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 LXXIII - Description of the person of viraj—the god of nature

Argument:—If there is no truth or untruth in the creation, how can both be true or false at once.

Rama said:—

Sir, you have said at length regarding our bondage and liberation, and our knowledge of the world as neither a reality nor an unreality also; and that it neither rises nor sets, but is always existent as at first and ever before.

2. I have well understood Sir, all your lectures on the subjects, and yet wish to know more of these, for my full satisfaction with the ambrosial drops of your speech.

3. Tell me sir, how there is no truth nor any untruth, either an erroneous view of the creation as a reality, or its view as a mere vacuum:

4. In such a case, I well understand what is the real truth; yet I want you to tell more of this, for my comprehension of the subject of creation.

Vasishtha replied:—

5. All this world that is visible to us, with

all its moving and unmoving creatures; and all things with all their varieties, occasioned by difference of country and climate.

6. All these are subject to destruction, at the great dissolution of the world; together with Brahma, Indra, Upendra, Mahendra and the Rudras at the end.

7. Then there remains something alone, which is unborn and increate and without its beginning; and which is ever calm and quiet in its nature. To this no words can reach, and of which nothing can be known.

8. As the mountain is larger and more extended than a mustard seed, so is the sky much more than that; but the entity of vacuity is the greatest of all.

9. Again as the dusts of the earth, are smaller than the great mountain; so the stupendous universe, is a minute particle in comparison with the infinite entity of the vacuity of God.

10. After the long lapse of unmeasured time, in the unlimited space of eternity (i.e. at the end of a Kalpa age); and after the dissolution of all existence in the transcendent vacuum of the Divine Mind (lit., thinking soul).

11. At this time the great vacuous intellect, which is unlimited by space and time, and is quite tranquil by being devoid of all its desire and will; looks in itself by its reminiscence, the atomic world in aeriform state (as the soul ruminates over the past in its dream).

12. The intellect reconnoitres over this unreality within itself, as it were in its dream; and then it thinks on the sense of the word Brahma or enlargement, and beholds the dilation of these minutiae in their intellectual forms (i.e. the developed ideas).

13. It is the nature of the intellect to know the minute ideas, which are contained in its sensory; and because it continues to look upon them, it is called their looker. (i.e. The subjective principle of the objective thoughts).

14. (In order to clear how the intellect can be both the subjective and objective at once, it is said that:) As a man sees himself as dead in his dream, and the dead man sees his own death; so doth the intellect see the minute ideas in itself. (Hence it is not impossible for the contraries to subsist together).

15. Hence it is the nature of the intellect, to see its unity as a duality within itself; and to remain of its own nature, as both the subjective and objective by itself.

16. The intellect is of the nature of vacuum, and therefore formless in itself; and yet it beholds the minute ideas to rise as visibles before it, and thereby the subjective viewer becomes the duality of the objective view also.

17. It then finds its minute self, springing out distinctly in its own conception; just as a seed is found to sprout forth in its germ. (This is the first step of the conception of personality of the universal spirit).

18. It has then the distinct view of space and time, and of substance and its attributes and actions before its sight; but as these are yet in their state of internal conceptions, they have as yet received no names for themselves.

19. Wherever the particle of the intellect shines (or that which is perceptible to it); is called the place (or object), and whenever it is perceived the same is termed as time, and the act of perception is styled the action.

20. Whatever is perceived (by the intellect), the same is said as the object; and the sight or seeing thereof by it, is the cause of its perception, just as the light of a luminary, is the cause of ocular vision.

21. Thus endless products of the intellect appear before it, as distinct from one another by their time, place, and action; and all these appearing as true, like the various colours of the skies in the sky.

22. The light of the intellect shines through different parts of the body, as the eye is the organ whereby it sees; and so the other organs of sense for its perception of other objects. (All these are called axas answering the sight of the eyes).

23. The intellectual particle, shining at first within itself, bears no distinct name except that of tanmatra or its inward perception; which is as insignificant a term as empty air.

24. But the shadow of the atomic intellect falling upon the empty air, becomes the solid body; which shoots forth into the five organs of sense, owing to its inquest into their five objects of form and the rest.

25. The intellectual principle, being then in need of retaining its sensations in the sensorium, becomes the mind and understanding (which is called the sixth or internal organ of sense).

26. Then the mind being actuated by its vanity, takes upon it the denomination of egoism, and is inclined to make imaginary divisions of space and time.

27. Thus the minute intellect comes to make distinctions of time, by giving them the different denomination of the present, past and future.

28. Again with regard to space, it denominates one place as upper and another as lower; and goes on giving different appellations of sides (or the points of compass), to one invariable space in nature.

