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 LXII - The unity of the intellect with the intellectual world

Argument:—Establishment of the theory of vacuum, as Composing the Intellect and all existence contained in its vacuity.

Rama rejoined:—

Tell me sir, whether you were sitting in one place, or wandering about in the skies, when you said all these with your vacuous and intellectual body.

Vasishtha replied:—

2. I was then fraught with the infinite soul, which fills and encompasses the whole space of vacuum; and being in this state of ubiquity, say how could I have my transition from or fixed.

3. I was neither seated in any one place, nor was I moving about any where; I therefore was present every where, in the empty air with my airy spirit, and beheld everything in my self or soul. (This is said of the omnipresent soul).

4. As I see with my eyes, all the members of my body, as composing one body of mine from my head to foot, so I saw the whole universe in myself with my intellectual eyes.

5. Though my purely vacuous and intellectual soul, is formless and without any part or member as my body; yet the worlds formed its parts (by their being contained in it), and neither by the soul's diffusion in them, nor by their being of the same nature and essence in their substance.

6. As an instance of this is your false vision of the world in your dream, of which you retain a real conception, though it is no other than an airy nothing or empty vacuity.

7. As a tree perceives in itself the growth of the leaves, fruits and flowers from its body; so I beheld all these rising in myself.

8. I saw all these in me, as the profound sea views the various marine animals in its bosom, as also the endless waves and whirlpools, and foam and froth, continually floating over its breast.

9. In short as all embodied beings, are conscious of the constituent members of their own bodies; I had the consciousness of all existence in my all knowing soul.

10. Rama, I still retain the concepts of whatever I saw on land and water, and in the hills and dales, as they are embodied with my body; and I yet behold the whole creation, as if it were imprest in my mind.

11. I see the worlds exposed before me, to be lying within and without myself, as they lay in the inside and outside of the house; and my soul is full with all these worlds, which are unified with my understanding.

12. As the water knows (retains) its fluidity, and the frost possesses its coldness; and as the air has its ventilation, so the enlightened mind knows and scans the whole world within itself.

13. Whoever has a reasoning soul in him, and has attained a clear understanding; is possessed of the same soul as mine, which I know to be of the same kind.

14. After the understanding is perfected, by absence of knowledge of the subject and object, there is nothing that appears otherwise unto him, than the self same intelligent soul, which abides alike in all.

15. And as a man seated on a high hill, sees with his clear-sightedness, all objects to the distance of many furlongs; so from my elevation of yoga meditation, saw with my clairvoyance, all things situated far and near and within and without me.

16. As the earth perceives the minerals, metals and all things lying in its bowels; so I saw everything as identical with and no other than myself. (ananyat—non alter.)

Rama rejoined:—

17. Be this as it may, but tell me, O Brahman, what became of that bright eyed (lit. aureate-eyed) dame, that had been reciting the arya verses.

Vasishtha replied:—

18. That aerial damsel of aeriform body, that recited in the arya metre; advanced courteously towards me, and sat herself beside me in the air.

19. But she being as aeriform as myself, could not be seen by me in her form of the spirit. (Do not the spirits see each other?).

20. I was of the aeriform spirit, and she also had an air-like body; and worlds appeared as empty air, in my airy meditation in aerial seat (of the sky where I was seated).

Rama rejoined:—

21. The body is the seat of the organs of sense and action of breathing, how then could the bodiless spirit utter the sounds of the articulate words which composed the verse?

22. How is it possible for a bodiless spirit, either to see a sight or think of anything (without the eye & mind). Explain to me these inexplicable truths, of the facts you have related.

Vasishtha replied:—

23. The seeing of sights, the thinking of thoughts, and the uttering of sounds; are all productions of empty air, as they occur in our airy dreams (i.e. they are all caused by air). (The air being the receptacle of the light of things, the vehicle of sound, and framer of fancy).

24. The sight of a thing and the thought of any thing, depend on the aerial intellect, as they do in our aerial dream; and these are impressed in the hollowness of the intellect, both in the waking as well as dreaming states.

