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 CCXIV - Description of the great jubilee of the assembly

Argument:—Demonstration of the exceeding exultation of the audience at the close of the long winded lengthy lecture.

Valmiki related:—

As the sage had finished saying these things, or so far, the celestials sounded their trumpets from heaven, as the clouds resounded in the rainy skies, with showers of nectarious rain drops (on the earth below). The face of the sky was whitened on all sides, as by drifts of snowfalls in hoary winter, and the surface of the earth was covered by rain drops, dropping like showers of flowers. (The sound of celestial trumpets, is ever accompanied with or followed by a shower [of] refreshing rain).

2. The earth appeared to be blessed with prosperity in the beauty of the flowers, stretching their pistils and peduncles like beauties in their evening decorations, and sending afar the fragrance of their farinacious dust, like the perfumery on the persons of fairies, their outer garniture and inner cool sweetness are verily the gifts of the gods.

3. The falling flowers of heavenly arbors, dropped down from their dried boughs, by the rampant and apish hurricane of heaven, are now vying with the glittering stars, scattered all over the face of the firmament, and deriding at their grim laughter with their bashful and blushing smiles.

4. The lowering clouds accompanied with sounds of trumpets, and drizzling rain drops and falling of flowers (which bore resemblance to one another); next lighted upon the court hall, like the shadowy snow fall on Himalaya's head, and filled the assembly with wonder, and gaping mouths and staring eyes.

5. The assembly seated in their order, took hold of handfuls of these heavenly flowers; and poured them upon Vasishtha with their obeisance, and cast away all their earthly cares and woes with those celestial offerings to the sage. (Every offering confers and recurs, with an equivalent blessing to the offerer).

6. The King Dasaratha said:—O wonder! that we are so lightly released of our cares and woes, in this wide extended vale of miseries of the world; and that our souls are now lightened of their throws by your grace, like the heavy clouds lightened of their weight, and floating lightly at last on Himalayas.

7. We have reached to the goal of our acts, and seen the end of our miseries of this life; we have fully known the knowable One (that is only to be known), and have found our entire rest in that supreme state (by your good grace alone).

8. We have known to rest in the ultimate void in our meditation, and to get rid of our erroneous thoughts of bodies, by means of our intense application to the abstract (or Platonic abstraction).

9. It is by our riddance from the coinage and vagaries of our imagination, and by our escape from the feverish fervour for the sights of the dreaming world; as also by our ceasing to mistake the shells and cockles for silver, and by our deliverance from misdeeming ourselves as dead either in our sleep or dream, (that we may be enabled to the true knowledge of ourselves &c.).

10. It is by our knowledge of the identity of the wind and its oscillation, and of the sameness of the water with its fluidity; as also by our distrust in this talismanic world, and in this fairy land of our fancy (that we can attain to the knowledge of truth &c.).

11. It must be by our discredit in the magical scenes of this world, and in the aerial castles of fairies; as also by our mistrust in the limpid currents of the mirage, and in the aerial groves and double moons of heaven (that we can come to know the truth).

12. It is no earthquake, if our tottering foot steps should shake and slip in our drunkenness; nor can we view a ghost in a shadow as boys do, nor see the braids of hair hanging down from the clouds in heaven.

13. From these and other instances, which you have given for our instruction; you have sir, at once effaced our credit in the visible sights of this world.

Rama added:—

14. My ignorance is dispelled, and I have come to the knowledge of truth by your good grace; and O thou chief of sages, I acknowledge thee to have brought me to light from my impervious darkness.

15. I am freed from my doubts, and set to the light of the true nature of God; and I will now act as thou sayst, in acknowledging the transpicuous truth (or viewing God as manifest in nature, and not as hidden under her veil).

16. Remembering and reconsidering thy words, that are so fraught with ambrosial sweetness and full of delightsome taste; I am filled with fresh delight, though already satisfied and refreshed by their sense (i.e. the more I think of them, the happier I seem to feel myself).

17. I have nothing to do for myself at present, nor is there anything left undone or remaining to be done by me. I am as I am and have ever been, and always without any craving for me. (This state of self-satisfaction and self-sufficiency, is the highest bliss for man).

18. What other way to our true felicity can there be, than this that has been shown by thee? or else I find this wide-extended field of the earth, to be so full of our woe and misery.

19. I have no foe to annoy me nor a friend to give any joy to me; I have no field to work in, nor an enemy to fear nor a good soul to rely in. It is our misunderstanding that makes this world appear so troublesome to ourselves, while our good sense makes it all agreeable to us. (If the world will not suit thee, suit thyself to it).

20. How could we know all this (for our happiness) without thy good grace unto us; as it is never possible for a boy, to ford and cross over a river, without the assistance of a boat or bridge.

Lakshmana said:—

21. It is by reason of your removing the doubts, that had been inherent in and inherited by me in my repeated births; and it is by virtue of the merit, that I had acquired in my former births; that

I have come to know the truth this day, by the divine sermon of the holy sage; and to feel the radiance of a holy light in me, shining as brightly as the cooling beams of moonlight.

22. It is strange that in disregard of this heavenly bright and vivid light, that men should be entangled in a thousand errors, and be burnt at last as dried wood or fuel, by their foul mistake and great misfortune.

