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 CC - The loud applause of the court on the sage's speech

Argument:—Narration of the plaudits of the assembly, accompanied with the showering of flowers and uproar of musical instruments, at the end of the holy sermon.

Valmiki continued:—

1. Upon the termination of the holy sermon on nirvana—anesthesia, there arose loud hubbub without the court house, which put a stop to the sage's proceeding further in continuation of his discourse.

2. But the whole audience in the court hall, was immerged in a state of stead fast hypnotism, and settled intentiveness in the Supreme; and the faculties of their mind were quite clear, and their workings at rest.

3. The whole audience on hearing the lecture on investigation after intellect, became passengers on the raft of sat, and they all gained their salvation.

4. Immediately there arose a loud chorus of applause, from the mouths of the emancipated sages or siddhas, dwelling in the upper regions of the skies, and it filled the concave of heaven, with the acclamations of praise to the venerable sage.

5. In the same manner there rose shouts of praise also, from the holy sages seated in the assembly; together with the loud acclamation given by the son of Gadhi—Viswamitra, who sat at their head.

6. Then was heard a swelling sound, filling the face of the four quarters of the firmament; just as the blasts of wind filled the hollows of the withered bamboos in the forest, and make them resound with a sound with a soft sweet melody.

7. Next arose a flourish of trumpets from the celestials, mingling with the hosannahs of the siddhas; which rumbled together and resounded loudly, amidst the hollow caves of distant mountains and dale.

8. Along with the flourish of celestial trumpets, there fell showers of flowers from above, resembling the driving rain of snows, which blocked the faces on all sides of heaven.

9. The floor of the court hall was strewn over with flowers, and the fanfare of the drums and timbals, filled the mouths of hollow caves and caverns; the flying dust covered the face of the sky, and the rising odours after the rain were borne upon the wings of the winds to all sides.

10. Then there rose a mingled rumble of the shouts of applause, and the peal of heavenly trumpets;joined with the whistle of the hissing showers of flowers, and the rustling of the winds all about.

11. The courtiers all looked around with their uplifted faces and eyes, and were struck in their minds with wonder and surprise; while the beasts all about the palace and in the parks, remained amazed at the event with their pricked up ears.

12. The women and children in the inside, sat staring with their wonder stricken eyes; and the princes sitting in the court hall, looked astonished on one another with their smiling faces.

13. The face of the firmament became exceedingly brightened, by the falling showers of flowers from above; and the great concavity of the world, was filled with the hissing sound of the falling rains.

14. The showers of flowers and drizzling rain drops, with their hissing sounds, made the royal palace an appearance of festivity. (With the scattering of fried rice, sprinkling of rose water and blowing of conchshells).

15. Not only the palace, but all places in the worlds, seem to celebrate their festive mirth, with tossing of flower garlands, joined with celestial music.

16. The shouts of the siddhas and their ejaculations of joy, rolled and growled as high in the upper sky; as the rolling billows and rebillowing waves, howled in the depth of the ocean and sea.

17. After the hubbub of the heavenly hosts had subsisted, (in the lull of the rains and rackets); the following words of the siddhas proceeded from above, and were heard to be uttered in an audible and distinct voice.

The siddhas said:—

18. We have erewhile since time erst began, listened to delivered thousands of sermons, in the assembly of siddhas or perfect beings, on the means of attaining liberation, (which is the highest pitch of perfection of the living soul); but never heretofore heard a lecture so impressive on the mind, as this last location of the sage.

19. We see boys and women and the bending brute creatures, together with the creeping and crawling animals, are all enrapt by this soothing speech, which will doubtless enrapture its readers and hearers in future.

20. The sage has used every argument and example, for rousing Rama to his beatification; such as it is doubtful whether he had ever shewn such affection to his Arundhati or not.

21. Hearing this lecture on liberation, even the brute creation of beasts and birds, become emancipated from the burthen of their base bodies; and as for men, they forget altogether the trammels of their bodies in their embodied state.

22. Our draught of these ambrosial drops of divine knowledge, through the vessels of our ears; has not only satiated our appetite for wisdom, but renovated our understandings, and added a fresh beauty to our spiritual bodies.

