Chapter 17 — The Difference between Shukra’s Daydreams & Ordinary Daydreams

Rama said, “Tell me sage, why do others’ daydreams not have the same result as that of Bhrigu’s son?”

Vasishta replied:—

The reason is that Shukra’s body at first issued from the will of Brahma. He was born of the pure family of Bhrigu without being corrupted by any other birth. The purity of mind which follows upon decreasing desires, is called its coolness, and the same is known as the stainless state of the soul. Whatever the man of a pure and contrite spirit thinks in his mind, the same comes to take place immediately, like the turning of seawater turns into an eddy. As the errors of various wanderings occurred to the mind of Shukra, so it is with everybody, as Bhrigu’s son is an example.

As the serum contained in the seed develops itself into shoots and leaves, so the mind evolves in all the forms that are contained therein. Whatever forms of things are seen to exist in this world, they are all false appearances, as are their disappearances also. Nothing appears or disappears to anyone in this world, only error and fantasies in the air that show themselves to those bewitched by this magic scene of the world. Our notions of this part of the world present their forms to our view, and the appearance of thousands of such worlds in the mind is mere idea, as false as the show of a magic lantern. 10 As the sights in our dream and the images of our imagination are never apart from our minds, and as they cannot show themselves to be seen by others, such is our false conception of the world.

11 So all places and things are only imaginary ideas. They show themselves as real objects only to the blind sight of the ignorant. 12 Ghosts, demons, and devils are also only imaginary figures of the mind, born in the shallow brain of men to terrify themselves with their hideous shapes. 13 Thus have we all become like the dreaming son of Bhrigu, understanding the false creations of our imagination as sober realities.

14 So the creation of the world and all created things are pictured in the mind of Brahma and make their repeated appearances before him as the phantoms of a fantastic mental fabrication. 15 All things that appear to us are as false as these phantoms. They proceed from the mind of Brahma just like the varieties of trees and shrubs are produced from the same sap of spring season.

16 Considered from a philosophical viewpoint, it will be found that the will or desire of each person produces the objects of his desire. 17 Everybody sees everything in the world according to the nature of the thoughts in his mind, then he dies with his wrong view of it. 18 In its idea, anything appears to exist which in reality is nonexistent, though it is apparent to sight. The existence of the world is like a lengthened dream. The visible world is a wide spread snare of the mind, like chains at the feet of an elephant.

19 The reality of the world depends upon the reality of mind which causes the world to appear as real. The loss of the one destroys them both because neither can exist without the other. 20 The pure mind has the true notions of things and reflects the true image of everything, as the gem polished from its impurities receives a perfect reflection of everything.

21 The mind is purified by its habit of fixed attention to one particular object. It is the mind undisturbed by desires that receives the true light and reflection of things. 22 As the gilding of gold or any brilliant color cannot stand on base metal or on a piece of dirty cloth, so it is impossible for the weakened mind to apply itself intensely to anyone particular object.

23 Rama asked, “Sage, how did the mind of Shukra receive the reflection of the shadowy world and its temporary movement? How did these fluctuations arise and remain in his mind?”

24 Vasishta said:—

Shukra was impressed with the thoughts of the world from his father’s lectures. These impressions remained in his mind like the future peacock resides in the egg. 25 The world is naturally situated in the embryo of the mind of every species of living being. The world gradually evolves from the mind like shoots, sprouts, leaves and flowers from a seed. 26 Everybody sees in his mind what his heart desires to possess, as it is in the case of our prolonged dreams.

27 Know it this way, O Rama, that a partial view of the world arises in each person’s mind in the same manner as it appears in the mind in a dream at night.

28 Rama said, “But tell me sage, whether the thought and the things thought of simultaneously meet in the mind of the thinker, or is it only the mind that thinks of the object which it never meets?”

29 Vasishta replied:—

The soiled mind cannot easily unite with the object of its thought, just as a dirty and cold piece of iron cannot join with a pure red-hot one, unless it is heated and purified from its impurity.

30 The pure mind and its pure thoughts are readily united with one another, as pure waters mix together into one body of the same kind, which muddied water cannot do. 31 Lack of desire constitutes the purity of the mind, which is readily united with immaterial things of the same nature like itself. The purity of the mind leads to its enlightenment, and these being united in one leads it to the Supreme.