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 CXV - The same subject continued

Argument:—Description of the hills and forests, rivers and other objects on all sides.

The Royal companions related:—Hear, O high minded lord! the Kinnara females from their abodes of leafy bowers, where they enjoy themselves with singing their songs; and the Kinnara also being enrapt with the music, listen to it attentively by forgetting their business of the day.

2. There are the Himalaya, Malaya, Vindhya, Krauncha, Mahendra, Mandara, Dardura and other mountains; which from their distant view, appear to the sight of the observer, to be clothed in robes of hoary clouds, and seen as heaps of stones covered with the dry leaves of trees.

3. Those distant and indistinct chains of boundary mountains, appear to stretch themselves like the walls of cities; and those rivers which are seen to fall into the ocean with their gurgling noise; appear as the woof and texture threads of the broad sheet of waters of the ocean.

4. The ten sides of the sky, which are spread over the tops of mountains; appear as the royal consorts, looking on thee from their lofty edifices, and smiling gladly at thy success. The many-coloured and roaring clouds in the sky, resembling the variegated birds of air, warbling their notes on high; and the rows of trees which are dropping down the showers of flowers from high, appear as the arms of heavenly nymphs, shedding their blessings upon thy head with their hands.

5. The high hills overgrown with rows of trees, and stretching all along the sea shore; appear as a ramparts; and these being beaten by the surges, seem as mere moss gathered on the coast.

6. O! the extensive, all sustaining and wondrous body of the ocean, that supported the body of Hari sleeping upon it; contained the unrighteous creation at the great deluge, and it covered all the mountains and rocks and the submarine fire under it.

7. There is the northern ocean, to which the Jambu river, pours all the gold of the Meru or polar mountain, and it contains numerous cities and forests and mountains and countries. It washes the face of the sky and all its lights, and is therefore adored by gods as well as men.

8. Here is this polar mountain, reaching to the solar sphere, and presenting the trees on its top as its cloud-capt head; may the earth extending to this mountain be thine, and may not this mount which hides the sun under its clouds, obstruct the extension of thy realm.

9. Here is this Malaya mount on the south, growing the fragrant sandal wood, which converts all other woods to its nature. Its sweet paste decorates the persons of gods, men and demons, and is put as a spot on the forehead like the frontal eye [of] Siva; and is sprinkled over the body be like the bedewed persons of females with sweat.

10. The waves of the ocean are continually laving the coast, overgrown with forests of the sandal wood, and encircled by folds of snakes; while the woodland nymphs wandering on this mount, throw a lustre about it by the beauty of their persons.

11. Here is the hill called Krauncha, with its groves resonant with the cooing of cuckoos; and its rugged caves and rivers resounding harshly to one another; while the bamboos are crackling with their mutual friction, and the humble-bees have been humming about; among these is heard the warbling of emigrating cranes on high, and the loud screams of peacocks, which are terrific to the serpent tribe.

12. Behold here, O great lord, the sport of woodland nymphs, in the groves of their soft leafy bowers; and listen to the tinkling sound of their bracelets, which are so sweet to the ears of hearers.

13. There behold the drizzling ichor, exuding from the foreheads of elephants, and the swarming bees giddy with the drink; which has made the sea to melt in tears, on account of its being slighted by them.

14. Lo there the fair moon, with his train of fairy stars, sporting in their reflexions, in the lap of his sire, the milky ocean, from which it was churned as its butter or froth.

15. See there the tender creepers, dancing merrily on the table-lands of the Malaya mountain; displaying their red petals as the palms of their hands, and winking with their eyes formed of fluttering bees. The blooming flowers bespeak their vernal festivity, and the warbling cuckoos fill the groves with their festive music.

16. Here the rain-drops produce the pearly substance of vansa-lochana, in the hollows of bamboos; and the gaja-mati or frontal pearl, in the skull of elephants; and large pearls in the womb of pearl-shells. So the words of the wise, are productive of unlike effects in different persons.

17. So the gems are productive of various effects, according as they are produced in varied forms in different receptacles; as in men and stones, in seas and forests, in frogs, clouds and elephants. They gladden and distract the mind, cause fear and error, fever and death, and many other preternatural and supernatural effects.

18. Lo here the city smiling under the rising moon, and singing in praise of that ambrosial luminary, through all its windows, doorways and openings, as it were from the mouths of its females; and responsive to his eulogy sang by the Mandara mountain, from the many mouths of its caves and caverns, and the pipes of hallow bamboos.

