Chapter 3 — The Unity and Universality of Brahman: Intellect Is the Soul and Is Brahman

Vasishta continued:—

As the countless waves continually rising and falling in the sea are no other than its water assuming temporary forms to view, so consciousness exhibits the forms of endless worlds heaving in itself. Know, O sinless Rama, this intellect (chidatma, the intellectual soul) is your very self or soul.

Tell me, O Rama who has the intellectual soul, what relation does your immaterial soul bear to the material world? Being freed from your earthly cares, how can you entertain any earthly desire or affection? It is Consciousness that manifests itself in the forms of living soul (jiva), mind and its desires, and the world and all things. Say then what else can it be to which all these properties are to be attributed? The consciousness of the Supreme Spirit is like a profound sea with its huge surges, and yet, O Rama, it is as calm and cool as your soul and as bright and clear as the transparent sky.

5 As heat is not separate from fire, and fragrance not apart from the flower, and as blackness is inseparable from collyrium, and whiteness from ice, and as sweet is inborn in sugarcane, so is reasoning inherent in and not separate from consciousness. As light is nothing distinct from sunbeams, so reasoning is no other than consciousness itself. As waves are no way distinct from the water, so the universe is in no way different or separate from the nature of consciousness which contains the universe. Ideas are not apart from the intellect, nor is the ego distinct from the idea of it. The mind is not different from the ego, nor is the living soul anything other than the mind. The senses are not separate from the mind and the body is connected with the senses. The world is the same as the body and there is nothing apart from the world. Thus the great sphere of the universe is nothing other than the unbounded sphere of consciousness. There is nothing now done or made or ever created before.

10 Our knowledge of everything is only our memory of it. This is to continue for evermore, in the manner of all partial spaces being contained in infinity without distinction of their particular localities. 11 As all spaces are contained in endless emptiness, so the vastness of Brahman is contained in the immensity of Brahman. As truth resides in verity, so this fullness of space is the fullness of the Divine Mind.

12 Seeing the forms of outward things, the intelligent man never takes them to his mind. Only the ignorant set their minds to the worthless things of this world. 13 They are glad to long after what they like, but for their trouble only in this world. But he who takes these things as nothing remains free from the pleasure and pain of having or not having them.

14 The apparent difference between the world and the soul of the world is as false in reality as the meaning of the words sky and skies, which though taken in their singular and plural senses, still denote the same uniform emptiness. 15 He who remains with the internal purity of his vacant mind, although he observes the customary differences of external things, remains as unaffected by the feelings of pain and pleasure as an unconscious block of wood or stone. 16 He who sees his blood-thirsty enemy in the light of a true friend is the person who rightly sees into the nature of things. 17 As the rapid currents and flood of a river uproot big trees on both sides, so does the dispassionate man destroy the feelings of his joy and grief to their very roots.

18 The sage who does not know the nature of passions and affections, and does not guard himself from their impulse and emotions, is unworthy of the respect which awaits saints and sages. 19 He who has no sense of his egoism and whose mind is not attached to this world saves his soul from death and confinement after his departure from this world. 20 The belief in one’s personality is as false as one’s faith in an unreality which does not exist. This wrong notion of its existence is removed only by one’s knowledge of the error and his riddance from it. 21 He who has extinguished the ardent desire of his mind, like the flame of an lamp without oil, and who remains unshaken under all circumstances, stands as the image of a mighty conqueror of his enemies in a painting or a statue.

22 O Rama, that man is said to be truly liberated who is unmoved under all circumstances and has nothing to gain or lose in his prosperity or adversity, nor anything to elate or depress him in either state.