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 LXVI - Description of the inside of the stony mansion of the world

Argument:—The nymph's Relation of the manner of her habitation in the womb of the solid stone.

Vasishtha said:—

I then seated as I was, in my imaginary seat in the sky, asked the lady who was also sitting like myself in the visionary air: saying:—

2. Tell me, O gentle lady, how could an embodied being as yourself, abide in the inside of a block of stone; how could you move about within that imporous substance, and what was the cause of your abode therein.

3. The Nymph replied:—Wonder not, O sage, at this kind of our habitation, which is as habitable to us, and inhabited by other creatures, as the open and spacious world which you inhabit.

4. There are the snakes and reptiles, living in and moving about the bowels of the earth; and there are huge rocks deeply rooted in the subterranean cell; the waters are running within the bosom of the ground, with as much freedom as the winds are flying all about the open air.

5. The oceans are flowing with the fulness of their waters, and the finny tribe moving slowly beneath and above their surface; and there are infinite numbers of living creatures, that are incessantly born and dying away in them.

6. It is in the cavity of the mundane stone, that the waters are gliding below, as the winds are flying above; here the celestials are moving and roving in the air, and the earth and the planetary bodies, revolving with their unmoving mountains and other immovables.

7. There are also the gods, demigods and human beings, moving in their respective circles, within the womb of this stone; and it is from the beginning of creation, that the waters of rivers are running as those of the oceans.

8. Again it is from the beginning of creation, that the sun has been darting his beams from above; and strewing them like lotuses on the lake like land, while the dark clouds of heaven are hovering over them like a swarm of black bees, fluttering upon those blooming blossoms.

9. The moon spreads her light like sandal paste on all sides, and effaces thereby the darkness, which overspreads the bosom of night, and covers the face of the evening star.

10. The sunlight is the lamp of his light in heavenly mansion, and scatters its rays on all the ten sides of the skies, by means of their conductor of air. (It is believed that the circumambient air is the medium, through which the pencils of solar light pass in all directions).

11. The wheel of the starry frame, is continually revolving in the air by the will of God, like a threshing mill turning about its central axle by means of a string.

12. This rotatory circle of celestial bodies, about its axis of the pole, kills all things under its two valves of heaven and earth, as the wheel of fate grinds them to dust. (So says Kabir the saint of Julpa caste: "Every one is ground to dust, under the two disks of earth and sky, as under the jaws of death").

13. The surface of the earth is full of hills and mountains, and the bosom of the sea is filled by rocks and islands; the upper sky contains the celestial abodes, and the demons occupy the lower regions below the ground.

14. The orbit of this earth, resembles the ear-ring of the goddess of the three worlds; and the verdant orb of this planet, is as the pendant gem of the ringlet, continually [moving] with the fluctuations of its people.

15. Here all creatures are impelled by their desires to their mental and bodily activities, as if moved to and fro by the flying winds, and are thus led to repeated births and deaths (from which they have no respite).

16. The silent sage sits in his sedate meditation, as the sky is unmoved with its capacity of containing all things within itself; but the earth is shaken and wasted by the dashing waves, and the fire is put down by its blazing flame, and every thing is moved about as monkey by the wind of its desires.

17. All the living beings abounding in the earth and water, and those flying in the air, as well as such as live in the hills and on trees; together with the gods and giants, are alike doomed to death and regeneration, as the ephemeral insects, worms and flies.

Time said:—

18. the greatest slaughterer, destroys the gods, giants, gandharvas and all, with its many arms of ages and yugas, and of years, months, days and nights, as a herdsman kills his cattle, which he has reared up himself. (Time feeds upon what it has fed himself).

19. All these rise and fall in the eventful ocean of time, and having leapt and jumped and danced awhile, sink in the abyss of the fathomless whirl of death, from which none can rise again.

20. All sorts of beings living in the fourteen spheres of the world, are carried away as dust and ashes by the gust of death, to the hollow womb of air, where they disappear as empty clouds in the autumnal sky.

21. The high heaven which is ever clad in the clean and clear attire of the atmosphere, and wears the frame work of the stars as a cap or crown on its head, holds the two lights of the sun and moon in its either hand, and shows us the works of gods in the skies. (Heaven is the book of God, before thee set &c. Milton).

22. It remains unmoved for ever, and never changes its sides composed of the four quarters of heaven, notwithstanding vicissitudes of the sky, the rushing of the winds, the tremor of the earth, the roaring of the clouds and the intense heat of the sun (All which it bears as patiently as the fixed trees and stones on earth).

23. And all things continue in their destined course, whether they that are conscious or those which are unconscious of these changes in nature;such are the appearance of meteors and portents in the sky, the roaring of clouds, the eclipses of the planets, and the trembling of the earth below.

24. The submarine fire sucks up the over flowing waters, of the seven great basins or oceans on earth; in the same manner as the all-destroying time, devours the creatures in all the different worlds.

25. All things are continually going on in their course, in the manner of the continued motion of the (sadagati) of the current air: Namely; all earth born worms moving on and returning into the bowels of the earth; the birds of the air are moving in and flying on all sides of the sky; the fishes are swimming and skimming all about the waters, the beasts returning to their caverns in earth and the hills, and such is the case with the inhabitants of all the continents and islands lying in the womb of this world.