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 CL - Transcendental admonitions

Argument:—Conversation of the impossibility of the departed soul, to reenter into the former body.

The house keeping sage then said as follows said:—

1. [Sanskrit available]
It was by this kind of reasoning, that my sagely guest expostulated with me, and made [me] acquainted with whatever was worth knowing.

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I then restrained my guest, to remain longer with me by entreaties; and he consented to abide at mine, which resembled the abode of a dead (ignorant) person. (Those that are dead to reason, are called dead people).

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The sage that spake to me those edifying words, which were as bright and cooling as moonlight; behold him to be the venerable personage, that is now sitting beside you.

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He said without my request the following speech, for removal of my ignorance; as if the sacrificial god rose out of fire, being pleased with my sacrifice.

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[Sanskrit available]
Hearing these words of the sage, the huntsman was confounded with wonder; and could not know the sage that expounded the theory of dreaming, now sitting confessed before me.

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The Huntsman said: O! it is a great wonder, and inconceivable in my mind, that the sage that expounded the nature of dreams, is now manifest before me.

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I wonder at this, O sage! that the sagely guest whom you saw in your dream, and who explained the cause of dreams to you, should now be seen in this waking state.

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Say how could this visionary sage seen in your airy dream, come to appear in a solid body, and sit sedate at this place, like the fancied ghost of boys.

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Please to explain to me this wonderful narration of yours, in due order; as to who he is and whence and wherefore he comes in this questionable form.

The sage replied:—

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Hear me patiently, O fortunate man, to relate to you about this wonderful narrative. I will tell this briefly to you, but you must not be hasty about it.

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This sage that now sits by thee, had told me then for my acquaintance of him;that he was a learned man, and has come hither now with his tale too long to relate.

12. [Sanskrit available]
He said these words, saying, that he remembered his former nature, which was as bright and fair as the clear sky, at the end of the foggy season (of the month of magh).

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O! I remember also that I became a sage afterwards, with an expanded mind; my heart was swollen with joy, and remained bathed (amazed) at my wondrous change.

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I was glad at that state of my life, from my desire of the enjoyments of the world; but was deceived like a weary passenger, pursuing a mirage with eager expectation of water.

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Alack! that the phantoms of the phenomenal world, should so allure even the wise; as the tempting fiends of hell, deceive mankind only to deceive them.

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Alas! and I wonder at it, that I was misled by my ignorance, that I was misled by my erroneous knowledge of the world, to this state of life, which is utterly devoid of every good.

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Or what ever I am, I find myself to be full of errors only, and there is no truth whatever in me; and yet it is the error of errors and the greatest blunder, that we should be so beguiled and betrayed by unrealities.

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Neither am I nor this or that any entity at all; and yet it is a wonder, that all these false appearances, should appear as realities.

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What then must I do at present to break my bondage to these falsities;I see the germ of error lying inside myself, and this tear off and cast away from me.

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Be there the primeval ignorance, prevalent all over the world; she can do us no harm, that is a mere negation herself; It is now that I must try to get rid of my error, of deeming the unreal as real.

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That this sage is my preceptor and I am his pupil, is all a mistake; because I am in and the very Brahma, and the person sitting here by me, is as the man in the moon or in the cloud.

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Then though I [thought] of speaking to that great sage of enlightened understanding; and so thinking, I addressed him saying:—

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O great sage! I will now go to my own body (from out of the body of this person), in order to see what I may be doing there.

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Hearing this, that great sage said smilingly to me, Ah! where are those bodies of you two; that are blown away afar in their ashes.

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You may go there yourself if you please, and see the matter yourself; and by seeing their present state, you will know every thing relating to them.

26. [Sanskrit available]
Being thus advised by him, I thought on entering my former body.

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I told him, do you remain here, O sage, until I come back to this place, after seeing my former body; so saying I became a breath of air, and fled from my abode.

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Then mounting on the car of wind, I wandered through the air, and was wafted to a hundred ways like the odour of a flower, carried rapidly all about by the odoriferous breezes for a long time.

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Roving long in this manner, I sought to enter that body, by the passage of its lungs; but finding neither that or any other passage, I kept floating in the air.

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Then with deep felt sorrow, I returned to my place, and became tied again to that stake of the world, by my returning affections to it.

