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 CXLV - Description of the waking, dreaming and sleeping states

Argument:—The three Humours of Human body Composing the three states of its earthly existence.

The sage continued:—

1. The living soul (or man) perceives the dream of the outer world, by means of the external organs of sense; and that of the inner world by the internal senses; but the quickness of both the internal and external senses, gives the sensations of both these worlds to the soul.

2. When the outer senses are busily employed with outward objects, then the perceptions of mental objects and inner functions become faint and fainter by degrees.

3. When the external senses are all directed to the inside, and the inner senses are concentrated in the mind; then the object of thought and the idea of the world however minute they had been before, assume gradually a more expanded form, and present their extended appearances to the soul. (Brooding upon a thought, dilates it the more).

4. In this manner the world which is nothing in reality, being once thought upon as something however small in its idea, dilates itself to an enormous size in the mind, which cast at last its reflection on the external organs of sense also, and make it appear so big and vast to sight.

5. When the eyes and senses of a living person, are occupied with outer objects, then the soul beholds the intellect, the form of the exterior world only (so the external senses carry their impressions to the mind also).

6. The intellectual and aeriform soul, is composed of the congeries of all outward sensations; namely of the ears or hearing, touch or feeling, seeing and smelling, and taste as also of the four internal sensations of will or volition.

7. Therefore the living soul is always present at every place, accompanied with all the senses in its intellect, hence the airy intellect is to be ever unobstructed, because it always knows and sees every where.

8. When the phlegmatic humour or fluid of the body, fills the veins and arteries of the living person; the soul is then lulled to sleep and to see false visions in its dream.

9. It seems to swim in a sea of milk, and to soar in the moonlight sky;it thinks it sees a limpid lake about it, filled with full blown lotuses and their blooming buds.

10. It sees in itself the flowery gardens of the vernal season, and mantled in vest of flowers, vying with the bespangled sky, and resounding with the warbling of birds, and the buzz of humming humble bees.

11. It sees all mirth and festivity afoot in its mansion, and the merry dance of sportive damsels afloat in its compound; and views its court-yard filled with provisions of food and drink (to its heart's content).

12. It beholds profluent streams like adolescent maidens, running sportfully to join the distant sea; girt with the swimming flowers and smiling with their flashy foams; and darting about their fickle glances, in flitting motion of the shrimps, fluttering on the surface of the water.

13. It views edifices, turrets, rising as high as the summits of the Himalayan mountains, and the tops of ice bergs (in the frigid climes);and having their whitewashed walls, appearing as if they were varnished with moon-beams.

14. It sees the landscape covered by the dews of the dewy season, or as hid under the mists of winter, and shrouded by the showering clouds of the rainy weather, and views the ground below overgrown with herbaceous plants, and the muddy marshes grown over with blue lotuses.

15. The woodlands were seen to be overspread with flowers, and resorted to by droves of deer and the weary traveller; that halted under the cooling umbrage of the thickening foliage of the forest, and were soothed by soft breezes of the sylvan spot.

16. The flowery arbour had all its alleys and arcades, bestrewn over with the flaring farina of flowers; and the crimson dusts of Kunda, Kadamba and Mandara blossoms, were blushing and mantling the scenery all around.

17. The lakes were attired in azure with blue lotuses, and the ground wore the flowing floral garment of flowers; the woodlands were clear of clouds, and the firmament was clear and cold under the autumnal sky.

18. The mountain range was crowned with rows of Kunda, Kadamba and Kadali or plantain trees, which waved their leafy fans on their exalted heads, which appeared to nod at the dancing of the leaflets.

19. The tender creepers were shaking with negligence, with the unblown buds and blossoms upon them; appeared as young damsels dancing gracefully, with strings of pearls on their slender persons.

20. It sees the royal hall and the regal synod, shining as brightly as the blooming lotus-bed in the lake; and he sees also the fanning white chowries and waving over them, like the feathered tribe, flapping their wings over the floral lake (or lotus beds).

21. It sees also the running rills softly gliding in playful mood, with curling creepers and flowers wreathed with their currents; and murmuring along with mixed music of birds on the spray beside them.

The dhara said:—

22. terra or earth was filled and flooded, by dhara or torrents of water falling from the adharas or cataracts, of dharadharas or mountains; and all the sides of heaven were obscured by the showers of rain and snows, falling all about its vault.

