Chapter 81 — The King’s Answers

The Rakshasi said, “Well said, O councilor! Your explanations are sanctifying and filled with spiritual doctrines. Now let the king with lotus eyes answer the other questions.”

The king answered:—

He whose belief consists in the renunciation of all reliance on this world, and whose attainment depends upon forsaking all the desires of the heart, whose expansion and contraction causes the creation and extinction of the world, who is the object of the doctrines of Vedanta, and who is inexpressible by words or speech of humankind, who is between the two extremes of doubt (whether he is or is not), and who is between both extremes (that he is and is not), and whose pleasure (will) displays the world with all its animate and inanimate beings, whose universal permeation does not destroy His unity, who being the soul of all is still but one, He alone, O lady, is truly said to be the eternal Brahma.

This minute particle is falsely conceived as spirit (air) because it is invisible to the naked eye, but in truth, it is neither air nor any other thing except pure Consciousness. This smallest of particles is said to be sound or words, but it is error to say so because it is far beyond the reach of sound or the sense of words. That particle is all yet nothing. It is neither I, you or he. It is the Almighty Soul and its power is the cause of all. It is the soul that is attainable with great pains, and which being gained adds nothing to our possession. But its attainment is attended with the gain of the Supreme Soul. There is no better gain.

10 Ignorance of the soul stretches the bonds of our worldliness and repeated reincarnations with their evils growing like the rankest weeds in spring, until they are rooted out by spiritual knowledge. 11 Those who are in easy circumstances in life lose their souls by viewing themselves only as solid bodies that rise quickly to view like a dense mirage by light of the sun.

12 This particle of self-consciousness contains Mount Meru and the three worlds in itself like bits of straw. They are distinguished from it in order to present their delusive appearances to us. 13 Whatever is imprinted in consciousness appears expressed without it. The fond embrace of passionate lovers in dream and imagination serves to exemplify this truth. 14 As Consciousness rose of itself with its omnipotent Will at the first creation of the world, so it exercises the same volition in its subsequent formations also, like sprigs growing from the joints of reeds and grass. 15 The hobby that enters the heart also shows itself on the outside, as in the example of children’s whims.

16 The minute intellect, small as an atom and as subtle as the air, fills the whole universe on all sides. 18 As a cunning and conceited man deludes young girls by gestures, calls, winks and glances, 19 so the holy look of Divine Consciousness serves as a prelude to the endless rotating dance of worlds with all their hills and contents. 20 It is that atom of consciousness that envelops all things within its consciousness, and represents also their forms outside it, just like a picture on canvas shows the figures of the hills and trees drawn in it, standing out as in bas-relief.

21 The Divine Spirit is as minute as the hundredth part of the point of a hair, yet it is larger than the hills it hides in itself, and as vast as infinity, being unlimited by any measure of space or time. 22 The comparison of the vast emptiness of divine understanding with a particle of air is not an exact simile. It is like comparing a mountain with a mustard seed, which is absurd. 23 The minuteness attributed to the Divine Spirit (in the Vedas) is as false as attributing different colors to a peacock’s feathers, and of jewelry to gold, which can not be applicable to the spirit.

24 It is that bright lamp that has brought forth light from its thought without any loss of its own essential brightness. 25 If the sun and other luminous bodies in the world were dull and dark in the beginning, then what was the nature of the primeval light and where was it? 26 The pure essence of the mind situated in the soul saw the light displayed on the outside by its internal particle of the intellect. 27 There is no difference between the lights of the sun, moon and fire and the darkness, out of which these lights were produced. The only difference is that of the two colors, black and white. 28 As the difference between clouds and snows consists in the blackness of the one and whiteness of the other, such is the difference between light and darkness, only in their colors not in their substance. 29 Both of these being inanimate in their nature, there is no difference between them. They both disappear or join with one another before the light of consciousness. They disappear before the intellectual light of the yogi who, under the blaze of his consciousness, perceives no physical light or darkness in his abstract meditation. They join together as light and shade, the shadow inseparably following the light.

30 The sun of consciousness shines by day and night without setting or sleeping. It shines in the bosom of even hard stones without being clouded or having its rise or fall. 31 The light of this blazing soul has lighted the sun, which diffuses its light all over the three worlds. It has filled the capacious womb of earth with a variety of provisions, just they store large baskets of food in a warehouse. 32 It enlightens darkness without destroying itself, and the darkness that receives the light becomes as enlightened as light itself.

33 As the shinning sun brings the lotus buds to light, so the light of the Divine Spirit enlightens our intellects amidst the gloom of ignorance that envelopes them. 34 As the sun displays himself by making day and night by his rise and fall, so does the intellect show itself by its development and restraint by turns. 35 All our notions and ideas are contained in the particle of the intellect, just like a healthy seed contains in its breast the leaves, flowers and fruits of the future tree. 36 These and all the powers of the mind develop themselves in their proper times, like flowers and fruits make their appearance in spring and proper seasons.

37 The particle of Divine Spirit is altogether tasteless, being so very flavorless and devoid of qualities, yet it is always delicious as the giver of flavor to all things. 38 All tastes abide in the waters (water being the receptacle of taste), like a mirror is the recipient of a shadow, but savor, like the shadow, is not the substance. It is the essence of the spirit that gives it the flavor.

