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 CLVII - The ultimate extinction or nirvana of sindhu

Argument:—Description of the nature of Sindhu, his resignation of the kingdom, his discrimination and final liberation.

Then sindhu will say said:—

1. Tell me sir, what kind of a vile person and how ignorant I had been before whereby I still retain the evil propensities of my past life, and am doomed to be reborn in this earth (the vale of misery).

The minister will say in his reply said:—

2. "Hear me attentively, O king, for a while; and I will tell you this secret, which you require me to relate, and will surely remove your ignorance.

3. There is a self existent and undecaying Being from all eternity, which is without its beginning or end, which is designated the great Brahma, and passes herein under the little of I and thou, and of this and that &c.

4. I am that selfsame Brahma, by the consciousness of my self cogitation (ego cogito ergo sum). This becomes the living principle with the power of intellection (vivo qui intellego I live because I think). This power does not forsake its personality; (but retains its persona of I am that I am).

5. Know this Intellect to be a spiritual or supernatural substance, having a form rarer and more transparent than that of the subtile ether; it is this which is the only being in existence, nor is there anything which is of a material substance. (This passage maintains the immateriality of the world).

6. This formless takes the form of the mind, by its being combined, with volition and its views of this and the next world, (i.e. its worldly enjoyments and future bliss), in its state of life and death, and of waking and sleep. (That is the mind is sensible of these passing and alternate phenomena).

7. The mind, though formless, stretches itself into the form of the phenomenal world; just as the formless air dilates itself, in the form of force or oscillation in all material bodies.

8. The world is identic with the mind, as the seeming and visible sky is the same with empty vacuity; so the corporeal is alike the incorporeal, and there is no difference whatever, between the material and mental worlds.

9. This net work or least of worlds resides in the mind, in their immanent impressions in it, and the outer world is in reality. And that the cosmos consists of ideas in the formless mind, its formal appearance has no real substance in it. (The immaterial ideas of the mind are real, and not the material objects or the sober reality of the subjective only).

10. There arose at first the pure (satya) personality of the impersonal and universal spirit of God (Brahma), in the person of the creative power known under the title of Brahma. This personal god assumed to himself the appellation of ego from his will of creation, and the undivided spirit, was divided into many impure personalities (rajasa and tamasa), from its desire of becoming many (aham bahu syam-sim multa and plurima).

11. The sindhu will say: Tell me sir, what you mean by rajasa and tamasa bodies (or impure personalities); and how and whence are these appellations at first in primo to the supreme being—parapada—the Indefinite One.

The monitor will reply saying said:—

12. As all embodied beings herein, are possessed of members and limbs of their bodies; so the bodiless spirit is comprised of an infinite variety of minor spiritual forms under it, which are known as the good or bad spirits.

13. The selfsame spirit then designates all these several parts of itself by various appellations, and the incorporeal spirit assumes to itself, an endless variety of material and terraqueous natures and names. (That changed through all, yet in all the same; known by this or that or one or other nature and name).

14. Thus the universal spirit continues to exhibit in itself, all the various forms of this visionary world at its own will; and gives a distinct name and nature to each and every one of these representations of itself.

15. When the Divine spirit, deigned to covert itself into the personality of Brahma, and in those of me or thee and other individualities; it became altered from its state of original holiness and purity to those impurity and foulness, known as rajasi and tamasi. (When God breathed his spirit into the nostrils of Adam, it lost its purity and sanctity by contamination of flesh).

16. The unalterable pure nature of the holy spirit of God, being thus transformed to unholiness, it passed into different states of impurity in the living souls of beings. (The same living soul passing different degrees of purity and impurity).

17. The spirit of God being blown at first as the living soul (in an animal body); the soul that comes to perceive its incarceration in flesh and its doom to suffering, is said to be of the pure nature of sattiki.

18. Those who while they are living in the world, are possest of politeness and good qualities; they are said to be merely of a good nature Kevala sattiki.

19. Those who being born in repeated regenerations are destined to the enjoyments of life, and to their final liberation at last, are designated as the [Sanskrit: rajasa rajasi].

20. Those again who being born in this nether world, are inclined to the practice of their manly virtues only; such souls are famed as the merely rajasi (shining), and are few in their number.

21. Those souls which have been undergoing their repeated regenerations, ever since the beginning of creation; and are continually roving in the bodies of inferior beings, are said by the wise, to belong to the species of the most impure tamasa tamasi; though it is possible from them to attain their salvation at last.

22. Those which have been wandering in many births, in the forms of vile animals, and until they attain their salvation at the end; such souls are designated as merely vile Kevala tamasi by the wise, who are versed in the science of psychology.

23. In this manner have these philosophers classed the emanated soul of beings into many grades and species; among which O my respected sir, your soul is reckoned among the vilest of the vile tamasa tamasi.

24. I know you to have passed through many births of which you know nothing; and these have been as various as they were fraught with the variegated scenes of life.

25. You have in vain passed all your lives in doing nothing that is useful; and more particularly your late aeronautic life, with that gigantic body of yours.

26. Being thus born with the vile species of thy soul, it is difficult for thee to obtain thy liberation from the prison house of this world.

Sindhu will then say in his response said:—

27. Tell me sir, how can I divest myself of this inborn vile nature of my soul; that I may learn to abide by thy counsel, and try to purify my soul and rectify the conduct of my life.

28. There is nothing in all these three worlds, which is hard to be acquired by means of earnest endeavour and intense application.

29. As a fault or failure of the previous day, is corrected by its rectifications to day; so can you purify your pristine impure soul by your pious acts of the present day.

30. Whoever earns for any thing and labours hard to earn it, is sure to gain it in the end, wherein the remiss are sure to meet with failure.

31. Whatever a man is intent upon doing, and tries to effect at all times; and whatsoever one desires with earnestness, and is constantly devoted to the same pursuit, he is to succeed in it, and have his object without fail.

The sage related:—

32. The king being thus remonstrated by his minister, was resolved to resign the burthen of his state, and to renounce his realm and royalty even at that very moment.

33. He wished to retire to some far distant forest, and prayed his ministers to support his realm; but he declined to take the charge, though the state was free from all its enemies (i.e. though it was a peaceful realm).

34. He then remained in the company of wise men, and was enlightened by their discourses; as the sesame seeds became odorous by being placed amidst a heap of flowers.

35. Then from his inquiries into the mysteries of his life and birth, and into the causes of his confinement in this world, he obtained the knowledge of his liberation from it.

36. It was thus by means of his continued inquiries into truth, and his continual association with the wise and good, that the soul of Sindhu attained a holy sanctity in comparison with which, the prosperity of Brahma even, is as a straw or the dried leaf of a withered tree, which the winds of the sky toss about to and fro.