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 LXXIV - Description of the cosmical body of viraj (continued)

Argument:—Description of the several parts and Members of the body of Virat.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. Hear now more about the body of Virat, which he assumed to himself of his own will in that Kalpa epoch, together with the variety of its order and division, and its various customs and usages.

2. It is the transcendent vacuous sphere of the intellect, which makes the very body of Virat; it has no beginning, middle or end, and is as light as an aerial or imaginary form.

3. Brahma who is without desire, beheld the imaginary mundane-egg appearing about him, in its aerial form (of a chimera).

4. Then Brahma divided this imaginary world of his in twain. It was of a luminous form, from which he came out as a luminary, like a bird matured in its egg. (This is hence called Brahmanda or egg of Brahma).

5. He beheld one half (or the upper hemisphere) of this egg, rising high in the upper sky; and saw the other half to constitute the lower world, and both of which he considered as parts of himself.

6. The upper part of Brahma's egg, is termed as the head of Virat; the lower part is styled his footstool, and the midway region is called his waist.

7. The midmost part of the two far separated portions, is of immense extent, and appearing as a blue and hollow vault all around us.

8. The heaven is the upper roof of this hollow, likening to the palate of the open mouth, and the stars which are studded in it, resemble the spots of blood in it. The breath of the mouth is as vital air, which supports all mortals and the immortal Gods.

9. The ghosts, demons and ogres, are as worms in his body; and the cavities of spheres of the different worlds, are as the veins and arteries in his body.

10. The nether worlds below us, are the footstools of Virat; and the cavities under his knees, are as the pits of infernal regions.

11. The great basin of water in the midst of the earth, and surrounding the islands in the midst of them; is as the navel and its pit in the centre of the body of Virat.

12. The rivers with the purling waters in them, resemble the arteries of Virat with the purple blood running in them; and the Jam-bu-dvipa is as his lotiform heart, with the mount Meru as its pericarp.

13. The sides of his body, are as the sides of the sky; and the hills and rocks on earth, resemble the spleen and liver in the body of Virat;and the collection of cooling clouds in the sky, is like the thickening mass of fat in his body.

14. The sun and the moon are the two eyes of Virat, and the high heaven is his head and mouth; the moon is his marrow, and the mountains are the filth of his person.

15. The fire is the burning heat, and bile in his bowels; and the air is the breath of his nostrils (and so the other elements are humours of his body).

16. The forests of Kalpa trees and other woods, and the serpentine races of the infernal regions, are the hairs and tufts of hairs on his head and body. (All these are parts of the one undivided whole of Virat's body).

17. The upper region of the solar world, forms the capt head of Virat's body; and the zodiacal light in the concavity beyond the mundane system, is the crest on top of Virat's head.

18. He is the universal Mind itself, has no individual mind of his own; and he being the sole enjoyer of all things, there is nothing in particular that forms the object of his enjoyment.

19. He is the sum of all the senses, therefore there is no sense beside himself; and the soul of Virat being fully sensible of every thing, it is a mere fiction to attribute to him the property of any organ of sense. (It is a mere figure of speech to say God hears and sees, when the omniscient soul knows all without the aid of the organs of seeing and hearing).

20. There is no difference of the property of an organ (as the hearing of the ear); and its possessor—the mind, in the person of Virat, who perceives by his mind all organic sensations, without the medium of their organs.

21. There is no difference in doings of Virat and those of the world; it is his will or thought alone which acts with many (or active) force (on the passive world), both in their transitive as well as in their causal forms.

22. All actions and events of the world, being said to be same with his, our lives and deaths in this world, are all conformable to his will. (This passage is explained in four different ways in the gloss).

23. It is by his living that the world lives, and so it dies away with his death; and just as it is the case, with the air and its motion, so it is with the world and Virat to act or subside together. (But Virat being the god of nature in general, he acts by general and not by partial laws, and is therefore neither affected by particular events nor ever directs any particular accident at any place or time). (Both of which are the one and the same thing).

24. The world and Virat are both of the same essence, as that of air and its motion in the wind; that which is the world, the same is Virat;and what Virat is, the very same is the world also. (The same thing personified as another).

25. The world is both Brahma as well as Virat, and both of which are its synonyms according to its successive stages; and are but forms of the will of the pure and vacuous intellect of God. (The will was at the beginning, Aham bahu syam; i.e. I will become many).

Rama asked said:—

26. Be it so that Virat is the personified will of God, and of the form of vacuum; but how is it that he is considered as Brahma himself in his inner person?

Vasishtha replied:—

27. As you consider yourself as Rama and so situated in your person also; so Brahma—the great father of all, is the wilful soul only in his person.

28. The souls of holy men also, are full with Brahma in themselves; and their material bodies, are as mere images of them.

29. And as your living soul is capable, of fixing its residence in your body; so the self-willed soul of Brahma, is by far more able to reside in his body of the Brahmanda-Universe.

30. If it is possible for the plant, to reside in its seed, and for animal life to dwell in the body; it must likewise be much more possible for the spirit of Brahma, to dwell in a body of its own imagination.

31. Whether the Lord be in his consolidated form of the world, or in his subtile form of the mind, He is the same in his essence, though the one lies inside and the other outside of us, in his inward and outward appearance.

32. The holy hermit who is delighted in himself, and continues as mute as a log of wood and as quiet as a block of stone;remains with his knowledge of I and thou (i.e. of the subjective and objective as well as of the general and particular) fixed in the universal soul of Virat.

33. The holy and God knowing man, is passionless under all persecution, as an idol which they make with ligatures of straw and string; he remains as calm as the sea, after its howling waves are hushed; and though he may be engaged in a great many affairs in the world, yet he remains as calm and quiet in his mind, as a stone is unperturbed in its heart.