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 CXCIIII - Rama's rest in nirvana insensibility

Argument:—Rama's feeling of his comatosity, and his relation of it to his preceptor Vasishtha.

Rama said:—

1. In whatever manner and form, the living or individual soul conceives the universal soul within itself; it has the same conception or idea presented before it, agreeably to its concept thereof. (i.e. The divine spirit appears in the same form in us, as we think it to be).

2. All these worlds lie in concert in their spiritual state, in the boundless spirit of the great Brahma; but they appear to us in various lights, like the different rays, radiating from the one and same gem.

3. The great and bright quarry of the Divine Mind, contains all these gemming worlds in its unbounded bosom; all of which unite to shed and scatter their conjoined light upon us, like the commingled rays of the gems contained in the womb of a vast mine.

4. All these several worlds, shining together like so many lamps of a lustre; are clearly perceived by some and are imperceptible to others, as the blaze of day light is dazzling to the clear-sighted, but quite dim to the blind.

5. As the rushing of the contrary currents, describe the whirlpools in the waters of the deep; so do the contact and conflict of the elementary atoms, produce the consolidation and dissolution of worlds, which are no acts of creation.

6. The creation is everywhere but a coagulation, of the drizzling drops of the gelid intellect; who can therefore count the countless watery particles, that are incessantly oozing out of it, and are condensed in the forms of worldly spherules.

7. As the part is not different in its substance, from that of the whole; so the creation is not otherwise than its creator, except in the difference of the two terms of devious significations.

8. The causeless and uncausing unity, being the archetype of infinite variety; these numberless multiplicities are only ectypes of that sole moiety, and neither a duality nor pluralities whatever; nor do these copies and counterparts, ever rise or fall apart from their original prototype (but the both are showing the same).

9. It is that intelligence which shows the intelligibles in itself; it produces these unproduced productions to view, as the sun light exposes the visibles to light.

10. It is from my inappetency of all things in existence, that I have accomplished that perfection, and acquired that prosperity for myself, which is termed insouciance or the nirvana extinction.

11. It is not by our understanding this bliss, nor can we have any knowledge of it by our percipience; neither is there any knowledge whereby we may know, the unknown one which is alone to be known. (Here is a pun and play of the word bodha or knowledge, which is explained in the gloss to a great length).

12. It is a knowledge that rises of itself, and a waking of the soul resembling its somnolence; it throws a light as that of the midday sun in the inmost soul, and is neither confined in or absent from any place or time. (i.e. The full blaze of spiritual light, fills the soul at all times and places or as Pope says: It wraps my soul, and absorbs me quite).

13. It is after the subsidence of all desire within, and desistance from all actions without accompanied with one's desistance from all wishes, that this stillness attends upon the enlightened soul.

14. The saint of awakened understanding, that is confined in himself, and absorbed in his meditation; is neither inclined to the prurience of any thing, nor to the avoidance of aught whatever. ("Have what I have, and live, not leave, enamoured of the present day!" Young).

15. In this state of rapture, the mind of the saint, though in full possession of its mental faculties; remains yet as fixed and inactive, and unmindful of all worldly things and bodily actions; as a burning taper, that consumes itself while [it] illumes others, without any shaking or motion of its own. (i.e. Thoughtful and inactive).

16. The soul becomes as Viswarupa or incorporated with the world, in its condition of thoughtfulness, when it is called the Viswatma or the mundane soul; or else it is said to be situated in the state of the immense void of Brahma, when it is devoid of and unoccupied with its thoughts. Hence creation and its cessation, both appertain to the Divine Intellect, in its states of activity or thoughtfulness and its wants or stupor.

17. He who is enrapt in divine ecstasy, and settled in his belief of the identity of the Deity with his excogitation of him, remains closely confined in himself with his rapture and secure from distraction of his mind (and perturbation of worldly thoughts).

18. He who relies only in the cogitation of his self, regardless of all other things in the world; comes to find the reality of his self-cognition alone, and else beside, to be as nil as empty air. (Literally: as empty air is not distinct from vacuity).

19. The man of enlarged understanding, has an unbounded store of knowledge in himself; but this ultimately ends in the knowledge of the unspeakable one. (The end of all knowledge is the knowledge of God).

20. It is therefore in our quietism, that we feel the very best entity of our consciousness, to be either dormant or extinct; and this state of tranquillity of the mind, is unutterable in words.

21. That which is the acme of all knowledge, is the abstract and abstruse knowledge of all as the true One; hence the world is a real entity, in as much as it abides in the eternal One (in its abstract light).

