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 XCII - Description of the current air, as the universal spirit

Argument:—Vasishtha's assuming the form of Air, and his finding its pervasion all over the world as its vital spirit.

Vasishtha continued:—

Now in my curiosity to know the world, I thought myself as transformed to the form of the current air; and by degrees extended my essence, all over the infinite extent of the universe.

2. I became a breeze with a desire, to view the beauty of the lovely plants all about me; and to smell the sweetness of the fragrant blossoms of kunda, jessamine as lotuses.

3. I bore about the coolness of the falling rains and snows and dew drops, with a view to restore freshness to the languid limbs of the tired and weary labourer.

4. My spirit in the form of the current winds, bore about the essences of medicinal plants and the fragrance of flowers; and carried away the loads of grass, herbs, creepers and the leaves of plants all around.

5. My spirit travelled as the gentle zephyr, in the auspicious hours of morn and eve; to awaken and lull to sleep the lovely maids; again it takes the tremendous shape of a tornado in tempest, to break down and bear away the rocks.

6. In paradise it is florid, with the reddish dust of mandara flowers; in the mountains it is hoary with hoar frost and snows; and in hell it burns in the infernal fires.

7. In the sea it has a curvilinear motion, with the curling waves and revolving whirlpools; and in heaven it bears aloft and moves the clouds, both to cover and uncover the mirror of moon hid under them.

8. In heaven it has the name of the prabaha air, to hold aloft the starry frame;and guide the course of the starry legions and the cars of their commanding generals—the post of Gods.

9. It is accounted as the younger brother of thought, owing to its great velocity; it is formless but moveth over all forms;and though intangible, yet its touch is as delightsome, as the cooling paste of sandal wood.

10. It is hoary old with the hoar frost, it bears on its head; it is youthful with wafting the fragrance of vernal flowers, and it is young when it is quiet and still.

11. Here it roves at large, loaded with the fragrance of the garden of Eden; and there it moves freely bearing the perfumes of the grove of the Gandharva Chitraratha, to tired persons and worn out lovers.

12. Though fatigued with its toil, of raising and moving the incessant waves, of the cooling and purifying stream of Ganges; yet it is ever alert to lull the toil of others, being quite forgetful of its own weariness.

13. It gently touches its brides of vernal plants, bending down under the load of their full-blown flowers; which are ever shaking their leafy hands, and flitting eyes of fluttering bees, to resist its touch.

14. The fleeting air buried its weariness in its soft bed of clouds; after drinking dew drops exuding from the disc of the moon; and being fanned by the cooling breath of lotuses (growing in lakes of heaven).

15. Like the swiftest steed of Indra, he bears the farina of all flowers to him in heaven; and becomes a compeer with Indra's elephant, who is giddy with the fragrance of his ichor.

16. Then blew the winds, with the soft breath of the shepherd's horns;and drove away the clouds like cattle, and blasted the showering rain drops; that served to set down the dust of the earth.

17. It is perfumed with the fragrance of flowers flying in the air, and is the uterine brother of all sounds which proceed from the womb of vacuum (which is the common source of wind and sound). It runs in the blood and humours, within the veins and arteries of bodies; and is the mover of the limbs of persons.

18. It dwells within the hearts of human bodies as their life, and is the soul and sole cause of all their vital functions. It is ever on its wing, and being ubiquitous throughout the world, it is acquainted with the secrets of all the works of Brahma.

19. It is the plunderer of the rich treasure of odours, and the supporter of etherial cities; it is the destroyer of heat and darkness as the moon, and this air is the milky ocean, that produces the fair and cooling moon.

20. It forms the islands (by undulation of waves and collection of sands); and is the preserver of the machine of animal bodies, by means of its conducting the vital airs.

21. It is ever present before us, and yet invisible in itself, like an imaginary palace; or as oil in the pods of palm trees, or fetters on the legs of infuriate elephants.

22. It blows away in a moment, all the mountains at the end of the world; it marks the waves with their curls, and collects the sands of rivers (to large beaches and coasts).

23. It is false in appearance, as water in a cloud of smoke, or a whirlpool in it; it is as invisible as the streams above the firmament, and the lotuses growing in the lakes of the blue etherial sky.

24. It is covered with bits of rotten grass, in its form of the gusts of wind; it opens the lotus blossoms by its gentle breeze, and showers down the rains in its form of sounding blasts.

25. Its body is as a wind instrument at home, and as an elephant in the forest of the sky; it is a friend to the dust of the earth, and a wooer of flowers in woods and gardens.

26. It is ever busy in its several acts, of congealing and drying, of upholding and moving, and of cooling the body and carrying the perfumes; and is incessantly employed in these six-fold functions to the end of the world.

27. It is as fleet as light, and adroit in extracting juices as the absorbent heat; and is ever employed in the acts of contraction and distension of the limbs of bodies, at the will of every body.

28. It passes unobstructed through the avenues, of every part of the city of the body; and by its circulation in the heart, and distribution of the bile and chyle through blood vessels, it preserves the functions of life.

29. It is expert in repairing the losses, of the great citadel of the living body; by removing its excrements and replacing its gastric juices

(i.e. the six humours of the body), and the formation of its blood and fat, and the flesh, bones, and skin.

30. I looked through every particle of the body, by means of the circulating air; as I viewed every part of the universe by means of the circumambient air; and it is by means of my vital airs, that I conduct this body of mine.