39 All bodies that exist in the world and are unconsciousness of Him are forsaken by the atomic spirit of the Supreme, but they remain dependant upon Him, by the consciousness of the divine particle shining in their souls.

In answer to “who are forsaken by and supported by the Divine Spirit,” 40 it is He who, being unable to wrap himself, wraps the world in Him by spreading out the clothing of his atomic consciousness over all existence. 41 The Supreme Spirit is of the form of infinite space. It cannot hide itself in anything within its sphere, which would be like hiding an elephant in grass. 42 Yet this all-knowing spirit encompasses the world, knowing it to be a trifle, just like a child holding a grain of rice in his hand. This is an act of illusion (maya).

43 The spirit of God exists even after the dissolution of the world by relying in his consciousness (chit), just like plants survive the spring by the sap they have derived from it. 44 It is the essence of Consciousness that gives rise to the world, just as the garden continues to flourish by the nourishment of the spring season. 45 Know the world is truly a transformation of consciousness, and all its productions are like plants in the great garden of the world, nourished by the spring juice of consciousness. 46 It is the sap supplied by the intellectual particle that makes all things grow up with myriads of arms and eyes. In the same manner the atom of a seed produces plants with a thousand branches and fruit.

47 Myriads of kalpas amount to an infinitesimal part of a twinkling of the atomic consciousness, as a momentary dream presents a man with all the periods of his life, from youth to age. In answer to, “What twinkling of the eye appears as many thousand kalpas,” 48 even this infinitesimal of a twinkling is too long for thousands of kalpas. The whole duration of existence is as short as a wink of His eye. 49 Only an idea makes a twinkling appear a kalpa or many kalpas, just as the idea of satiety in starvation is a mere delusion to the deluded soul.

50 Only lust makes the famished feed upon his thoughts of food. Despair of one’s life presents his death before him in his dream. 51 All worlds reside in the intellectual soul within the atom of its consciousness. Outer worlds are only reflections of the inner prototype. 52 Whatever object appears to be situated anywhere, it is only a representation of its model in some place or other, and resembles the appearance of figures in bas-relief on any part of a pillar. But the changes occurring in external phenomena are no results of the internal, which being the serene vacuum is subject to no change.

53 All existences present in Consciousness at this moment are the same as they have existed, and will ever exist inwardly, like trees in their seeds. 54 The atom of Consciousness contains the moments and ages of time, like grain within the husk. It contains these in the seed within the infinite soul of God.

55 The Soul remains quite aloof as if retired from the world, in spite of the existence and dependence of the world upon the Soul. The Divine Soul at all times remains unconcerned with its creation and its preservation. 56 The essence of the world springs from the atom of pure Consciousness. However, Consciousness itself remains apart from both the states of action and passion.

57 There is nothing created or dissolved in the world by anybody at anytime. All apparent changes are caused by the delusion of our vision. 58 This world with all its contents is as empty as the vault of the empty atmosphere. We apply the word ‘world’ to phenomena, but it is an insignificant term signifying nothing. 59 It is the particle of consciousness that is led by the delusion of maya to view scenes situated in the Divine Soul in the outward appearance of the world of phenomena.

60 The words ‘external’ and ‘internal’ as applied to the world are meaningless and not positive terms. There is no inside or outside of the Divine Soul. These are contrived for the instruction of pupils to explain its different views by consciousness. 61 The viewer looking into the invisible being within himself comes to see the soul. He who looks on the outside with his open eyes comes to view the unreal as real. 62 Therefore whoever looks into the soul can never see false phenomena as realities as others do. 63 It is the internal sight of consciousness that looks into the inner soul which is without all desires. The external eyes are mere organs to look upon the false appearance of outer objects.

64 There can be no object of sight unless there is a looker, just like there can be no child without its parent. This duality arises from the lack of knowing their unity. 65 The viewer himself becomes the view as there can be no view without its viewer. Nobody prepares any food, unless there is somebody to feed upon it. 66 It is in the power of consciousness (imagination) to create the views of its vision, just like it lies in the capacity of gold to produce all the various forms of jewelry. 67 The inanimate view never has or can have the ability of producing its viewer, just like the golden bracelet has no power of bringing gold into being.

68 Consciousness, having the faculty of reasoning (chetana), forms thoughts of what can be perceived (chetyas) within itself, which however unreal are falsely viewed as real by its intellectual vision to its own deception, just like the deception caused by the appearance of jewelry in gold. 69 The viewer (Divine Consciousness), being transformed to the view (of the visible world), is no more perceptible in it than the jewelry of gold and not gold itself. 70 Thus the viewer becoming the view still views himself as the viewer, as gold transformed into jewelry is always looked upon as gold.

