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 CLXVII - Absence of the threefold states

Summary: Absence of the threefold states of waking, dreaming and sleep.

Argument:—Refutation of the four fold Appellations of the World, and the three fold states of the Living soul.

Vasishtha continued:—

The four titles, namely, the self-styled, the misnamed, the nameless, and the otherwise named, under which the world passes in their different senses; are all meaningless to the spiritualist (who view the world in its spiritual light, and as selfsame with the Supreme spirit, as it is related in the preceding chapter).

2. These different words do not disturb the mind of the spiritualist, whose soul is at rest in the Supreme spirit, and who pays no regard to the use of words (or terminology of theology).

3. All these visibles rise from the Intellect only, and bear no names of their own; they are of the nature of pure vacuum, and appear unto us in their simple vacuous forms (as phantoms in the air).

4. This is the soul, and this its title (that is giving a name to a nameless spiritual thing), is an erroneous conceit or coinage of the brain. The spirit admits of no expressions; therefore take heed of no word but mind its meaning.

5. Whatever appears to be moving or staying or doing any action, is as calm and clear as the void air, and devoid of action as the Divine soul.

6. All things however sounding, are as silent as the still stone said before; and though they seem to be ever moving, they are ever as quiet as the void of the sky, and as still as the quiescent stone.

7. Though all things appear to be acting in their various ways, yet they are as motionless as the unmoving vacuum; and though the world appears to be formed of the five elements, yet it is but a void and devoid of its quintessence.

8. The world with its fulness of things, is but a congeries of your conceptions; it is full with the all pervasive and pellucid Intellect, which shows the visions of great cities, like the vacant sights in our dream (or as a dumb and shadowy show, without any sound or substance in it).

9. It is full of action and motion, without any activity or mobility in it, like the passing city of our imagination; it is the air built castle of our error, and as the fairy land in our dream.

10. It is a false conception or notion of the mind, and as the fading shadow of a fairy; it is creation of our fancies, but altogether unsubstantial in its substantiality.

Rama rejoined:—

11. I ween this world as a waking dream, and reproduction of our remembrance of it; because it is reminiscence of the past only, that presents the absent to our view, and brings the outer objects to our knowledge. (Hence remembrance is the cause of resolving everything to our knowledge of them).

Vasishtha replied:—

12. No Rama, it is the reflexion which the glassy mirror of the Intellect, casts before us at anytime, the same appears to us even then in its vacuous form; and there is no idea or thought of anything, that lays a firm hold on the mind, or has its foundation there. (Refutation of innate conceptions and prior reminiscence).

13. Therefore the phenomenon always belongs, to the noumenon of the Supreme spirit; and the fluctuating phenomenals ever abide in it, as the undulating waves play in the calm waters of the sea.

14. The uncaused world, exists of itself in the Supreme soul; and becomes extinct of itself, in the vacuity of the universal soul.

15. The world is viewed in the same light by every one, as it is reflected in himself, hence the ignorant are always in fault in having a wrong view of it; but not so the wise, who know it as nothing.

16. Again the lord god Brahma himself, has exhibited the lucid nature of his being, according to the four states or conditions, which are natural to the soul.

17. These are the three states of waking, dreaming and sleep, together with a fourth called-the turiya or the state of sound sleep, and these names are applied to the soul by the Supreme soul itself.

18. But in reality none of these quadruple states, belongs either to the Divine or the living soul, which is always tranquil, and which is of the nature of an indefinite void.

19. Or it may be said in respect to the soul, that it is either always wakeful, or in its ever dreaming state; or in a state of continuous rest and sleep. (The Divine soul never sleeps. Sir W. Jones. The ever wakeful eyes of Jove. Homer).

20. Or it is ever in its fourth state of turya, which is beyond all these triple states; but whether it is in this or that or what state,

we know nothing of, being ourselves always in a state of disquiet and continued agitation.

21. We know nothing of the inanity of the vacuous soul, as to whether it is as the chasm in the foam or froth, or whether it is as the air in a bubble or spray; or whether it is as the gap amidst waves of the sea or what it is at all.

22. As a thing is known to be in its imagination, so it is impressed also in our conception of the same; and as anything appears either as real or unreal in the dream, we retain the like idea of it in our waking also.

