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...
1. O most intelligent Bharadwaja, and the chief of my pupils, you have now heard how the great Rama and others, came to the knowledge of the knowable One (that is only to be known), and passed across this vale of misery and sorrow, by their attention to these lectures.
2. Do you thus fix your sight to the light of Brahma, and conduct yourself gladly, by abandoning all your affections and cares of this world, and by remaining dauntless with your living liberation and tranquillity of mind.
3. Know, O thou sinless one, that the learned and the meek, that do not mix with the society of worldly men, but remain steady as Rama and others in their right principles, are never liable to be deluded although they are beset by temptations on all sides.
4. Thus these men of great natures, as the king Dasaratha and the prince Rama and his brothers, together with companions, have attended to the state of the living liberated (even in their life time).
5. Thou my son Bharadwaja! that art naturally of a liberal mind, hast now become more liberated at present, by thy hearing of these sermons on the salvation of our souls.
6. It is possible even for boys to obtain their liberation, by their attention to those holy lectures, as the most evident and surest means to salvation; and cannot therefore fail to convince thee of the truth thereof.
7. As the high minded and sinless and sorrowless sons of Raghu's race, have attained to their holy state of perfection and self-liberation; so do thou also obtain that best and highest state, by your attending to the lectures of the divine sage Vasishtha.
8. It is by advice of the good and service under the great, as also by means of humble inquiries to and explications of the learned; that week men of good understandings, can know the knowable, as the Raghavas and others did under Vasishtha.
9. The ties of avarice and affection that have fast bound the hearts of the ignorant (to this world); do all tend to debar them like playful boys from inquiring into the means of their liberation, until they become too old to benefit by their knowledge.
10. Those that can discern the minds of high minded men, can only come to their knowledge of truth; and such men only have no more to return to this world of woe; and this is the substance of all that I can speak to thee (i.e. know and have the minds of the great, in order to become as great thyself, so says Gay in his Fables. (Hast thou fathomed Tully's mind, and the vast sense of Plato's head).
11. Having first received your instruction from the preceptor, you must weigh well and digest its meaning in yourself; and then communicate its sense, to the most sensible and intelligent student. This is said by sages and saints, as the trivium of science; know this and you need no more, to become wise when your boyhood is over.
12. Whoso will read this book, not without understanding its sense and whoever will manuscript it without the expectation of getting its fee; as also anybody who will recite or cause it to be recited (to a public audience), either with or without any desire of reward, shall have his ample recompense in the land of Aryas (both in his present and future lives). (So it is with the public preaching of its doctrine).
13. These men receive the reward, awaiting on the performance of the Rajasuya sacrifice, and are entitled to their heavenly seats in their pure essence; as often as they ascend to it after their demise on earth, and until they attain their final liberation, which attains on them as prosperity does on the meritorious (after the third transmigration of their expurged souls).
14. It was at first that the god Brahma of unknowable form, had composed this work in his excellent diction; and then considering it as the only means to the liberation of mankind, had revealed it to the assemblage of saints (of which Vasishtha or Valmiki has made this version). Let nobody therefore take the truthfulness of this saying for an untruth.
15. At the close of the recital of these lectures, on the means of human salvation, it becomes every sensible man of good sense, to honour the Brahmans with diligence; and to serve them with their desirable gifts of food and drink, and furnish them with goodly houses for their lodging.
16. They should also be rewarded with their honorariums, and supplied with monies to their hearts' desire, and to the utmost capacity of the donor; and then the giver or master of the ceremony should rest himself assured, of having acquitted his duty to and reaped its merit to the intent of the sastras.
17. I have thus rehearsed to you the great sastra, in elucidation of divine knowledge and its pure truth; with addition of a great many tales and stories, serving as example and illustrations of the abstruse doctrines for your clear understanding of them. May your hearing of these, serve to lead you to your utter indifference of this world, and to the desire of your liberation in it, while you are alive herein. May this tend also to your continued prosperity, in order to engage your attention towards the perfection of your knowledge and devotion, and to the discharge of the duties of your station without failing.