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 LIV - Establishment of the undivided individuality of god

Argument:—Ascertainment of the unity of God.

Vasishtha continued:—

The world is a clear vacuum, subsisting in the entity of the vacuous Brahma; it is as the visible sky in the empty sky, and means the manifestation of Brahma.

2. The words I and thou are expressive of the same Brahma, seated in his undivided individuality; so are all things seated as calmly and quietly in him, as if they are not seated there, though they are shining in and by the same light.

3. The earth with its hills and protuberant bodies upon it, resembles the tumour on the body of Brahma; and the whole world, remains as dumb as a block in the person of Brahma.

4. He views the visibles, as he is no viewer of them; and he is the maker of all, without making anything; because they naturally subsist with their several natures in the Supreme spirit.

5. This knowledge of the subsistence of all nature in the essence of God, precludes our knowledge of the positive existence of everything besides; and our ideas of all entity and vacuity and of action and passion, vanish into nothing. (Since the One is all in all).

6. The one solid essence of the everlasting One, is diffused through all every where, as the solidity of a stone stretches throughout its parts; and all varieties blending into unity, are ever alike to him.

7. Life and death, truth and untruth, and all good and evil, are equally indifferent in that vacuous spirit, as the endless billows continually rising and falling in the waters of the deep.

8. The selfsame Brahma becomes divided, into the viewer and the view (i.e. into the subjective and the objective); the one being the intellect or the supreme, and the other the living soul (the former being the viewer of the latter). This division is known in the dreaming and waking states of the living or animal soul; when the same is both the subject as well the object in either state (i.e. the sleeping soul dreams the living state as its object, and the living soul believes the other as object of its dream).

9. In this manner the form of the world, being exhibited as a vision in a dream, in the sphere of the divine intellect; is manifest therein as the counterpart or representation of Brahma himself, from the beginning. (This is the doctrine of the eternal ideas, being co-existent with the essence of the eternal One).

10. Therefore know this world and all things in it, to be exactly of that spiritual form, in which they are exhibited in the divine spirit;nor is there any variation in their spirituality (to materiality) owing to their appearance in various forms, as there is no change in the substance of the moon, owing to her several phases.

11. All these worlds reside and rove amidst the quiet spirit of God, in the same manner, as the waters remain and roll in waves in the midst of the calm bosom of the ocean.

12. Whatever is manifest, is manifested as the work, and that which is not apparent is the hidden cause of them; and there is no difference in them, in as much as they are both situated in that spirit, as their common centre; just as a traveller ever going forward, yet never moving from the centre of the earth. (The cause and effect both concentrate in the Lord, and there is no particle that goes out of that centre).

13. Hence the prime cause of creation is as nil, as the horn of a hare (which is a nullity in nature); search for it as much as you can, and you will find nothing (save an ectype of the eternal One).

14. Whatever appears anywhere without its [cause], must be a fallacy of vision and mind; and who can account for the truth of an error which is untrue itself. (Falsehood is no truth).

15. How and what effect can come to existence without its cause, and what is it but an error of the brain, for a childless man to say he sees his son.

16. Whatever comes to appearance without its cause, is all owing to the nature of our imagination of the same; which shows the objects of our desire in all their various forms to our view, as our fancy paints the fairy lands in our minds.

17. As a traveller passing from one country to another, finds his body (himself) to stand at the midspot (from his knowledge of the rotundity of the earth); so nothing departs from its nature, but turns about that centre like.

18. The understanding also shows many false and biggest objects, in its airy and minute receptacle; as for instance the many objects of desire, and the notion of mountains, which it presents to us in our waking and dreaming states.

Rama rejoined:—

19. We know well that the future banian tree, resides within the minute receptacle of its seed; why then don't you say, that the creation was hidden in the same manner in the unevolved spirit of God?

Vasishtha replied:—

20. The seed in its material form, contains the formless big tree in its undeveloped bosom; which develops afterwards to a gigantic size, by aid of the auxiliary causalities (of heat, rain &c.). (But God is formless spirit and cannot contain the material world in it, nor has it the need of other helping causes to produce the world).

21. The whole creation being dissolved in the end, tell me what remains there of it in the form of its seed; and what ancillary causes are there to be found, which cause the production of the world. (Nothing exists in nothing).

22. The pure and transparent spirit of God, has nothing of any possible shape or figure in it; and if it is impossible for even an atom to find a place therein, what possibility is there for a formal seed to exist or subsist in it.

23. So the reality of a causal (productive) seed, being altogether untrue; there is no possibility of the existence of a real (substantial) world, nor can you say how, whence, by whom and when it came into being.

24. It is improper to say that the world consisted in a minute particle in the divine spirit, and quite absurd to maintain that it remained in an eternal atom (according to the atomic theory); for how is it possible that a body as big as a mountain could be contained in a minim as small as a mustard seed? It is therefore a false theory of the ignorant.

25. Had there been a real seed from eternity, it is possible for the world to be produced from it, by causes inherent in the same;but how could a real and formal seed, be contained in the formless spirit of God; and by what process could the material proceed from the immaterial?

26. It is therefore that prime and transcendent principle (of the divine spirit), which exhibits itself in the form of the world; and there is nothing which is ever produced from, nor reduced into it.

27. The world is situated in its intellectual form, in the vacuity of the Intellect; it is the human heart which portrays it, in its material shape. The pure soul views it in its pure spiritual light, but the perverted heart perceives it in a gross and concrete state.

28. It appears in the mind as empty air, and fluctuates there with the oscillation of the wind; there is nothing of its substantiality in the mind, nor even an idea of its creation (or being a created thing), as the word sarga is meant to express.

29. As there is vacuity in the sky, and fluidity in the water of its own nature; so is there spirituality alone in the soul, which views the world in a spiritual light only.

30. The world is a reflexion of Brahma, and as such, it is Brahma himself, and not a solid and extended thing; it is without its beginning or end and quiet in its nature, and never rises nor sets of itself. (i.e. It is inherent in the divinity, and is neither involved in nor evolved from it).

31. As a wise man going from one country to another, finds his body to be ever situated in the midst of this globe; so the universe with all its remotest worlds, is situated in the vacuity of the divine spirit.

32. As fluctuation is innate in the air, and fluidity is inherent in water, and vacuity is essential to vacuum; so is this world intrinsic in the divine soul, without anything concomitant with it.

33. The vacuous phantom of the world, is in the vacuum of divine consciousness or intellect; and being thus situated in the Supreme soul, it has no rising nor setting as that of the sun. Therefore knowing all these to be included in that vacuum, and there is nothing visible beside the same, cease from viewing the phantoms of imagination, and be as the very vacuity yourself.