Chapter 66 — Individual Souls Mistake Subjective for Objective

Thus Rama, there is one true essence which appears as many by our mistake. This variety is caused by the production of one from the other, as one lamp is lighted from another. By knowing one’s self as nothing, as it was before it came into being, and by considering the falsity of his notions, no one can have any cause for grief. Man is only a being of his own conception. By getting rid of this concept, he is freed from his idea of the duality of the world, just as one wearing shoes perceives the whole earth he treads upon to be covered with skin. As the plantain tree has no pith except its manifold coats, so there is no materiality to the world other than our false conceptions of it.

Our births are followed by childhood, youth, old age and death, one after the other, and then opens the prospect of a heaven or hell to our view, like passing phantoms before the flighty mind. As the clear eye sees bubbles of light in the empty sky, so the thoughtless mind sees the sky full of luminous bodies (which are only phantoms of the brain). As the one moon appears as two to the dim sighted eye, so the intellect, corrupted by influence of the senses, sees a duality in the unity of the Supreme Spirit. As the giddiness of wine presents the pictures of trees before the drunken eye, so does the inebriation of sensation present the phantoms of the world before the excited intellect. Know the revolution of the visible world to resemble the revolving wheel of a potter’s mill which they turn about in play like the rotating ball of a terrestrial globe.

10 When the consciousness thinks of another thing as something other than itself, it falls into the error of dualism. But when it concentrates its thoughts within, it loses the sense of objective duality.

11 There is nothing beside Consciousness except the thoughts on which it dwells. Its sensations are all at rest as it comes to know the non-existence of objects.

12 When the weak intellect is quiet by its union with the Supreme and by suppression of its functions, it is then called quiescent or indifferent (sansanta). 13 It is the weak intellect that thinks of external things, but sound understanding ceases all thoughts. It is a slight intoxication that makes one rave and revel about, while deep drinking is dead to all excitements. 14 When sound and consummate understanding runs in one course towards its main reservoir of the Supreme, it becomes divested of its knowledge of the external things and, in the presence of the one and no other, it also loses its self-consciousness. 15 Perfected understanding finds the errors to which it is exposed by its sensation of the external things and comes to know that birth and life and all acts and sights of the living state are as false as dreams.

16 The mind, being repressed from its natural flight, can have no thought of anything. It is lost in itself. When the natural heat of fire or motion of the wind become extinct, they are annihilated of themselves. 17 Without the suppression of mental operations, the mind must continue in its misconceptions, like that of mistaking a rope for a snake through ignorance.

18 It is not difficult to repress the action of the mind and rouse our consciousness in order to heal our souls of the malady of their mistaken notion of the world. 19 If you can succeed suppressing the desires of your restless mind at anytime, you are sure to obtain your liberation even instantly and without fail. 20 If you will only turn to the side of your subjective consciousness, you will get rid of the objective world in the same manner as one is freed from his fear of snake in a rope by his examination of the thing. 21 If it is possible to get rid of the restless mind, which is the source of all our desires, then it is possible for anyone to attain the chief end of liberation.

22 When high minded men are seen to give up their lives like straws (in an honorable cause), there is no reason why they should be reluctant to abandon their desires for the sake of their chief good of liberation. 23 Remain unfettered by forsaking the desires of your greedy mind. What is the good of getting sensible objects that we are sure to lose? 24 The liberated are already in sight of the immortality of their souls and of God, like one who has fruit in his hand or sees a mountain visible before him.

25 It is only the Spirit of God that abides in everything in these world appearances which rise to be seen like the waves of the waters of the great deluge. It is His knowledge that is attended with the supreme good of liberation. Ignorance of that Supreme Being binds the mind to the interminable bondage of the world.