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 CLXIX - Description of the calm and tranquil mind

Argument:—Character of the unexcited and self-liberated man and his happiness in Life.

Vasishtha continued:—

1. He who is [neither] delighted with his delights, nor dejected in his distress; who looks only within himself for his peace and solace, is verily called the liberated man in his life time.

2. He is called the self-liberated man, whose mind is [not] moved from its steadiness in solid rock of intellectuality, towards the worldly enjoyments that are spread before him (and which are ever attractive of unrestrained minds).

3. That is called the liberated soul, which reclines in its intellectuality, and has its mind ever fixed in it; which delights in intellectual culture, and has repose therein.

4. He is verily styled the liberated soul, who reposes in the supreme soul; whose mind does not slide from divine contemplation, nor takes any delight in visible objects all around.

Rama said:—

5. Sir, I ween the man that feels no pain in pain, nor derives any pleasure from what is pleasurable, and is entire insensible of both, to be a mere block, and devoid both his senses and sensibility.

Vasishtha replied:—

6. We call him the self reposed, who rests in his vacuous intellect only; and whose soul derives a spontaneous delight from the purity of his understanding, such as it finds in nothing and no where besides.

7. He is said to have his rest in the supreme soul, whose mind is cleansed of its doubts in all things; and who has obtained by means of his discrimination, the true and certain knowledge of everything. (So says the sruti: No doubts disturb the mind of one, whose soul confides and has found its rest in God).

8. He is said to rest and have his repose in God, who takes no delight in any earthly thing whatever; and though he is outwardly employed in discharging the duties of his life, yet his soul is fixed in his god.

9. He is known to have his quiescence, whose activities are all without any aim or expectation; and he goes on and lives content, with whatever he gets and offers itself to his lot.

10. He alone is happy and successful, in this world of woe and misery;who in his long restless, helpless and tedious journey in it, has found his repose in the supreme spirit, by means of his intellectual improvements.

11. They who after running their long race, in the active course of worldly life; have come at last to set themselves at ease and quiet, at the latter end of their lives, are as men that appear to fall fast asleep, and enjoy their repose after the vexatious dreams of their busy days.

12. They shine and pass as brightly, in the open sphere of their intellects, as the glorious sun rises in the sky, and runs his daily course without stopping any where.

13. Good people seem to be sleepy in their minds, though they are seen to be wakeful and employed in business with their bodies; they remain as inactive as any inert body, though they are never dormant in their souls (which are ever awake to their eternal concerns).

14. They who lie asleep on their beds, and are drowned in their reveries and dreams; are said and believed to be sleeping: though they are not insensible of the workings of their minds.

15. When the tired traveller, halts after his long and wearisome journey, and ceases to utter a word owing to his hard breathing, such dumbness does not bespeak his dead silence or torpidity.

16. The man of transcendent knowledge, and perfect peace and tranquillity of his mind and soul; remains as blind to the splendours of day as the purblind owl, and as quiet as any body in the darkness of night, when the whole creation sleeps in the gloom of ignorance and unconsciousness.

17. That man is happy, who sleeps over the varied scenes of this visible world, and does not sights of woe, which it presents to view at the time of waking. (The gloss quotes a corresponding passage from the Bhagavad Gita).

18. He who pays no regard to ceremonial rites, and remains sincere to the welfare of his soul; such a man is said to be self satisfied, from his communion with himself, and is never, O Rama, deemed as dead himself.

19. He who has passed over the miseries of this world, and got to the other side of it (next world); remains supremely blest in himself, by his sense of heavenly bliss in his inward soul.

20. He who is fatigued with his long and tiresome journey in this world, and is ever deluded by four senses and sensible objects; gets weary of and cloyed with his enjoyments in life, and meets with the spectres of despair at the end.

21. Being overtaken by hoary old age, he is battered and shattered by the hoar-frost of diseases; and then like the old and worn-out antelope, he wishes in vain to traverse his native forests and plains.

22. Forsaken by the supreme soul, the sole and faithful guide in our journey through life; we are exposed to the intricate maze of thorns and thickets, till the weary traveller is at a loss of the shady grove where to take his rest.

23. Here we are robbed of our passport and passage money, by the highway men of our sins and sensualities; till we are overcome by our weakness, and exposed to numberless dangers and difficulties on the way.