31. The winds bear innumerable particles on their back, as if they were so many worlds in the air, while in fact there is nothing borne by them, when there is naught but an utter negative vacuity every where.

32. I viewed all bodies including those of the gods, as those of Hari and Brahma, and the Gandharvas and Vidyadharas; and I saw the bright sun and moon, of fire and Indra and others.

33. I saw the seas and oceans, the islands and mountains, stretching as far as the visible horizon; I beheld also the other worlds, and the natures and actions of their inhabitants.

34. I saw the heaven and earth and the infernal regions also, and marked their peoples and their lives and deaths likewise.

35. So I beheld various kinds of beings, composed of the five elements;and traversed in the form of air, throughout all parts of the universe, as a bee enters the foliage of a lotus flower.

36. In my aerial form, I passed through the bodies of all corporeal beings, which are composed of earth, water, air and fire; I sucked the juice of all animal bodies, and drank the moisture of trees drawn by their roots.

37. I passed over all cold and solid bodies, and the liquid paste of sandal wood; I rested in the cool lunar disk, and lulled myself on beds of snows and ice.

38. I have tasted the sweets of all season fruits and flowers in the arbours of every part of this earth; I have drunk my fill in the flower-cups of spring; and left the lees and leavings for the beverage of bees.

39. Then I rolled on the high and soft beds of clouds, which are spread out in the wide fields of the firmament; and I slept on soft and downy wings of clouds, as in a place bedded by heaps of butter.

40. I reposed on the petals of flowers, and on the green leaves of trees; and rested on the soft bodies of heavenly nymphs, without any concupiscence on my part.

41. I played with the blossoms of lilies and lotuses, in their beds and bushes; and I joined with the cackling geese and swans in their pleasure lakes.

42. I moved with the course of streams, and with the rippling waters of lakes and rills; and I bore the orb of the earth on my back, and carried about me all her mountains, as hairs upon my body.

43. The wide extending hills and mountains, the lengthening rills falling from them, together with all the seas and oceans, are all as pictures represented in the mirror of my body.

44. All the terrestrials and celestials, that live and move at large upon my body; appear to be moving and flying about me as lice and flies.

45. It is by my favour, that the sun receives the various colours with which he shines; and which he diffuses to the leaves of trees, in the sundry hues of red and black, of white, yellow and green.

46. The earth is situated with the seven seas, surrounding the seven great islands (continents); as so many wristlets are encircled about the wrists of men.

47. I was delighted at the sight of the celestial nymphs, also, as I see with gladness myself within.

48. The earth with its rivers of pure water and its solid hills and rocks, were as the veins and blood, and flesh and bones of my body.

49. I beheld innumerable elephantine clouds, and countless suns and moons in the starry frame on the sky; as I see the flights of gnats and flies in the vacuum of my mind.

50. In my minute form of the intellect, I held, O Rama, the earth with its footstools of the nether regions upon my head (because the vacuous intellect is capable of containing and upholding all things).

51. I remained in my sole vacuous and spiritual state, in all places and things at all times, and as the free agent of myself; and yet without my connection with any thing whatsoever.

52. In this state of my spirituality, I had the knowledge of both the intellectual and material worlds; and of all finite and infinite, visible and invisible and formal as well as formless things.

53. I beheld in my own spirit, a thousand worlds and mountains and seas;and they appeared as carved statues and engravings in the vacuous tablet of my mind.

54. I bore in my spiritual body, many occult and visible worlds; and they showed themselves as clearly to my inmost soul, as if they were the reflexions of real objects in a mirror.

55. So I perceived the four elemental bodies of earth and air, and of fire and water, in my vacuous soul; in same manner as we see the delusive objects of our dream in the vacuity of our intellect.

56. I saw also in that state of my hypnotism, innumerable worlds rising before me in each particle of matter; as it appeared to fly before me in the hollow space of vacuum.

57. I beheld a world in every atom, which was flying in empty air; just as we see the many creations of our dreams, and the many creatures in those dreams.

58. I myself have become the orb of the earth, and the clusters of islands (as their pervading spirit (adhyasikatma); though my spirit never comes in contact with anything at all).

59. With my earthly body, I suck the rain water and the waters of the seas;in order to supply the moisture of the moisture of trees, on account of their producing the juicy fruits, for the food of living beings.

60. At the time of my coming to pure understanding, and the clairvoyance of my intellectual sight; I find the millions of worlds and all worldly things, disappearing from my view and all uniting in One sole unity.

61. This is a miracle of the intellect, and it strikes with wonder in ourselves; that the miracles of the inner mind, manifest themselves as external sights before our eyes. (i.e. The subjective appearing as the objective).

62. I felt it painful to think of the existence of nothing any where; but I found out the truth, that there is nothing in reality except one spiritual substance, which displays all these wonders in itself.

63. There is but One universal soul, which is the ever undecaying cause of all; and produces and lives throughout the whole. (This is called the visva rupa hypostasis of God, as it is expressed by the poet "These as they change, are but the varied God," and the world is full of Him). And as my soul was awakened to knowledge, I saw this whole in the soul of Brahma.

64. Being awakened to the knowledge of the universal soul, as the all and everywhere, ubiquitous and all supporting; I became insensible of all objects, and was myself lost in the all subjective unity.

65. It is in the vacuous convexity of the pure divine spirit, that the continuous creations appear to rise in the intellect; but it is the extinction of these, which extinguishes the burning flame (of worldliness) in the mind, and exterminates the knowledge of all these ideal particulars, into that of One infinite and ever existent entity.