1 Vasishta continued:—
I have told you how the mind originates from the essence of the Supreme Being. It is of the same kind, and yet not the same with its source, but like the waves and waters of the sea. 2 The minds of the enlightened are not different from the Divine Mind because those who have knowledge of the community of waters do not regard the waves as different from the waters of the sea. 3 The minds of the unenlightened are the causes of their error, because those not knowing the common property of water find a difference between waves and the sea.
4 For the instruction of the unlearned, it is necessary to teach them about the relationship between significant words and their meanings.
5 The Supreme Brahman is omnipotent, full and perfect and without decay forever. The mind does not have these properties that belong to the omnipresent soul. 6 The Lord is almighty and omnipresent and distributes his all-diffusive power in proportion as he pleases to everyone he likes. 7 Observe Rama, how intellectual powers are distributed in all animated bodies, and how His moving force is spread in the air, and His immobility rests in rocks and stones. 8 His power of fluidity is deposited in water, and His power of inflammation is exhibited in fire. His emptiness manifests in vacuum, and His substantiality is in all solid substances. 9 The omnipotence of Brahman is seen to stretch itself to all ten sides of the universe. His power of annihilation is seen in the extinction of beings. His punishment is evident in the sorrows of the miserable. 10 His joy is felt in the hearts of the holy, and His prowess is seen in the bodies of giants. His creative power is known in the works of His creation, and His power of destruction is displayed in the desolation of the world at the end of the great kalpa age.
11 Everything is situated in Brahman, just as the tree is contained in the seed of the same kind and afterwards develops in its roots, sprouts, leaves and branches, and finally its flowers and fruit. 12 The power called the living principle is a reflection of God. It has a nature between the thinking mind and dull matter, and it is derived from Brahman. 13 The nature of God is unchangeable, although it is usual to attribute many varieties to him, just like we call the same vegetable by different names at its different stages of growth, like a germ, a sprout, a shrub, a plant and a tree.
14 Rama, know that the entire world is Brahman who is otherwise called the Ego. He is the all pervading soul and the everlasting stupendous fabric of the cosmos. 15 That property in Him that has the power of thinking is called the mind. The mind appears to be something other than the Soul, thus we falsely see peacock’s feathers in the sky and froth in whirlpools of water. 16 The principles of thought, animation, mind and life are only partial reflections of the Divine Soul. The form of mind is the faculty of thought, just as that of life is the power of motion.
17 Thus the mind, being only the thinking power of Brahman, receives the name of Brahma. This power appearing as a part of the impersonal Brahman is identified with Ego (the personal Brahma). 18 It is our error to differ between the soul and mind, and Brahman and Brahma, because the properties that belong to the mind are the same as those of the self-existent Soul. 19 That which is variously named the principle of mind or thought is the same power of omnipotence that is settled in the mind. 20 So all the properties of the individual soul are contained in and derive from the Universal Soul of Brahma, just like all the properties of vegetation, blossoming and fructification of trees are contained in the season of spring and are dispensed among plants agreeably to their respective soil, climate and other environments.
21 As the earth yields its various fruits and flowers in their season, so the hearts and minds of men entertain their thoughts and passions in their proper times. Some appearing at one time and others at another. 22 As the earth produces its harvests according to their particular soil and season, so the heart and mind exhibit their thoughts and feelings of their own accord, and not caused by another.
23 The numbers and forms that convey ideas, as distinguished from others of the same kind (such as the figures in arithmetic and geometry), are all expressed in words coined by the mind from the mint of the mind of Brahma, the original source of ideas. 24 The mind adopts the same image as the reflections which it receives from without or the thoughts and imaginations it forms of itself. The example of the ten Aindava brothers serves to support this truth. 25 The animating principle (jiva) that is the cause of this creation resides in the Supreme Spirit, like the fluctuation seen over the still waters of the oceans.
26 The intelligent soul, as he beholds the innumerable waves, billows and surges of the sea rolling on the surface of the waters, sees these hosts of creation to be moving in the essence of Brahma. 27 There is no other reality that bears a name or form or figure or any action or motion except the Supreme Spirit in which all things move about like waves of sea water. 28 As the rising and falling and continuation and disappearance of waves occur on the surface of the sea by the fluctuation of its waters, so the creation, preservation and annihilation of the universe take place in Brahma by the agency of Brahma himself.
29 It is by the inner heat of his spirit that Brahma causes this world to appear like a mirage in himself. Whatever varieties it presents in its various scenes, they are all expansions and manifestations of the Divine Spirit. 30 All causality and instrumentality, and their effects as well as the production, continuation and destruction of all things, take place in Brahma himself, beside which there is no other cause whatever.
31 There is no craving or pleasure, or any desire or error in he who rests his dependence in the Supreme. How can one have any desire or error in himself who lives in the Supreme Self that is devoid of them? 32 Everything is a form of the Supreme Soul. All things are only forms of the Supreme Soul. The mind also is a form of it, just like a golden ornament is only a form of the gold.
33 The mind that is ignorant of its Supreme Origin is called the individual soul. Its ignorance of the Supreme Soul resembles a friend who has alienated himself from his true friend. 34 The mind misled by its ignorance of the all-intelligent God imagines its own personality to be a reality. It is like one who believes his individual soul to be produced from nothing. 35 The individual soul, although it is a particle of the Supreme Soul, shows itself in this world as no soul at all (but a form of mere physical vitality). So the weak in understanding see two moons in the sky and are unable to distinguish the true moon from the false one.
36 Because the soul is the only real entity, it is improper to speak of its bondage and liberation. The imputation of error to the soul is quite absurd in the sight of lexicographers, who define it as infallible. 37 It is a wrong impression to speak of the bondage of the soul which is ever free from bonds. It is untrue to seek the emancipation of the soul which is always emancipate.
38 Rama asked, “Sometimes the mind is certain, then it becomes uncertain. How then do you say that the mind is not under the bondage of error?”
39 Vasishta answered:—
It is a false conceit of the ignorant to imagine its bondage. Emancipation is their imagination, an equally false conception.
40 Ignorance of the Smriti scripture causes one to believe in his bondage and emancipation. In reality there are no such things as bondage and liberation. 41 Imagination represents an unreality as reality, even to men of enlightened understandings, like a rope presents the appearance of a snake even to the wise. 42 The wise man knows no bondage or liberation or any error of any kind. All these three are only ideas of the ignorant.
43 At first the mind, then its bondage and liberation, and afterwards its creation of the unsubstantial material world, are all only fabulous inventions that have come into vogue among men, as the story of the boy of old.