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 CXXVII - Cosmology of the universe

Argument:—Account of the Earth and the starry frame below the endless Vacuum, which envelops the Universe.

Rama said:—

Please, tell me sir, how this globe of the earth is situated, how and where the polar mountain stands upon it, and do the stars revolve about the same.

Vasishtha replied:—

2. As boys build their fancied castles in empty air, so is this world the creation of the imagination of the mind of Brahma, and no more than this.

3. As the dimsighted man sees the shadow of the moon, and other false sights before his eyes, so the creative Power—Brahma sees in the beginning, the phantoms of the phenomenal world in the vacuity of its Intellect (like a shadow of the prototype in the Divine mind).

4. As an imaginary city is situated in the mind, and is invisible to the eye; so the notion of the world is posited in the intellect, and not exhibited in actuality.

5. Whenever there is the reflexion of anything whatever in the mind, and arising spontaneously of its own nature (from previous reminiscence); the same presents itself even then and in that state before the sight (as in a dream).

6. As the dimsighted eye, sees false sights in the sky; so the deluded mind, sees the earth and the orbs of heaven (i.e. the heavenly bodies).

7. As the current water flows on the surface of rivers, and there resides the latent fire underneath; so the notions of things presenting themselves as dreams of the mind, are manifested as real ones before the sight.

8. Hence as thoughts and notions of things, occur and subside continually in the mind; so the earth and heavenly bodies, appear incessantly to revolve in their spheres (and the stars to rise and set in endless succession).

9. The world is entirely inexistent, to dull and inanimate beings; it is visible to those that have the visual organs but utterly invisible to the blind, and altogether unknown to them that are born as such. It is imperceptible to the insensible, and perceptible only in the same manner

as it is presented in the mind. So it is in the power of the mind alone, to represent it in some form or other to one's self.

10. It is thus according to the mental conception (of some astronomers), that the bodies of stars, are considered to be as large as the earth; and the unreal world (of spiritualist), is believed as a real entity (by the materialist).

11. The world has both light and darkness, owing to the presence or absence of the sun; beyond which there is the great abyss of vacuity, which is a vast expanse of darkness, except where there is a glimpse of Zodiacal light.

12. The polar circle is called the polar mountain, from the protuberance of the poles at both ends; it is termed also the Lokaloka or having a light and another dark side, owing to the course of the sun towards or away from it. Its distance from the starry circle, derives it also of Zodiacal light.

13. Beyond the polar circle, and afar from the sphere of the sky, there is the sphere of the starry frame, which revolves around them at a great distance on all the ten sides.

14. This starry (zodiacal) belt, girds the firmament up and down, from the heavens above to the infernal regions below, in the vast vacuity of space; and extends to all sides.

15. The starry sphere (or belt of the zodiac), turns round the polar circle of the earth, and its nether regions, as it appears to our imagination, and not otherwise (as fixed and motionless).

16. The sphere of zodiacal stars, is twice as distant from the poles, as those are distant from the middle of the earth; in the same manner as the covering crust of a ripe walnut is aloof from the sheath of its seeds.

17. Thus the starry belt is settled at double the distance from the poles, as the polar circle is situated from the equator; and it turns all about the ten sides, as a bel fruit whirls in the sky.

18. The aspect of the world is according to the modality, in which it is situated in the imagination of Brahma, and as it is reflected from its archetype in the Divine mind (or its consciousness of it).

19. There is another sphere of the heavens, which is afar from the starry frame, and twice in its extent than that; this is lighted by the zodiacal light and beyond it there reigns a thick darkness.

20. At the end of this sphere, there is the great circle of the universe; having one half of it stretching above and one below, and containing the sky in the midst of them. (This is called the Brahmanda kharpara, or the mundane sphere).

21. It extends to millions of yojanas, and is compact with all its contents; it is a mere work of imagination, and formed of vacuity in the immensity of vacuum (which is the mind of God).

22. The sphere of light turns on every side, of the great circle of vacuity, with all the lightsome bodies of the sun, moon and stars in its circumstance: there is no upside nor downward in it, but are all the same herein.

23. There is no actual ascending, descending nor standing, of any planetary body therein; they are mere manifestations of the intellect, which exhibits these variations in the workings of the mind.