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 CXXX - Entering of the stag into the fire

Argument:—The stag burnt in the meditation of Vasishtha, and turned in its former figure of the Prince.

Valmiki related:—

Rama then asked Vasishtha, to tell him by what means Vipaschit was released from his brutish shape and restored to his human form again.

Vasishtha said:—

2. The way by which a person has had his rise, is the only means that conduces to his success, welfare and happiness in life (and a departure from this course, brings on his ruin).

3. Vipaschit had been a worshipper, and it is by his re-entrance into the refuge of that deity only; that his changed form of the stag, may be altered and restored to its former figure, of bright and unalloyed gold.

4. I will now try the means of his restoration in your presence, as you may all witness it with your open eyes; and this stag will of itself enter into the fire before your sight.

Valmiki related:—

5. Saying so, the benevolent sage, touched his water pot with his hand, and muttered his mantras upon it in the proper form (i.e. with fixed attention).

6. He thought intently upon the god of fire, with his flashing flames all around him; and immediately there sprang a blaze of fire, upon his reflection on it (in the midst of the royal hall).

7. This was a pure flame, kindled without any coal or fuel, and burning with a rumbling noise, without emitting any smoke or soot or sloe.

8. Brighter and brighter it burnt in its beauty, and shone as a dome of gold, by shedding a golden lustre all about; it was as flushing as the blushing kinsuka blossom, and as glowing as the evening clouds of heaven.

9. The assembled host receded backward, upon beholding the spreading flame; but the stag flushed with the fervour of its former faith, on seeing its adored deity manifest before its sight.

10. As it looked on the fire with its ardent desire, he got rid of his sins, as if they were burnt away by its flames; and then advancing slowly towards it, he jumped at once amidst the blaze, as a lion springs aloft on his prey.

11. At this moment, the Muni moved his mind to meditation, and found the sins of the prince were burnt away from his soul; and then addressed the god, saying:—

12. O lord, that bearest the sacrificial butter to the celestials, recall to thy mind the past acts of the prince, in his faith to thee;and kindly restore him, to his former handsome figure again.

13. As the sage was praying in this manner, he saw the stag to be released from the flame, and running towards the assembled princes, with the velocity of an arrow flying towards its butt end or mark.

14. Having entered into the burning fire, he appeared as a flaming body, and was seen by the assembly to be of a form, as bright as the appearance of an evening cloud.

15. Thus the stag was changed to the form of a man, before the sight of the assembled princes; as a spot of cloud is seen to assume another figure in the face of the bright vault of heaven.

16. It was seen amidst the flame, to assume a figure as that of pure gold; which afterwards took the form of a man, of handsome shape and appearance. (So the funeral fire purifies the soul of its impurities, and gives it a brighter form afterwards).

17. He appeared as the orb of the sun, or as the disc of the moon in the sky; or as the god Varuna in the waters of the deep, or as the evening cloud or rising moon.

18. There was the reflexion of the sun in the pupils of his eyes, as it was reflected on the surface of water, or on a mirror or bright gem; and the fire of his faith, blazed serenely in the sockets of his eyeballs.

19. Shortly afterwards this blaze of light disappeared from the court, as the light of a lamp is blown away by the breath of wind; or as the tinges of evening clouds vanish in the sky under the shades of night.

20. The man then stood as plainly in the hall, as the idol of a deity is seen to stand in a dilapidated temple (without its brightness); or as an actor is seen behind the scene (without his dress).

21. He stood silent holding a rosary on his hand, and having his sacred thread, hanging down a chain of gold about his neck; he wore a robe of pure white blanched by the fiery heat; and appeared as the bright moon, rising before the assembly.

22. On seeing the brightness of his person and attire, the courtiers all and every one, cried out saying, "O to the lustre"; and because he was as lustrous as day light, he was named, "Lustre" by all.

23. The courtiers also confirmed it by saying that, because he is as bright as brightness itself, let him be styled the "bright or Bhasa", the name that he bore on him ever afterwards.

24. He sat in the hall in his meditative mood, and remembered all the incidents of his past life and former body.

25. The assembly was struck with wonder, and remained quite motionless and speechless and absorbed in thought; as Bhasa was reflecting in his mind the adventures of his past life.

26. Then the prince rose from his reverie after a short while, and advanced towards the assembly, under his newly obtained title of Bhasa or the light.

27. He advanced at first towards Vasishtha, and saluted him with delight; and then addressed him saying:—"I bow down, sir, before thee, as the giver of my life and light of knowledge of myself."

28. Vasishtha raised him by touching his head with his hand; and said: "May thy protracted ignorance, O prince, dissipate this day and for ever after".

29. Victory to Rama, said Bhasa, and bowed down to Dasaratha; who rising a little from his seat, thus accosted him smilingly and said:—

Dasaratha said:—

30. You are welcome, O prince! be seated on this seat;you have wandered through many difficulties of the world, now take your rest here.

Valmiki related:—

31. Thus accosted by the king, the prince now bearing the name of Bhasa, took his seat on a cushion, after making his salutation, to the venerable sages Visvamitra and others.

32. Dasaratha exclaimed:—O the pains, that Vipaschit has so long undergone, under the thraldom of Ignorance; in the manner of a wild elephant, tied in fetters at his feet by ruthless huntsmen.

33. O to what miseries is man exposed, owing to his want of precise understanding, and by his false knowledge of the reality of these worlds, that are seen to be revolving in empty shape.

34. How wondrous are these worlds, so extensive and so remote, which Vipaschit has traversed out, and how incredible are the pains, through which he has passed so long.

35. O how wonderful is the nature and glory, of the inane Intellect of the vacuous spirit of the Supreme, that exhibits in empty air, the blank thoughts of his all comprehensive mind, as sole and substantial ones (to the apprehension of ignorant mortals).