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 CLXXXIX - On the unity of the divine spirit

Argument:—Unity of the impersonal and personal spirit treated; and the materiality of the living soul refuted.

Vasishtha continued:—

This spiritual body (or the personal spirit), as that of Brahma—the primeval creator of all; being possessed of its volition, comes as by an act of chance and of its own motion, to think and brood on its thoughts; (which it had derived from the eternal spirit of Brahma).

2. It continues to remain in the same state, as it is ever conscious of in itself; and sees of its own nature, this universe exposed before it as it had in his mind, nor is there and wonder in this.

3. Now this viewer—Brahma, and his viewing and the view of the world, must either all be false (as there is no duality in nature); or they must all be true, having the spirit of Brahma at the bottom.

Rama rejoined:—

4. Now sir, please to tell me, how this spiritual and shadowy sight of the primeval Lord of creation, could be realized in its solidified state, and reality can there be in the vision of a dream.

Vasishtha replied:—

5. The spiritual view is ever apparent by itself within ourselves; and our continuous and ceaseless sight of it, gives it the appearance of a solid reality.

6. As the visionary sights of our dreams, come to be realized in times, by our continuous poring upon them; so doth the spiritual appear as real, by our constant habit of thinking them as such. (So it is recorded in the case of King Harischandra of old).

7. The constant thought of the reality of our spiritual body, makes appear as a real object to our sight; as the constant craving of deer after water, makes it appear in the mirage of the parched desert before them.

8. So the vision of this world, has like every other fallacy, misled us like the poor and parching deer, to the misconception of water in the mirage; and does this and all other unrealities appear as real ones in our ignorance.

9. Many spiritual and intellectual objects, like a great many unreal things, are taken for the material and real, by the avidity of their desires and ignorant admirers.

10. The impression that I am this, and that one is another, and that this is mine and that is his; and that these are the hills and skies about us; are all as erroneous as the conception of reality in our dreams and false phantoms of the brain.

11. The spiritual body which was at first conceived, by the prime creator of all—Brahma, assumed a material form as that of a globe under his sight. (Meaning the Mundane egg).

12. The living soul of Brahma, being born of the mundane egg in a corporeal body; forgot or rather forsook to think of its incorporeal intellectuality, and thought himself as composed of his present material body only. He looked into it and thought, that this was his body and the recipient of his soul: (instead of the souls being the fountain of the body).

13. Then it becomes confined in that body, by its belief of the unreality as a sober reality; and then it thinks of many things within itself, and goes on seeking and running after them all. (But the steady soul is sedate, and has all within itself, without seeking them elsewhere without).

14. This God then makes many symbolical sounds and forms (invents) words for names and actions; and at last upon his utterance of the mystic syllable Om or (on) the Vedas rang out and sang in currents of verbiage.

15. Then through the medium of those sacred words, the god ordained the ordinances for the conduct of all mankind; and everything turned to be, as he wished and thought it to be in his own mind. (Hence Brahma is said the creative mind of God).*

* Note. The sacred sanskrit was at once a perfect language, without any knowledge of us regarding its formative stage, though a balabhasa or infant-language is said to have existed before, of which we have no relic nor know anything.

16. Whatever exists in any manner, the same is the selfsame Brahma itself; and yet no body perceives it as such, owing to the predominant error of all, of believing the unreal world as a real existence.

17. All the things from the great Brahma down to all, are but false appearances as those of dreams and magical show; and yet the spiritual reality is utterly lost to sight, under the garb of material unreality (i.e. The unreal matter is taken for real spirit).

18. There is nothing as materiality anywhere and at any time; it is the spiritual only which by our habitual mode of thinking and naming, is said to be substantial, elemental and material.

19. This our fallacy of materiality, has come to us from our very source in Brahma—the creator; who entertained the false idea of the material world, and transmitted this error even into the minds of the wise and very great souls.

20. How is it possible, O Rama, for the intelligent soul, to be thus confined in a clod of earth, all this must either be an illusory scene, or a representation of Brahma himself.

21. There can be no other cause of this world, except the eternal causality of Brahma; who is self-existent, only without any action or causation of himself; thus the Supreme soul being wholly devoid of the attributes of cause and effect, what can this world be, but an extension of the Divine essence?