Chapter 14 — Bhushunda: Countless Indras Ruling an Atomic World

Bhushunda continued:—

There was a prince born of the race of that Indra who also became lord of the gods. He was endowed with prosperity and all good qualities and devoted to divine knowledge. This prince of Indra’s race received his divine knowledge from the oral instruction of Brihaspati. Knowing the knowable one, the prince persisted in the course of knowledge as he was taught. Being the sovereign lord of the gods, he reigned over all three worlds. He fought against demigods and conquered all his foes. He made a hundred sacrifices and got over the darkness of ignorance by his enlightened mind.

He remained long in meditation, his mind fixed in the central channel within his subtle body (the sushumna nadi) that resembles the thread of a stalk of the lotus. He continued to reflect on hundreds of many other matters. Once he had a desire to see the essence of Brahman by the power of his understanding in meditation. He sat in quiet seclusion and in the silent meditation of his tranquil mind, he saw the disappearance of the chain of causes all about and inside himself.

He saw the omnipotent Brahman extended in and about all things, present in all times and places and existing as all in all. His hands stretch to all sides and his feet reach the ends of the worlds. His face and eyes are on all sides and his head pierces the spheres. His ears are set in all places and he endures by encompassing all things everywhere. 10 He is devoid of all organs of sense, yet possessed of the powers of all senses in himself. He is the support of all. Being destitute of qualities, he is the source and receptacle of all quality. 11 Unmoved and unmoving by himself, he is moving in and out of all things, as well as moving them all both internally and externally. He is unknowable owing to his minuteness and appears to be at a distance though he is so near us.

12 He is like the one sun and moon in the whole universe, and the same land in all the earth. He is the one universal ocean on the globe and the one Mount Meru all about. 13 He is the core and gravity of all objects and he is the one emptiness everywhere. He is the wide world and the great cosmos that is common to all. 14 He is the liberated soul of all and the primary consciousness in every place. He is every object everywhere and beside all things in all places. 15 He is in all pots and huts and in all trees and their coatings. He moves carts and carriages and enlivens all men and other animals.

16 He is in all the various customs and manners of men and in all the many modes of their thinking. He resides equally in the parts of an atom as in the stupendous frame of the triple world. 17 He resides as pungency in the heart of pepper and as the empty space in the sky. The three worlds exist in his intellectual soul, whether they are real or mere unrealities.

18 Indra saw the Lord in this manner. Then being liberated from his animal state by the help of his pure understanding, he remained in the same state of meditation. 19 In his abstract thought, the magnanimous god saw all things united in his meditative mind. He saw this creation in the same form as it appears to us. 20 Then he wandered in his mind all over this creation, believing himself as the lord of all he saw. He became the god Indra and reigned over the three worlds and their many colorful spectacles.

21 Know, O chief of the race of vidyadhara spirits, that to this day the same Indra who descended from the family of Indras is still holding his reign as lord of the gods. 22 Then he perceived in his mind, by virtue of his former habit of thinking, the seed of his memory sprouting forth with the lotus stalk in which he thought to have lain before. 23 I have told you about the reign of the former Indra in the heart of an atom in the sunbeam, and of the residence of his last generation, the latter Indra, in the hollow fiber of the lotus stalk. 24 So have thousands of other Indras gone by, and are going on still in their fancied realm in the empty sky, all in the same manner and mode as observed by their predecessors.

25 So runs the course of nature in ceaseless succession, like the current of a river running onward to the sea. So do men, whether or not acquainted with divine knowledge, flow on as streams to the abyss of eternity. 26 Such is the lengthening delusion of the world which appears to be true but vanishes to nothing at the appearance of the light of truth. 27 From whatever cause, and in whatever place or time, and in whatever manner this delusion is seen to have sprung, it is made to disappear by knowledge of it.

28 Only egoism produces the wonderful appearance of delusion, like clouds in the sky cause rain. Ego spreads itself as a mist, but disappears immediately at the sight of light. 29 He who has gotten rid of his belief in sight of the world and has attained knowledge of the self-reflecting soul, who has placed his belief in one empty form of empty air devoid of all properties and beyond all categories, is freed from all option and settled in the only One.