Chapter 20 — The Mind Is the Person, not the Body

Vasishta said:—

Now Rama, I have told you all this in order to explain the nature of the mind to you, and for no other reason. Whatever the mind often thinks upon with a strong conviction of its reality, it immediately assumes that form, like an iron ball igniting from contact with fire. Therefore the convictions of being or not being and of receiving or rejecting a thing depend upon the imagination of the mind. They are neither true nor untrue but merely fluctuations of the mind.

The mind is the cause of error, and it is the mind which is the framer of the world. The mind also stretches itself in the form of the universe (vishwarupa) in its gross state. The mind is called the person (purusha, person, i.e., the ruler of the body) which, being brought under control and directed in the right course, produces all prosperity. If the body were the person, how could the high-minded Shukra pass into various forms in his very many transmigrations? Therefore the mind (chitta) is the ruler of the body (purusha) which is rendered conscious (chetya) by it. Whatever form the mind assumes to itself, it undoubtedly becomes the same.

So inquire into what is great, devoid of attributes and error, and which is easily attainable by everybody. Be diligent in your inquiry and you will surely succeed to obtain it.

Hence whatever is seated in the mind, the same comes to pass on the body. But what is done by the body never affects the mind. Therefore, O fortunate Rama, apply your mind to truth and shun whatever is untrue.