Chapter 11 — Yama (Time) on the Mind as the Cause Producing the World

Yama (Time) continued:—

Your son is still engaged in his rigorous austerities on the bank of the Samanga River, rolling with its loud waves on the beach, and the winds blowing and howling from all sides. He has been sitting still in his firm tapas with matted braids of hair on his head and beads of rudraksha seeds in his hand and controlling the members of his body from going astray.

O venerable sage, if you wish to know the dreams in his mind, you shall have to open your intellectual eye in order to pry into the thoughts of others.

Vasishta said:—

Saying so, Yama, the lord of world who sees all at one view, made the muni dive with his intellectual eye into the thoughts of his son. By his perception, the sage immediately saw all the incidents in the sequence of births in his son’s mind as if they were reflected in the mirror of his own mind. Having seen the mind of his son in his own mind, the muni returned from the bank of Samanga to his own body on Mount Mandara where it was left in its sitting posture in the presence of Yama.

Surprised at what he saw, the sage looked upon Yama with a smile. Dispassionate as he was, he spoke to the god in the following soft and dispassionate words.

Bhrigu speaking:—

O god who is lord of past and future, we are only ignorant children before you, whose brilliant insight sees at once the three times of past, present and future. The knowledge of the existence of the world, by its varying forms and fluctuations, whether it is a real entity or not, is the source of all errors of the wisest of men. 10 It is you, O powerful god, who knows what is inside this world, while to us it presents its outward figure only in the shape of a magic scene.

11 I knew very well that my son is not subject to death. Therefore I was struck with wonder to see him lying like a dead body. 12 Thinking that the imperishable soul of my son was snatched by death, I was led to the brainless desire of cursing you on his untimely death. 13 For though we know the course of things in the world, yet we are subject to impulses of joy and grief owing to prosperity and adversity.

14 Moreover, to be angry with wrong doers, and to be pleased with those that act rightly, have become the general rule in the course of the world. 15 As we are subject to the error of the reality of the world, we labor under the sense of what is our duty, and what we must refrain from. But deliverance from this error removes all such responsibilities from us. 16 When we fret at death, without understanding its intention, we are to be blamed, of course.

17 You have made me acquainted with the thoughts of my son. I can see the whole scene on the bank of Samanga River.

18 Of the two bodies of men, the mind alone is omnipresent, the leader of the outer body of animated beings. The mind therefore is the true body that reflects and makes us conscious of the existence of ourselves, as also of the exterior world.

19 Yama replied:—

You have rightly said, O brahmin, that the mind is the true body of man. It is the mind that molds the body according to its will, just as the potter makes a pot at his pleasure. 20 The mind frames a form and gives a feature to the person that it did not have before, and it destroys one in existence in a moment. Imagination gives an image to an airy nothing, like children see ghosts before them in the dark. 21 It is well known to everybody that the mind’s power creates apparent realities out of absolute unreality, in dream and delirium, in misconceptions and fallacies and all kinds of error, like the sight of magic cities and talismans.

22 It is from their reliance on visual sight that men consider the material body to be the principal body, and they conceive the mind as a secondary or supplementary part.

23 It was the Divine Mind that formed the world from its thought. Therefore the world of phenomena is neither a substance by itself nor is it a nothing. 24 The mind is part of the body and spreads itself into many forms through its thoughts and desires, like the branch of a tree shoots forth in blossoms and leaves. As we see two moons by optical deception, so one mind appears as many in many individuals.

25 The variety of the mind’s desires makes it perceive and produce varieties of things, like pots and pictures and the like. 26 The same mind thinks itself as many by the diversity of its thoughts, such as “I am weak,” “I am poor,” “I am ignorant,” and the like. 27 The thought, “I am none of the fancied forms which I feign to myself, but of that form from where I am,” causes the mind to be one with the everlasting Brahman by divesting it of the thoughts of all other things.

28 All things springing from Brahma sink at last in him, like the huge waves of the wide and billowy ocean rise only to subside in its calm and undisturbed waters below. 29 They sink in the Supreme Spirit, resembling one vast body of pure, transparent, cold and sweet water, and like a vast mine of brilliant gems of unfailing brightness.

30 One thinking himself to be a little wave diminishes his soul to littleness. 31 But one believing himself to be a large wave enlarges his spirit to greatness. 32 He who thinks of himself as a little being, fallen from above to suffer in the nether world, is born upon earth in the form he took for his pattern. 33 But he who thinks himself to be born to greatness soon rises by his energy and becomes as big as a hill and shines with the luster of rich gems growing upon it.

34 He rests in peace who thinks himself to be in the cooling orb of the moon. Otherwise the body is consumed with cares, like a tree on the bank is burnt down by fire. 35 Others like forest trees are fixed and silent and shudder for fear of being burnt down by the wildfire of the world, though they are situated at ease, such as beside the running streams of limpid water, and as high as on mountain tops of inaccessible height.

36 Those who think they are surrounded by worldly affairs are like wide-stretching trees awaiting their fall by impending blasts of wind. 37 Those who wail aloud for being broken to pieces under the pressure of their misery are like the noisy waves of the sea breaking against the shore and shedding their tears in the form of watery spray. 38 But the waves are not of one kind, nor are they altogether entities or nullities in nature. They are neither small or large nor high or low, nor do these qualities abide in them. 39 Waves do not abide in the sea, nor are they without the sea or the sea without them. They are of the nature of desires in the soul, rising and setting at their own accord.

40 The dead are undying and the living are not living. Thus is the law of their mutual succession which nothing can prevent or alter.

