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 CVII - The nature of ignorance or illusion of the mind

Argument:—Proof of the cosmos as the reflexion of the gem of the Intellect, and the Immateriality of the objective material world.

Vasishtha continued:—

The world is the subjective Intellect and inborn in it, and not the objective which is perceived from without. It is the empty space of the Intellect which displays the noumenals in itself, and here the tripart or the triple state of the Intellect, its intellection and the chetya or intellectual combine together. (i.e. The thinking principle, its thinking and thoughts all unite together).

2. Here in its ample exhibition, all living beings are displayed as dead bodies; and I and you, he and it, are all represented as lifeless figures in a picture.

3. All persons engaged in active life, appear here as motionless blocks of wood, or as cold and silent bodies of the dead; and all moving and unmoving beings, appear to be seen here as in the empty air.

4. The sights of all things are exposed here, like the glare of the chrystalline surface of the sky; and they are to be considered as nothing, for nothing substantial can be contained in the hollow mind.

5. The bright sun-beams and the splashing waves, and the gathering vapours in the air; present us with forms of shining pearls and gems in them, but never does any one rely on their reality.

6. So this phenomenon of the world, which appears in the vacuum of the Intellect; and seems to be true to the apprehension of every body, yet it is never relied on by any one.

7. The Intellect is entangled in its false fancies, as a boy is caught in his own hobby; and dwells on the errors of unreal material things rising as smoke before it.

8. Say ye boys, what reliance can you place on your egoism and meity, so as to say "this is I and that is mine." Ah, well do I perceive it now, that it is the pleasure of boys, to indulge themselves in their visionary flights.

9. Knowing the unreality of the earth and other things, men are yet prone to pass their lives in those vanities and in their ignorance of truth, they resemble the miners, who instead of digging the earth in search of gold, expect it to fall upon them from heaven.

10. When the want of prior and co-ordinate causes, proves a priori the impossibility of the effect; so the want of any created thing, proves a posteriori the inexistence of a causal agent (i.e. there is no creation nor its creator likewise).

11. They who deal in this uncreated world, with all the unreal shadows of its persons and things; are as ignorant as madmen, who take a hobby to nourish their unborn or dead offspring.

12. Whence is this earth and all other things, by whom are they made, and how did they spring to sight; it is the representation of the Intellectual vacuum, which shines in itself, and is quite calm and serene.

13. The minds of those that are addicted to fancy to themselves, a causality and its effect, and their time and place; are thus inclined to believe in the existence of the earth, but we have nothing to do with their puerile reasoning.

14. The world whether it is considered as material or immaterial, is but a display of the intellectual vacuum; which presents all these images like dreams to our minds, and as the empty sky shows its hues and figures to our eyes.

15. The form of the vacuous intellect is without a form, and it is only by our percipience that we have our knowledge of it; it is the same which shows itself in the form of the earth &c., and the subjective soul appears as the subjective world to our sight.