Chapter 103 — The Changing Mind

Vasishta speaking:—

Some minds are seen to break forth in passion like the torrents of oceans, and to heave and overflow on earth on every side. They reduce the great to lowness and exalt the low to greatness. They make strangers of their friends and friends of strangers.

The mind by its thought makes a mountain of a particle, then thinks itself a lord with its little trifle. The mind, elated by prosperity received by the will of God, spreads a large establishment for a while, then in a moment is reduced to poverty at its loss. Whatever things are seen in this world as stationary or changing are all only accidents according to the perspective in which they are seen, just as a passing vessel is thought stationary by its passenger, but as moving by spectators on the shore.

The mind is so changing by the influence of time, place, power and nature of acts and things that it continually shuffles from one feeling to another, like an actor impersonating his many roles on the stage. The mind takes the truth for untruth and its reverse for certainty, so it takes one thing for another and its joy and grief are all of its own making. The fickle mind gets everything according to its own doing, and it regulates all the actions of our hands, feet and other members of the body. Hence it is the mind that reaps the rewards of good or evil according to its past acts, just like the tree bears its fruit according to how it is pruned and watered.

10 As a child makes a variety of toy dolls from clay, so the mind is the maker of all its good and bad according to the merit or demerit of its past actions. 11 Therefore the mind that is situated in the earthen dolls of human bodies can do nothing of its own will unless it is so destined by virtue of its former acts.

12 As the seasons cause changes in trees, so the mind makes differences in the dispositions of living beings. 13 The mind indulges in its sport of deeming an inch a mile, and vice-versa of thinking something long as short, like the operations of our dreams and fancy. 14 A kalpa age is shortened to a moment and a moment is stretched into a kalpa by the different modes of the mind that regulate both the duration of time and the distance between places. 15 The perceptions of the quickness and slowness of motion, and of much or little in quantity, and also of swiftness or slowness of time, belong to the mind and not to the dull material body. 16 The feelings of sickness and error, sorrow and danger, and the passing of time and distance of place all rise in the mind like the leaves and branches of trees.

17 The mind is the cause of all its feelings, just as water is the cause of the sea and heat of fire. Hence the mind is the source of all things. It is intimately connected with whatever exists in the world. 18 The thoughts that we have of agent, effect and instrument of things, and also of the viewer, view and the instrumentality of sight, all belong to the mind. 19 The mind alone is perceived to be in existence in the world, and its representations of forests and all other things are but variations of itself!

So the thinking man sees only the substance of gold, and all its various forms of bangles and bracelets are taken for nothing.