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 LXIV - Sport of the heavenly nymphs

Argument:—Full account of the nymph, since her birth to her Beatification.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. The graceful nymph with lotus like eyes, and her side long glances darting as a string of malati flowers, was then gently looked upon by me, and accosted with tenderness.

2. Who art thou sweet nymph, I said, that art as fair as the farina of the lotus floret, and comest to my company; say, whose and what thou art, where is thy abode and wither thou goest, and what thou desirest of me.

The nymph replied:—

3. It is meet, O muni, that you greet me thus; that repair to you with a grieving heart, and will lay my case confidently before you for your kind advice to me.

4. There is in a corner of the cell of the great vault of vacuity, that this worldly dwelling of yours is situated.

5. This dwelling house of the world has three apartments in it, namely the earth, heaven, and the infernal regions; wherein the great architect (Brahma) hath placed a dame by name of fancy, as a mistress of this dwelling.

6. Here is the sombre surface of the earth, appearing as the store-house of the world; and beset with numerous islands surrounded by oceans and seas. (The earth is said to be the mother and supporter of all worlds).

7. The earth stretches on all sides, with many islands in the midst of its seas and with many a mine of gold underneath, and extending to ten thousand yojans in its length.

8. It is bright and visible itself, and is as fair as the vault of heaven; it supplies us with all the objects of our desire, and vies with the starry heaven by the lustre of its gems.

9. It is the pleasure and promenading ground of gods, siddha spirits and apsara nymphs; it abounds with all objects of desire, and fraught with all things of our enjoyment.

10. It has at its two ends the two polar mountains, called the lokaloka ranges (for having one side of them always brightened by the sunlight, and the other ever darkened by the surly night). The two polar circles resembling the two belts at both extremities of the earth.

11. One side of the polar mountains, is ever covered by darkness, like the minds of ignorant people; and the other side shines with eternal light, like the enlightened souls of the wise.

12. One side of these is as delightsome, as society with the good and wise; while the opposite side is as dark and dolesome, as company with the ignorant and vile.

13. On one side all things were as clear as the minds of intelligent men, and on the other, there was as impervious a gloom as it hangs over the minds of unlettered Brahmans.

14. On one part there was neither the sunshine nor the moonlight to be had; and as one side presented the habitable world before it, so the other showed the vast void and waste beyond the limits of nature.

15. One side of these teemed with the cities of gods, and the other with those of demons; and as the one side lifted its lofty summits on high, so the other bent below towards the infernal regions.

16. Somewhere the vultures were hovering over the craters and at others the lands appeared charming to sight; while the mountain peaks appeared to touch the celestial city of Brahma on high. (The city of Brahma loka, is situated in the highest heaven).

17. Somewhere there appears a dismal and dreary desert forest, with loud blasts of death hovering over it; and at others there are flower gardens and groves, with the nymphs of heaven, sitting and singing in them.

18. In one part of it there is the deep infernal cave, containing the horrible Kumbhanda demons in it; and in another are the beautiful nandana gardens with the hermitages of holy saints in them.

19. On one part there overhang the eternal clouds, roaring loudly like furious elephants, while raining clouds are showering on the other. There are deep and dark caverns [on] one part, and thick forest arbours on another.

20. The labouring woodmen are felling the trees of woodlands, inhabited by evil spirits on one side or the hardy woodmen are driving away the devils on one side, by felling the woods of their haunts in the woodlands; while the other is full of inhabited tracts, and men more polished in their manners, than the celestials of heaven.

21. Some places are laid desolate by their inhabitants, by the driving and whirling winds; and others secure from every harm, are flourishing in their productions (of animals and vegetables).

22. Somewhere are great and desolate deserts, dreary wastes dreadful with their howling winds; and in some places there are purling lakes of lotuses with rows of sounding cranes gracing their borders.

23. In some places, is heard the gurgling of waters, and the growlings of clouds in others; and in others are the gay and merry Apsaras, turned giddy with their swinging.

