Chapter 96 — Kumbha Explains God and Creation Are the Same; Consciousness Depicts Creation (God) According to Its Thoughts
1 Vasishta said:—
Sikhidhwaja, having found his rest in the spirit of Brahman, remained quiet for some moments, like a steady and tireless candle flame in a calm, windless place. 2 As he was about to be absorbed in unwavering meditation, he was suddenly roused from his trance by the distraction of Kumbha’s voice.
3 Kumbha said:—
O king, I see you are not waking from the sleep of your entranced meditation in which you are situated in perfect bliss. You must neither be absorbed in your contemplation nor be a complete stranger to your abstract meditation either. 4 The mind undivided in its attention is cleansed from all deceit. Freed from its knowledge of parts and particulars, the mind becomes emancipate in its living state.
5 Being thus enlightened by Kumbha, the king became full of enlightenment. Roused from his trance, he shone as brightly as a rich gem when taken out of its cover. 6 The king saw the unreality of visible things in his state of quietism. He now perceived them spread all about him, and he spoke about them to Kumbha.
7 Sikhidhwaja said, “Though I know full well about all these things, yet I want to propose some questions regarding them. I hope you will give answers for my correct and perfect knowledge of them. 8 Tell me, how can we reconcile the impure conception of the Universal Soul representing the universe with the pure idea of the Supreme Soul which is ever calm, quiet and transparent?”
9 Kumbha replied:—
You have asked well, O king. This shows the clarity of your understanding. If this is all that you want to know, then hear me explain it fully to you.
10 Whatever is seen here and everywhere, together with all moving and inert creation, are all perishable and become extinct at the end of every kalpa age. 11 At the end of the kalpa age, the true and essential reality remains in an obscure chaotic state, deprived of both light and darkness. 12 This essential reality is Divine Consciousness, pure and quiet and as clear as the transparent air. It is free from all attributes and full of transcendental intelligence. 13 The one that remains at the end of a kalpa is the Supreme Soul. It extends over all space and is purely bright, transparent and quiet. It is enveloped in light and is pure intelligence. 14 It is inscrutable and unknowable, even and quiet, and full of bliss. It is called Brahman the great, the final extinction of all bodies, full of all knowledge.
15 It is the smallest of the small and the largest of whatever is large in the universe. It is the greatest of anything that is great and heavy and it is the best of whatever is good and excellent. 16 It is so very small that if you place this sky beside it, the sky will appear as big as the great Mount Meru by the side of a small atom. 17 It is also so very big and bulky that if this stupendous world were placed side by side to it, the world must appear like an atom before it, or vanish into nothing. 18 Brahman is attributed with the name of Universal Soul because it pervades the entire universe and is its intrinsic soul. Its exterior appearance is called by the title of Viraj (All Radiant).
19 There is no difference between the description and what it describes, just as there is none between the air and the wind, air in motion, and as sky and emptiness are synonyms. The universal Consciousness is the phenomenal world, and the same consciousness is manifested in the forms of “I” and “you.” 20 As wind makes water become a wave at a certain time and place, so the world rises and falls at times in the Supreme Soul without any external cause. 21 As gold is transformed into bracelets at certain times and place, by some means or another, so the spirit of God is transformed into the visible world at certain times, without any assignable cause whatever.
22 The most glorious God is lord of his kingdom of the world. He is one with his creation, ever pure, quiet, and without decay. He pervades over all these worlds scattered like tufts of grass all around us. 23 This transcendentally good and great God is the only real existence. God comprises all temporary and finite existences within himself. Through our own reasoning, we know that this glorious creation of the universe is all derived from him.
24 Know him, O king, to be the essence of the extended universe, extending his form of complete consciousness over everything, a unity that never admits of a duality. 25 Therefore there is no reason to conceive a duality beside his unity because God’s unity is the sole principle of the Supreme Soul, fully manifest in everything in its ever undiminished and everlasting state. 26 The Lord always remains as the all in all, manifest in all various forms, neither visible nor perceptible by us. He cannot be said to be the cause or effect of anything.
27 The Lord, being neither perceptible nor conceivable by us, is something super-eminently good and super-fine. He is all and the soul of all, too fine and transparent and known only by our conceptions of him because he has no conscious perception whatever. 28 Being inexpressible by words and manifest in all without manifestation or appearance of himself, he cannot be the cause of whatever is real or unreal.
