Chapter 121 — The Reality of King Lavana’s Dream Explained; Proof of the Futility of Mind

The tribal continued, “O lord of men! After lapse of some time, there occurred a famine in this place owing to the drought of rain, which broke down all men under its dire pressure. Pressed by extreme scarcity, all our village people scattered far abroad and they perished in famine and never returned. From then on, O lord, we are exposed to utmost misery. We sit here lamenting in our helpless poverty. Behold us lord, all bathed in tears falling profusely from our never drying eyelids.”

Vasishta speaking:—

At hearing these words from the mouth of the elderly lady, the king was lost in wonder. Looking at the face of his follower the faithful minister, he remained in dumb amazement like a figure in a picture. He reflected repeatedly on this strange occurrence and its curious concurrence with his adventures in the dream. He made repeated queries relating to other circumstances. The more he heard and learned, the more he found their coincidence with the occurrences of his vision. He sympathized with their sorrows and saw them in the same state as he had seen them before in his dream. Then he gave suitable gifts and presents to relieve their wants and sorrows. He stayed there a long while and pondered on the decrees of destiny.

Then the wheel of fortune brought him back to his house, where he entered amidst the loud cheers and low salutations of the citizens. In the morning the king appeared in his court hall and sitting there amidst his courtiers, he asked me, “How is it, O sage, that my dream has come to be verified in my presence to each item and to my great surprise? They answered me exactly and to the very point all that I asked of them. They have removed the doubt in my mind of their truth, like winds disperse the clouds of heaven.”

10 Know this, O Rama, it is the illusion of ignorance (avidya) that is the cause of a great many errors. It makes the untruth appear as truth, and represents sober reality as unreality.

11 Rama said, “Tell me sage, how could the dream be verified? It is a mysterious account that cannot find a place in my understanding.”

12 Vasishta replied:—

O Rama, everything is possible to the illusion of ignorance which shows the fallacy of a picture in a pot. Illusion represents the actual occurrences of life as dreams and dreams as realities. 13 Distance appears to be near, as a distant mountain seen in the mirror. A long time seems a short interval, as in a night of undisturbed repose. 14 What is untrue seems to be a truth as in dreaming one’s own death in sleep. That which is impossible appears possible, as in flying in a dream. 15 The stable seems unsteady, as in the false notion of the motion of fixed objects to one passing in a vehicle. The unmoving seem to be moving to one under the influence of his inebriation. 16 The mind infatuated by its interest sees all that it thinks upon within itself as exposed to its view. It sees things in the same light as they are painted in his fancy, whether they exist or not, real or unreal.

17 As soon as the mind contracts its ignorance by its false notions of “I” and “you”, it becomes subject to endless errors without beginning, middle or end. 18 It is notion that gives shape to all things. It makes a kalpa age appear as a moment and it prolongs a moment of time to a whole kalpa. 19 A man deprived of understanding believes himself to have become a sheep, and a fighting ram thinks himself to be a lion in his ideal bravery. 20 Ignorance causes the blunder of taking things for what they are not and falling into the errors of “I” and “you.” All errors in the mind produce errors in actions also. 21 It is by mere accident that men come into possession of the objects of their desire, and it is custom that determines the mode of mutual dealings.

22 Lavana’s memory of his dream living in with the tribals of Pukkasa was the internal cause that represented to him the external picture of that place as if it were a reality. 23 As the human mind is liable to forget many things that it had actually done, so it is susceptible to remember those acts as true which were never done but merely had been thought upon in the mind. 24 In this manner, as long as I am thinking of having eaten something, it appears true to me even though I am really fasting. The thought that I have been in a distant country in a dream appears true to me while I think the thought.

25 This is how the king came to find the same conduct where the tribals lived by the Vindhya Mountains. He had been impressed with its notion in his dream as said before. 26 Again, Lavana’s false dream of the tribals took possession of their minds also. 27 The notion of Lavana settled in the minds of the tribals just like the thoughts of these people arose in the mind of the king.

28 The same sentiments and figures of speech occur to different poets of distant ages and countries, so it should not be unexpected that the same thoughts and ideas should rise simultaneously in the minds of different men. 29 In common experience, we find notions and ideas stand for the things themselves, otherwise nothing is known to exist at all without our mind’s notion or idea of it. 30 One idea embraces many others under it, like those of waves and currents are contained under that of water. So one thought is associated by others relating its past, present and future conditions of being, just as the thought of a seed accompanies the thoughts of its past and future states and its fruits and flowers of the tree.

31 Nothing is an entity or a non-entity and nothing can be said to exist or not exist unless we have a positive idea of its existence or a negative notion of its non-existence. 32 All that we see in our error is as non-existent as oil in sand. In reality, the bracelet is nothing but a form of the substance of gold. 33 A fallacy can have no connection with the reality, just as the fallacy of the world with the reality of God, the fallacy of the ring with the substance of gold, and of the serpent with the rope. The connection or mutual relation of things of the same kind is quite evident in our minds.

