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 CV - Likeness of waking and sleeping dreams

Argument:—The Identity of the Intellect by day and night, proves the sameness of its day and night dreams.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. The Intellect conceives the form of the world, of its own intrinsic nature; and fancies itself in that very form, as it were in a dream. (The subjective Intellect, sees itself in the form of the objective world).

2. It feigns itself as asleep while it is waking, and views the world either as a solid stone, or as a void as the empty air.

3. The world is compared to a dream, exhibiting a country embellished with a great many cities; and as is no reality in the objects of dream, so there is no actuality in any thing appearing in this world.

4. All the three worlds are as unreal, as the various sights in a dream; and they are but day dreams to us even when we are awake. (The Intelligent dream by day light, as the ignorant do in the shade of night).

5. Whether in waking or sleeping, there is nothing named as the world (or the turning sphere); it is but the empty void, and at best but an air-drawn picture in the hollow of the Intellects.

6. It is a wondrous display of the Intellect in its own hollowness, like the array of hills and mountains in the midway firmament; the sense of the world is as a waking dream in the minds of the wise.

7. This world is nothing in its substance, nor is it any thing of the form of Intellect; it is but a reflection of the Intellect, and the vacuity of the intellectual world, is but an empty nothing.

8. The triple world is only a reflection, and like the sight of something in dream, it is but an airy nothing; it is the empty air which becomes thus (diversified), and is entirely bodiless, though seeming to be embodied in our waking state.

9. It is inventive imagination of men, that is ever busy even in the hours of sleep and dreaming;and presents to us with many creations that were never created, and many unrealities appearing as real ones.

10. The universe appears as an extensive substantiality, implanted in the bosom of endless vacuity; but this huge body, with all its mountains and cities, is in reality no other than the original vacuum.

11. The howling of the sea, and clattering of clouds on mountains, though they are so very tremendous to the waking; are yet unheard by the sound sleeper by his side. (So the pomp of the world, is unseen by the blind).

12. As a widow dreams her bringing forth a son in her sleep, and as a man thinks to be ever living, by forgetfulness of his past death, and being reborn again; so are men unmindful of their real state.

13. The real is taken for the unreal and unreal for the real; as the sleeping man forgets his bed room, and thinks himself else where; so every thing turns to be otherwise, as the day turns to night and the night changes to day.

14. The unreal soon succeeds the real, as night—the want of light succeeds the light of the day; and the impossible also becomes possible, as when a living person sees his death, or thinks himself as dead in his sleep.

15. The impossible becomes possible, as the supposition of the world in the empty void; and the darkness appears as light, as the night time seems to be daylight to the sleeping and dreaming man at night.

16. The daylight becomes the darkness of night, to one who sleeps and dreams in the daytime (as it is to owls and bats and so to cats and rats); the solid ground seems to be hollow, to one who dreams of his being cast into a pit.

17. As the world appears to be a nullity in our sleep at night, and so it is reality even in our waking state, and there is no doubt of it. (It is doubtful that the world exists, but no doubt in its inexistence).

18. As the two suns (of yesterday and today), are the one and same with one another, and as two men are of the same kind; so it is doubtless that the waking and sleeping states are alike to another.

Rama rejoined:—

19. That of course cannot be admissible and reliable as true, which is liable to objection and exception; the sight of a dream is but momentary and falsified upon our waking; wherefore it cannot be alike to the waking state.

Vasishtha replied:—

20. The disappearance of the dreamed objects upon waking, does not prove their falsity, nor make any difference between the two states of dreaming and waking; because the objects which one sees in his dream, are like those that a traveller sees in foreign country, which are lost upon his return to his own country, and the sights of this are soon lost upon his death. Hence both are true for the time being, and both proved equally false and fleeting at last.

21. A man being dead, he is separated from his friends, as from those he sees in his dream; and then the living is said to be awakened, as when a sleeper awakes from his slumber.

