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 CXLVI - Disquisition of sound sleep

Argument:—Relation of sleep after dream, and followed by dream likewise, concluding with proof of the unity of God.

The Huntsman said:—Tell me, O great sage, what did you do and see afterwards, from your seat in the erroneous spirit of that person.

2. The sage replied:—Hear me tell you next, what I did and saw afterwards, by my union with and my situation in the spirit of that infatuated person.

3. As I resided in the dark cave of his heart, in the confusion of the last doomsday; there arose methought a hurricane, which blew away the mountains as straws, on the day of the final desolation of the world.

4. It was soon followed by outpourings of rain water from the mountain tops; which bore away the woods and hills in the torrent.

5. As I dwelt in that cavity and in union with the vitality of the individual, I perceived even in that state of my spiritual minuteness, the falling rains and hailstones from the mountain tops.

6. I was then folded in the chyle of that person, and fell into a state of sound sleep, and felt a deep darkness enveloping me all over.

7. Having laid down in my sleep for some time, I was gradually raised from my sleepy state; as the closed lotus of the night, unfolds its petals in the morning.

8. Then as a man lying in darkness, comes to see some circular disks appearing to his sight; so I saw some flimsy dreams flying about and hovering upon me.

9. Being released from the chain of sleep, I fell to a chain of dreams; and saw a hundred shapes of things, arising in my spirit, as the shapes of unnumbered waves and billows, rise in the bosom of the sea.

10. Very many forms of visible things, appeared in the cell of my consciousness; as a great many flying things are seen to be volitant in the still and motionless air.

11. As heat is inherent in fire, and coldness is innate in water, and as fluidity is characteristic of liquids, and pungency is immanent in pepper &c.; so is the world inborn in Brahma.

12. The nature of the Intellect being uniform and selfsame in itself; the phenomenal world is engrained in it, as the dream of a new born child, presents itself to the sight of a sleeping man. (Sight is here applied to the mind's eye).

13. The Huntsman rejoined:—Tell me sir, how is it possible for the Intellect to have the sight of anything in its state of sound sleep, since dreams never occur in the mind except in the state of slight and light sleep.

14. Again in the state of sound sleep both of yourself, as also of the person in whose heart you dwelt; how could the sight of the creation appear to you (or has the term sound sleep any other sense than

the state of utter nescience?) (Sound sleep is the state of utter insensibility or anaesthesia—gloss).

15. The sage replied:—Know that creation is expressed by the words, viz. jayati is born, bhati appeareth, and kachati shineth; and are applied indiscriminately to all material things, as pots and pictures ([Sanskrit: ghata pata]) as well as to the world also;all these words

are used to express a duality (or something different as proceeding from Unity), by men whose brains are heated with dualism, or the notion of a

duality (as different from the nature of the Unity or the only One).

16. Know that the word jata or born means only being (sattwa), and its synonyms are pradurbhava—manifestation, which is derived from the root bhu to be.

17. Now the meaning of Bhu is being, which expresses the sense of being born also, and the sarga meaning production or creation, it is same

with being also.

18. With us learned men, there is nothing as jayati or what is made or may be said to be born or destroyed; but all is one calm and quiet unborn being only. (An eternal ideal entity).

19. The whole and soul of this entity, is the one Brahma alone (the only Ens to On or the Om); and the totality of existence, is the Cosmos, macrocosm or the world. Say then what hypostasis or unsubstantiality is there that can be positively affirmed or denied of it, which is of them alike.

20. That which is called sakti or the active energy of God, resides literally in the Divine spirit, but not as a free or separate power of itself; because all power subsists in Omnipotence, which is selfsame with Brahma, and not as an attribute or part of him. (Vedanta ignores the predicates of potentiality as predicable of Brahma, who is the very essence of Omnipotence).

21. The properties of waking, sleep and dreaming, do not belong to the nature of God, according to the cognition of men learned in divine Knowledge; because God never sleeps nor dreams, nor does he wake in the manner of His creature. (No changing property appertaining to finite beings can ever be attributable to the Infinite, who is as He is).

22. Neither sleep nor the airy visions of dreaming, nor also anything that we either know or have any notion of, can have any relation to the nature of the Inscrutable One; any more than the impossibility of our having any idea of the world before its creation. (So the Persian mystic Berun Zatash, aztohmate chunan to chunin. His nature is beyond our comprehension and presumption of it as so and such).

23. It is the living soul which sees the dream, and imagines the creation in itself; or else the pure intellect is quite unintelligible in its nature, and remains as clear as either in the beginning of creation.

24. The Intellect is neither the observer nor enjoyer (i.e. neither the active nor passive agent of creation); it is something as nothing, perfectly quiet and utterly unspeakable in its nature.

25. In the beginning there was no cause of creation, or creative agent of the world; it is only an ideal of the Divine Mind, and exists for ever in the same state, as a vision in the dream or an airy castle of imagination.

26. It is thus that the individual Intelligence, is apprehended as a duality by the unwise, but never by the intelligent; because ignorant men like silly infants are afraid of the tiger or snake that is painted upon their own person; but the intelligent knowing them too well to be marked upon their own bodies, never suspect them as anything otherwise than their own person.

27. The One invariable and translucent soul, which is without its beginning, middle and end, appears as varying and various to the unreflecting dualist and polytheist; but the whole appearing so changeful and conspicuous to sight, is all a perfect calm and quiet and serene prospect in itself.