23. When the internal channels of the body are filled with the fluid of bile (pitta), the soul remains with its internal vigor as an atom in its cell, and then sees the dreams of the following nature in itself.

24. It sees flames of fire about it, and red kinsuka flowers upon its withered trees and blasted by the winds; it sees also the forms of red lotus flowers, burning as flames of fire before it.

25. The inner nerves and veins became as dry of the gastric juice, as when the limpid streams turn to dry sand banks; and there appear flames of wild fire, and dark smoke flying over the darkened face of nature.

26. There appear fires to be blazing around, and the disk of the sun seems to dart its burning rays; wild fires are seen in forests, the withered and the dried ponds emit a poisonous gas, instead of their limpid waters.

27. The seas are seen with their boiling waters, and turning to beds of hot mire and mud; the horizon is filled with sultry winds, and the forests with flying ashes, while the deserts appeared quite desolate all about.

28. The moving sands spreading about, and flying like a flight of storks in the air; the landscape appearing otherwise than before, and the former verdure of the trees, are no more coming to sight.

29. It sees the fearful wayfarer, covered over by the burning sand of the parching desert; and looking wistfully on the distant tree by the way side, spreading its cooling ambrosial shade over the parched ground.

30. It sees the earth burning as a flaming furnace with all its lands and places hid under the ashes, and a dark cloud of dust covering the face of the sky on all sides.

31. The world appears in a flame on all sides, with all its planetary bodies, cities and seas, together with the hills and forests and the open air, all [of] which [are] seen to be burning in a blaze.

32. It sees the empty clouds of autumn, spring and hot seasons, that serve to favour the fires instead of quenching them; and beholds the lands below covered with grass and leafy creepers, which entrap them as vestures of clouds.

33. It sees the ground glittering as gold on all sides, and the waters of the lakes and rivers, and the snowy mountains even all tepid and hot.

34. When the channels of the body are dried up, for want of the gastric juice, they are filled with wind and flatulence; and the soul retaining its vigour, sees various dreams of the following description.

35. The understanding being disturbed by the wind, sees the earth and the habitations of men and the forests, and sees in dream, quite different from what they appeared before.

36. The soul beholds itself as flying in the air, with the hills and hilly lands all about it; and hears a rumbling noise as that of the whirling of the wheels of a chariot.

37. It seems to be riding about on horse back, or upon a camel or eagle or on the back of a cloud, or riding in a chariot drawn by ganders or swans.

38. It sees the earth, sky and cities and forests, all appearing before it; and trembling as in fear like bubbles in the water.

39. It finds itself as fallen in a blind ditch, or in some great danger, or as mounting in the air, upon a tree or hill.

40. When the conduits of the body are filled, with a combination of all the three humours of phlegm, bile and flatulence; then the soul is led by the windy humour to see several dreams of the following nature.

41. It sees rainfalls flowing down the mountains, and hailstones hurling down its sides to its terror; it hears the bursting of the hills and edifices, and sees the trees to be moving about.

42. Woods and forests, appear to gird the distant horizon; which is over cast by huge clouds, and traversed by big elephants and lions.

43. The palm and tamala trees, appear to be burning around; and the hollow caves and caverns, to resound with the harsh noise of the flashing fire and falling trees.

44. The mountain craigs seeming to be clashing and crashing against one another, and the caverns resounding to their hoarse and harsh crackling.

45. The mountain tops also seem to clash against each other, and emit a harsh and hideous noise about them; and the streams running amidst them, appear as wearing necklaces with the loosened creepers and bushes which they bore away.

46. Fragments of rocks are seen, to be borne away by the mountain streams to the ocean; and the torn bushes which they carried down, seemed to spread as far as the utmost pole.

47. Craggy hills seemed to crash each other with their denticulated edges, and crashed and split themselves with their harsh and hideous sounds.

48. The forest leaves with creepers were scattered all around by the strong wind, and the broken stones of the mountain made their bed over the moss below.

49. The tall tala trees fell to the ground with marmara sound, like the wars of the Gods and Titans of yore; and all birds flew with a harsh scream, like the crying of men at the last day of desolation of the world.

