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 CXCI - Solution of the great question of unity and duality

Argument:—Concerning the identity of the world and God, or the total absence of the universe.

Rama rejoined:—

If it is so sir, as you say, the world must be a great riddle; as it can neither be said to be in existence with all its contents, or be a perfect nullity with every thing quite extinct in it.

2. This existence that shows itself as the world to sight, appears as a delusion or deception of vision in view; though it cannot properly be called an illusion, if it is composed of divine essence as you mean to say.

Vasishtha replied:—

3. The fortuitous appearance in which Brahma, manifests himself of his own accord; is known to him as the world and subsisting in himself.

Rama rejoined:—

4. How does Brahma manifest himself as the world, before existence of space and after its extinction (at the ultimate dissolution of creation); and how does the divine spirit shine itself as the world in want of the light of the luminaries?

Vasishtha replied:—

5. The world shines in this manner in the light of the Divine Intellect; and know this light to proceed from the Divine spirit, which is thus diffused all over the universe.

6. As the light of the lamp or chandelier, enlightens the house with its lustre; it was thus the holy light of the Divine spirit that shone itself, without presenting its outward appearance, or having any one to look upon it (before creation).

7. Thus it is an immaterial and imperishable entity, without any appearance of or looker on it; it shines with the light of the intellect, upon the basis or stand of the Divine spirit.

8. It shines in its visible appearance, in the sight of the spirit only, that constantly looks upon it, as it sees its dreams in sleep.

9. It shines only in the light of the intellect, and appears as the created world before its creation; all its visible and shining sheen being derived from the Supreme.

10. The One supreme intellect alone, assumes the triple forms of the sight, seer and seeing (i.e. the subjective, objective and the attribute), in the beginning of creation; and shows itself as the created world of its own nature and accord.

11. We have the resemblance of such like appearance, presenting unto us in our dreams and creatures of our fancy; and it is in the same manner, that this creation shines before us with the light of the intellect.

12. This world (shining so bright and fair), is like a vacuous body appearing in the vacuity of the intellect; the creation has neither its beginning nor end, it is a development of the intellect, which is distributed through it.

13. It has become habitual to our nature, to suppose the existence of the world, but the false impression of its visibility, is lost in the consciousness of high-minded men.

14. To them this creation presents no visible forms, nor any sensible appearance at all; it is to them a representation of fallacy only, as the mistake of a man in a statue, or taking a false apparition as real.

15. In this manner the blunder of a duality in the soul, produces a dualism in the mind; but ere the existence of creation, there existed no dualism of the creator and the created, or of the manifester and the manifested.

16. The want of a cause causes the appearance of a duality (i.e. of the causal agency and its effect, in the vacuity of the intellect); but tell me how could there be a cause when there is no creation in existence. (The creation presupposes a cause, but not otherwise nor its absence).

17. It is the Divine intellect alone, that manifests itself in the manner of the world, in the total absence of all visible objects; and though this seems to be the waking state of the Supreme soul, yet it is neither its waking, sleeping nor dreaming state.

18. The visible world is no production of dream, but a manifestation of Brahma himself; and there existed the Divine intellect only, in the manner of the infinite void, before the birth of the atmospheric vacuum of the world.

19. The intellect which beholds this universe as its body, without being distributed or changed in the form of the world; is purely of a spiritual or vacuous form, that manifested itself in this visible form before it came to existence.

20. And this visible world that is so manifest to view, is as void and vacuous as the empty air.

21. Now knowing this in your own understanding, you must remain devoid of all dualism in your mind; be as mute as a block of stone, nor give heed to the words of the universe in your heart, nor care for their sayings of earthly enjoyments, (for fear of losing your spiritual bliss).