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Here I saw that venerable sage sitting before me, and asked him intensely in the following manner in my house in this place.

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Tell me sir, said I, for thou knowest all the past and future; and knowest what all this is, by means of thy all seeing sight.

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How was it that the person in whose body I had entered, as also my own body likewise, could neither of them be found anywhere.

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I then wandered throughout the vast expanse of the sphere of this earth, and searched amidst all fixed and living bodies herein, but could not find that opening of the throat from which I had come out.

35. [Sanskrit available]
Being thus addressed by me, that high minded muni or sage then said unto me; it is not possible for thee with thy bright and brilliant eyes to find it out unaided by my advice.

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If you should search after it with the light of thy yoga meditation, it is then possible for thee to find it out as fully, as one sees a lotus placed in his palm.

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Now therefore if you wish to listen to my words, then attend to my advice, and I will tell thee all about it.

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Know then that as it is the sunlight that expands the lotus blossoms in the lake, so it is the enlightening beams of Brahma only that developes the lotus of understanding, and that you can know nothing of yourself.

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Know then that as you sat once in your devotion, you dreamt in your reverie, of entering into the heart of another person, and were confirmed in your consciousness of that belief.

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The heart wherein you thought to have entered, you believed to have seen the three worlds therein; and the great sphere of heaven and earth contained in its bosom.

41. [Sanskrit available]
In this manner as you absorbed in your reverie, and thought yourself to reside in the body of another person; you happened to fall asleep, and your hermitage in the forest suddenly caught fire and was burnt down.

42. [Sanskrit available]
The burning hut sent forth clouds of smoke to the sky, and the blazing cinders, flew to the orbs of the sun and moon.

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The flying ashes covered the sky, as with a grey cloud or ash coloured blanket; and the blue vault of heaven was spread over as with a canopy.

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Wild animals issuing out of their caves and caverns, sent forth horrid yells and growling abroad; and the bursting sparks filled the horizon.

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The tall palm and other trees, caught the flame and appeared as trees of fire; and the flying and falling fires, cracked as the clattering cloud.

46. The flames ascending far above in the air, appeared as fixed lightenings in the sky; and the firmament assumed a face as that of melted gold.

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The fiery sparks flying afar to the starry frame, doubled the number of stars in heaven; and the flashing fires in the bosom of the sky, delighted the eyes of damsels (as at the sight of fire works).

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The blowing and booming fires, rebellowing in the hollow sky; startled the sleeping foresters in the woods, who rushed out of their caves and caverns, and wandered about in the forest.

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The wild beasts and birds being half burnt in their caves and nests, lay and fell dead on the ground; the lakes and river waters boiled with heat, and the foresters were suffocated by the fumes.

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The young chauri bulls, were parched in the flames; and the stink of the burning fat and flesh of wild beasts, filled the air with a nasty stench.

51. [Sanskrit available]
This all devouring wild fire, raging as a conflagration or diluvian fire, hath wholly consumed and swallowed up your hermitage, as a serpent devours its prey.

The huntsman asked said:—

52. [Sanskrit available]
Tell me sir, what was the real cause of this fire; and why the Brahman lads that dwelt in their pupilage there, were burnt down also.

The sage replied:—

53. [Sanskrit available]
It is the vibration or effort of the volitive or designing mind, that is the true cause or incentive of the production or demolition of the desired object; and so its quiescence is the cause of the absence of the three worlds.

54. [Sanskrit available]
As a sudden fear or passion is the cause of palpitation of the heart, so an effort or desire of the mind is the mobile force (or primum mobile) for the causation of the three worlds.

55. [Sanskrit available]
It is the pulsation of the Divine Mind, that is the cause of the imaginary city of the world; as also of the increase of population and of rains and draughts.

56. [Sanskrit available]
The will in the Divine Mind, is the source of the creative mind of Brahma, which in its turn gives rise to the minds of the first patriarchs, who transmit it to others in endless progression, all of which proceed from the first quiet and calm intellect, through the medium of vacuum.

57. [Sanskrit available]
The learned know well, that the effulgence of the pure and vacuous Intellect, shines in the vacuum of their intellects; but the ignorant think it as it appears to them, which is not the reality (which it is not in reality).

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