23. On hearing these words of the heavenly host of siddhas, were struck with wonder, and looked upward with full open eyes; and then as they cast their looks below, they beheld the surface of the court-hall, to be strewn over with flowers and lotuses, falling in showers from above.

24. They saw heaps of mandara and other celestial flowers, piled up to the roof of the lofty hall; and observed the court yard to be covered over with blossoming plants and creepers, and with wreaths and garlands of flowers without an interstice.

25. The surface of the ground, was strewn over with buds and blossoms of Parijata plants; and thick clouds of Santanaka flowers, shadowed over the heads and shoulders of the assembled people in the court.

26. The saffron flowers of Harichandana (yellow sandalwood), hung over the jewelled crests of the princes; and seemed as an awning of rainy clouds, spread over the glittering chandeliers of the court hall. (Harichandana is a tree in the garden of Paradise).

27. Seeing these events in the court, the people all gave vent to the repeated shouts of their loud applause; and talked to one another of this and that, as was fitted to the solemnity of occasion.

28. They then adored the sage with the prostration of their bodies and limbs, and made him their obeisances, with offerings of handfuls of flowers.

29. After the loud peals of applause had somewhat abated; the king also rose and prostrated himself down and then worshipped the sage, with the tray of his presents and wreaths of flowers held in his hands.

Dasaratha said:—

30. It was by your admonition, O thou Lord of Arundhati; that I was released from this my mortal frame; and gained the transcendent knowledge which filled my soul, and joined it with the supreme essence in perfect bliss.

31. We have nothing in this nether earth, nor is there anything with the gods in heaven, which I ween is worthy enough to be given, as a proper offering in thine adoration.

32. Yet I beg you to pray something in order to acquit myself of my duty to you, and to render my services to thee prove effectual to me, and hope you will not be irritated at this address of mine.

33. That I adore you myself with my queens and my weal in both worlds, together with all these dominions and servants of mine (all [of] which I now offer humbly at your venerable feet).

34. All these possessions of mine are yours entirely at present, so my lord take them as yours, and make them as parts of your hermitage; please to dispose of these as you please, or use them as you like.

Vasishtha replied:—

35. Know, O great king, that we Brahmans are pleased, only with the mere obeisances of people; we are verily satisfied with receiving reverence of men, and these you have already done and shown to me.

36. You know to rule the earth, and therefore its sovereignty is suitable to thee; nor can you show a Brahmin to have ever reigned as a king, keep therefore what is yours to yourself and prosper therein.

Dasaratha answered said:—

37. What is this trifle of a realm to me, which I am ashamed to call and own as mine; it cannot lead me to the knowledge of its true Lord, therefore do so as I may clearly and truly know the most high.

Valmiki relates said:—

38. As the king was saying so, Rama rose from his seat, and threw handfuls of flowers on the sacred person of his preceptor; and then lowly bending himself before him, he addressed him as follows.

39. Venerable sir, as you have made the king speechless, by telling him that you are pleased with mere obeisance of men; so I am taught to wait here, with my bare prostration at your venerable feet.

40. Saying so, Rama bowed down his head, lowly at the feet of his guide;and then scattered handful of flowers on his pure person, as the trees on the sides of a mountain, sprinkle their dew drops at the foot and base of the mount. (Gloss. The branches of trees serving as their hands, and the leaves as their palms).

41. Then the pious prince made his repeated bows of reverence to his venerable preceptor; while his lotus like eyes were suffused with the tears of his inward joy and piety. (Anandasru—tears issuing from pious and joyous feelings).

42. Next rose the brother princes, of Dasaratha's royal race; namely Bharata, Satrughna and Lakshmana, together with their equals in kith and kin; and they all advanced to the sage, and bowed down to him with their respectful reverence.

43. The other chiefs and nobles and regents, that sat in their order at a distance; together with the saints, sages and the clergy at large, rose in groups from their seats, and did their homage to the sage, with flinging handfuls of flowers upon him.

