Chapter 61 — Description of the World as a Passing Dream

Rama said, “O sage, without doubt we are a dream-drawn house, the body of the lotus-born Brahma, the first progenitor. If this world is a non-entity (asat), we must know our existence to be the same non-entity. Then how is it possible that we have acquired such a firm faith in the reality (sat) of this dream?”

Vasishta responded:—

We are shining here as a created being by the previous birth of Brahma, but in fact, the reflection of soul shines forever as nothing else. Owing to the omnipresence of consciousness, all beings exist as reality everywhere, and if consciousness rises from unreal knowledge, consciousness as real knowledge destroys the unreal one. 5 Therefore whatever comes from these five elements is only transitory, but owing to the firm belief of ego, we enjoy a firm faith that it is real.

In a dream, we see a good many things as reality, but as soon the dream is over, we do not find the things we had dreamed of. As long we remain in ignorance, we see the reality of the world in the same way. O Rama, the dreaming man thinks his dream is reality because he has faith in it. In the same way, this world appears as reality to the supreme God who has no beginning or end. That which is created by a dreaming man is said to be his own, just as we can say that what is in the seed is in the fruit. Whatever comes from non-entity is to be called non-entity. Though the unreal can be workable, it is not reasonable to think that what is unreal is good.

10 As the thinking result of unreality is to be given up, so the firm faith which arises in the dreaming man that the dream is real must also be given up. 11 Whatever the soul creates in a dream is our firm belief, but that remains only for a short time. 12 Brahman’s long drawn dream is this world, hence we also think this world is long drawn, but in fact, this world is a moment to Brahman.

13 Consciousness is the creator of all elements. She creates everything according to her model, hence creator and creation are one and the same. 14 As the backward and forward whirling motion of water makes a deep swell, and as a fairy appears in a dream, so all these nothings are in reality. 15 This entity with its change is nothing. In whatever manner we look at an object, it will appear in the same manner. 16 The rule of the false dream is not to reproduce because the production is not in the world, but owing to ignorance, it appears so.

17 In the three worlds we see wonderful objects, such as undersea fire burning in the water. 18 A good many cities exist in emptiness, and birds and stars remain in the sky. We find a lotus in stone, like trees growing without earth. 19 One country gives every kind of object to the seeker, like a wish-fulfilling tree that gives all objects to the seeker. We see a stone or rows of jewels like fruit from a fruitful tree. 20 Life like frogs exists within a stone. A moonstone gives water. 21 In a dream, many things are made and unmade within a minute, all of which, in fact, are as unreal as one’s death in a dream. 22 The natural water of the elements is suspended in the sky (cloud) when the heavenly Mandakini River remains in emptiness. 23 A heavy stone or a winged mountain flies in the air. Everything can be obtained through a stone when everything can be secured from the philosopher’s stone. 24 In Indra’s garden of bliss, every desired object can be obtained, but when one is liberated, such kind of desire for objects is lacking. 25 Even dull matter acts like a machine, hence every object acts like wonderful false magic. 26 By magical art we see even impossible objects such as two moons, headless trunks (kavandhas), mantras, drugs, and pisacha ghosts. All these are the works of wonderful false magic and are, in fact, nothing.

27 We see the impossible as real and possible. Impossibility becomes real only because of our false ideas. 28 Though it appears as real, a false dream is in fact unreal. There is nothing which is unreal and there is nothing which is real. 29 So all worldly beings see this dream of creation as real, just as a dreamer takes his dream as a reality. 30 By passing from one error to another error, from one dream to another, a firm faith in the reality of the dream comes out. 31 As a stray deer repeatedly falls into a pit for green grass, so ignorant man repeatedly falls into the pit of this world owing to his ignorance.