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 CCX - Refutation of the conception of a duality in unity

Argument:—End of Vasishtha's Replies to the important queries, and his showing the unity of the world with Brahma himself.

Vasishtha resumed and said:—

1. Now hear me tell you in reply to the question, why the heaven is not filled with a hundred full moons, if it were the wish of a hundred persons to shine as such a luminary on future, and if the wishes of all are crowned with success in their next state of being. (The souls of the pious are said to twinkle as stars in heaven).

2. Those that aspired to become as bright as the full moon of heaven, became actually so in their conception of themselves as such in the sphere of their minds; and not by their situation in the vault of the sky or in the orb of that luminary.

3. Say who has ever and anywhere, got into the imaginary city of another; and who has ever got any fancied treasure, except the framer of the fancy and the fabricator of the wished for wealth. (Every one is the master of his own Utopia and delights in his hobby horse).

4. Every one has a heaven of his own, in the utopia of his creation;wherein he is situated and shines as a full bright moon, and without its phases of the wane and waste.

5. All those aspirants to luminosity, had thought of entering into the moon of his own mind;and there he found himself to rest at last, with full light of that luminary and delight of his conscious soul.

6. Each of them thought of entering into the disc of the moon shining in their minds, and felt themselves glad in their situation, as if they were seated in the orb of the celestial moon.

7. Whatever one seeks and searches after, the same becomes con-natural with his consciousness; and in the case of his firm belief in the same state, he thinks and feels himself to be the very same.

8. As every aspirer to the state of the full moon, came to be such in his respective conception of that luminary; so the suitors of the same bride in marriage, became wedded to her according to his own conception of hers. (Every one imagines his doxy, as a fairy paragon of beauty).

9. The one pure maiden that is thought of being taken to wife, by many men in their minds; is never defiled by any one of them in her character, by their simple enjoyment of her ideal only. (The ideal is not tangible possession).

10. As the sovereign ruler of the seven continents, holds his sway over them, without ever going out of his city; so the soul passes to them all, by remaining in the precincts of its body: and so does every man see his imaginary castle, in the sphere of his own house.

When the whole universe owes its origin to the imagination of its omniscient originator said:—

11. the self born Brahma; what can it be otherwise, than an intangible vacuum and quite calm and quiet in itself. (The moving bodies are the fixed figures of the divine mind, and appear to be turning round like the pictures in a panorama or the objects in a scenograph).

12. Now hear me tell you of the unknown and invisible results of the acts piety, such as charity, obsequeous rites, religious austerities and the mutterings of holy mantras, which accrue to the departed ghosts of bodily beings in the next world.

13. The souls marked with traces of pious acts in them, come to view them vividly as their actual works, and painted in as lively colours as their dreams, by fabrications of their lively intellects.

14. The carnal mind distrusting the reality of these impressions of consciousness, and disregarding the internal operation of the inward intellect; becomes restless for its sensuous enjoyment and exercise of the outward organs of action, until by abatement of this fervour, it is restored to its inward peace and tranquillity.

15. It is the theme of early poets which tells us, that the impressions of the acts of piety and charity which are imprinted in the intellect, are reflected over the passive soul in the next world, when the conscious soul continues to keep the gratification of those acts.

16. Thus the rewards of charity and uncharitableness, are equally felt in the gratification and dissatisfaction of the soul in this world also, where everything is by our feeling of it.

17. Thus have answered fully to whatever you have asked of me; and now know from all this, that the sensible world is an intangible dream, and an air drawn spectacle of the mind.

The prince rejoined:—

18. But please to tell me sir, how could the intellect alone and itself before the production of the body; and how can a light subsist without its receptacle of a lamp or lantern.

Vasishtha replied:—

19. The sense in which you use the world body, is quite unknown to the spiritualist, who discard the material meaning of the term, as they reject the idea of the dancing of stones in air. (The learned know the spiritual body only).

20. The meaning of the word body, is the same as that of Brahma (who is all in all); and there is no difference in the meaning of the two, as there is none between the words fluid and liquid.

21. The body is a visionary appearance, and the great body of Brahma, is likened unto the figure of a phantom in vision, which represents the forms of all things as in dream in the stupendous fabric of the universe. [Brahma is more likely the phantasmagoria that shows all forms in it. Gloss].

