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 LXXXIX - The phenomenal as the reproduction of reminiscence

Argument:—The situation of the World in the womb of the Vacuous Intellect; and its outward appearance as the Imagination of the Mind.

Rama said:—

Tell me sir, whether in your curiosity to observe the mutations of earthly things and affairs, you beheld them in their earthly shapes with your corporeal body; or saw them in their ideal forms, in the imagination of your mind.

Vasishtha replied:—

2. It was in my mind, that I thought myself to have become the great earth; and all what I saw as visible, being but simple conceptions of the mind, could not possibly have a material form.

3. It is impossible for the surface of the earth to exist, without its conception in the mind; whatever thou knowest either as real or unreal, know them all as the work of your mind.

4. I am the pure vacuous Intellect, and it is that which is the essence of my soul; it is the expansion of this intellectual soul, which is called its will also. (This will is the eternal predicate of the Divine Spirit).

5. It is this which becomes the mind and the creative power Brahma, and takes the form of the world and this earth also; and this vacuous mind being composed of its desires, assumes to itself whatever form it likes to take.

6. It was thus that my mind stretched itself at that time, and put forth its desires in all those forms as it liked: and from its habitual capacity of containing every thing, it evolved itself in the shape of the wide-stretched earth.

7. Hence the sphere of the earth, is no other than the evolution of the selfsame mind; it is but an unintelligent counterpart of the intelligent intellect.

8. Being thus a void in itself, it continues to remain forever as such in the infinite void; but by being considered as a solid substance by the ignorant, they have altogether forgotten its intellectual nature.

9. The knowledge that this globe of earth is stable, solid and extended, is as false as the general impression of blueness in the clear and vacuous firmament, and this is the effect of a deep-rooted bias in the minds of men.

10. It is clear from this argument, that there is no such thing as the stable earth; it is of the same ideal form as it was conceived in the mind, at the first creation of the world. (The primary idea of creation is of its subtile and not gross form. "And the earth was without form and void").

11. As the city is situated in a dream, and the intellect resides in vacuity; so the Divine Intellect dwelt in the form of the creation in the very vacuum.

12. Know the three worlds in their intellectual light, likening the aerial palace of puerile fancy and hobby; and know this earth and all visible appearances, to be the creatures of imagination.

13. The world is the ectype city or reproduction of the intellectual Spirit of God, and not a different kind of production of the Divine Will; it is in fact no real or positive existence at all, although it may appear as solid and substantial to the ignorant.

14. The unreal visible world is known only to the ignorant, who are unacquainted with its real intellectual nature, and it is he only that is acquainted with its true nature, who knows well what I have been preaching to you ere long.

15. All this is the intellection of the Divine Intellect, and manifestation of the supreme self in itself; the visible world which appears as some thing other than the supreme soul, is inherent in the very soul. (All this being selfsame with the Divine spirit, it is exempt from the imputation of its duality or unity with it).

16. As a gemming stone exhibits of itself, the various hues of white, yellow and others, without their being infused therein; so the Divine Intellect shows this creation in all its various aspects within its vacuous sphere.

17. Whereas the spirit neither does anything, nor changes its nature (on account of its immutability); therefore this earth is neither a mental nor material production of it (but a phantasmagoria only).

18. The vacuous Intellect appears as the surface of the earth, but it is of itself without any depth or breadth, and transparent in its surface (wherefore it is not the fathomable or opaque body of the earth).

19. It is of its own nature, that it shows itself as anything wherever it is situated; and though it is as clear as the open air, yet it appears as the earth, by its universal inherence into and pervasion over all things.

20. This terraqueous orb, appearing as something other than the Great Intellect; appears in the very form as it [is] pictured in the mind, like the shapes of things appearing in our dream (agreeably to their forms preserved in our memory).

21. The world subsists in the vacuous spirit, and the Divine Spirit being vacuous also, there is no difference in them, it is the ignorant soul which makes the difference, but it vanishes at once before the intelligent soul.

22. All material beings, that have been or are to be in the three past, present and future times; are mere errors of vision, like the false appearances in our dreams, and the air built cities of imagination.

23. The beings that are existent at present, and such as are to come into existence in future; and the earth itself, are of the same nature of an universal fallacy, in lieu of the Divine spirit pervading the whole.

24. I myself and all others that are included in this world, have the visible perceptions of all things as they are preserved in our reminiscence.

25. Know Rama the Divine Intellect only, as the supreme soul and undecaying essence of all existence; and this it is that sustains the whole in its person, without forsaking its spirituality. Knowing therefore the whole world as contained in thyself, which is not different from the supreme soul, thou shalt be exempt and liberated from all.