44. At this instant the sage was almost covered with and hid under the heap of flowers, that were poured upon him from all sides; in the same manners as the snowy mountain of Himalaya, is wrapped and concealed under the snows of water.

45. After clangor of the assembly was over, and the peals of their pranama-hailings had ended; Vasishtha remembered his saying with the assembled sages, of proving to them the truth of his doctrines, and of removing the doubts of his audience regarding the miracles he had wrought.

46. He then shoved off with both his arms, the heaps of flowers from about his sides; and showed out his fair face from amidst them, as when the disc of the moon, shines forth from within the hoary clouds.

47. Then there ensued a hush over the flourish of the trumpets, and a silence upon the fanfare of applauses; the falling of flowers was at a stop, and the murmur of siddhas above, ceased with the clamour of the assemblage below.

48. After the princes and assembled nobles, had made their obeisances and greetings, there occurred a calm stillness in the assembly, as when a lull takes place in the atmosphere after a storm.

49. Then the chief of sages Vasishtha, upon hearing the applauses poured upon him from all sides; spoke softly to the royal sage Viswamitra, from the unblemished purity of his soul.

50. Hear me, O sage, that art the lotus of the princely race of Gadhi, and ye sages that are assembled here, namely Vamadeva, Nimi and Kruta, together with Bharadwaja, Pulastya, Atri, Narada and Ghrishti, and Sandilya.

51. Hear me also, O ye sages Bhasa, Bhrigu, Bharanda, Vatsa and Vatsayana, with all others that are assembled here at present, and had the patience to listen to this contemptible discourse of mine.

52. Please now with your well known affability to me, point out to me whatever you have found as meaningless or unintelligible and ambiguous in my discourse.

The audience responded said:—

53. O Venerable sir, we have never heard or marked in [a] single word in this spiritual and divine discourse of thine, that is meaningless or unintelligible to anybody.

54. We confess that whatever foulness was inbred in our natures, by our repeated births in this sinful world; has been all purged out by your holy lecture, as the alloy in gold is burnt away by the purifying fire.

55. O sir, our minds are as expanded by your divine sermon, as the blue lotus buds are opened to bloom, by the cold and ambrosial beams of moon light.

56. We all bow down to thee, O thou chief of sages, as our best guide in divine knowledge; and the giver of true wisdom to us, with regard to all things in nature.

Valmiki relates said:—

57. The sages said so far and then hailed and bowed down to Vasishtha again, and their united applause of him, rose as high as the loud roar of raining clouds.

58. Then the speechless siddhas, poured down again their showers of flowers from above; and these hid the body of the sage under them, as the clouds of winter cover the rocks under ice and snows.

59. Afterwards the intelligent and learned men in the court, gave their praises to King Dasaratha and to Rama also; saying that the four princes were no other than the fourfold incarnation of the God Madhava or Vishnu himself.

The siddhas said:—

60. We hail the four princes of Dasaratha line, who are the quadruple forms of the self incarnate Vishnu, and are quite liberated from the bonds of flesh, in these their living states of humanity.

61. We hail king Dasaratha, as having the mark of the sovereignty of the whole world. (Imprinted in his person); that is of this world which extends to the limits of the four oceans, and lasts forever in his race.

62. We hail the sage Vasishtha, who is as bright as the sun, and stands at the head of the whole host of sages; and also the royal sage Viswamitra of renowned fame and dignity.

63. It is through their means (i.e. because of their assemblage in this court), that we had this fair opportunity of hearing this divine discourse, which is so full of knowledge and fraught with reason, that it serves to dispel the great gloom of error at once.

64. So saying the siddhas of heaven again let fall their handfuls of flowers in showers; and made the assembly look up to them in silence, with their uplifted eyes and gladdened minds.

65. And then there was a mutual greeting of the siddhas from above, and of the assembled people to them from below.

66. At last the assembly broke, with their respectful greetings to one another, accompanied with their mutual offerings of flowers and salutations. And the celestial and terrestrial, the great Munis and sages, the Pandits and Brahmans; together with the princes and nobles, bade adieu to and took leave of one another (in order to repair to their respective abodes).