22. But the difference between thy dream or vision and spectrum of Brahma, consist in the former representing the figures of thy previous thoughts alone, which disperse and vanish upon thy waking; but the universe which is exhibited in spectrum of Brahma, is not so evanescent as that of other.

23. What is thing then we call the body, and how does it appear into us in the shape of something in our dream; and why doth anything appearing as a reality in dream, appear as nothing and vanish as an error upon our waking.

24. There is no waking, sleeping or dreaming, nor any other condition of being, in the Turiya or transcendent state of Brahma [as in those of the divine hypostases of Brahma, Virat and others]. It is something as the pure and primeval light and as the transparent air, all quiet and still, [as the infinite eternity].

25. It is the same as the unknown and inscrutable light, which shows and glows before us to this day; It is the same primeval and primordial light, that showed first the sight of the world to view, as if it were a dream in the gloom of night. (Light was nature's first born, and brought forth all nature from it).

26. As in passing from one district to another, the body though proceeding onward, is ever in the midst of its circuit, and yet never fixed at any spot; so are all things in their endless rotation in this world, whether singly or collectively.

27. The sight of the world, like that of a dream, presents a favourable aspect to some minds, but it presents a clear and serene prospect to men of unclouded intellects.

28. The vacuum as well as the plenum of objects, and the reflection as likewise the eclipse or adumbration of things; the existence and inexistence of the world and matter, and the unity and duality of the divine entity, are all but the extraneous phases or aspects of the same vacuous intellect.

29. The world is entirely or completely evolution from the fulness of the deity; and stands as a complete counterpart of the original; it is neither a shining or unshining body by itself, but is as bright as the contents of a crystal within its bowels.

30. Wherever there is the evolution of the world in the intellect, there is the presence of the subtile soul also at that place, and whenever there is a jot of thought anywhere, it is attended with the thought of the world also. (The mind and soul are one with creation, and the same thing).

31. The vacuum of intellect is present everywhere (pervading and comprehending the whole). And this omnipresence of is the divine presence (which engrosses and envelopes this all) which is termed the world. [The word world-jagat passing [in our right], is spiritually santa or quiet].

32. The divine soul is as quiet and unchangeable, as this universe is stable and stationary; and it is the fluctuation of the supreme mind, which causes these variations in the face of the city of the divine will [or the world].

33. The impossibility of any other inference [of the world's duality or its being aught otherwise than the divine entity]; proves it necessarily to be of the very same essence. Any unreasonable hypothesis of sophists is inconsistent with this subject [of the absolute unity].

34. The joint assent of the common belief of mankind, the testimony of the sastras, and the dicta of the Vedas, are established and incontrovertible truths. Hence nobody can have any doubt in regard to the real entity of the Divine spirit.

35. This being confessed it becomes evident, that the world is the deity itself; and when the world appears as one with the deity, it is seen in our clairvoyance to be extinct in the Divine essence. (Clairvoyance is charama-sakshat kara or the last sight of creation at one's dying moment; when the world disappears, and eternity appears full open to view. Gloss).

36. From this analogy of the ultimate evanescent sight of the world, it will be evident to the living soul, that the sight of the phenomenal is wholly lost before it in the noumenal. This is the doctrine of cosmotheism, wherein whole nature is seen in nature's God.

37. He who is acquainted with the sphere of his intellect, is not unacquainted with the fact of the dependency of the arbour of the world to it, he sees the three worlds in himself, in either of his two states of bondage and liberation. (The fettered soul is fastened to the sight of the material and temporal world; but the liberated soul views it in its spiritual light).

38. The visible world though so manifest to view, is entirely lost to sight upon its right knowledge; and the knower thereof in its light, becomes like the setting sun, wholly invisible to public sight, and remains as mute as a clod of silent stone.

39. The way that is established by the Vedas, and received by the general assent of wisemen; is to be acknowledged, as the right path leading to sure success (vox populi vox dei).

40. He who adheres steadily to his own purpose, by utter disregard of all other objects in his view; is said to be firmly fixed to his point, and is sure to reap his success at the end.

41. Everything appears to one in the some light, as he is accustomed to view and take it for; and whether this object of his faith is a true or false one, it appears just the same to any body as he is wont to believe it.

42. This is the conclusion of your question, as I have determined and delivered to you; now be quick and walk your way with perfect ease of your mind, health of your body and agility of your limbs.