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 LXXII - Description of nirvana or final extinction

Argument:—Brahma's suppression of his Respiration; his settling on the wings of air and his form of Virat.

Vasishtha continued:—

Now the self-born Brahma, having compressed his breath in his form of Virat (or the heart); the aerial or atmospheric air, which is borne on the wings of wind, lost its existence.

2. The atmospheric air, which is the very breath of Brahma being thus compressed in his breast; what other air could there remain, to uphold the starry frame and the system of the universe.

3. The atmospheric air, being compressed with the vital breath of Brahma; the perturbed creation (as described before), was about to come to its ultimate quietus.

4. The firmament being no more upheld by its support of the air, gave way to the fiery bodies of meteors, to fall down on earth, as starry flowers from the arbour of heaven.

5. The orbs of heaven, being unsupported by the intermediate air, were now falling on the ground; like the unfailing and impending fruits of our deserts, or the flying fates falling from above.

6. The gross desire or the crude will of Brahma, being now at its end at the approach of dissolution; there was an utter stop, of the actions and motions of the siddhas, as that of the flame of fire before its extinction.

7. The world-destroying winds were winding in the air, like the thin and flying scraps of cotton; and then the siddhas fell down mute from heaven, after the loss of their strength and power of speech.

8. The great fabrics of human wishes, fell down with the cities of the Gods; and the peaks of mountain were hurled headlong, by shocks of tremendous earthquakes.

Rama rejoined:—

9. Now sir, if the world is but a representation of the ideal in the mind of the great God Brahma or Virat; then what is the difference of earth, heaven and hell to him (who encompasses the whole in his body or mind).

10. How can these worlds be said, to be the members of his body; or can it be thought, that the God resides in them with his stupendous form.

11. I well know that Brahma is wilful spirit of God, and has no form of himself; and so do I take this world, for a formless representation of the will or idea in the Divine Mind. Please sir, explain this clearly unto me.

Vasishtha replied:—

12. In the beginning this world was not in existence, nor inexistence either; because there was the eternal Intellect, which engrossed all infinity in itself, and the whole vacuity of space with its essence.

13. This vacuity of it (the subjective chit), is known as the objective chetya or thought; and the intellect without forsaking its form, becomes chetana or the power of intellection (or the mind) itself.

14. Know this intellection as the jiva or living soul, which being condensed (with feelings &c.) becomes the gross mind; but none of these essences or forms of existence, have any form whatever.

15. The vacuity of the intellect, remains as the pure vacuum in itself forever; and all this which appears as otherwise, is no other and nothing without the self-same soul.

16. The very soul assumes to it its egoism (or personality), and thinking itself as the mind, becomes sullied with its endless desires, in its vacuous form. (The pure soul is changed to the impure spirit or volitive mind).

17. Then this intellectual principle, thinks itself as the air, by its own volition; and by this false supposition of itself, it becomes of an aerial form in the open air.

18. Then it thinks of its future gross form, and immediately finds itself transformed to an aerial body, by its volition or sankalpa. (The will being master to the thought).

19. Though the soul, spirit and mind, are vacuous in their natures; yet they can assume aerial forms to themselves by their will, as the mind sees its imaginary cities; and so doth the Lord take upon Him any form it pleases.

20. And as the knowledge of our minds, is purely of an aerial nature, so the intelligence of the all-intelligent Lord is likewise of an intellectual kind; and he takes and forsakes any form as he supposes and pleases for himself.

21. As we advance to the knowledge of recondite truth, so we come to lose the perception of size and extension; and to know this extended world as a mere nullity, though it appears as a positive entity.

22. By knowledge of the real truth, we get rid of our desires, as it is by our knowledge of the unity and the absence of our egoism or personality, that we obtain our liberation. (i.e. The knowledge of our nothingness).

23. Such is He—the supreme One, and is Brahma the entity of the world. And know Virat, O Rama, to be the body of Brahma, and the form of the visible world. (Brahma, Brahma and Virat, are the triple hypostasis of the One and same God).

24. The desires or will, is of the form of empty vacuum, and the erroneous conceptions which rise in it; the same give birth to the world, which is thence called the mundane egg.

25. Know all this is non esse, and the forms you see, are but formation of your fancy; in reality there is nothing in esse; and tuism and egoism are no entities at any time.

26. How can the gross world be ever attached to the simple Intellect, which is of the nature of a void; how can a cause or secondary causality, be ever produced in or come out from a mere void?

27. Therefore all this production is false, and all that is seen a mere falsity; all this is a mere void and nothing, which [is] erroneously taken for something.

28. It is the Intellect only which exhibits itself, in the forms of the world and its productions, in the same manner as the air begets its pulsations (in the form of winds), in the very calm air itself.

29. The world is either as something or a nothing at all, and devoid of unity and duality; know the whole to lie in the empty vacuity of the Intellect, and is as void and transparent as the same.

30. I am extinct to all these endless particulars and distinctions, and whether you take them as real or unreal, and be with or without your egoism, it is nothing to me.

31. Be without any desire and quiet in your mind, remain silent and without fickleness in your conduct; do whatever you have to do, or avoid to do it without anxiety.

32. The eternal One, that is ever existent in our notion of Him, is manifest also in the phenomenal, which is no other than Himself. But our imperfect notion of God, has many things in it which are unknown to us and beyond our comprehension; and such are the phenomenals also, that are so palpable unto us. (We have the innate idea of God, but no knowledge of his inner or outer nature and attributes, which are displayed in all existence).