Chapter 93 — Brahma as the Mind: A View of the Genesis of the Mind & Body

Vasishta said:—

Rama, I will now tell you what lord Brahma himself taught me long ago.

From the unspeakable Brahma, there sprang all things in their indefinable ideal state. Then the Spirit of God, being condensed by His Will, came to be produced of itself in the form of the Mind. The Mind formed the notions of the subtle elementary principles in itself and became a personal agent. It became a luminous body and was known as Brahma the first Male (purusha). Therefore Rama, know this same Brahma is situated in the Supreme (parameshthi) and, being a personification of the Will of God, is called the Mind.

Therefore, the Mind known as Lord Brahma is a form of Divine essence and, being full of desires in itself, sees all that it wills (in their indefinable, ideal forms) present before it. The mind then framed or fell of itself into the delusion of seeing its ideal images as substantial. Therefore, it is said that the world of phenomena is the work of Brahma.

The world proceeds in this order from the Supreme Essence. This is why some suppose that its dull material particles came into being from another source. It is from that Brahma, O Rama, that all things situated in this concave world are in being, like waves rising on the surface of the deep. The self existent Brahma that exists in the form of consciousness (chit) before creation assumes the attribute of egoism (ahamkara) and becomes manifest in the person of Brahma. 10 All the other powers of Consciousness that are concentrated in the personality of Ego are equivalent to those of Omnipotence.

11 The world, being evolved from the eternal ideas in Divine Consciousness, manifests itself in the mind of the great father of all, Brahma. 12 The Mind thus moving and modeling all things is called the individual soul (jiva). 13 These individual souls rise and move about in the empty sphere of infinite Consciousness (chidakasa). These unfold by the elementary particles of matter and pass into the open space surrounded by air. Then they reside in the fourteen kinds of animated nature according to the merit and demerit of their prior acts. They enter bodies through the passage of their vital breath, and become the seeds of moving and immovable beings. 14 They are then born of the generative organ, and are suddenly met with the desires of their previous births. Thus led on by the currents of their wishes, they live to reap the reward or retribution of their good or bad acts in the world. 15 Thus bound fast to action and fettered in the meshes of desire, individual souls enchained in their bodies continue to rove about or rise and fall by turns in this changeful world. 16 Scriptures say their wish is the cause of their happiness or sorrow, which is inseparable from the soul as will is from the mind.

17 Thousands of individual souls are falling off as quickly as the leaves of forest trees. Carried away by the force of their pursuits, they are rolling about like fallen leaves blown upward by the breeze in the valleys. 18 Many are brought down by their ignorance of Divine Consciousness (chit) and are bound to innumerable births on this earth, subject to unending reincarnations in various births. 19 There are some who, having passed many mean births in this earth, have risen high in the scale of beings by their tapas to better acts. 20 Same persons acquainted with spirituality have reached their state of perfection and have gone to heaven, like particles of seawater carried into the air by blowing winds.

21 The production of all beings is from the Supreme Brahma, but their appearance and disappearance in this frail world are caused by their own actions. Hence the yogi without actions is free from both these states.

22 Our desires are poisonous plants bearing the fruits of pain and disappointment. They lead us to actions filled with dangers and difficulties. 23 These desires drive us to different countries and to distant hills and valleys in search of gain. 24 This world, O Rama, is a jungle of withered trees and brambles. It requires the axe of reason to clear away these trees and bushes. So our minds and bodies are only plants and trees of our sorrow which, when rooted out by the axe of reason, will grow no more as reincarnations on this earth.