50. All woods, stones and earth mixed together as one mass, like jarikrita jiva in dream.

51. Silence reigned there like worm underneath the earth, and frog underneath a stone, boy within the belly, and the seed within the fruit.

52. Like boiled rice and solidified liquid in the bowel, and the sapling within the wall of a pillar.

53. The vital air ceased to blow, and the all things are blamed, as if they are encased within the hollow of the earth.

54. Deep darkness reigned there, and susupti appeared like deep dark well within the cavern of a mountain.

55. As heavy food is digested by the digestive organ of the body, and afterward by a separate juice a new energy comes within, so the vital air which once disappeared, makes its appearance again.

56. As after digestion certain kind of juice appears within the body in the shape of vitality, so stone begins to fall therein.

57. As fire increases more fire, a little adds little more; so the combination of triple humours, composes the inward and outward essence of the body.

58. Thus the living soul being confined within the bonds of the body, and led by force of the triple humours (phlegm etc.); sees (by means of its internal senses), the dreams of the absent world, as it beholds the visions of the visible phenomena, with its external organs of sense.

59. It is according to the more or less excitement of the senses, by the greater or less irritation of the humours, that the mind is liable to view its internal vision, in a greater or less degree; but the action of the humours being equable, the tenor of the mind runs in an even course.

60. The living soul being beset by irritated humours (from the effects of intoxication, mantras or poison and the like), looks abroad over the wide world, and sees the earth and sky and the mountains to be turning round; and flames of fire issuing from burning piles.

61. It finds itself rising to and moving about the skies, the rising moon and ranges of mountains;sees forests of trees and hills, and floods of water washing the face of heaven.

62. It thinks itself to be diving on and floating on the waters, or rambling in heavenly abodes, or in forests and hilly places, and finds itself to be floating in the sky, upon the backs of hoary clouds.

63. It sees rows of palms and other trees ranged in the sky, and sees the false sights of hell punishments, as the sawing and crushing of sinful bodies.

64. It fancies itself to be hurled down by a turning wheel, and rising instantly to the sky again; it sees the air full of people, and thinks itself as diving in the waters upon the land.

65. It sees the business of the daytime, carried on everywhere at night, the sun shining then as in the day time;and a thick darkness overspreading the face of the day.

66. The mountainous regions are seen in the skies, and the land is seen to be full of holes and ditches; rows of edifices are seen in the air, and amity is found to be combined with enmity (friends turning to foes and vice versa).

67. Relatives are thought [of] as strangers, and wicked people are taken for friends; ditches and dells are viewed as level land, and flats and planes appear as caves and caverns.

68. There appear hoary mountains of milky whiteness and crystal gems, and resonant with the melody of birds; and limpid lakes are seen to glide below, with their water as sweet as butter.

69. Forests of various trees appear to sight, and houses adorned with females, appearing as lotuses fraught with bees.

70. The living soul thought it lies hid within, and closed in itself; yet perceives all these sights without, as if it were awake to them. (Thus the derangement of the humours, causes these errors of sensation of perceiving what is not present to the senses).

71. In this manner it is the work of vitiated humours, to represent many such sights of external objects, in the forms of dream to the minds of people.

72. It is usual with men of disordered humours, to see many extraordinary sights and fearful appearances, both within and without them (i.e. in their dreaming and outward sight also).

73. When the internal organs are equable in their action, then the course of nature and the conduct of people, appear in the usual state.

74. Then the situations of cities and countries, and the positions of woods and hills, are seen in the same calm, clear and unperturbed state, as they are known to exist, agreeably to the natural order of things;such as cool and clear streams, shady forests, and countries and paths traversed by passengers.

75. Days and nights decorated with the pleasant beams of the sun and moon, and the rays of the starry array; and all other appearances, however unreal in their nature, appear as wonders to the sight and other senses.

76. The perception of phenomenals is as innate in the mind, as vacillation is inherent in the wind; and viewing the unreal as real, and the intrinsical or what is derived from within it, as separate and extrinsic or derived from without, is the essential property of its nature.

77. It is the calm and quiet spirit of Brahma, that gives rise to all things which are equally calm and quiet also; the world is mere vacuum, without having any reality in it. It is the vacuous mind that represents endless varieties of such forms in the sphere of its own vacuity, as the endless reflections of its vacuous person.