22. After seeing the delusions of the states of happiness and misery, and witnessing the rotations of days and nights, and feeling many changes, the living soul at last departs from this world of dreams.

23. After the long sleep of life, there comes at last an end of it at last; when the human soul becomes assured of the untruth of this world, and that the past was a mere dream.

24. As the dreamer perceives his death in the land of his dream, so the waking man sees his waking dream of this world, where he meets with his death, in order to be reborn in it and to dream again.

25. The waking beholder of the world, finds himself to die in the same manner in his living world; where he is doomed to be reborn, in order to see the same scenes and to die again.

26. He who finds himself to die in the living world in his waking state, comes to revisit this earth, in order to see the same dreams, which he believed to be true in his former births. (Hence the sleeping and waking dreams, that view the same things over again, are both alike).

27. It is the ignorant only, that believe their waking sights as true; while it is the firm conviction of the intelligent, that all these appearances are but day dreams at best.

28. Taking the dreaming state for waking, and the waking one for dreaming, are but verbal distinctions implying the same thing; as life and death are meaningless words for the two states of the soul, which never born nor died.

29. He who views his life and death in the light of a dream, is said to be truly waking; but the living soul that considers itself as waking and dying, is quite the contrary of it.

30. Whoso dwells upon one dream after another, or wakes to see a waking dream; is as one who wakes after his death, and finds his waking also to be a dream. (All states of sleeping and waking, and of living and dying are mere dreams).

31. Our waking and sleeping, are both as events of history to us; and are comparable to the past and present histories of nations. (Both being equally fleeting and fluctuating).

32. The dream-sleep seems as waking, and the waking dream is no other than sleeping; they are both in fact but unrealities, and the mere rechauffe or reflections of the intellectual sky.

33. We find the moving and unmoving beings on earth, and creatures unnumbered all around us; but what do they all prove to be at last, than the representations of the eternal ideas in the Divine Intellect.

34. As we can have no idea of a pot, without that of the clay which it is made of; so we can have no conception of the blocks of mould and stone, unless they were represented to our minds, from their prints in Divine Intellect.

35. All these various things, which appear unto us both in our waking as well as dreaming states; are no other than the ideas of blocks, which are represented in our dreams from their archetypes in the Intellect.

36. Now say O Intelligent Rama, what else must this Intellect be, than that infinite and vacuous essence which acts in us, both in our dreaming and waking states.

37. Know this Intellect to be the great Brahma, who is everything in the world, as if it were in the divided forms of his essence; and who is yet of the figure of the whole world, as if he were the undivided whole himself. (i.e. He is all and everything collectively and individually).

38. As the earthen pot is not conceivable, without its formal substance of the earth; so the intellectual Brahma is inconceivable, without his essence of the Intellect.

39. Again as a stone-made jar is beyond our conception, save by the idea of its stony substance; so the spiritual God is beyond our comprehension, besides our idea of the spirit.

40. As the water is a liquid substance, which cannot be conceived without its fluidity; so is Brahma conceived as composed of his chit or Intellect only, without which we can have no conception of him.

41. So also we have the conception of fire by means of its heat, without which we have no concept of it; such too is our idea of God that he is the Intellect, and beside this we can form no idea of him.

42. We know the wind by its oscillation only, and by no other means whatsoever; so is God thought as the Intellect or Intelligence itself; beside which we can have no notion of him.

43. There is nothing, that can be conceived without its property; as we can never conceive vacuum to be without its vacuity, nor have any conception of the earth without its solidity.

44. All things are composed of the vacuous Intellect, as the pot or painting appearing in the mind, is composed of the essence of the intellect only; and so the hills &c., appearing in dream, are representation of the Intellect alone. (All the material world is composed of matter, so is the intellectual world made of intellect only).

45. As we are conscious of the aerial sights of the hills and towns, presented to our minds in the dream;so we know all things in our conscious in our waking state also; so there is a quiet calm vacuity only both in our sleep and waking, wherein our intellect alone is ever busy to show itself in endless shapes before us.