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 CXLVII - The phenomenon and perspection of dreams

Argument:—The rise of dream from sound sleep; and the vision of friends and relations in Dreaming.

The sage continued:—

1. Hear me now, O strong armed archer, how I awoke from my sound sleep, and saw the sight of the world in my dream; just [as] a man rising on the surface from the depth of the sea, surveys the heavens above him.

2. I saw the heavens, as hewn out of the etherial vacuum; and I beheld the terrestrials, as sculptured out of the earth; but found them all, to be fashioned out of the Divine Mind; or framed in that manner, by my visual organs or ocular deception only.

3. The world appeared, as the early or long sprung blossom of the arbour of the eternal mind; or as the ceaseless waves of the vast ocean, or as phantoms of my deluded eye sight.

4. It seemed to appear from the bosom of the sky above, or to have proceeded from all sides of heaven; it seemed moreover as a masonry carved out of the mountains of all quarters of the firmament, and also as a prodigy rising out of the earth or Tartarus.

5. It seemed also to have sprung out of the heart, as any of its feelings or affections; and to have filled all the space of vacuity, as the all pervading clouds of heaven; methought it likewise as the produce of a large forest, or like seeds or grains growing out of the earth.

6. As pictures of houses with apartments, are painted upon the planes of level plates; so the figures of living beings, are drawn upon the smooth flatness of the Intellect, together with all the members and organs of their bodies.

7. These worlds appear to have sprung in some unknown part of Infinity, and to have presented themselves to our view, like flying herds of distant regions coming to our sight; or as presents are brought to the presence of prince from different parts of lands, or as the retributions and rewards of one's [good] or bad deeds in this life, meet him in the next and successive transmigration.

8. The world is but a blossom of the great arbour of Brahma, or a little billow of vast ocean of Eternity; it is a sculpture on the colossal pillar of the Intellect, without being carved out or cast upon it. (It is the macrocosm moulded in the mind of God).

9. The firmament is the ample field, filled with an infinity of worlds, appearing as our earthly abodes in the empty city of air; the mind wanders at random all over it as an infuriate elephant, with an airy empty life, as fickle and fleeting as a breath of air.

10. The edifice of the world appears to be built without its foundation, and is unsupported by walls; and the sky appearing so bright and variegated, is without any colour or taint of its own; it is the magical power of the great magician, that has displayed these wonders and spread a curtain of delusion over the ignorant and infatuated world. (Instead of knowledge, man has rather eaten the fruit of the tree of ignorance).

11. Though the creation seems so exuberant, at all places and in all times; yet it is quite quiescent, and unbounded by any limitation of space and time; and though it appears as multitudinous yet it is the single unity; and though seemingly multifarious, yet is all but one invariable uniformity.

12. The instance of the fairy land is exactly alike to that of this world, in respect of the unreality of both; and it is the same error which occurs to us in our dream, [that] possesses us also even in our waking state of dreaming. (Equality of day and night dreams).

13. It is the reflection of the mind only, that represents the absent past, as well as the future which is yet to be, as already present before it; whether they relate to aught of time or place, or substance or action or anything relating to its creation or its destruction.

14. There are numberless beings contained under every species of animals, which contain others ad infinitum in their ovaries, bearing animalcules like seeds of pomegranate fruits.

15. The rivers, forests and mountains, are seen to be beset by clouds of the sky, and studded with the gemming stars of heaven; and the sea is heard to resound with the loud larum of battle drums, raised by the warring winds with the conflicting currents.

16. I then beheld there a visible sphere before me, amidst which I saw the village of my prior dream, and recognized the spot of my former residence therein.

17. I saw there all my former friends and relations, at the very spot and of the same age as I had seen them before; I saw my wife and my very children seated in the very same house.

18. Seeing my fellow villagers and my former village scenes, my heart wished to meet them as violently, as the sea-waves swell to meet the shore.

19. I then began to embrace all my relatives, and felt happy at my joining with them; and being enrapt by my desire of seeing more and more, I utterly lost all my remembrance of the past.

20. As a mirror receives the reflection of whatever is present before it, so the mirror of the mind is wholly occupied with the objects of its future desires, and becomes unmindful of the past.

21. It is the vacuity of the Intellect, that has the knowledge of everything; nor is there any other principle of understanding beside the intellect, which ever subsists by itself.

22. He who has not lost his pure understanding, and his remembrance of himself; is never misled by the goblin of dualism or doubt, to think of a duality.

23. He whose understanding is awakened by his constant inquiry into truth and divine knowledge, and by his study of good sastras and attendance on divine sages, does not forget his enlightenment any more (nor relapses to his former ignorance).

24. He who is imperfect in his divine knowledge, and whose mind is bound down by worldly desires; is liable to lose his good understanding, as it were by the influence of an unfavourable planet or inauspicious star.

25. Know thou, O huntsman! that thy understanding also, which is not yet cultivated by association with the wise, is liable to fall into error of duality, and involve thee thereby to repeated difficulties.

The huntsman answered said:—

26. It is all very true, O sage, that notwithstanding all thy lectures, my understanding does not find its rest in the knowledge of only true One.

27. My understanding is still hanging in doubt, as to whether it is so or not; and though I rely in my conception of the truth as you have declared, yet my mind finds no rest in it.

28. Ah! that though I fix my faith on the doctrine you have preached, yet I cannot rest secure in it, so long as my ignorance reigns supreme in me.

29. Unless the understanding is enlightened in the company of wise men, by attending the doctrine of the best sastras, and due examination of their precepts, there can be no end of the errors of the world, nor any rest for the weary soul, wandering continually in the maze of errors.