1 Vasishta said:—
The mind first sprang from the Supreme Spirit of Brahman. Being possessed of the power of thinking, it was situated in the Divine Soul and was called the Divine Mind or Intellect. 2 The unsteady mind resides in the spirit of God as the feeling of fragrance abides in the cup of a flower and as fluctuating waves roll about in a river. Know, Rama, that the mind radiates from its central point in Brahman, just as the rays of the sun extend to the circumference of creation.
3 Men forget the reality of the invisible spirit of God and view the unreal world as a reality, just as deluded people are inclined to believe a serpent in a rope. 4 He who sees sunlight without seeing the sun from where they proceed sees it in a different light than the light of the sun. 5 He who looks at an ornament without looking into the gold of which it is made is deluded by the finery of the ornament without knowing the value of the precious metal of which it is made. 6 He who looks at the sun together with his glory and sees the sunbeams knowing the sun from where they proceed, truly beholds the unity of the sun with his light and not his duality by viewing them separately.
7 He who looks at waves without seeing the sea in which they rise and fall has only the knowledge of the turbulent waves disturbing his mind. He has no idea of the calm waters underlying them. 8 But who looks on the waves as the water of which they are composed, he sees the same water to be in common in all its swellings and has the knowledge of its unity and common essence in all its varieties. 9 In this manner, seeing the same gold in its transformation into various sorts of ornaments, we have the knowledge of the common essence of gold in all of them in spite of their distinctions in form to sight.
10 He who sees only the flames and is unmindful of the fire which emits them is said to be ignorant of the material element, knowing only its transient and fleeting flares. 11 The phenomenal world presents its aspect in various forms and colors, such as the many forms and variations of clouds in the sky. Whoever places his faith and reliance upon their reality and stability has his mind always busied with those changeful appearances. 12 He who views the flame as the same as the fire has only the knowledge of fire in his mind and does not know the duality of the flame as a thing distinct from its unity.
13 He who is freed from his knowledge of dualities has his mind restricted to the one and only unity. He has a great soul that has obtained the obtainable one and is released from the trouble of diving into the depth of the duality and plurality of all visible objects. 14 Get rid of your thoughts of the endless multiplicities and varieties of things. Keep your mind fixed steadily within the cavity of your pure intellect and employ it to meditate upon Supreme Consciousness without thought of any object of the senses.
15 When the silent soul forms an effort of will in itself, then there arises the power of its versatile desires, like the force of the fluctuating winds rising from the bosom of quiet air. 16 Then from the silent soul arises the willful mind as a distinct and independent thing of itself. It thinks in itself as the undivided and Universal Mind of the mundane world. 17 Whatever the mind wills to do in this world, the same comes to take place immediately, agreeably to the type formed in its will.
18 This mind passes under various names such as the living principle, understanding, egoism, and the heart. It becomes as minute as a microscopic organism and an aquatic mollusk, and as big as a mountain and fleeter than the swiftest winds. 19 It forms and sustains the world at its own will. It becomes unity and plurality at its own option. It extends itself to infinity and shows itself in the endless diversity of objects which fill its ample space. 20 The whole scenery of the universe is nothing other than a display of the eternal and Infinite Mind. It is neither a positive reality nor a negative unreality of itself, but appears to our view like the visionary appearance in a dream. 21 The phenomenal world is a display of the kingdom of the Divine Mind just like paradise is a display of imagination formed in the minds of men, and like every man builds the airy castle of his mind.
22 Only our knowledge of the existence of the world in the Divine Mind serves to remove our fallacy of the entity of the visible world. If we look into the phenomenal in its true light, it speedily vanishes into nothing. 23 When we do not consider visible things in their true color, but take them in their false colors as they present themselves to view. We find them expressed in a thousand shapes, just as we see the same seawater in its diverse and various forms of foam, froth, bubbles, waves, surges, tides and whirlpools. 24 As the sea bears its body of waters, so the mind shows itself in the shape of its various faculties. Mental powers are always busy with their many functions under the influence of Supreme Consciousness, all without affecting its tranquility.
25 Yet the mind, whether in its state of sleeping or waking or in its bodily or mental actions, does nothing of itself apart from the dictates of consciousness.
26 Know that there is nothing new in whatever you do or see or think upon. Everything proceeds from the inherent intellect which is displayed in all things and in all the actions and thoughts of men. 27 Know all these to be contained in the immensity of Brahman, besides whom there is nothing in existence. He abides in all things and categories. He remains as the essence of the inner consciousness of all. 28 Divine Consciousness exhibits the entirety of the imaginary world. The evolution of consciousness takes the name of universe with all its immense numbers of worlds.
29 How does your false idea of the difference of things from one another arise? When you know that it is the one Consciousness alone that assumes these various forms, then you have nothing to fear about the bondage or liberation of your soul. 30 O Rama, give up your egotism, pride, and self-esteem. Give up your thoughts of bondage and liberation. Remain quiet and self subdued in the continued discharge of your duties, like the holy mahatmas of elevated souls and minds.