradual steps of holy society, religious learning, and the right understanding of their esoteric and spiritual sense.