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...
Argument:—Bhasa relates his repeated births, the wonders he has seen, and the vanity of the world.
1. It was once at the foot of the Mandara mountain, that I dwelt as a siddha under the shady bower of Mandara trees; and had been sleeping in the sweet embrace of an Apsara, Mandara by name; when it happened, that the current of a river bore us both away, as it carries down a straw in its course.
2. I supported my partner now floating on the water, and asked her to tell me how could it happen to be so; when she with her tremulous eyes answered me thus, saying:—
3. Here it occurs at the full moon, that this mountain which is sacred to the moon, gives rise to its outlets, which then rush out as rapidly, as ladies run to meet their consorts at the rising of the moon.
4. It was owing to my rapture in your company, that I forgot to tell you of this; saying so she lifted me up, and fled with me into the air, as a female bird mounts into the sky with her young.
5. I was to the top of that mountain, where I remained seven years, with my dried and unsoiled body, as a bee remains unsullied on the pericarp of a lotus flower growing in the bed of the Ganges.
6. I thence saw some other worlds beyond the starry circle, which were encircled by one another like the coatings of a plantain tree. They were bright by their own light, and were peopled by luminous bodies.
7. There were no distinctions of directions nor divisions of daytime (for want of the sun); there no sastras or rules of conduct, nor vedas for religious guidance; there was no difference of the gods and demigods, but the whole was bright with its own light.
8. I was next born as a Vidyadhara, and lived for twice seven years as an ascetic under the name of Amarasoma, dwelling in the grove of kadamba trees, at the foot of a cloud-capt mountain, which was frequented by aerial cars of the celestials, for their pleasure, the sport and diversion.
9. Then I was borne with the velocity of winds, afar amidst the etherial regions on high; whence I beheld numberless elephants and horses, lions and deer, and woods and forests filled with beasts and birds, all moving along in the form of clouds beneath.
10. It was thus with the force of the bird of heaven—Garuda, that I mounted up to heaven from earth, and passed through infinite space, by favour of the god of fire, in order to see the extensive range of the delusion of Avidya or Ignorance, which was displayed all around. It was thus by favour of the god of fire, and the fervour of my desire to see the extensive range of the delusion of Avidya or Ignorance; that I mounted up to heaven from earth, with the force of the bird of heaven—Garuda; and passed through the infinite space, that was spread all around.
11. I felt in myself to fall off once, away and afar from the solar world; it seemed to be an etherial ocean inhabited by stars, amidst which I was situated as one, with the consciousness of my fall and course of time.
12. With the only consciousness of my fall from the sky on high, I felt in myself the sense of falling fast asleep from fatigue; and then in that state of sound sleep of my body, I thought I saw the sensible world in my mind, as if it were in my waking state.
13. I saw again the same world within the horizon, and the same mandara mountain of the gods amidst it; whilst I had been fluttering in the midst of its abyss, as a bird sitting on a slender twig, is shaken and tossed about by the blowing wind.
14. I saw with my eyes to the utmost extent of the sensible world, and again and again I was led to the sight of the visibles, and enjoyment of the sensibles only (in the repeated transmigrations of my soul).
15. Thus I passed a long series of years, in viewing the visible and invisible objects (both of my waking and dreaming hours); as well as in passing through the passable and impassable paths (of this and other worlds).
16. I could not find anywhere, the limit of this Avidya or Ignorance, which showed unto me the visibles only (in my waking and dreaming, and in this world and others). It is a fallacy that has taken the possession of our minds, as the apparition of a goblin takes a deep root in the breasts of boys.
17. This and this (i.e. the visible) are not realities, is the firm conviction of all in their right reasoning; and yet the false sight of this and this as a reality, is never to be removed from any body.
18. We find our pleasures and pains, occurring to us every moment, with the changes of time and place; their course is as constant as the currents of rivers, which are ceaselessly succeeding one another.
19. I remember to have seen a world, with all kinds of moving and unmoving beings in it; and a verdant mountain top in their midst, rustling with the blowing breeze, and shining of itself without the light of the luminaries. (This is the pinnacle of the glory of God).
20. This mountain peak is delightsome to solitary recluses, it is quite free, alone and unlimited, and beyond all fear of change or decay. I have never seen in this brightsome world, a glory which is comparable to this divine effulgence.