29 That which has no name of itself cannot be the seed of another. No nameless nothing can grow anything, nor can a corresponding world spring out of a non-corresponding spirit. 30 Indeed, the inexhaustible mass of Divine Consciousness is no cause or casual instrument or effect of anything. The product of the Divine Soul must be something of the form of the invisible soul, which is everlasting consciousness or intelligence.
31 So, O sage, nothing is produced by the Supreme Brahman, nor does anything arise from Him, like waves from water that have wind for their cause. 32 All distinctions of time and place are absent in the uniform and unchanging spirit of Brahman. There can be no creation or destruction of the world from him, and hence the world is uncreated and without any cause.
33 Sikhidhwaja said, “I know that the waves of water are caused by winds of the air, and so I understand this world and our egoism and the like have their causality in the Supreme Spirit.”
34 Kumbha replied:—
O king, now know the positive truth. As I am telling you after all, there is nothing like a separate world or our separate ego existing in Supreme Spirit. The world and the ego exist as one with the Divine Spirit, without bearing any distinct name or personality at all.
35 As subtle ether contains the subtle element of vacuum in its bosom, so the Divine Soul entertains in itself the fine spun idea of the mundane system without its substance. 36 Whether you behold this world in its true form of Divine Consciousness, or in any other form of gross matter, it is to be correctly understood as nothing but a representation of Divine Consciousness. 37 The full knowledge of something makes it sweet to the understanding, even though it may be as bitter as gall to taste. Imperfect knowledge of something, such as that of the world, makes it appear as if full of grief, even though there is no such thing in reality.
38 Ambrosia, the water of life, being taken as a poison will act as poison in the patient’s constitution. So the Lord of intellect appears in a favorable or unfavorable light according to how knowledge or ignorance represents him to our understanding. 39 The blessed Lord God appears to us in a benevolent or non-benevolent aspect, just as our true and false knowledge paints him in our minds, and just as the blinded eye sees many a false sight in the light of the sun. 40 The essence of Brahman always remains the same in his essential form of consciousness, but because of the depravity of our understanding, he is represented in one form now, then in another at a different time and under different circumstances. 41 In fact, the body and the embodied soul appear as any other sensible object in the world, but when viewed in the abstract light of reality, they blend in the spiritual form of God.
42 Therefore it is vain to make any inquiry concerning the nature of the world and our egoism and the like. What is really exists is to be inquired into, and not that which is a nothingness in itself. 43 It is vain to ask about an appearance, which being looked into vanishes into nothing. It is equally vain to speak of the essence of gold when it presents us with no form. 44 Without the existence of God, there is no entity called the world or our egoism. Having no cause, these things are identical with the one self-existent God.
45 The world does not appear of itself. It rests like a carving in the spirit of God. It shows itself as separate to us only by illusion. 46 These existences composed of the five elements produce many other beings, just as males and females mate and produce their offspring in infinity. So Divine Consciousness, being joined with the illusory intelligence, presents endless forms to our view. 47 Through God’s inherent knowledge, the Divine Soul represents itself in the shapes of the many things that are comprised in his omniscience. He is full in himself and manifests his fullness in himself. He is never wanting in his fullness which always exists in Him. 48 The fullness of the world is derived from the fullness of God. Yet the Divine fullness remains complete, just as when you deduct from the infinite, the remainder is still infinite.
49 Divine Consciousness, though forever the same and serene, appears to shine forth in creation because of our knowledge of creation, which dissolves with our imperceptibility of it. So our egoism, being the same with the Divine Ego, appears to be different from it, just as our fluctuating minds depict it in various lights. 50 The Divine Self never becomes many and never forsakes its state without decay. It is of a luminous form and its essence has no beginning or end. It assumes as many forms as the ever changing mind imposes upon it. 51 At one time, the identical soul believes itself to be Viraj, lord of the world, and at another, to be a contemptible being. Sometimes it sees itself in its true form of divinity and at another time its thought makes it think it is some other thing.
52 The world appears as a vast and extended space, perfectly quiet in its nature, inexpressible by words or their meanings. All its objects are of wonderful shape to view and appear to us according to our conceptions without showing their real nature to us.