24. On one side the landscape is beset by horrible demons, and is shunned by all other beings; and on the other, the happy spirits of siddhas, vidyadharas and others, are seen to be sitting and singing by the side of cooling streams.

25. Somewhere the pouring clouds, caused the ever flowing rivers to encroach upon the lands; and there were the light and flimsy clouds also, flying as sheets of cloths, and driven by gusts of winds here and there.

26. There are the lotus bushes on one side, with swarms of humming bees, fluttering about their leafy faces; and there are seen the rubicund teeth of celestial damsels, blushing with the tincture of betel leaves on the other.

27. In one place is seen the pleasant concourse of people, pursuing their several callings under the shining sun; and in another the assemblage of hideous demons, dancing in their demoniac revelry in the darkness of night.

28. Somewhere the land is laid waste of its people, by havoc and portents befalling on them; and elsewhere the country is smiling with its rising cities, under blessing of a good government.

29. Sometimes a dreary waste distracts, and at others a beautiful population attracts the sight; sometimes deep and dark caverns occur to view, and at others the dreadful abyss appears to sight.

30. Some spot is full of fruitful trees and luxuriant verdure, and another a dreary desert devoid of waters and living beings; somewhere you see bodies of big elephants, and at others groups of great and greedy lions.

31. Some places are devoid of animals, and others peopled by ferocious Rakshasas; some places are filled with the thorny karanja thickets, and others are full of lofty palm forests.

32. Somewhere are lakes as large and clear as the expanse of heaven, and at others there are vast barren deserts as void as the empty air. Somewhere there are tracts of continually driving sands, and there are goodly groves of trees at others, flourishing in all the seasons of the year.

33. This mountain has many a peak on its top, as high as ordinary hills and mounts elsewhere; and the kalpa clouds are perpetually settled upon them, blazing with the radiance of gems by the hues of heaven.

34. There are forests growing on the milk white and sunny stones of this mountain, and serving as abodes of foresters; and always resorted to by the breed of lions and monkeys.

35. There is a peak on the north of this mountain, with a grotto towards the east of it; and this cavern affords me a sequestered habitation, in its hard and stony bosom.

36. There I am confined, O sage, in that stony prison-house; and there methinks I have passed a series of yuga ages (of which there is no reckoning).

37. Not I alone, but my husband also is confined in the same cave with myself; and we are doomed to remain imprisoned therein, like bees closed up at nightfall, within the cup of a closing lotus-flower.

38. Thus have I with my husband, continued to abide in the stony dungeon, for the very long period of very many years.

39. It is owing to our own fault, that we do not obtain our release even at the present time; but continue to remain there in the state of prisoners as ever and forever.

40. But sir, it is not only ourselves that are confined in this stony prison-house; but all our family, friends and dependants, are enthralled in the same stronghold and to no end.

41. The ancient personage (purusha) of my twice-born husband, is there confined in his dungeon (of the body); and though he has remained there for many an age, yet he has never removed from his single seat.

42. He is employed in his studentship and studies (Brahmacharya), since his boyhood, attends to the hearing and reciting of the vedas; and is steadfast in his observances without swerving or deviation.

43. But I am not so, O sage, but doomed to perpetual distress; because I am unable, O sage, to pass a moment without his company.

44. Hear now, O sage, how I became his wife, and how there grew an unfeigned affection between us.

45. When that husband of mine had been still a boy, and acquired a little knowledge by remaining in his own house.

46. He thought in himself, saying, "Ah, I am a srotriya or vedic Brahman, and can it be possible for me to have a suitable partner for myself."

47. He then produced me out of himself, in this beauteous figure of mine; in the manner that the lightsome moon causes the moonlight to issue out of his body. (In Sanskrit the moon is masculine, and the moonlight feminine; whence they are called nishapati and jyotsna). (So in Arabic qmar the moon is masculine, and shams the sun is feminine).

48. Being thus produced from the mind (of my husband), I remained as a mental consort of his; and grew up in time as the blossoms in spring, and as beautiful as the mandara plant in bloom.