24. He that is possest of his soul by means of his spiritual knowledge, gets over the ocean of the world to the spiritual regions; where he rests calmly in the bedstead of his spirit, and without the bedding of his body.

25. The man who moves about, without any aim or attempt of himself and without his dream and sound sleep; whose mind is ever wakeful and whose eyes are never closed in sleep, such a man sleeps softly in the lap of his soul.

26. As a horse of real breed, sleeps in his standing as well as running; so the self-possest person sleeps in himself, even though he [is] employed in the acts of life among mankind.

27. How very sound and profound, is the trance or reverie of the philosophic mind, that it is not disturbed, even at the crackling of thunders or cracking of volcanoes.

28. How exquisite is the ecstasy of the right discerner of truth, who sees all within himself, which the external observer with his open eyes, finds as lying afar without himself.

29. The man who with his open eyes, sees the world disappear from his sight; is giddy with his ecstatic views, and not with ebriety liquor. (He sleeps calmly in the trance of ecstacy).

30. Ah! how happily he sleeps in his reverie, whose soul is satiate and at rest, after it has swallowed the visible world in itself, and drank the ambrosial draught of self satisfaction.

31. How happily doth the self-possest man sleep in his solity, who is ever joyous without any joy or anything to enjoy; who is joyful in enjoying the everlasting felicity of unity, and who sees effulgent light of his inward spirit, without any mortal thing on the outside.

32. Happy is the self-possest soul, which is blind to the objects of common desire, and rejoices in the blaze of transcendent light in itself; which delights in subtile and spiritual joys, as much as others luxuriates in their solid food and gross enjoyments.

33. Happily sleeps the spiritual man, with the inward peace of his mind;who shuts his eyes against the outer world, which abounds only in sights of woe, and restlessness of the giddy mob.

34. The self-possest rest in perfect peace of their minds, who bemean themselves as the meanest of the mean in their outer demeanour; but deem themselves as the greatest of the great in the greatness of their souls; they have their repose in the lap of the vast void of their selves.

35. The spiritualist sleeps happily in the universal soul, with its body resting in its vast vacuity; which contains an infinity of worlds in every atom of it.

36. The spiritualist rests perfectly blest in Supreme Spirit, which is full of ineffable light, and in which he sees the repeated creation and dissolution of the world, without being destroyed himself.

37. Blest is the godly man, that seeing the world as a dream in his sleep, rests in the Spirit of his god, where he sees everything as clear as day light, and as bright as open sky.

38. How blest is the psychist with his musings, who contemplates on the essences of all substances, and engrosses the entity of whole nature in himself; and whose comprehensive mind grasps the cosmos in itself, as the vacuity of the sky, comprehends the whole universe within its ample womb.

39. How happily does the self-communing sage, sleep in his abstract contemplation of the clear and bright heavens in himself; and who views the whole universe in the light of the clear firmament, resounding with the sound of his own breathings or snoring.

40. How happily doth the self-communist, rest in the depth of his inmost thoughts; who finds himself as null and void, as the infinite vacuum itself, and views the universe hovering as a dream, in a corner of that vacuity.

41. How cheerfully does the self-musing sage, lie down in his humble bedstead, which he finds as a matting made of straws, swept before him by the tide of time, and the current contented circumstances.

42. The sage, who by his diligent self-consultation, has come to know the true nature of himself (i.e. of his soul); lives in his lifetime as in the state of dreaming, and deems as an aerial figure of his dream subsisting in empty air.

43. The sage who by his diligent self-cogitation, has come to the knowledge of his own vacuousness;comes to the same knowledge of all nature at large, till at last he comes to reduce and assimilate himself to vacuity.

44. The waking man falls to sleep, and the sleeping person rises to wake again, and in this manner they pass their time in endless turns; but the sound sleeper alone is ever wakeful to his true friend of spirituality (because sound sleep is one's absorption in the quiet of Divine Spirit).

45. He who having passed his days in this life, in company with his best friend of self-liberation (jivan mukti) in his lifetime; comes to enjoy the sweet companionship of that friend (amurta-mukti), in his future life for a long period of time, he is verily entitled to his perpetual rest and everlasting bliss, in the list of the Divinity itself forever.