34 The relationship between gum resin and the tree is one of dissimilar union and affords no distinct ideas except that the tree contains the gum. 35 As all things are full of the Spirit, so we have distinct ideas of them in our minds. Minds are also spiritual substances. They are not like dull material stones which have no feelings. 36 All things in the world are intellectually true and real. Therefore we have their ideas impressed in our minds. 37 There cannot be a relationship or connection between two dissimilar things which may be lasting but are never united together. Without such mutual relation of things, no idea of both can be formed together. 38 Similar things being joined together form the wholes of the same kind, presenting one form and differing in nothing. 39 Consciousness being joined with an abstract idea produces an invisible, inner and uniform thought. Dull matter joined to another dull object forms a denser material object to view. But consciousness and material can never unite together owing to their different natures.

40 The intellectual and material parts of a person can never be drawn together in any picture. The material picture lacks the intellectual part which has consciousness and the power of knowledge. 41 Intellectual beings do not take into account the different material things like wood and stone which combine for some useful purpose, such building a house. 42 The relationship between the tongue and taste is also homogeneous. Taste and the instrument of tasting are both watery substances and there is no heterogeneous relation between them. 43 But there is no relation between consciousness and matter, like there is between stone and wood. Consciousness cannot combine with wood and stone to form anything.

44 Spiritually considered, all things are alike because they are full of the same spirit. Otherwise the error of distinction between the viewer and the view creates endless differences, like those between wood and stones and other things. 45 The combination of unseen spirits is easily conceived because spirits can assume any form at one’s pleasure and having no end.

46 Know, you who seek truth, that all things are identical with the entity of God. Renounce your knowledge of non-entities and the various kinds of errors and fallacies and know the one as all. 47 Consciousness is full with its knowledge, so there is nothing lacking in us. Consciousness presents us everything in its circumference, just like imagination in its wide range shows us the sights of its air-built castles and everything beside. 48 To Him there is no limit of time or place, but his presence extends over all his creation. Ignorance separates the creator from creation and raises the errors of “I” and “you.”

49 Forgetting the knowledge of the substance of gold, man contracts the error of taking it for the form of ornament. The mistake of jewelry for gold is like taking one thing for another, and mistaking the production for the producer. 50 The error of phenomenon vanishes upon loss of its sight, and the differences among pieces of jewelry is lost in the substance of gold. 51 The knowledge of unity removes that of a distinct creation, just as the knowledge of clay takes away the sense of toy soldiers made from it.

52 The same Brahma causes the error of the reality of the exterior worlds, just as the underlying sea causes the error of waves on its surface. The same wood is mistaken for the carved figure, and common clay is mistaken for the pot made of it.

53 Between sight and its object lies the eye of the beholder which is beyond the sight of its viewer and is neither the view nor the viewer. 54 The mind traversing from one place to another leaves the body in between, which is neither moving nor quite unmoved because only its mental part is in its moving state.

55 Remain always in that quiet state which is not waking, dreaming or sleeping, and which is not the state of consciousness or unconsciousness, but one of everlasting tranquility and rest. 56 Drive away your dullness and remain always in the company of your sound intellect like a solid rock. Whether in joy or grief, commit your soul to your maker. 57 There is nothing to lose or earn in this world. Therefore remain in uniform joy and bliss whether you think yourself to be blessed or unblessed in life. 58 The soul residing in your body neither loves nor hates anything at anytime. Therefore rest in quiet and fear nothing for what happens to your body. Do not engage your mind with the actions of your body. 59 Remain free from anxiety about the present, just as you are unconcerned about the future. Never be impelled by the impulses of your mind but remain steadfast in your trust in the true God. 60 Be unconcerned with all and remain as an absent man. Let your heart remain detached from everything like a block of stone or a toy made of wood. Look with the spiritual light of your soul and see your mind as an inanimate thing.

61 As there is no water in stone or fire in water, so the spiritual man has no mental action, nor does the Divine Spirit have any. 62 If something unseen should ever come to do any action, that action is not attributed to the unseen agent but to something else in the mind. 63 The uncontrolled selfish (unspiritual) man who follows the dictates of his fickle and willful mind resembles a man of the border land following the customs of outcastes or barbarians.

64 Having disregarded the dictates of your vile mind, you may remain at ease and as fearless as an unconscious statue made of clay. 65 He who understands that there is no such thing as the mind, or that he had one before but it is dead in him today, becomes as immovable as a marble statue with this assurance in himself. 66 There being no appearance of the mind in any case, and you having no such thing in you in reality except your soul, then say, why do you vainly infer its existence for your own error and harm? 67 Those who vainly subject themselves to the false apparition of the mind are mostly men of unsound understandings who bring destruction on themselves instead of the full moon of the pure soul.

68 Remain firm as you are with yourself (soul) by casting your fancied and fanciful mind far away from you. Be free from the thoughts of the world by being settled in the thought of the Supreme Soul. 69 They who follow a non-existence such as the unreal mind are like fools who shoot at the empty air and are cast into the shade. 70 He who has cleansed off his mind is indeed a man of great understanding. He has gone across the error of the existence of the world and has become purified in his soul.

We have considered long and we have never found anything like the impure mind in the pure soul.