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 CXXII - The king's survey of the sea, and his locomotion on it

Argument:—The king walks on foot on the sea, his chase of sharks and other marine animals.

Vasishtha related:—

Rising then in the morning, they regulated the affairs of the state according to the rules prescribed by law; and were eager to see the sea, as if they were impelled by some preternatural force, which nothing less than the power of ministerial officers could restrain.

2. But they were so exasperated by their mad ambition, that they forgot their affection for their families, and forsook them all weeping before them, for undertaking their perilous sea voyage.

3. They said, "we will see what there is on the other side of the sea, and then return instantly to this place." Saying so they muttered the invocatory mantras of the Fire god, who inspired them with the power of walking on foot and dry-shod over the sea.

4. All the representatives of the king, being followed by their companions on all sides, proceeded to the borders of the several seas, and then walked on their feet over to watery maze.

5. They walked on foot upon the waters, as if they were walking upon the surface of the ground, and all the four bodies of the quadruple king, now met together in one place, and immediately afterwards they separated apart with all their forces.

6. Marching on foot over the vast expanse, they surveyed all that was in and upon the sea; and disappeared altogether from the sight of the people on the shore, as a spot of cloud, vanishes from view in autumn.

7. The forces travelled on foot all over the watery path of the ocean, with as much fortitude; as the elephants of the king, traverse with patience on land, when they are bound to a distant journey.

8. They mounted high and went down, along with the rising and lowering waves; as when men climb upon and descend from steep mountains, and as one rides and goes galloping on horseback, or in the manner of Hari floating upon the billowy ocean, or in his act of churning the sea.

9. They paced over the whirlpools, as the straws float upon waters; and they promenaded as gracefully amidst the encompassing waves, as the beauteous moon passes through the surrounding clouds.

10. The brave soldiers that were so well armed with weapons in their hands, and so well protected by the power of their mantras and amulets; that they were as often disgorged from bowels of the sharks, as

they came to be devoured by them: (because they could neither masticate nor digest them).

11. Pushed onward by the waves, and driven forward by the winds, their bodies were carried to the distance of many a leagues in a moment.

12. The huge surges which lifted them to great heights, represented the enormous elephants, on which they used to mount, and ride about in their native land.

13. The vast expanse of water appears as the void space of the sky; and the succession of heaving waves in it, represents the folds of gathering clouds in heaven, and as they were dashing against one another, they emitted the flash of lightnings anon.

14. The loose and loud surges of the sea, resembled the loosened elephants in the battle field; and though they dashed against the shore with all their force; yet they were unable to break them down, as the elephants are baffled in their attempt to break down a stone built rampart.

15. The waving waves reflecting the rays of the brilliant pearls and gems, which they bore with them from shore to shore; resemble the eminent men, who though they pass alone from place to place, appear yet to be accompanied by their train and glory every where.

16. The surf tramples over the mass of hoary froth with contempt, as the snowy white swan treads upon the bed of whitish lotuses in disdain. (The surf and the swan, being whiter far than the froth and the lotus).

17. The sounding main, which was as loud as the roaring clouds, and the re-billowing billows, which were louder than they, bore no terror to them that stood as rocks thereon.

18. The cloud-kissing waves of the ocean, now rising above the mountains, and now falling low at their feet, were likely to touch the solar orb, and then sink into the infernal.

19. They were not afraid of the rising or falling waters; but passed over the sea as upon sheet of cloth; and shrouded by the drizzling clouds, which foamed a canopy over them.

20. Thus the companions of the king crossed the ocean, which was full of sharks and alligators, and tremendous eddies; they were sprinkled by water like showers of flowers, and adorned with marine gems and pearls;and they crossed over on foot, as others do in navies.