19. The wondering women of the siddhas, behold with their astonished and uplifted faces and eyes, a large body of cloud borne away by the winds; and dubitate in their minds, whether it is a mountain peak carried away by the winds, or it is a forest of the snowy mountain flying upward in the air, or it is a column to measure the distance of the earth and sky, or a balance to weigh their weight.

20. See the moorlands at the foot of the Mandara mountain, how cool they are with the cooling breezes wafting the coldness of the waves of Ganges; and see its footlands inhabited by the fair Vidyadhara tribe; and behold its flowery woodlands all around, overtopped by shady clouds of flowers above.

21. See the forests and groves and the hursts spread there abouts, with the huts and hamlets and habitations of men scattered therein. Look at the holy shrines, and the sacred brooks and fountains lying in them, the very sight of which, disperses our woes, poverty and iniquities.

22. Mountain crags and ridges, overhung on all sides of the horizon; the dales and caverns, and the groves and grottos, are overshadowed by clouds; the limpid lakes, resemble the clear firmament; such sights are sure to melt away masses of our crimes.

23. Lo here my lord, the ravines of the Malaya mountain, redolent with the odour of the aromatic sandal wood; and there the Vindhyan hills, abounding with infuriate elephants; the Kailasa mount yielding the best kind of gold, in its olden laureate lore; and the Mount Mahendra, fraught with its mineral ore (aguru—agallochum); the summits of the

snowy mountain are plenteous, with the best kind of horses and medicinal plants; thus while every place [is] found to abound with richest productions of nature, why does man set to repine in his time worn cell, like an old and blind mouse in its dirty hole.

24. Behold the dark and rainy cloud on high, appearing as another world, to submerge the earth under its flood; and threatening it with its flashing and forky lightnings, and gliding as frisky shrimp fishes in the etherial ocean.

25. Oh! the bleak rainy winds, blowing with the keen icy blasts of frozen snows, poured down profusely by the raging rainy clouds on high. They are now howling aloud in the air, and now chilling the blood, and shaking the body with horripilation.

26. Oh! the cold winds of winter are blowing, in their course with the dark clouds of heaven; and scattering cluster of flowers, from the twigs and branches of trees. And there are the drizzling rain drops dropping in showers, amidst the thick forests, redolent with the odours of kadamba blossoms.

27. There the winds are bearing the fragrance of the breaths of languid females, as if it were the celestial odour of ambrosia, stolen by and borne on the wings of zephyr.

28. Here the gentle breezes are breathing, with the breath of the new blown lilies and lotuses of the lake, and sweeping their tender odours to the land; and the blasts are bursting the flakes of the folded clouds, and wafting the perfumes from the gardens and groves.

29. Yonder the mild airs are lulling our toils, cooled by their contact with the evening clouds of heaven; and resembling the vassal florists, perfumed all over in their culling the flowers from the royal gardens.

30. Some of these are perfumed with the odours of different flowers, and others with the fragrance of lilies and lotuses; in some places they are scattering showers of blossoms, and shedding the dust of flowers at others. Some where the air is blowing from the hoary mountain of frost, and at others from those of blue, black and red minerals.

31. The sun is scattering his rays, as firebrands in some places, and these are spreading a conflagration with loud cluttering in the woods, like the riotous rabble in a country.

32. The winds like wicked attendants on the sun, are spreading the conflagration caused by the solar rays; and carry their clattering noise afar.

33. The cooling winds blowing from the woods, and bedewed by the gentle beams of the moon, or moistened by the watery particles of heaving waves; though cheering to the souls of others, appear yet as fiery hot to separated lovers.

34. Lo here, O lord! how the savara women, on the low lands of the eastern main, are covered in their rude and rough leafy garments, and wearing their sounding bracelets of brass; and see how they are strutting about, in the giddiness of their prime youth.

35. See how these newly loving lasses, are clinging round the bodies of their mates, for fear of darkness of the approaching night; in the manner of timid snakes twining about the trunk of sandal wood trees.

36. Struck with fear by the alarm, given by the sounding bell at day break; the loving consort leans on the bosom of her lover, as the darkness lingers in the enclosed room.

37. There is a furze of kinsuka flowers, blooming as firebrands, on the border of the southern sea, which is continually washing them with lavations of its waves, as if it wanted to extinguish them.

