Chapter 37 — Upasama: Stillness of the Soul; Apparent Activity of the Mind

Vasishta added:—

In this manner, these series of worlds are revolving in their unchanging course, repeatedly appearing and disappearing in the substantiality of Brahman. All this is derived from the one self-existence. All this has become the reciprocal causes of one another by their mutual transformations, and again they are destroyed of themselves by their mutual destructiveness of one another.

But as the motion of the waters on the surface does not affect the waters in the depth of the sea, so the fluctuations of the changing scenes of nature make no alteration in the ever tranquil spirit of Brahman. As the desert in summer heat presents the waters of mirage to the clear sky, so the false world shows its delusive appearances to the mind. As the calm soul seems to be giddy in the state of one’s drunkenness, so the essence of consciousness, which is always the same, appears as otherwise in its ignorance.

The world is neither a reality nor unreality. It is situated in Consciousness but appears to be placed outside it. It is not separate from the soul, although it seems to be different from it, as the ornament appears to differ from its gold.

Rama, that soul of yours whereby you perceive form and figures and sound and smell is the Supreme Brahman pervading all things. The pure soul, being one in many and inherent in all external objects, cannot be thought of as being different from those that appear other than itself. Rama, it is the difference of human thoughts that judges differently of the existence and non-existence of things, and of their good and bad natures also. It judges the world to exist either within or outside the Divine Spirit. 10 Because it is impossible for anything to exist outside the Spirit of God, it was the Spirit that willed to become many. As there was nothing beside itself which it could think of or find for itself, it was necessarily that it became so of itself without the aid of any extraneous matter. 11 Therefore the will to do this or that or try for one thing or other does not relate to the soul but to the mind.

Thus the soul without choice, having no will of its own, does nothing except think on what is in itself. It is not an active agent owing to the union of all agency, instrumentality and objectivity in itself. It abides nowhere, being both the recipient and content, the container and the contained of everything in itself. Neither is the will-less soul action-less when the acts of creation are perceptible in itself. Nor is it possible that there is any other cause of them.

12 Rama, you must know the nature of Brahman to be no other than this. Knowing him as no agent and without a second, be free from all anxiety.

13 I will tell you more. Though you may continue to do a great many acts here, yet tell me in a word, what do you do that is worth doing? Rely on the lack of your own agency and be quiet as the wise sage. Remain as calm and still as the clear ocean when unshaken by breeze. 14 Know well that it is not possible for the swiftest runners to reach their goal of perfection no matter how far they may run. You must desist in your mind from pursuing worldly objects and persist to meditate on the spirituality of your inner intellectual soul.