29. It then comes to understand the meanings of words, and invent the terms signifying time and space, action and substance.

30. Thus the intellect bearing a vacuous form in the primordial vacuum, became the spiritual or lingadéha of its own accord, until it was diffused all over the world (which is thence called the mundane God).

31. Having long remained in that state as it thought, it took upon it the completely concrete material form through which it was transfused.

32. Though formed originally of air in the original air, and was perfectly pure in its nature; yet being incorporated in the false corporeal form, it forgot its real nature; as the solar heat in conjunction with sand, is mistaken for water.

33. It then takes upon itself and of its own will, a form reaching to the skies; to which it applied to the sense of the word head to some part, and that of the word feet to another. (The highest heaven is the head and the earth the foot-stools of God).

34. It applied to itself the sense of the words breast, sides and to other parts, by adopting their figurative sense and rejecting the literal ones. (Viraj is the human figure for the macrocosm of the universe).

35. By thinking constantly on the forms of things, as this is a cow and that is a horse &c., as also of their being bounded by space and time; it became conversant with the objects of different senses.

36. The same intellectual particle, saw likewise the different parts of its body; which it termed its hands, feet &c., as its outward members;and the heart &c., as the inner members of the body.

37. In this manner is formed the body of Brahma, as also those of Vishnu and the Rudras and other Gods;and so also the forms of men and worms are produced from their conception of the same.

38. But in fact there is nothing, that is really made or formed; for all things are now, as they have been ever before. All this is the original vacuum, and primeval intelligence; and all forms are the false formations of fancy.

39. Virat is the seed producing the plants of the three worlds, which are productive of many more, as one root produces many bulbs under it. Belief in the creation, puts a bolt to the door of salvation; and the appearance of the world, is as that of a light and fleeting cloud without any rain.

40. This Virat is the first male, rising unseen of his own will. He is the cause of all actions and acts.

41. He has no material body, no bone or flesh, nor is he capable of being grasped under the fist of anybody.

42. He is as quiet and silent, as the roaring sea and cloud, and the loud roar of lions and elephants, and the din of battle, is unheard by the sleeping man.

43. He remains neither as a reality, nor entirely as an unreality; but like the notion of a waking man, of a warrior seen to be fighting in his dream. (i.e. As the faint idea of an object seen in dream).

44. Although his huge body stretches to millions of miles, yet it is contained in an atom with all the worlds that lie hid in every pore of his body. (Meaning—the cosmos contained in a grain of the brain).

45. Though thousands of worlds and millions of mountains compose the great body of the unborn Virat, yet they are not enough to fill it altogether, as a large quantity of grain, is not sufficient to fill a winnowing basket.

46. Though myriads of worlds are stretched in his body, yet they are but an atom in comparison with its infinity; and the Virat is represented to contain all in his body, yet it occupies no space or place, but resembles a baseless mountain in a dream.

47. He is called the self-born and Virat also, and though he is said to be the body and soul of the world, yet he is quite a void himself.

48. He is also named as Rudra and Sanatana, and Indra and Upendro also; he is likewise the wind, the cloud and the mountain in his person.

49. The minute particle of the Intellect, like a small spark of fire, inflates and spreads itself at first; and then by thinking its greatness, it takes the form of chitta or the thinking mind, which with its self-consciousness becomes the vast universe.

50. Then being conscious of its afflation, it becomes the wind in motion; and this is the aeriform body of Virat.

51. Then it becomes the vital breath, from the consciousness of its inspiration and expiration in the open air.

52. It then imagines of an igneous particle in its mind, as children fancy a ghost where there is none; and this assumes the forms of luminous bodies (of the sun, moon, and stars) in the sky.

53. The vital breath of respiration, is carried by turns through the respiratory organs into the heart; whence it is borne on the wings of air to sustain the world, which is the very heart of Virat.

54. This Virat is the first rudiment of all individual bodies in the world, and in their various capacities forever.

55. It is from this universal soul, that all individual bodies have their rise, and according to their sundry desires; and as these differ from one another in their outward shapes, so they are different also in their inward natures and inclinations.

56. As the seed of Virat sprang forth at first, in the nature and constitution of every individual being; it continues to do so in the same manner in the heart of every living, agreeably to the will of the same causal principle.

57. The sun, moon and the winds, are as the bile, phlegm in the body of Brahma; and the planets and stars, are as the circulating breath and drops of the spittle of phlegm of that deity.

58. The mountains are his bones, and the clouds his flesh; but we can never see his head and feet, nor his body and skin.

59. Know, O Rama, this world to be the body of Virat, and an imaginary form by his imagination only. Hence the earth and heaven and all the contents, are but the shadow of his Intellectual vacuity.