Chapter 17 — The Minute Seed of Egoism; as a Cannonball

Vasishta said:—

The tree of desire which produces the fruit of worldliness and is filled with the taste of all kinds of sweet and bitterness may be checked in its growth by means of the knowledge of one’s lack of egoism. By the habit of thinking one has no egoism, one comes to view both gold and stone and all sorts of rubbish in the same light. By being calm and quiet in all events, one never has any cause for sorrow at anything whatsoever.

When the cannonball of egoism is fired from the gun of the mind by force of divine knowledge, we are at a loss to know where it takes its flight. The stone of egoism is flung from the parapets of the body by the gigantic force of spiritual knowledge. We do not know where this heavy egoism will land and be lost. After the stone of egoism is flung away by the great force of the knowledge of Brahman, we cannot say where this engine of the body is lost forever.

The meaning of ego is frost in the heart of man. It melts under the sunshine of the lack of ego. It flies off in vapor, then disappears into nothing we know not where. Ego is the juice of the inner part of the body and the lack of ego is the solar heat without. The former is sucked up by the latter and forsakes the dried body like a withered leaf, then flies off where we know not. The moisture of egoism, being sucked up from the leafy body of the living, flies by the process of suction by solar heat to the unknown region of endless vacuum.

Whether a man sleeps in his bed or sits on the ground, whether he remains at home or wanders on rocks, whether he wanders over the land or water, wherever he sits or sleeps or is awake or not, 10 this formless egoism abides in him, either as gross matter, the subtle spirit, or in some state or the other which, though far away from him, seems to be united with him. 11 Egoism is seated like a minute seed in the heart of the fig tree of the body where it sprouts forth and stretches its branches and makes up the different parts of the world. 12 Again, the big tree of the body is contained within the minute seed of egoism which bursts out into branches forming the various parts of the universe. 13 As everyone sees the small seed as containing a large tree which develops itself into a hundred branches, bearing all their leaves, flowers and abundant fruit, so the big body resides within the atomic seed of egoism with all its endless parts of physical organs and mental faculties which are discernible to the sight of the intelligent.

14 Egoism is not to be had in the body by reasoning, which points out the mind of everybody, but seek it in the sphere of Empty Consciousness. The seed of egoism does not spring from the heart of unreality. The blunder of the reality of the world is destroyed by the fire proceeding from the spiritual wisdom of the wise.