49. My body became as bright, as the face of the sky by its nature; and all my features glittered like the stars in heaven. My countenance was as fair as the face of the full moon, and became attractive of all heart towards it.

50. My breasts were swollen as the buds of flower, and as luscious as a juicy fruit; and my arms and the palms of my hands, resembled two tender creepers with their rubicund leaflets.

51. I became the delight and captor of the hearts of living beings, and the side long glances of my all stretched antelope eyes, infatuated all minds with the maddening passion of love.

52. I was prone to the blandishments and dalliance of love, and prompt in quips and cranks and wreathed smiles, and glancings; I was fond of singing and music, and was insatiate in my joviality.

53. I was addicted to the enjoyment of all felicity, both in prosperity and adversity, both of which are alike friendly to me. I was never tempted by the delusive temptations of the one, nor ever frightened by the threatening persecution of the other.

54. I do not sustain the household of my Brahmanical lord alone, but I support, O sir, the mansions of the inhabitants of all the three worlds; because by my being a mental being, I have my access to all places far and near.

55. I am the legal wife of the Brahmans, and fit for the propagation and supportance of his offspring; as also for bearing the burden of this house of the triple. (Does it mean that this is capable of comprehending all what is contained in the three worlds?).

56. I am now grown a young woman, with my swollen up big breasts; and am as giddy paced with my youthful gaiety, as a cluster of flowers flouncing in the air.

57. My husband from his natural disposition of procrastination and studiousness, is employed in his austerities; and being in expectation of getting his liberation, is deferring to engage in his marriage with me to this day.

58. But I being advanced in my youth, and fond of youthful dalliance (have given him my mind);and do now burn in the flame of my passion for him, like the lotus flower in a fiery furnace.

59. Though I am always cooling myself, with the cooling breeze of brooks and lotus lakes; yet I burn incessantly in all my body, as the sacrificial embers are reduced to ashes in the sacred fire place.

60. I see the garden grounds covered (smiling), with the flowers falling in showers from the shady trees; but I burn as the land under the burning sands, of the unshaded and burning desert.

61. The soft gurgling of waters, and the gentle breeze of lakes, full with blooming lotuses and lilies; and the sweet sounds of cranes and water fowls, are all rough and harsh to me.

62. Though decked with flowery wreaths and garlands, and swinging upon my cradle of flowers; yet methinks I am lying down upon a bed of thorns.

63. Sleeping on beds, formed of the soft leaves of lotuses and plantain leaves; I find them dried under the heat of my body, and powdered to ashes by the pressure of my person.

64. Whatever fair, lovely, charming and sweet and pleasant things, I come to see and feel, I am filled with sorrow at their sight, and my eyes are suffused in tears.

65. My eyes steam with tears, from the heat of my inward bosom; and they trickle upon and fall down my eyelids, like dew drops on lotus leaves.

66. Swinging with my playmates, on the pendant boughs of plantain trees, in our pleasure gardens; I think of the burning grief in my heart, and burst out in tears, by covering my face with my hands (for fear of being detected in my love).

67. I look at our bowers of cooling plantain leaves, and strewn over with snows all over the ground; but fearing them as bushes of thorny brambles, I fly from them far away.

68. I see the blooming lotus of the lake, and the fond crane fondling with its stalk-like arm, and then begin to contemn my youthful bloom.

69. I weep at seeing whatever is handsome, and keep quiet at what is moderate; I delight in whatsoever beseems to be ugly, and I am happy in my utter insensibility of every thing.

70. I have seen the fair flowers of spring, and the hoar frost of winter; and thought them all to be but heaps of the ashes of lovelorn dames, burnt down by the flame of love, and scattered by the relentless winds on all sides.

71. I have made me beds of the blue leaves of lotuses and other plants, and covered me with chaplets of snow-white flowers; but found them to turn pale and dry by their contact with my body. So pity me, that my youthful days have all gone in vain.