Chapter 72 — The Prince’s Answers to the Vetala’s Remaining Questions

The prince replied:—

The essences of time, space and force are all of intellectual origin. Pure Consciousness is the source of all, just as air is the receptacle of odors and dust. The Supreme Soul is like the universal air that breathes out particles contained in consciousness, just as the ethereal air bears fragrance from flowers. The great Brahman of the conscious soul passes through the dreaming world.

The trunk of a plantain tree is made up of thin layers of skin folded and intertwined over one another. Its central core is hidden inside. In the same way, everything in the world presents its exterior appearances to the view, while its substance of Brahman is hidden deep inside. 5 The words “entity,” “soul” and “Brahman” used to describe God do not signify his nature. God, like the empty void, is devoid of all designations and qualities, indescribable by any words. Whatever essence one perceives is the product of another, like the outer layers of the trunk of a plantain tree produced by the inner ones. All such coatings are only developments of Divine Consciousness lying at the bottom.

The Supreme Soul is said to be a minute atom because of its subtlety and the imperceptibly of its nature. It is also said to be the base of mountains and all other bodies owing to its unlimited extent. The endless being, though similar to a minute atom, is also large, containing all these worlds as its minutest particles. These worlds are as evident to us as the many aerial scenes appearing in our minds in dreams. This being is similar to an atom owing to its imperceptibleness. But it is also described as being like a mountain because it fills all space. Though it is the foundation of all formal existence, yet it has no form or figure of its own.

10 The three worlds are like the fatty bulb of that concentrated consciousness. Know, you righteous soul, that it is that Consciousness which dwells in and acts in all the worlds. 11 All these worlds are filled with the design of Intelligence which is quiet in its nature and exhibits endless kinds of beautiful forms of its own. Know, O young vetala, that irresistible power. Reflect on this and keep quiet.