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 LXXXIII - Sight of the mundane god

Argument:—Siva is the Representation of the Pure Intellect; but Bhairava & Kali are not so. Explanation of the causes of such representations and Personifications.

Vasishtha added:—

I have already related to you, that Siva is the representation of the vacuous intellect; but not so is Rudra, whom I have described as dancing all about.

2. The form that is attributed to him (or to the goddess kali); is not their real figure; but a representation of the grosser aspect of intellectual vacuity (which is of a dark complexion).

3. I saw with my intellectual and clear vision (clair-voyance), that sphere of the intellect in its clear, bright and clear light (as that of Siva's body); but it did not appear so to others, who beheld it in their ignorance, to be as dark as the black complexion of the associate goddess. (There is shadow under the lamp).

4. I saw at the end of the kalpa cycle, the two spectres of delusion, appearing before me; the one was the furious Rudra, and the other—the ferocious Bhairava; and knew them both to be but delusion, and creatures of my mistaken fancy.

5. The great chasm which is seen to exist in the vacuous sphere of the Intellect, the same is supposed to be conceived under the idea of a vast void, represented as the dreadful Bhairava.

6. We can have no conception of anything, without knowing the relation, the significant term and its signification; it is for that reason that I related this to you, as I found it to be.

7. Whatever idea is conveyed to the mind by the significant term, know Rama, the very same to be presently presented before the outward sight by the power of delusion and as a magical appearance.

8. In reality there is no destruction, nor the destructive power of Bhairava or Bhairavi (in the masculine or feminine gender); all these are but erroneous conceptions fleeting in the empty space of the intellect. (It is the bias of the mind, which presents these hobgoblins to sight).

9. These appearances are as those of the cities seen in our dream, or as a warfare shewn in our fancy; they are as the utopian realms of one's imagination, or as the fits of our feelings on some pathatic and hear stirring description.

10. As the fairy castle is seen in the field of fancy, and strings of pearls hanging in the empty air; and as mists and vapours darken the clear atmosphere, so are there the troops of fallacies flying all about the firmament of the intellect.

11. But the clear sky of the pure intellect, shines of itself in itself;and when it shines in that state, it shows the world in itself.

12. The soul exhibits itself in its intellectual sphere, in the same manner as a figure is seen in picture; and the soul manifests also in the raging fire of final destruction. (The same soul is equally manifest in the subjective, as well as in the objective, i.e. both in itself as in all other things whatsoever).

13. I have thus far related to you, regarding the formlessness of the forms of Siva and his consort Sivani; hear me now to tell you concerning their dance, which was literally no dancing.

14. Sensation cannot exist any where (in any person), without the action of the power (lit, element) of intellection; as it is not possible for anything to be a nothing or appear otherwise than what it is. (Gloss. There can be no sensation without action of the power of intellection, as there can be no pearl-shell without the appearance of silver in it).

15. Therefore the powers of sensations and perception, are naturally united with all thing, as Rudra and his consort, who are blended together as gold and silver appearing as one and the same metal.

16. Whatever is sensation and wherever it exists, the same must be a sensible object, and have action or motion for its natural property.

17. Whatever is the action of the Intellect, whose consolidated form is called by the name Siva, the same is the cause of our motions also; and as these are actuated by our will and desires, they are called the dance or vacillations (of the intellectual power).

18. Therefore the furious form of Rudra, which is assumed by the god Siva at the end of a kalpa; which is said to dance about at that time, is to be known as vibration of the divine intellect.

Rama rejoined:—

19. This world being nothing in reality, in the sight of the right observer; and anything that there remains of it in any sense whatever, the same is also destroyed at the end of the kalpa.

20. How then does it happen at the end of the kalpa, when everything is lost in the formless void of vacuity, that this consolidated form of intellect, known as Siva remains and thinks in itself.

Vasishtha replied:—

21. O Rama! if you entertain such doubt, then hear me tell you, how you can get over the great ocean of your doubts, respecting the unity and duality of the deity:—that all things being extinct at the end, there remains the thinking and subjective intellect alone, without anything objective to think upon.

22. The subjective soul then thinks of nothing, but remains quite tranquil in itself; as the unmoving and mute stone, and resting in the solid vacuity of its omniscience.

23. If it reflects at all on anything, it is only on itself; because it is the nature of the intellect to dwell calmly in itself.

24. As the intellect appears itself, like the inward city it sees within itself in a dream; so there is nothing in real existence any where, except the knowledge thereof, which is inherent in the intellect. (So it is with the divine intellect, whose omniscience comprehends the knowledge of every thing in itself).

25. The divine soul knowing everything in itself, and in its vacuous intellect, sees the manifestation of the universe at the time of creation, by simple development of itself.

26. The intellect developes itself of its own nature, within its vacuous cell at first; and then in a moment envelopes this erroneous universe in itself, and at his will at the time of its destruction.

27. The intellect expands itself, in itself in its natural state of vacuum; and devolves itself likewise into its conceptions of I and thou and all others (which are but false ideas and creatures of its imagination).

28. Therefore there exists no duality nor unity, nor an empty vacuity either; there is neither an intelligence or its want or the both together; so is there neither my meism nor thy tuism either.

29. There is nothing that ever thinks of anything, nor aught whatever which is thought of or object thereof of its own nature; therefore there is nothing that thinks or reflects, but all is quite rest and silence.

30. It is the unalterable steadiness of the mind, which is the ultimate samadhi or perfection of all sastras; therefore the living yogi aught to remain, as the mute and immovable stone in his meditation.

31. Now Rama, remain to discharge your ordinary duties, as they are incumbent on you by the rules of your race; but continue to be quiet and steady in your spiritual part, by renouncing all worldly pride and vanity; and enjoy a peaceful composure in your mind and soul, as that of the serene and calm and clear concavity of the sky.