25. Not only is that sight, but whatever is the object of any of our senses, and the whole world itself, is the clear and open sky (and the idea of their substantiality, is altogether erroneous).

26. The transcendent first principle, is of the form of the unknowable intellect; which exhibits itself in the constitution of the universe, which is verily its very nature. (Hence called the mundane God or the god of nature; or as the poet says: Whose body nature is, and God the soul).

27. What proof have you of the existence of the body and its senses? Matter is mere illusion, and as it is with other body, so it is with ours also. (The sruti says: see the formless one under all forms &c.).

28. This is as that One, and that is as this. (i.e. The world appears to be as the intellect shows it &c.). But the unreal (matter) is taken for the real (spirit); and the real is understood as an unreality.

29. As the uses that are made of the earth, its paths and houses in a dream, prove to be false and made in empty air upon waking; so the applications made of the words my, thy, his &c., made in our waking, are all buried in oblivion in the state of our sound sleep (when we have

lost the consciousness of our personality).

30. All our struggles, efforts and actions in life time, are as false and void as empty air; and resemble the bustle, commotion nod fighting of men in dream, which vanish into nothing in their waking.

31. If you ask whence comes this phenomenon of dreaming, and whence proceed all its different shapes and varieties? To this nothing further can be said regarding its origin, than that it is the reproduction or remembrance of the impressions (preserved in the mind).

32. In answer to the question, why and how does a dream appear to us it may only be said that, there is no other cause of its appearance to you, than that of the appearance of this world unto you (i.e. as you see

this before you, so you see the other also).

33. We have the dreaming man, presented to us in the person of Virat from the very beginning of creation; and this being is situated in open air with its aeriform body, in the shape of the dreamer and dream mixed up together.

34. The word dream that I have used and adduced to you, as an instance to explain the nature of the phenomenal world; is to be understood as it is neither a reality nor an unreality either, but the only Brahma himself.

35. Now Rama, that lovely lady who became my loving companion, was accosted by me in the form in which I beheld her in my consciousness.

36. I conversed with her ideal figure, and in my clairvoyant state, just as men seen in a dream, talked with one another (or as spirits commune and communicate with themselves).

37. Our conference together, was of that spiritual kind, as it was held between men in a dream; so was our conversation as airy, as our persons and spirits; and so Rama, must you know the whole worldly affair, is but an airy and fairy play.

38. So the world is a dream, and the dream a phantasm of air; they are the same void with but different names; the phantom of the waking day time, being called the world, and of sleeping night time a dream.

39. This scene of the world, is the dream of the soul; or it is the empty air or nothing; it is the clear understanding of God or his own essence that is so displayed.

40. The nightly dream needs a dreamer, and a living person also in order to see the same, such as I, thou, he or any body else; but not so the day dream of the world, which is displayed in the vacuity of the clear intellect itself.

41. As the viewer of the world is the clear vacuum of the intellect, so its view also is as clear as its viewer; the world being of the manner of a dream, it is as subtile as the rare atmosphere.

42. When the empty dream of the world appears of itself, in the vacuous and formless intellect within the hollow of the mind (or heart) and has no substantiality in it; how then is it said to be a material substance, when it is perceived in the same manner by the immaterial intellect?

43. When the visionary world, appearing in a dream of corporeal beings as ourselves, proves to be but empty void and vacuity; how do you take it for a material substance, when it is contained in its immaterial form, in the incorporeal spirit and intellect of God, and why not call it an empty air, when it resides in the manner of a dream in the Divine Intellect?

44. The Lord sees this uncreated world, appearing before him as in a dream.

45. The Lord Brahma (in the form of the Hiranya-Garbha), has framed this creation in air, with the soft clay of his vacuous intellect; and all these bodies with numerous cavities in them, appear as created and uncreated in the same time.

46. There is no causality, nor the created worlds nor their occupants; know there is nothing and nothing at all, and knowing this likewise and as mute as stone; and go on doing your duties to the last, and care not whether your body may last long or be lost to you.