Viswamitra said:—

23. O! it is by our great merit, that we have come this day, to hear this holy lecture from the mouth of the sage; and which has at once expurgated our inner souls, as a thousand lavations in the clear stream of Ganges.

Rama rejoined:—

24. We have seen the highest pitch of all prosperity, and the best of all that is to be seen; we have known the end of all learning, and the last extremity of adversity; we have seen many countries and heard many speeches; but never have we heard, nor seen nor known anything better than the discourse on the beauty of the soul, which the sage has shown to us to-day.

Narada added:—

25. Our ears are purified to-day, by the hearing of what we have never heard heretofore; to be preached by Brahma or the gods above or men below.

Lakshmana rejoined:—

26. Sir, you have entirely dissipated all our inner and outer darkness also; and have shewn us the transcendent light, of the bright sun of the Divine soul.

Satrughna said:—

27. I am satisfied and tranquillized, and uncomposed in the supreme soul; I am for ever full and perfect in myself, and sit quite content with my solity.

28. Dasaratha repeated:—It is by the merit of our deeds, done and acquired in our repeated lives, that we have been, O thou chief of sages, sanctified this day by thy sacred and sanctifying speech.

Valmiki related:—

29. As the king and his courtiers, were speaking in this manner, the sage oped his mouth again, and thus bespoke his words fraught with pure and purifying knowledge.

Vasishtha said:—

30. Hear me, O thou moon like king of Raghu's race, and do as I bid you to do; Rise now and honour the assembled Brahmans, who deserve their due honour at the close of a discourse.

31. Rise therefore, and satisfy their desires with thy ample gifts; and thou will obtain thereby, the merit that attends on the learning of the vedas, and doing thy duties according to their dictates.

32. It is incumbent on even a mean worm-like man, to honour the Brahmans to their utmost at the termination of a sermon on salvation; how much more important must it then be on the part of a monarch to acquit himself of this necessary duty.

33. Hearing this behest of the sage, the king held his reverential silence; and beckoned to his heralds to proceed to all the ten sides of his dominions, and invite thousands of Brahmans, that are acquainted with the vedas forthwith (to the royal court).

34. He bade them to go to Mathura, Surashtra and Gauda, and to bring with them with due respect all the Brahmans, that are born of Vedic families, and are abiding in those districts and lands.

35. There then assembled more than ten thousands of Brahmans to the royal palace, and the king fed them all alike and paying particular regard to the more learned among them.

36. He treated them with the best sorts of food and rice, honoured them with their honorariums, and gave them a good many gifts; and after honouring them in this manner, he offered his oblations to the manes of his ancestors, and gave his offerings to the tutelar gods of his house. (A Brahman has his precedence in a feast to the gods and patres; but the merit of giving a feast is lost unless it is followed by other

gifts).

37. The king next treated his friends and relatives with proper repast, and then fed his companions and servants and the citizens all on the same day. His attention was at last directed to the feeding of the poor and needy, and of the lame and blind and lunatics.

38. Having discharged to his utmost the duties of the festival, he commanded a great festivity to be held in his hall, all over decorated with silk and embroidery, and with gold, gems and pearls.

39. The city then being adorned and lighted, like the ever bright mount of Meru, there went on a merry dance and ball of giddy girls and players in every house (as a sign of general joy).

40. There was a ringing of bells and sounding of cymbols all about, with the beating of drums and trimbrels at every door; flutes and wind instruments were blowing on every side, and guitars and wired instruments were playing with loud gingling, and vying with each other.

41. The markets were closed, and the marketers stopped in their course; the air appeared as an arbour of plants, shaking with the uplifted and quavering and waving arms of the merry dancers in the streets; and it seemed as the starry heaven, by the glittering light of the teeth of strolling players, displayed in their comic dance and loud laughter.

42. There was the heroic dance attended by the loud shouts of the players, and melodramas accompanied with the soft and sweet strains of the performers, there was also a staggering and strutting dance on one foot and leg, and thumping the ground with the other.

43. Here they flung wreaths of flowers glittering like stars and falling down in showers; and there the scattered flowers, which were strewn over the ground as rain drops, were indiscriminately trodding down under the feet of passers-by.

44. Here the actresses dance about with their loose ornaments and gestures of love; and there the bards chanted their hymns with clearness, as the Brahmans recited them and the songstresses sang.

45. Here the sots and topers drank their fill of wine; and the food mongers fed upon their eatables of various kinds (i.e. some were seen to be indulging their drink and others in their eating).

46. The insides of houses were daubed with wine, as the outer bodies of the princes with ointment of moon light hue.

47. The attendent servants and waiting maids on the king, sauntered about trimmed in gaudy attires of various colours; and graced the royal festival with their decorations of necklaces and sweet perfumes on their persons.

48. The sprightly ballet girls, being besmeared with a paste of all perfumeries (called the yaksha dust), and decorated with glittering ornaments, repaired to the ball at the royal hall with all alacrity.

49. Thus the king Dasaratha held his entertainment for a whole week, and passed full seven nights in festive mirth and rejoicing; while he distributed his gifts and food for as many days, which redounded to exhaustless prosperity on earth.