71 There being only one unity apparent in all nature, it is useless to talk of the duality of the viewer and view. A word with a masculine suffix cannot give the sense of a neuter noun. 72 The viewer who feasts his eyes seeing the outer visible world cannot have sight of the inner soul with the internal eyes of his consciousness. But when the viewer shuts out the outer view, all its realities appear as unreal. 73 When the viewer perceives the unreality of what can be seen by the light of his understanding, then he comes to see the true reality. So by withdrawing the mind from seeing the bracelet form, one comes to see only its nature of gold. 74 If what can be seen is present, there must also be their viewers to whose view they are apparent. It is the absence of both viewer and the seen, and the knowledge of their unreality, that produce the belief of unity.

75 The man who considers all things in the humility of his conscious soul comes at last to perceive something in him that is serenely clear and which no words can express. 76 The minute particle of consciousness shows us the sight of the soul as clearly as a lamp enlightens everything in the dark. (Answer to, “Who shows the soul as clearly as a visible thing?”) 77 The intelligent soul is without perception of the measure, measurer and measured, like liquid gold dissolved from its form of an ornament.

78 There is nothing that is not composed of the elements of earth, water and the like. Therefore, there is nothing in nature that is apart from the nature of the atomic consciousness. 79 The thinking soul penetrates into all things in the form of their notions. Because all thoughts concentrate in the intellect, there is nothing apart from it. 80 Our desires being the parents of our wished for objects, our desires are the same as our desired. Therefore there is no difference between our desires and the object of our desire, just like there is none between the sea and its waves.

81 The Supreme Soul exists alone unbounded by time or space. Being the Universal Soul, it is the soul of all. Being omniscient, it is no dull matter at all. 82 The self-existent, being only consciousness, is not perceptible to sight. There is unity and no duality in it, but all forms unite into one in the great self of the Supreme. 83 If there is a duality, it is the one and its unity. The unity and duality of the Universal Soul are both as true as the light and its shade joined together. 84 Where there is no duality or any number above it, unity can have no application to anything, and where there is no unity, there cannot be any two or more over it because they are only repetitions of the unity.

85 Anything is in itself such as it is. It cannot be more or less than itself, but is identical with itself like water and its fluidity. 86 The multiplicity of forms which it exhibits blends into a harmonic whole without conflict with one another. The varieties within creation are contained in Brahma, like a tree with all its several parts in the embryonic seed. 87 Its dualism is as inseparable from it as the bracelet from its gold. Although the many forms in nature are evident to comprehensive understanding, yet it is not true of the true Entity. 88 Like fluidity of water, the movement of air, and the emptiness of the sky, this variety of forms is an inseparable property of God. 89 A systematic inquiry into unity and duality is the cause of misery to the restless spirit. It is the lack of any such distinction that is the highest knowledge.

90 The measure, measurement and measurer of all things, and the viewer, view and vision of the visible world are all dependent on the atom of consciousness that contains them all. 91 The atom of Divine Consciousness spreads out and contracts in itself by an inflation of its spirit as it were by a breath of air. These mountainous orbs of the world are like its limbs. 92 O the wonder and great wonder of wonders that this atom of consciousness should contain in its embryo all the three regions of the worlds, above and below one another. 93 It is an incredible delusion that must always remain an inexplicable riddle, how the enormous universe is contained in the minute atom of Consciousness.

94 As a pot contains the seed with a huge tree within its cell, so the Divine Soul contains the atom of consciousness containing the chains of worlds outstretched within itself. 95 The all-seeing eye simultaneously sees all the worlds situated within the bosom of the intellect, as microscopic sight discovers the parts of the future tree concealed in the seed. 96 The expansion of the world in the atom of Consciousness is analogous to the enlargement of the hidden parts of the seed into leaves, branches, flowers and fruit. 97 As the many forms of the future tree is contained in the uniform substance within the seed, it is in like manner that the multiplicity of worlds is situated in the unity of the atomic Consciousness. Such can be is seen by anyone who will but look into it.

98 It is neither a unity nor a duality, neither seed or its sprout. It is not thin or thick, born or unborn. 99 He is neither an entity nor a nonentity, nor graceful nor ungraceful. And though it contains the three worlds with the ether and air, yet it is nothing and has no substance at all.

100 There is no world and no non-world other than consciousness which is all of itself and is said to be such and such in any place or time, as it appears so and so to us there and then. 101 It rises as if un-risen, and expands in its own knowledge. It is selfsame with the Supreme Soul, and as the totality of all selves, it spreads through the entire emptiness like air.

102 Like a tree springs from the ground according to its seed, so the world appears to sight in the form as contained in the seed of consciousness. 103 The plant does not quickly quit its seed, lest it would dry up and die for want of its sap. So the man who sticks to the soul and seed of his being is free from disease and death.

104 Mount Meru is like the filament of a flower compared to the vastness of that atom. Everything that can be sensed has its place in that invisible atom. 105 Meru is truly a filament of the atomic flower of the Divine Soul, and myriads of Merus resemble the cloudy spots rising in the sphere of Consciousness. 106 It is that one great atom that fills the world, after having made it out of itself and given it a visible, extended and material form in its own hollow sphere.

107 As long as the knowledge of duality is not driven out of the mind, it finds the charming form of the world, as in its dream upon waking. But the knowledge of unity liberates the soul from its stay in and return to the world, which it beholds as a mass of the divine essence.