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 LXXXV - Relation of nature and soul

Summary: Relation of nature and soul, or the prime male and female powers.

Argument:—The dancing goddess embraces the steady god, and is joined with him in one body.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. Thus the goddess was dancing with her outstretched arms, which with their movements appeared to make a shaking forest of tall pines in the empty sky. (The Briarean arms of Kali).

2. This power of the intellect, which is ignorant of herself and ever prone to action, continued thus to dance about with her decorations of various tools and instruments. (The mental power acts by means of the mechanical powers).

3. She was arrayed with all kinds of weapons in all her thousand arms, such as the bow and arrows, the spear and lance, the mallet and club, and the sword and all sort of missiles. She was conversant with all things whether in being or not being, and was busy at every moment of passing time. (i.e. Ever active in body and mind).

4. She contained the world in the vibration of her mind, as airy cities and castles consist in the power of imagination; it is she herself that is the world, as the imagination itself is the imaginary city—the utopia.

5. She is the volition of Siva, as fluctuation is innate in the air; and as the air is still without its vibration, so Siva is quite quiet without his will or volition (represented as his female energy in the form of Kali).

6. The formless volition becomes the formal creation in the same manner, as the formless sky produces the wind which vibrates into sound; so doth the will of Siva bring forth the world out of itself.

7. When this volitive energy of Kali, dances and sports in the void of the Divine mind; then the world comes out of a sudden, as if it were by union of the active will with the great void of the supreme Mind.

8. Being touched by the dark volitive power (or volentia), the supreme soul of Siva is dissolved into water; just as the submarine fire is extinguished by its contact with the water of the sea. (Water the first form of God: "and the spirit of God moved upon the surface of water").

No sooner did this power come in contact with siva said:—

9. the prime cause of all, the same power of volentia, inclined and turned to assume the shape of nature, and to be converted to some physical form.

10. Then forsaking her boundless and elemental form, she took upon herself the gross and limited forms of land and hills; and then became of the form of beautiful arbours and trees. (i.e. Of the forms of minerals and vegetables).

11. (After taking various other forms), she became as the formless void, and became one with the infinite vacuity of Siva; just as a river with all its impetuous velocity, enters into the immensity of the sea.

12. She then became as one with Siva, by giving up her title of sivaship; and this Siva—the female form became the same with Siva—the prime male, who is of the form of formless void and perfect tranquillity (called samanaquietus which means both death and the quiet, which follows the other. Samana like somnum is both extinction of life, and cessation of care and labour).

Rama rejoined:—

13. Tell me sir, how that sovran Goddess Siva, could obtain her quiet by her coming in contact with the supreme God Siva (and forget her former activity altogether).

Vasishtha replied:—

14. Know Rama, the Goddess Siva to be the will of the God Siva; she is styled as nature, and famed as the great Illusion of the word.

15. And this great God is said the lord of nature, and the prime male also; he is of the form of air and is represented in the form of Siva, which is as calm and quiet as the autumnal sky.

16. The great Goddess is the energy of the Intellect and its will also, and is ever active as force put in motion; she abides in the world in the manner of its nature, and roves all about in the manner of the great delusion (of holding out external nature as the true reality, instead of her lord the spirit).

17. She ranges throughout the world, as long as she is ignorant of her lord Siva; who is ever satisfied with himself, without decay or disease, and has no beginning or end, nor a second to himself.

18. But no sooner is this Goddess conscious of herself, as one and same with the god of self-consciousness; than she is joined with her lord Siva, and becomes one with him. (Force has its rest in inertia).

19. Nature coming in contact with the spirit, forsakes her character of gross nature; and becomes one with the sole unity, as a river is incorporated in the ocean.

20. The river falling into the sea, is no more the river but the sea;and its water joining with sea water, becomes the same briny water.

21. So the mind that is inclined to Siva, is united with him and finds its rest therein; as the iron becomes sharpened by returning to its quarry (as the knife or razor is sharpened on the white stone).

22. As the shadow of a man entering into a forest, is lost amidst the shade of the wilderness; so the shades of nature (or natural propensities), are all absorbed in the umbrage of the Divine spirit. (It also means as the nature of a woman, is changed to that of her man).

23. But the mind that remembers its own nature, and forgets that of the eternal spirit; has to return again to this world, and never attains its spiritual felicity.

24. An honest man dwells with thieves, so long as he knows them not as such; but no sooner he comes to know them as so, than he [is] sure to shun their company and fly from the spot.

25. So the mind dwells with unreal dualities, as long as it is ignorant to the transcendent reality; but as it becomes acquainted with the true unity, he is sure to be united with it (by forsaking his dualistic creed).

26. When the ignorant mind, comes to know the supreme felicity, which attends on the state of its self-extinction or nirvana; it is ready to resort to it, as the inland stream runs to join the boundless sea.

27. So long doth the mind roam bewildered, in its repeated births in the tumultuous world; as it does not find its ultimate bliss in the Supreme;unto whom it may fly like a bee to its honeycomb.

28. Who is there that would forget his spiritual knowledge, having once known its bliss; and who is there that forsakes the sweet, having had once tasted its flavour. Say Rama, who would not run to relish the delicious draughts, which pacifies all our woes and pains, and prevents our repeated births and deaths, and puts an end to all our delusions in this darksome world.