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...
Summary: Praise of good society, or association with the good and wise.
Argument:—Character of the truly Wise man, his best test, and company.
1. [Sanskrit available]
Those among the judicious and wise, that are indifferent to and unconcerned with the world, and resigned to the divinity, and resting in his state of supreme felicity; have all their desires and delusions abated, and their enemies lessened in this world.
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He is neither gladdened nor irritated at any thing, nor engages in any matter, nor employs himself in the accumulation of earthly effects. He does not annoy any body, nor is he annoyed by any one.
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He does not bother his head about theism or atheism, nor torment his body with religious austerities; he is agreeable and sweet in his demeanour, and is pleasing and genteel in his conversation.
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His company gladdens the hearts of all, as the moonlight delights the minds of men; he is circumspect in all affairs, and the best judge in all matters.
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He is without any anxiety in his conduct, and is polite and friendly to all; he manages patiently all his outward business, but is quite cool in his inward mind.
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He is learned in the sastras, and takes a delight in their exposition; he knows all people and both past and present; and knows also what is good and bad for any, and is content with whatever comes to pass on him.
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The wise act according to the established usage of good people, and refrain from what is opposed to it; they gladden all men with their free admonitions, as the zephyr regales them with the gratuitous odours of flowers; and they afford a ready reception and board to the needy.
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They treat with respect the needy that repair to their doors; just as the blooming lotus entertains the bee, that resorts to the same; and they attract the heart of people, by their endeavours, to save them from their sins.
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They are as cold as any cooling thing, or like the clouds in the rainy season; and as sedate as rocks, and capable of removing the calamities of people, by their meritorious acts.
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They have the power to prevent the impending dangers of men, as the mountains keep the earth from falling at the earth-quake; they support the failing spirit of men in their calamitous circumstances, and congratulate with them in their prosperity.
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Their countenances are as comely as the fair face of the moon, and they are as well wishers of men, as their loving consorts; their fame fills the world as flowers of spring in order to produce the fruits of general good.
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Holy men are as the vernal season, and their voice as the notes of kokilas, delighting all mankind; and their minds are as profound oceans, undisturbed by the turbulent waves and eddies of passions and thoughts of other people.
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They pacify the troubled minds of others, by their wise counsels, as the cold weather calms the turbulent waters and seas, and puts to rest their boisterous waves.
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They resemble the robust rocks on the sea shore, withstanding the force of the dashing surges of worldly troubles and afflictions; which overwhelm and bewilder the minds of mankind.
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These saintly men are resorted to by good people only, at the times of their utmost danger and distress; and these and the like are the signs, whereby these good hearted people, are distinguished from others.
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Let the weary traveller rely for his rest in his Maker alone, in his tiresome journey through this world; which resembles the rough sea, filled with huge whales and dragons.
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There is no other means for getting over this hazardous ocean, without the company of the good, which like a stout vessel safely bears him across. There is no reasoning required to prove it so, but it must be so.
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Therefore do not remain as a dull sloth in the den, to brood over your sorrows in vain; but repair to the wise man who possesses any one of these virtues for your redress, by leaving all other concerns.
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Mind not his fault but respect his merit, and learn to scan the good and bad qualities of men from thy youth with all diligence.
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First of all and by all means improve your understanding, by the company of the good and careful study of the sastras; and serve all good people without minding their faults.
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Shun the society of men (whether friends or relatives), who are conspicuous for some great and incorrigible crime; otherwise it will change the sweet composure of your mind, to bitterness and disquiet. (So in Raghuvansa:—The society of wicked friend, is to be cut off as an ulcerous limb).
22. [Sanskrit available]
This I know from my observation, of the righteous turning to unrighteousness; this is the greatest of all evils (and must be feared), when the honest turn to be dishonest.
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This change and falling off of good men, from their moral rectitude, have been seen in many places and at different times; wherefore it is necessary to choose the company of the good only, for one's safety in this and salvation in the next world.
24. [Sanskrit available]
Therefore no one should live afar from the society of the good and great; who are ever to be regarded with respect and esteem;because the company of the good though slightly courted, is sure to purify the newcomer with the flying fragrance of their virtues.