The felicity of nirvana said:—

22. ecstasy, with the utter extinction of all desire, and the consciousness of a cool and calm composure of one's self, is the summum bonum or highest state of bliss and perfection;that is aimed at to be attained even by the gods Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.

23. All things (desirable to the soul), are always present with it, in all places and at all times; they are ever accompanied with our concepts of them in the intellect, which is the only pure entity that is ever in existence, and is never dissolved. (The thought survives the thing it represents).

24. Too hot is the busy bustle of the world, and very cooling is the bliss of Nirvana insensibility; it is therefore far better to have the cold heartedness of insouciance, than the heart burning heat of worldliness.

25. As an artist conceives in himself, the contrivance of a statue sculptured in relief, in the slab of his mind; so the Great Brahma sees this universe inscribed in him, in rilievo and not carved out of him.

26. Just as the spacious ocean looks upon the waves, heaving upon the surface of its waters; so doth the great Brahma see the myriads of worlds, rolling about in the midst of its intellect.

27. But ignorant people of dull understandings, behold those fixed inseparable spectacles, in the light of separate spectres, appearing in various shapes and forms, in the spheres of their intellect.

28. In whatever manner doth any body conceive anything in his mind, he verily thinks and beholds it in the same light, by his habitual mode of thinking the same as such.

29. As a man waking from his sleep, finds no truth in aught he saw in his dream; whether it be the death or presence or absence of a friend or other; so the enlightened soul sees no reality in the Life or death, of any living being seen in this visible world because none lives by himself, nor dies or departs away of himself, but all are deputed alike in the tablet of the eternal mind.

30. The thought and conviction of this truth in the mind, that whatever appears to pass under and away from our sight, is the fixed inert and quiescent rechauffe of its divine original, is sure and enough to forfend the mind, from its falling into the error of taking the copy for its mould.

31. This lesson will certainly tend to lessen the enjoyments of your body, that none of them will ever serve to prevent its fall to naught; as also to protect you from the error of accounting for the reality of these numberless, that are at best but passing sights in your dream.

32. Inappetency of earthly enjoyments increases our wisdom, as wisdom serves to diminish our worldly desires, thus they mutually serve to augment one another, as the open air and sunshine.

33. The knowledge which tends to create your aversion to riches, and to your family and friends, is of course averse to your ignorance and dullness; and the one being acquired and accomplished by you, serves to put an end to your ignorance at once.

34. That is the true wisdom of wise men, which is unalloyed by avarice, and that is the true learning of the learned, which is not vitiated by any yearning.

35. But neither wisdom and inappetency, singly and simply, nor their combined and augmented states, are of any good unless they have attained their perfection, but prove as vain as the blaze of a sacrificial fire in a picture, which has not the power of consuming the oblation offered upon it.

36. The perfection of wisdom and inappetence, is a treasure which is termed liberation also; because any body who has reached to, and remains in that state of infinite bliss, is freed from all the bonds of care.

37. In this state of our emancipation, we see the past and present, and all our sights and doings in them as present before us; and find ourselves situated, in a state of even calm and tranquillity, of which there is no end nor any breach whatever.

38. The self-contented man who finds all his happiness in himself, is ever cool and calm and tranquil in his soul, and is devoid of all desire and selfishness in his mind. He relies in his cool hearted indifference and apathy to all worldly objects, and sees only a clear void stretched before him.

39. We scarcely find one man, among a hundred thousand human beings, who is strong enough and has the bravery, to break down the trammels of his earthly desires, as the lion alone breaks off the iron bars of his prison house. (The adamantine chain of avarice, binds us all alike to this nether earth).

40. It is the inward light of the clear understanding, that dispels the mist of desires that overcasts the cupidinous mind; and melts down the incrassated avarice, as the broad sunshine dissolves the thickened ice in autumn.

41. It is the want of desire that is the knowledge of the knowable, (or what is best and most worthy of being known), and stands above all things that are desirable or worth our desiring; it bears its resemblance to the breath of air, without any external action of it. (i.e. The man that is without any desire of his, lives to breathe his vital breath only, without doing any external action of his; but breathes as the current mind, to no purpose whatsoever).

42. He sits quiet and firm in himself, with his thoughts fixed in ascertaining the truths and errors of the world; and looks all others in the light of himself, without having to do with or desire of them.

43. He sits reclined in the immensity of Brahma, with his enlightened view of the visibles as subsisting in Him; he remains indifferent to all things, and devoid of his desire for anything, and sits quiet in the quiescence of his liberation; which is styled as moksha by the wise.