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 CXIX - Lamentation of the lovelorn traveller

Argument:—The lovesick traveller, relating the woes of his separation to his beloved one.

The companions continued:—

1. The traveller having returned home, and finding his beloved one by the arbour of mandara trees, began to relate to her the pangs of his protracted separation.

2. Listen to my marvellous tale, said he, and what happened to me one day, when I sought to send some one to thee with my tidings.

3. I sought long but sought in vain, at the time of my painful separation, to send one to thee at this house of mine; but where such a one be found in the world, who would take a severe interest in the affliction of another, for the sake of charity or mere friendship?

4. Lo, I came to behold even then and there, a big cloud on the top of a mount, resembling the steed of cupid, that appeared jocundly before me, accompanied by the swift lightening as his precursor.

5. I advanced before him and addressed unto him, saying: ah brother cloud, thou bearest the rainbow of Indra, as a collar about thy neck, and are graceful in thy course, have pity on me for a moment. Please go to my dear one and tell her my tidings, with thy low voice, sympathetic tears and breath of sighs; because the tender form of the pliant creeper, will not be able to bear thy loud uproar.

6. I know not, O dark cloud! to what abode to direct thee to find my beloved one, who is pictured in the plate of my heart by the pencil of my mind, and was forever situated in my bosom.

7. But now, O my friendly cloud! my distracted mind has lost that figure of my beloved in my breast, together with the sight of her person from my eyes; and now having lost the freedom of my body in a foreign country, I have become but a wooden framework without my love, which is its living soul: for what living body can bear the pangs of separation.

8. People then thought me dead, and with tears in their eyes, began to prepare my obsequies and collect wood for my funeral.

9. I was borne away to be burnt on a dreadful funeral pile, which was horribly crackling with the cracking wood, of the blazing fire on the burning ground.

10. There, O my lotus eyed love, I was laid on the pile by some persons with their weeping eyes; and the pyre was surrounded by a number of men, who stood as spectators of the horrible sight.

11. At that time the curling smoke of the pyre, began to enter into my nostrils like the creepers or stalks of lotus plants; and as when the dark and lengthy body of the curvilinear snake, enters into a hole in the ground.

12. But [in] all this, I was defended by the strong armour of my firm love to thee; as the unborn or selfborn son of god Brahma, was defended from the showers of darts, of the whole host of demons and thinking myself to be plunged in the cooling pool of thy love within my heart; I was untouched by the flames of fire burning all about me.

13. All this time I lay in the ecstacy of my love to thee, and I felt raptures of joy rise in my breast, from my fancied association with thee. I deemed myself as drowned in an ambrosial lake, while I was in that state of rapture, and thought sovereignty of the whole world, too insignificant before my ecstatic transport.

14. Methought I felt raptures of inexpressible delight fill my whole soul, at the thought of all thy blandishments and graces, and in the allurements of thy speech, sweet smiles and sidelong glances, and all the gestures and motions of thy person, that spread an ambrosial charm all around me.

15. Methought we clasped in mutual embraces, and together in amorous folds; till exhausted with surfeit, I lay upon the cool soft bed, as if I was drowned in the cold and icy ocean of the lunar disc.

16. At this moment as I lay long in my bed, bedewed with cool sandal paste, and the cooling beams of the full-moon;I heard a thundering noise accompanied with flames of fire, rising from the burning pile of woods under me, as it was the submarine fire, proceeding from the milky ocean wherein I was lying.

The companions resumed:—

17. When the husband had said so far, his listening spouse cried out aloud; saying "Ah me! I am dead, I am gone,"and for fear of hearing the sad consequence, fell into a swoon and became senseless.

18. The husband finding her fainting, began to wave over her [a] fan of lotus leaves, besprinkled with water; and taking her up to his bosom, tried to restore her to her senses.

19. Being then desired by her to finish his tale, he began to relate the remainder by holding her chin with his hand.

20. As I felt the pain of the burning flame touching my body, I cried out and groaned in affliction; the spectators hastened to extinguish the blazing pile, and felt delighted to find me alive.

21. The attendants then with loud spouts of joy, like the sound of drums &c. and with garlands of flowers, raised and embraced me to their bosoms; and went on shouting and singing and dancing and laughing with exultation.

I then saw the funeral ground resembling the formidable body of bhairava said:—

22. the god of destruction. It was equally covered with ashes, wreathed with snakes and studded with human skulls: and the scattered bones that were strewn over the ground, seemed as the beams of the moon crowning the head of Siva.

23. Here hot winds were blowing from the funeral piles, as from the burning fire on Hara's head; and bearing the burnt ashes of the dead bodies, as a dark mist all around; they bore stink of the rotten bones to the air, and carried about the rustling noise of the bones jostling against one another.

24. The burning piles and their flashing flames and flying sparks, and the fiery winds scorching the trees and herbage; give this place the appearance of the play ground, of the gods of wind and fire, and of the sons of sun—Yama and Saturn.

25. Thus I saw the funeral ground full of terrors, and covered with skeletons of half-burnt bodies and putrid carcasses also; it is infested by hungry dogs and howling jackals, and other voracious beasts, and the ravenous ravens and vultures. It is a place where the Vetala—demons and Pisacha—hobgoblins, revel with fearful shrieks and jarring sounds.

26. I beheld there the biers of dead bodies, borne by their mourning friends, with loud cries and lamentations that filled the air all about. I saw the beasts and birds, that tore their entrails and arteries, yet moist with blood, and I saw the ground strewn over with half burnt logs of wood and bushes.

27. In some places the glaring pyres, gave a gloomy light, and in others the tufts of hair, were heaped as spots of clouds; somewhere the ground was besmeared with blood, and looked like a lurid sheet of cloth; and elsewhere the clouds were roaring, as the setting sun went down the western hill (or horizon).