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 LXXXII - Description of the person of the god siva

Argument:—Description of the perfection and personality of Siva as an undivided whole.

Rama rejoined:—

Who is this goddess, sir, that is dancing thus in her act of destruction, and why is it that she bears on her body the pots and fruits as her wreaths of flowers?

2. Say, whether the worlds are wholly destroyed at the end, or they become extinct in the goddess Kali, and reside in her person, and when doth her dance come to an end.

Vasishtha replied:—

3. Neither is he a male, nor is she a female; nor was there a dancing of the one, or a duality of the two (in their spirit); such being the case (of their unity), and such the nature of their action (of destruction); neither of them any form, or figure of their own (except that they are personified as such).

4. That which is without its beginning or end, is the divine Intellect alone; which in the manner of infinite vacuity, is the cause of all causes. (In the beginning all was void, which caused all things).

5. It is the increate and endless light, that exists from eternity, and extends over all space. This calm and quiet state of the etherial space is known as Siva or tranquil, and its change to confusion at the end, is denominated Bhairava or the dreadful. (i.e. the Lord acting his dreadful part in the theatre of the universe).

6. It is impossible for the pure and formless intellect, to remain alone and aloof from its association with plastic nature; as it is not likely to find any gold to exist without some form or other. (So the sruti:—The creation and absorption of the world, require a formal agent and recipient also).

7. Say ye who know, how the intellect may subsist without its intelligence, and where a pepper may be had without its pungency? (There is nothing without its necessary property, nor the formal world without a formal cause).

8. Consider how can there be any gold, without its form of a bracelet or any other; and how doth a substance exist without its substantial property or nature?

9. Say what is the extract of the sugar-cane, unless it is possessed of its sweetness; you can not call it the juice of sugar-cane, unless you find the saccharine flavour in the same.

10. When the intellect is devoid of its intellection, you can not call it as the intellect any more; nor is the vacuous form of the intellect, ever liable to any change or annihilation. (A void is devoid of all accidents).

11. Vacuity admits of no variety, besides its retaining the identity of its inanity; and in order to assume a diversity, the void must remain a void as ever. (Or else it becomes a solid, which is no more itself).

12. Therefore the unchanged and unagitated essence, which is essential to it, must be without beginning and unlimited, and full of all potency in itself (since vacuum is the medium both of creation as well as of annihilation also).

13. And therefore the creation of the three worlds and their destruction, the earth, firmament and the sides of the compass; together with all the acts of creation and destruction, are the indiscriminate phenomena of vacuum.

14. All births, deaths, delusions and ignorance, being and not being, together with knowledge and dullness, restraint and liberty, and all events whether good or evil.

15. Knowledge and its want, the body and its loss, temporariness and diuturnity; together with mobility and inertia, and egoism and tuism and illism.

16. All good and evil, goodness and badness, ignorance and intelligence; together with durations of time and space, substance and action, and all our thoughts, fancies and imagination.

17. The sight of the forms of things and the thoughts of the mind, the action of the body, understanding and senses; with those of the elements of earth and water, fire, air, and vacuum extending all about us.

18. These and all others, proceed from the pure intellectual vacuity of the Divine spirit; which resides in its vacuous form in everything and is always without decay and decrease.

19. All things subsist in pure vacuum, and are as pure as the void itself; there is nothing beside this empty air, though they appear as real as doth a mountain in our hollow dream.

20. The intellectual spirit, which I have said to be transcendent void; is the same which we call as jiva—the sempiternal and Rudra—the august.

21. He is adored as Hari or Vishnu by some, and as Brahma the great progenitor of men by others; he is called the sun and moon, and as Indra, Varuna, Yama, the Virata and the God of fire also.

22. He is the marut or wind, the cloud and sea, the sky, and everything that there is or is not; all whatever manifests itself in the empty sphere of the Intellect.

23. In this manner all things appearing under different names, and taken to be true by the ignorant eye; vanish into nothing in their spiritual light, which shows them in their pure intellectual natures.

24. In the understanding of the ignorant, the world appears as apart from the spirit; but to the intellectual soul, the vacuity of the intellect is known to be situated in the Divine spirit; therefore there is no distinction of unity and duality to the knowing mind (in which all multiplicities blend into unity).

25. So long is the living soul tossed about as a wave in the ocean of the world, and running the course of its repeated births and deaths in it; until it comes to know the nature of the supreme spirit, when it becomes as immortal and perfect as the eternal soul and self-same with it.

26. By this knowledge of the universal soul, the human soul attains its perfect tranquillity; as to find itself no more, as the fluctuating wave in the ocean of the world, but views itself and everything beside, to be as calm and quiet, as the eternal and infinite spirit of God.