23. All this is the display of our consciousness, and whatever reflexion it exhibits unto us it is but an empty shadow in the hollow of the vacant mind, which resides in the vacuity of the vacuous intellect, that pervades the infinite vacuum of the soul.

24. Consciousness is the pith and marrow of vacuous Intellect, and retains this form (of its quiddity) at all times; it neither rises nor sets, and this world is inherent in it (i.e. it is subjective and derived from within).

25. The creations on the beginning, and the dark nights of dissolution, are but parts of its body, and resemble its nails and hairs. (i.e. The light which was the first work of creation, likened the whiteness of its nails, and the darkness of the universal deluge, equalled the blackness of its hairs).

26. Its appearance and disappearance, that is its clearness and dimness;are no other than as the breathing air of the great Intellect. (i.e.

The exhaling and inhaling breaths of the Intellect, are causes of its expansion and contraction).

27. Therefore what means the waking, sleeping or dreaming of the soul, and what signifies the term sound sleep or the turiya of the soul (which is ever awake) So the word volition and nolition are meaningless when applied to the soul, which is always composed and indifferent. (These attributes belong to the mind only).

28. It is the inward consciousness, that exhibits its inner concepts as outward objects; how then is there a duality or anything objective, and what means this remembrance of extraneous matter.

29. Therefore all these that appear to our sight, are without their base or foundation; they are the reflexion of our consciousness in open air, which is wholly devoid of any material object.

30. Though the external world is said to be a reality, it is because of its beings a concept of the divine mind, out of which it has risen to view; and reminiscence is said to be its cause also, by reason of our remembrance of the first creation, which continue all along with us.

31. But there is no outward object at all, owing to the absence of material elements; and the want of the five principles of matter, before and at the time of first creation.

32. As there are no horns of hares, and no trees growing in the air, and as there is no son of a barren woman, nor a dark moon shining in the sky.

33. So this visible world, and these personalities of ourselves; which are mere misrepresentations of our ignorance, are things invisible and inexistent in themselves, and are seen and known by ignorant only.

34. To them the world appears as an erroneous body, and our personalities and abstractions of persons; but there is nothing as fictile or abstract to the spiritualist, who view them all in one undivided whole—the Divine spirit or soul.

35. It is consciousness the pith and marrow of the soul, that exposes all these concepts of it to light; and the manner in which it displays them to the imagination, so do they make their appearance to our sight.

36. Whenever our misconception portrays its concept in a material form, or gives a name and form to an airy nothing; we come to see the same form in our imagination, in the empty void of our mind.

37. The great Intellect has the appearance of the sky for itself, which in the ordinary use of language, is expressed by the word matter, as consisting of the four elements, and the endless void which is devoid of them.

38. The unchanging and undecaying intellect, bears to itself the form of air only; which it conceives by mistake as the stable earth; just as imaginary men believe the air built castle to a reality.

39. The intellect being an incorporeal substance, has neither this form nor that nor of any kind at all; it has its pulsation and rest of itself, like the breath and stillness of winds in the air.

40. As the intellect manifests itself in its own sphere in the two states of its volition and nolition (or action or inaction); so the world seems to be in its states of motion and quiescence; which take place in the bosom of vacuum.

41. As the sphere of the Intellect remains unchanged, at the rise and subsidence of its thought; so doth the sphere of air remain unvaried, with all the creation and its dissolution in its bosom.

42. The world is always in the same unvaried state, whether you call it so or otherwise; and the seeming revolutions of bodies and succession of events, are well known to be nothing to the learned and wise, and not to others.

43. Because the wise soul dwells in the hearts of all, which it views alike as its own self; but the ignorant soul is unconscious of its identity, from its sight of the outer world, and its knowledge of the difference of bodies from one another.

44. What is there the interior or exterior of it, and that what is visible and invisible in it; all this is in the Lord whether active or quiescent, know all to be the om or on and rest quiet.

45. There can be no reasoning, without an insight into the meanings of the significant terms and their significates; and it is consideration of both sides of the question that leads to our right judgment. Hence it is reasoning that leads us to truth, as the light guides us amidst the darkness of night.

46. Therefore drive off the multitudes of multifarious desires and doubts from your mind, by means of the clearness (light) of your understanding (obtained by your habit of right reasoning), and also by your attention to the true interpretation of the sastras; and then rise and fly aloft to the higher region of light and truth, and attain the highest, best and most perfect state of Divine felicity and self-liberation.