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 CXXXVIII - The pervasion of the mind throughout the universe

Argument:—The joining of the two souls of the sage and his pupil together made them twain, and gave a twofold view of objects: but their union in unity made them one, and presented the one and same view of things to both the united pair.

The ascetic sage continued:—

1. I then thought of being united with his consciousness, and breathed out the breath of my life to be joined with his, as the ripe mango sends forth its flavour, to mix with the fragrance of lotus flowers.

2. I did not forsake my vital heat (or energy), until I entered into his intellect; and began with infusing my outward sensations, into the organs of his external senses.

3. I then attracted my outward sensations, by the internal sensibility of my heart, and mixed them with those of his, as a drop of oil is mixed with and diluted in water.

4. As my sensuousness was intermingled with his sensations, I became sensible of a duplex feeling of all external objects, which appeared in their reduplicated forms to my senses.

5. All things on all sides seemed to be doubled about me, and there appeared two suns and two moons to be presented to my sight. So the heaven and earth appeared in their twofold forms before me.

6. As one face is seen as two in some glasses, so all things presented their double forms to the mirror of my eyes. And all these biplex shapes seemed to be as closely united together as the world (i.e. the body and mind).

7. And as the same intellect resides in the form of oil in two sesame seeds, so I saw the two worlds mixed up together with my intellect united with his in his body.

8. And though my consciousness was united with his in the same body, yet it was not wholly assimilated with his (owing to the difference of our desires); but they view the world respectively, in the different lights of milk and water (i.e. as appearing pleasant to the one and painful to the other).

9. Yet as I looked awhile into his consciousness, and compared and measured it with mine; they were both found to be the same thing and of the selfsame essence. (Consciousness is joint knowledge of ourselves in connection with others).

10. My consciousness was joined with his in the same manner, as one season joins with another (at its end); or as the confluence of two rivers runs together, and as the smoke mixes with the clouds, or the wind carries the fragrance of flowers with it.

11. This our consciousness being mixed up together, the double view of the world now became one; just as the erroneous sight of the two moons in the sky, is soon changed to one upon aright [to] its right view.

12. Then my power of discernment which was in his person, became finer and finer without wholly losing itself in his, and resided together in his very body.

13. Afterwards the faculties of the mind which resided in his breast, were found to be directed to the observation of external objects; and to take delight in noticing the occurrences of the day (i.e. the present objects).

14. He being at rest from his weariness, after taking his meal and drink; felt drowsy and inclined to sleep, as the lotus flower shuts its petals at nightfall, after sucking the nectarious liquid of the lake.

15. He withdrew his mind from observing occurrences, that circulated all about the busy scene of the external world; as the setting sun retrenches his rays from the face of the world, as he goes to take his rest in the evening.

16. The functions of his senses receded into heart, and the operations of his mind retired to his brain, and remained hidden therein, like the members of a tortoise drawn inside its shell.

17. His eyelids were closed, as his heart had shut up; and he remained as dead as a lifeless block or as a figure in painting or statuary.

18. I also followed the course of his mental faculties, and settled with them in his mind, and my senses being under the direction of the mind were reposed in the recess of his heart. (The sensations are said to pass from their organs, and run through the veins and arteries to the recess of the heart).

19. Then insensible of all outward perceptions, and their conceptions too in my mind; I remained with that heat (or spirit) in me, as sleeping on a soft bed, and perceiving naught but a void all about me. (This is termed the blissful state of ananda-maya—felicity).

20. And as the breathing of our vital breath, was neither obstructed in the aorta, nor passed with rapidity through the lungs, as it does in cases of excess in eating and drinking and fatigue, it passed evenly by its passage of the nostrils.

21. Then our souls remained with the supreme soul in the breast, and kept the course of the naturally ungovernable mind under subjection (of the blissful soul).

22. The soul is then employed in its consciousness of supreme bliss in itself, and takes no notice of the actions of others; and the body also then rests in perfect blissfulness, in that state of sound sleep. (Sound sleep of hybernation or hypnotism is the perfect rest of the body and soul, when undisturbed by dreams).

Rama asked said:—

23. Say sir, what does the mind do now in its subjection under the vital breath, which was the cause of its operations in the waking state? The mind has no form also beside the breath, how then does it subsist without the same.

Vasishtha replied:—

24. Even so, there is neither the body beside its being the notion of one's self; it is the imagination of the mind alone that makes the body, just as the dream causes the appearance of a mountain and other things. (There is no existence of the mind independent of the vital air of breathing. Gloss).

25. So there is not the mind also in absence of its idea or thought of something;as there is no production of the visible world, for want of its causes at the beginning of creation. (Therefore the phenomenal world is only the effect of our previous reminiscence. Gloss).

26. Therefore all these are forms of Brahma, as he is the soul of all; and the world itself is not otherwise than the image of God. (Hypothesis of theological Pantheism, that all things are manifestations of God).

27. The mind and body are both Brahma, to them that know the truth; though they are otherwise to our knowledge of them, than what they are in theirs. (The common knowledge of them, is that of Soulism).

28. The manner in which the triple world is Brahma, and how he is the soul of all these varieties; is as you, O intelligent prince, shall now hear me to relate unto you.

29. There exists for ever the only pure Intellect (or Intelligence), which is of the form of infinite vacuum; and it is that alone which shows itself always in all forms, without being either the world itself or its visible appearance. (The formless God exhibits all forms).

30. The Lord being omniscient, took upon him the form of hypostasis of the mind, without forsaking his nature of pure intelligence, and exemption from disease and decay (which the material body is subject to).

31. Then as the Lord thought upon the movement of his mind, he assumed the substantivity of the vital breath upon himself;and know, O Rama, that best knowest the knowable, that these are but modalities of the selfsame being of God.

32. Now as this inflation of the air, appears to be a model form of the Divine essence; so the sensations and bodily perceptions, and the entities of space and time, are but various modifications of the same being.

33. Thus the whole world is entirely the formation of the Divine Mind, and as this mind is the very intellect of the supreme Brahma; so the totality of creation is only the expansion of the mind of Brahma himself.

34. The formless Brahma who is without his beginning and end, who has no reflection of himself, and is free from disease and decay, is the quiet intellect and the only quiescent Ens of Brahma, that was the whole universe for its body. (Whose body Nature is, and God the soul. Pope).

35. The supreme being [is] omnipotent, and so the mind also retains its potency every where, though it remains as empty air.

36. The volitive mind is Brahma, which immediately produces in itself, whatever it wills at any time;and the reproduction of every thing in the mind, is a truth too well known even to boys.

37. Now behold, O Rama the almighty power of the mind, which at first made itself (or became) a living being by its breathing; and then an intelligent being, by its power of thinking; and next became the living soul, with its body; it made the three worlds, and became the prime male in the form of Brahma; it became embodied from its aerial form, in the shape of Virat; thus it created every thing in itself of its own will, as men produce all things in their imagination, and see the cities of their fancy in dream.