38. The winds are wafting their fuming farina, which are flying upwards like mists of hazy clouds to heaven; the flowers are falling about like flames of fire, and the birds and black bees are hovering over them as extinguished cinders of fire.

39. Behold there on the other side, the real flashes of living wild fire, blazing in the forests on the east; and to their flames are borne above the mountain tops, by the flying winds of the air.

40. See the slow moving clouds, shrouding the lowlands lying at the foot of the Krauncha mountain; and observe the crowding peacocks dancing under them, and screaming aloud with their grave and shrill cries to the clouds. Lo there the gusts of rain-winds rising high, and blowing the fruits and flowers and leaves of trees afar on all sides.

41. Behold the sun setting mountain in the west, with its thousand peaks of glittering gold; shining amidst the dusky hue of the evening sky; and the sloping sun descending below in his chariot whirling down with its rattling wheels in the rustling of evening winds. (But the solar car is a velocipedes with a single wheel only).

42. The moon that rises upon the eastern mount of Meru like a full blown flower, in order to give light to the darkened mansion of this world; is itself accompanied by it black spots, sitting as black bees upon the blossom. Hence there is no good thing in this perverted world, which is free from its fault and frailty.

43. The moon light is shining like the laughter of the god Rudra, amidst his dome of the triple world; or it is as the white wash of the great hall of the universe, or it likens [to] the milky fluid of the milky ocean of the sky.

44. Look on all sides of the sky, tinged with the evening twilight, and the variegated hues of mountain tops; and filled with the milky beams of the moon, that was churned out by the Mount Mandara from the milky ocean.

45. Look there, O incomparable lord! those hosts of Guhyka ghosts, that are as hideous as the large tala or palm trees;and also those puny

Vetala younglings are pouring upon the ill-fated dominions of the Hunas;and devouring troubled inhabitants at night.

46. The face of the moon shines brightly like the beauteous face of a fairy, so long as it does not appear out of its mansion at night; but it is shorn of its beams, and appears as a piece of fleecy cloud, by its appearance at day light; as the fairy face becomes disgraced, by appearing out of the inner apartment.

47. Look at the lofty peaks of the snowy mountain, covered with the fair vesture of the bright moon beams;and see its crags washed by floods of the falling Ganges; behold its head capped by perpetual snows, and begirt by creepers of snowy whiteness.

48. Behold there Mandara mountain touching the sky, and crowning the forest with its lofty ridges; here the winds are wafting the cradle chimes of Apsara nymphs, and there the mountainous mines gemming in various hues.

49. See the high hills all around, abounding with blooming flowers like offerings to the gods; see the thickening clouds round their loins, and resounding hoarsely within their hollows, while the starry heaven shines over their heads.

50. There is the Kailasa mountain on the north, vying with firmament in its brightness; below it there is the hermitage of Skanda, and the moon shines in her brilliance above.

51. Lo, the god Indra has let loose his winds, to break the branches of trees, and demolish the huts on the ground, the fragments of which they have been carrying afar.

52. The winds are wafting the profuse fragrance of flowers after the rains, and filling the nostrils of men with their odours; while the flights of bees are floating as clouds in the azure sky.

53. Methinks the goddess Flora has chosen for her abode, the blooming flowers in the forests; limpid waters in the marshy grounds, and in villages abounding in fruitful trees, and flourishing fields.

54. The windows are overgrown with creeping plants in the rains, and the house tops are decorated with the flowers of the climbing creepers upon them. The ground is strewn over with the dropping flowers up to the heels, and the breezes are blowing the dust of the flowers all about. All these have made the woodlands the seats of the sylvan gods.

55. The rains have converted the rustic village, to a romantic paradise or fairy land; by the blooming champaka flowers, the swinging of the rural nymphs in their cradles, of creepers, by the warbling of birds and gurgling of water-falls, the blossoming of the tall palm trees in the skirts; the tender creepers blooming with clusters of snow white blossom, the dancing of peacocks on the tops of houses, and the borders shaded by the sal trees; and the rainy clouds hanging over the village and the bordering hills.

56. Again the soft and sweet breathing breezes, the variegated leaves of the plants and creepers, the verdure of the village, the cries of cranes and other fowls, and the wild notes of the foresters; these together with the jollity of the swains, and the merriment of the pastoral people, over their plenty of milk, curd, butter and ghee, and their glee in their peaceful abodes, add a charm to this hilly tract.