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 XC - Description of the watery creation

Argument:—Description of the Waters and Islands on the surface of the Earth, and Watery things in all nature.

Rama Said:—

Tell me Sir, what other things (lit.—worlds), you saw on the surface of the earth.

Vasishtha replied:—

2. With my waking soul, I thought as it were in my sleep that I was assimilated to land, and saw many groups of lands scattered [on] this earth: I saw them in my mysterious vision, and then reflected them in my mind.

3. As I beheld those groups of lands, lying every where before my intellectual vision; the outer world receded from my sight, all dualities were quite lost and hushed in my tranquil soul.

4. I saw those groups as so many spots, lying in the expanded spirit of Brahma; which was a perfect void, quite calm, and inert to all agitations.

5. I saw every where large tracts, as great and solid as the earth itself: but found them in reality to be nothing more, than the empty dreams appearing in the vacant mind.

6. Here there was no diversity nor uniformity neither, nor was there any entity or nihility either; there was no sense of my egoism also, but all blinded in an indefinite void.

7. And though I conceived myself to be something in existence; yet I perceived it had no personality of its own, and its entity depended on that of one sole Brahma, who is increate and ever undecaying (or never decays).

8. Thus these sights being as appearances of dream, in the empty space of the intellect; it is not known how and in what form they were situated in the divine mind, before they were exhibited in creation.

9. Now as I saw those tracts of land in the form of so many worlds, so I beheld large basins of water also (surrounding them on all sides).

10. Then my active spirit, became as the inert element of water in many a great (or reservoirs of water); and these are called as seas and oceans, in which [it] lay and played with a gurgling noise.

11. These waters are incessantly gliding on, bearing upon them loads of grass and straw, and bushes of plants and shrubs and trunks of trees; which float upon them, as the bugs and leeches crawl and creep on your body.

12. These are borne by the circling waters, like small insects and worms into the crevices of waves; and thence hurled into the womb of the whirlpools, whose depth is beyond all comparison.

13. The currents of the waters were gliding, with the leaves and fruits of trees in their mouths; while the floating creepers and branches, described the encircling necklaces about them.

14. Again the drinkable water being taken by the mouth, goes into the hearts of living beings; and produces different effects on the humours of animal bodies, according to their properties at different seasons.

15. Again it is this water which descends in the form of dews, sleeps on leafy beds in the shape of icicles, and shines under the (moon-beams on all sides), all the time and without interruption.

16. It runs with irresistible course to many a lake and brook as its home, it flows in the currents of rivers, unless it is stopped by some bridge or embankment.

17. The waters of the seas like ignorant men on earth, ran up and down in search of the proper course; but failing to find the same, they tumbled and turned about in eddies and whirlpools (of doubts).

18. I saw the water on the mountain-top, which thought it rested on high, yet it fell owing to its restlessness in the form of a water-fall in the cataract, where it was dashed to a thousand splashes. (So I found myself to be hurled down by my sins, from my high position in heaven, to a thousand devious paths on earth).

19. I saw the water rising from the earth in the form of vapour on high, and then mixing with the blue ocean of the azure sky, or appearing as blue sapphires among the twinkling stars of heaven.

20. I saw the waters ascending and riding on the back of the clouds, and there joining with the lightnings as their hidden consorts, shining as the cerulean god Vishnu, mounted on the back of the hoary serpent—Vasuki.

21. I found this water both in the atomic and elementary creations, as well as in all gross bodies on earth, and I found it lying unperceived in the very grain of all things, as the omnipresent Brahma inheres in all substances.

22. This element resides in the tongue; which perceives the flavour of things from their particles, and conveys the sense to the mind. Hence I ween the feeling of taste relates to the soul and its perception, and not to the sensibility of the body. (The Divine Spirit is said to be flavour—rasovaitat, and it is the human soul only that perceives it).

23. I did not taste this spiritual savour, by means of the body or any of its organs; it is felt in the inner soul only, and not by the perceptions of the mind, which are misleading and therefore false and unreal.

24. There is this flavour scattered on all sides, in the sapidity of the season's fruits and flowers; I have tasted them all and left the flowers to be sucked by the bees and butterflies.

25. Again the sentient soul abides in the form of this liquid, in the bodies and limbs of all the fourteen kinds of living bodies (in some of which it appears in the form of red hot blood).

26. It assumes the form of the showers of rain, and mounts on the back of the driving winds; and then it fills the whole atmosphere, with a sweet aromatic fragrance. (This sweet scent is called in Bengali [Bengali:?], which is a corruption of [Bengali/Sanskrit:?] swadu or sweet).

27. Rama! remaining in that state of my sublimated abstraction, I perceived the particulars of the world in each individual and particular particle.

28. Remaining unknown to and unseen by any body, I perceived the properties of all things, as I marked those of water, with this my sensible body, appearing as gross matter.

29. Thus I saw thousands of worlds, and the repeated rising and fallings, like the leaves of plantain trees (or rather the barks of those trees, which grow upon and envelop one another).

30. Thus did this material world, appear to me in its immaterial form; as a creation of the Intellect, and presenting a pure and vacuous aspect.

31. The phenomenal is nothing, and it is its mental perception only that we have all of this world; and this also vanishes into nothing, when we know this all to be a mere void.