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 CXLVIII - Investigation into the nature of dreams

Argument:—Truth and untruth of Dreams.

The huntsman said:—

1. If the sight of the world is no more than a vision in dream, then tell me, O great sage, where lies its truth or falsehood, which is a matter of great doubt and difficulty to me.

The sage replied:—

2. That dream is true and comes actually to take place, which rises in our consciousness under the conditions of proper place and time, and right actions and things. (These are the morning dreams relating to pious acts and sacred things in some adjacent place).

3. A dream that is caused by use of some gem or drug or by effect of some mantra or amulet, comes to pass in actu, whether it is favourable or not to the dreamer.

4. When the earnest desire of a man, presents itself in the shape of a dream before his mental sight, it comes to occur by accident by law of chance.

5. Whatever we believe with certainty in our consciousness, the same is sure as fate, we are sure to see and become the same (by the natural tendency and constitution of our minds).

6. Certainty removes the uncertainty, if any one reaches there, the other falls down absolutely.

7. No object is ever situated, either in the inside or outside of any body; it is the consciousness alone, that assumes to itself the various forms of worldly things, and remains in the same state as it knows itself to be.

8. The certainty arrived at by evidence of the sastras, that the phenomenals are as appearances in a dream, makes it to be believed as so indeed; but a disbelief, in this belief makes one a sceptic, who wanders about in his doubts for ever. (Without coming to a settled belief).

9. If one gains his object by any other means, notwithstanding his belief in the visionariness of the world; that gain is to be reckoned as a visionary one only.

10. Whatever is ascertained as true in the world, by the strong consciousness of any body in his waking state; the same comes to be known as otherwise or (untrue), in course of time and change of place either sooner or later.

11. In the beginning the world existed in Divine Intellect, and was represented in its subtile and incompressible form; It had its essence in the mind of God, and then extended its tenuous substance to any length ad libitum.

12. Know that beside the true and immutable entity of the intellect of Brahma alone, all others are both real and unreal, and lasting and transient also. (They are real as reflection of the Divine Mind, and unreal and transitory in their phenomenal aspects.)

13. Whereas Brahma is the only ens and soul of all, there can be no other that may be styled as such; say therefore what else is there, that may be called a reality or non reality either.

14. Whether therefore a dream be true or false at any time, it cannot be deemed as the one or the other, by either the ignorant or enlightened part of mankind.

15. The phenomenal world appears before us, by delusion of our senses and misconception of our consciousness; the visible worlds commonly passed under the name of illusion (maya), hath naught of reality or certainty in it.

16. It is the Divine Intellect that flashes forth in the mind, with the glare of the glaring world; just as fluidity is seen to be thrilling and flowing still, in all bodies of waters and liquids.

17. As one sees a dream at first, and falls fast asleep afterwards; so doth everybody behold the phenomenals in his waking state, and then falls naturally into a deep and sound sleep. (This refers to the alternate creation and annihilation of the world).

18. Know then, O great sage, that the waking state is analogous to that of dreaming; and know the dreaming state to be as that of waking, and that both these states are but the two phases of the one and same Brahma (as the liquid and condensed states of ghee or butter are both the same).

19. The Divine Intellect is a vacuous and incomprehensible entity, and the spacious universe is its reflection only; the three states of waking, dreaming and sleeping, are the triple hypostases of the same being (or Divine Existence).

20. There is no law regarding the efficacy of dreams, say how can you determine any rule for ascertaining the results of various dreams.

21. As long as the mind dwells on the appearance of dreams (either in sleep or waking), so long it is troubled with its vagaries; therefore the sage must wipe off their impressions from his consciousness.* * The mind involved in ignorance, is said to be waking, and the uncontrouled mind is styled as dreaming: the mind subdued by weariness is said to be asleep, and when brought under subjection by any effort, is called samadhi or meditation, lastly its liberation from ignorance, is known as its state of mukti or emancipation.

22. It is the humour of the mind that gives rise to dreams, like pulsation in air causing the current wind; there is no other cause of dreams nor any laws for governing them; except the sound sleep (or insouciance), when these appearances entirely subside or vanish away.

23. It is the manner of the learned, to impute the cause of the impressions in our consciousness, to external appearances of this thing or that (or ghata patadi &c.); but relying on the doctrine of the causelessness of external objects (or the objective), they prove to be no other than mere imaginations of the subjective mind (or noumenal only).

24. In this therefore there is [no] other law with respect to this, than the appearances of things whatever they be, are generally granted as such by the common sense of mankind (vyavaharikam).

25. Thus there being no law in dreaming, there is some times some truth in some dreams, and at others there is no truth in any of them at all; and in want of any constancy, it is only an fortuitous occurrence.

26. Whatever appears subjectively to one's self, either from his own nature or by means of artificial appliances; and whatever one is habituated to think of anything in himself, he sees the same in the very form, both in his dreaming as well as waking states.

27. The appearances of things, both in the sleeping and waking states of men, are the mere reflections of their minds;and they remain the same whether when one is waking or lying in the visionary city of his dreams.

28. It is not enough to call the waking alone as waking, because the dream also appears as waking to the waking soul that never sleeps. (The soul is ever wakeful).

29. So also there is nothing as dreaming, and may be called by that name; it is only a mode of thinking in the Divine Mind, which sees sleeping and waking in the same light.

30. Or it may be that there does not exist, either of the two states of waking or dreaming, because the ever living soul of [a] dead person, continues to behold the visibles; even after its separation from the body, and resurrection after death.

31. The soul remains the same, and never becomes otherwise than what it is, in any state whatsoever; just as the endless duration never changes with the course of time, and the ocean continues alike under its rolling waves, and the airy space remains unchanged above the changing clouds.

32. So the creation is inseparable from the supreme soul, whether it exists or becomes extinct; and as the perforations and marks in a stone are never distinct from it; so are the states of waking and sleeping coincident with the soul Divine.

33. Waking, sleeping, dreaming and sound sleep, are the four forms of bodies of the formless and bodiless Brahma; who though devoid of all forms, is still of the form of whole creation, cosmos and the mundane soul. (33b) The supreme soul, that pervades and encompasses all space is visible to us in only form of infinite space or sky; the endless vacuity therefore being only the body of supreme Intellect, it is no way different from it.

34. The air and wind, the fire and water, together with the earth and clouds on high, are reckoned as the causes of all creation, and subsist in their ideal shapes in the mind of Brahma alone. (34b) The Lord is devoid of all appellations and attributes, and remains united with his body of the Intellect, containing the knowledge of all things within itself; and the phenomenal is never separate from the noumenal.