Chapter 61 — On the Origin of the World

Rama said, “Please sage, explain to me how this error of believing in an objective world arises without a cause for such error?”

Vasishta said:—

Because the knowledge of all things is contained in our consciousness, it is plain that this eternal and uncreated self is the cause and container of them all at all times.

That which has an insight or intuitive knowledge of all things, which are expressed by words and their meanings, is Brahma the soul and no other. Nothing that is meant by any significant term has a different form of its own. As the quality of a bracelet is not different from its substance of gold, nor that of a wave from the water, so the expansion of the world is not distinct from the spirit of God.

It is Brahma who is manifest in the form of the world, and not the world that appears as God. Similarly, gold displays itself in the form of a bracelet. It is not that the bracelet takes on the nature of gold. As the whole is displayed in all its various parts, so the entire consciousness shows itself in all the various operations of the mind composing the world. It is ignorance of the infinite and eternal spirit of God that exhibits itself as myself, yourself and the world itself in the mind.

As the shades of different colors in gems are not different from the gems, so the notions of one’s self and the world are the shades inherent in the same intellect. Like waves appearing on the surface of the still waters of the deep, this so-called and meaningless creation is but a phase in Divine Consciousness.

10 The Spirit of God does not reside in creation. Creation does not exist in the Divine Spirit. There is no such relation of part and whole between God and creation.

11 One should meditate on his own consciousness as the form of Divine Consciousness. In his own consciousness of it, he will feel Divinity stirring within himself, as if stirred by the breath of a breeze. 12 The minute particle of the empty intellect will then appear in its wonderful form of an emptiness within the empty space of his conscious mind. 13 He then finds this empty form stirring in himself like an airy spirit with its property of feeling, like feeling the breath of air.

14 Then God assumes a luminous form as the state of His own substantiality, and this is placed as a spark of fire in the sheath of the intellect. 15 The light then melts into water which is the same substance as itself. This fluid substance contains the property of taste. 16 The same is condensed in the form of a solid substance, which is the same with the Divine Mind. This becomes the earth bearing in its bosom the property of smell. 17 Again God represents Himself to our intellect as one infinite and uniform duration. Measures in seconds and other divisions are only manifestations of the succession of our thoughts.

18 The other ways in which God presents Himself to our intellects are that, He is holy, infinitely glorious, seen within us, and without beginning, middle or end. He has no rising or setting and exists of Himself without a substratum and as the substratum of all. 19 This knowledge of God is bliss itself, and His creation is identical with himself. Ignorance of God leads to knowledge of the objective world, and its extinction is the way to know the eternity of His existence.

20 Brahma is conceived in our souls as He is represented to us by our consciousness, just like in our all comprehensive minds we know all other things according to our ideas of them. 21 Of these, only those things are true which we derive from our well-directed understanding. All those are untrue which the mind paints to us from the impressions of senses and the meanings of words that are incapable of expressing the nature of the indefinable and indescribable God.

22 Know the unreal world which appears as real, and the reality of God which appears as unreality, to be of the manner of air in motion and at rest. The visible world is like moving air that appears true to those who have no knowledge of the invisible God, who is as calm as the still air underlying the ethereal air and its motions.

23 A thing may appear different from another, and yet be the same with it. The light in the fire is the same fire. So the visible world arising from invisible Brahma appears as another reality even though it is same as the reality of God. 24 All things whether being or not being exist in God as their invisible and unknown source and cause. Just like clay in the earth is the cause of the would-be doll, the growing tree of a future carving, and the black powder of an ink not yet made. 25 One thing is exhibited as another in the great desert of the Divine Mind that shows the phenomena of the world like figures in a mirage. 26 The wise soul thinks this world as one with its source, Divine Consciousness. In the same way he considers a tree no way different from its parent seed.

27 As the sweetness of milk, the pungency of pepper, the fluidity of water, and the motion of winds are the inseparable properties of their substances, 28 so this creation is inseparable from the spirit of Brahma. It is a mere form of the one Supreme Soul, beside which there is nothing in reality. 29 This world is the manifestation of the luster of the gem of the Divine Mind. It has no other cause except the essence of Brahma, which is nothing other than its material cause, the Supreme Soul itself. 30 The will, the mind, the individual soul, and its consciousness are all the offspring of Divine exercise of Consciousness. There is nothing that can be produced by exertion of any power without direction of Consciousness.

31 There is nothing that rises or sets anywhere, or appears or disappears at anytime. Everything is unborn at all times and lies quiet in Divine Consciousness which is as solid as a massive rock. 32 It is imagination to explain things as formations of multitudes of combinations of atoms and to suppose every particle to be composed of minute infinitesimals because none of them could combine of themselves except by direction of the eternal mind. 33 All force resides in some living principle, just as the waking, sleeping and dreaming states appertain to the individual soul, and as the undulation of waves exists in the water or the current of the stream that lies hidden in it.

34 When the individual soul feels renunciation towards worldly enjoyments, scriptures say it has reached its highest perfection. 35 As the mind is freed from its choice and dislike of things, so the soul is liberated by avoiding its egoism and personality. Then it no longer is conscious of the pain that attends future birth and reincarnation. 36 Whoever in his understanding comes to know this state of supreme and inexpressible joy, he is sure to overcome all his worldly appetites that bind him fast to this earth. 37 But whoever labors in his mind with affections to this world, he has to wander in it continually like in the whirlpool of a stream, and he destroys the supreme joy of his soul in his continuous turmoil.

38 It was the lotus-born Brahma who was first conscious of his egoism and who, by the will of his mind, spread out this universe.