41 As water is universally the same and transparent in its nature, so the all pervading spirit of God is pure and holy in every place. 42 This one and the same spirit is the body of God and is called the transparent Brahman. It is omnipotent and everlasting and constitutes the whole world appearing as distinct from it. 43 The many wonderful powers that it contains are all active in their various ways. The different powers produce different ends and are all contained in that same body. All the natural and material forces have the Divine Spirit for their focus. 44 Brahma was produced in Brahman just as the wave is produced in water. Male and female are produced from the neuter Brahman, changed to and forming both of them.

45 That which is called the world is only an attribute of Brahma. There is not the slightest difference between Brahma and the world. 46 Truly this plenitude is Brahma, and the world is nothing other than Brahma himself. Think intently upon this truth and shun all other false beliefs.

47 There is one eternal law that presides over all things, and this one law branches forth into many, bringing forth a hundred varieties of effects. The world is a collection of laws that are only manifestations of the Almighty power and omniscience. 48 Both the inert and active proceed from the same, and the mind proceeds from the consciousness (chit) of God. Various desires evolve by the power of the mind from their exact prototypes in the Supreme Soul.

49 Therefore it is Brahma that manifests itself in the visible world and is full with various forms, like the sea with all its waves and surges. 50 It assumes to itself all varieties of forms by its volition of evolution or the will of becoming many. It is spirit that displays itself in itself and by itself, like seawater displays its waves in its own water and by itself. 51 As the various waves are nothing other than seawater, so all these phenomena are not different from the essence of the Lord of the world.

52 As the same seed develops itself in the various forms of branches and buds, twigs and leaves, and fruits and flowers, so the same almighty Seed evolves itself in the multitude of varieties of creation. 53 As strong sunlight displays itself in variegated colors in different bodies, so does Omnipotence display itself in various vivid colors, all of which are unreal shades. 54 As the bosom of a colorless cloud receives the variety of transient colors displayed in the rainbow, so the inscrutable spirit of the Almighty reflects and refracts the various colors displayed in creation.

55 Inert matter and inactivity proceed from the active agent without a secondary cause, like the active spider produces the passive thread, and the living man brings his dull torpor in sleep upon himself. 56 Again, the Lord makes the mind produce matter only for its own bondage, just like He makes the silkworm weave its own cocoon for its own confinement. 57 The mind of its own will forgets its spiritual nature and makes a strong prison house for itself, like the silkworm weaves its own coating. 58 But when the mind by its own free will inclines to think of its spiritual nature, it gets its release from the prison-house of the body and bondage in the world, just like a bird or beast is released from its cage, or a big elephant let loose from his chains and the tying post.

59 The mind gradually molds itself into the form which it constantly thinks upon in itself. The mind derives from within itself the power to be what it wishes to become. 60 The long sought power when acquired becomes as familiar to the soul as the dark clouds that attend the sky in the rainy season. 61 The newly obtained power is assimilated with its recipient, just like the virtue of every season is manifested in its effect upon the trees.

62 There is no bondage or liberation of human soul, or of the Divine Spirit. We cannot account for the use of these words among mankind. 63 There is no liberation or bondage of the soul which is the same with the divine. It is this delusive world that shows the immortal soul under the veil of mortality, or as eclipsed by and under the shadow of temporary affairs. 64 The unsteady mind has wrapped the steady soul under the sheath of error, just like the silkworm’s cocoon covers the dormant worm.

65 All bondages that bind the embodied soul to earth are the works of the mind which is the root of all worldly ties and affections. 66 All human affections and attachments to the visible world are born in and remain in the mind, although they are as distinct from it as the waves of the sea or moonbeams are produced from and contained in their receptacles.

67 The Supreme Spirit is stretched out like one universal ocean agitated into myriads of waves and billows. Consciousness itself is spread out like the water of the universal ocean containing everything that is watery and earthly in its infinite bosom. 68 All those who appear as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and also they who have become gods and those who are called men and male creatures, 68-1 are all like the waves of the sea raised spontaneously by the underlying spirit. So are Yama, Indra, the sun, fire, Kubera and the other gods. 68-2 So too are the gandharvas and kinnaras, the vidyadharas and the other gods and demigods who rise and fall or remain for a while like the waves of the sea. 68-3 They rise and fall as waves on every side, though some continue for a longer duration, like the lotus-born Brahma and others. 68-4 Some are born to die in a moment, like petty gods and men. Others are dead almost as soon as they are born, such as insects and some worms.

69 Worms and insects, gnats and flies, and serpents and huge snakes rise in the great ocean of the Divine Spirit like drops of water scattered about by waves of the sea. 70 There are other moving animals like men and deer and vultures and jackals that are produced on land and mountains, in woods and forests, and in marshy grounds. 71 Some are long lived and others live for a short time. Some live with higher aims and ambitions, and others with no other care than self-preservation of their contemptible bodies.

72 Some think of their stability in this world of dreams, and others are betrayed by their false hope of the stability of worldly affairs, which are quite unstable. 73 Some subject to penury and poverty have little to effect in their lives. They always torment themselves with thoughts that they are poor, miserable, weak and ignorant.

74 Some are born as trees and others have become like gods and demigods. Some are furnished with moving bodies; others are dissolved like water in the sea. 75 Some are no less durable than many kalpas, and others return to the Supreme Spirit by the moonlike purity of their souls.

All things have risen from the ocean-like Spirit of Brahman, like its moving undulations. The mind is everyone’s intellectual consciousness.