Chapter 43 — On the Infinite Extension of Brahma

Vasishta continued:—

The internal sense of egoism and the outward perception of the world vanish into unreality upon right inspection. Then the truth of self-consciousness appears and removes even the dullness of the dull headed. He who is freed from the fever of ignorance, whose soul is cooled by the drink of good understanding, is known by the indication that they have no further thirst for worldly enjoyments.

It is useless to use many words in philosophical debates when the simple knowledge that one’s individual ego does not exist is enough to lead him to nirvana. As waking men do not enjoy the pleasure of things seen in their dream, so wise people feel no enjoyment either for themselves or the world. The wise know they are as false as the sights in their sleep.

As one sees the illusion of a magic city in a forest, filled with the families of yaksha demons everywhere, so the living soul looks upon this world and all its contents. As the deluded soul sees demons and their houses as realities and stable in their nature, so it believes its individual personality as a reality and the unreal world as material. As the phantoms of demons are seen with their false shapes in the open desert, so we see all these creatures in the fourteen worlds around us.

He who knows himself to be a nothing and that the knowledge of his ego is an error, finds his illusion of a demon to be no such thing in reality. His mind melts into the condition of his intellect. Be as quiet in your mind as you are sitting still before us. Renounce all your fears and fancies, all your giving and taking, together with the suppression of all your desires.

10 Perceptible phenomena are neither in actuality nor in potentiality. The whole extent of the objective world is identical with the subjective spirit of God. Or, if it is impossible for subjective reality to become the objective unreality, then tell me, how can the objective come to exist? 11 The humidity of spring season produces and diffuses itself in the vegetation of the ground. Similarly, the core and essence of intellect fills and exhibits itself in the form of creation. 12 If this appearance of the world is only the reflection of intellect, then why speak of its unity or duality? Know that the world is identical with the sole entity, and hold your peace and tranquility. 13 Be full with empty intellect. Drink the sweet nectar of spirituality. Sit without fear and full of joy in the blissful paradise of nirvana.

14 Why do you men of false understandings wander about in the desert of this earth like vagrant deer? 15 O you men of blinded understandings! Why do you run so hurriedly with your unsatisfied thirst after the mirage of the world, only to be disappointed in your most confident expectations? 16 Why do you, O foolish men, thirst after the mirage of the appearances and fancies of your minds? Do not waste your lives in vain struggles, or fall victims to your desires like deluded deer. 17 Demolish the magic castle of worldly enticements by the stronger power of your reason. See how you can destroy the series of evils which at first sight appear as pleasures.

18 Do not make the mistake of looking at the blue vault of heaven as a reality. It is a mere show amidst the great emptiness of Brahman. You should fix sight on its true empty aspect. 19 O you men who are as frail and fickle and liable to fall down like shaking dewdrops hanging on the edge of a leaf, regardless of your fates, do not sleep in the womb of this frail and mortal world. 20 Remain always, from first to last, in your true nature of calmness, without ever being unmindful of yourself. Remove the faults of the subjective and objective from your nature.

21 The world which the ignorant know as a reality is utterly nonexistent to the wise. That one which is the true reality has no name. 22 Break the iron chains of desire which bind you fast in this world. Rise high above the heaven of heavens, like a lion climbing to the towering tops of mountains by using force to break loose from his imprisoning cage. 23 The knowledge of “I” and “mine” is an error. Only peace of mind makes liberation. It is the essence of the yogi, wherever and however he may be situated.

24 The tired pilgrim of the world has the following five stages for his rest, namely his self renunciation, his lack of any desire, and the absence of the three sorrows that result from his own fault, those of others, and the course of nature.

25 The wise man is unknown to the ignorant and the ignorant are unknown to the wise. Ignorant and wise see the world in two opposite lights, each quite unknown to the other. 26 Once the fallacy of the world has fallen from the mind, no more worldly things appear before the mind, just as a seafarer seeing one vast expanse of water about him does not see the inland water inlets which gush out of the sea as its offspring. 27 After the error of the world disappears from the awakened mind of the tranquil yogi, he sits quite unconscious of it, as if it had melted into eternity. 28 Like grass and straw burnt to ashes, we do not know where the ashes fly and vanish with the winds of the air. So the nature of the sage being deadened by detachment, his knowledge of the world goes to nothing.

29 It is good to know the world as the imitation of the essence of Brahman. But the meaning of the word “Brahman” being Universal Soul, it does not apply to the sense of the changing world as the work of God. 30 As the world appears to be everlasting and unchanging to the ignorant lad, so it seems coexistent with its eternal cause to the detached sage. 31 The wakeful sage keeps vigil at night when it is time for all beings to lie down in sleep. Daytime, when all creation is awake, is the night of retired saints. 32 The wise man is active in his mind while he seems to be sitting still and inactive in his body. When he is waking, his organs of sense are as dormant as those of figures in a painting. 33 The wise man is as blind in his knowledge of the outer world as one who is born blind. The wise man has merely a faint idea of the world in his mind where it appears or not at times, like a dream in his slight and sound sleep.

34 All worlds and worldly things lead to the sorrow of the ignorant who are unacquainted with and delight in untruth. They are busy with the objects of the senses and their thoughts about them, just as one with visions in his dream.

35 As a wise man tastes no pleasure in his waking state, so must he remain unconscious of them in his sleep, continuing with undivided attention in the meditation of the Supreme Being. 36 A wise man who has curbed his desire of worldly enjoyments and is liberated from its bonds remains with his cool and composed mind and enjoys the tranquility of nirvana without even his efforts of yoga meditation.

37 As the course of water always run downward, never upward, so the course of the mind is ever toward the objects of sense, and sensible objects are the only delight of the mind. 38 The mind’s nature, with all its thoughts of internal and external objects, is the same as a great ocean full of its own currents and the streams of rivers that flow into it. 39 As streams combine into the united flow of a river, so all the internal and external, righteous and unrighteous thoughts of the mind run in an unchanging course. 40 Thus the mind appears as a vast and wide extended sea, rolling on with all its indistinct thoughts and feelings, just as the inseparable waters and waves of the sea. 41 In this manner, the absence of one thing causes the extinction of both, just as in the example of air and its winds. If either is lacking, there is neither wind nor its ventilation. 42 The mind and its working being one and the same thing, they are both controlled if one is brought under control.

Know this well, to develop one’s mind, nobody should hold any earthly desire dear. 43 The mind gets its peace by true knowledge.

The mind of a wise man, with all its desires, is destroyed of itself without the aid of austerities. 44 As a man gets free of the fear of an enemy’s hatred by destroying the image he created himself, so one is able to kill his mind by committing himself to the Divine Spirit. 45 A wise man sees the cosmos and chaos as accompanying with each other, though they appear separate. Birth and death and prosperity and adversity are mere errors. There is nothing else beside the one infinity. 46 As one has no knowledge of the dream of another sleeping by his side, as an adult man does not have a timid child’s fear of a demon, and as a warrior knows no demon, so the wise sees no inanimate world before him.

47 The ignorant think the wise are fools and the barren woman thinks of her child, so one unacquainted with the meaning of a word attempts to explain its sense. 48 Understanding is ever existent, without beginning or end, and nature is known to exist ever since creation has begun. The word mind is meaningless. Mind is undivided and unbounded in its nature. 49 Understanding resembles the water of the sea, and the mind and intelligence are similar to its clear waves. How can this fluid have an end, and what is the meaning of mind, but a shape of this psychic fluid? 50 All error is useless. Live to your nature for your good. Be of the nature of pure understanding and you will become as clear-sighted as the clear autumn sky.

51 After passing through the three states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep, there is no perception of the mind or mental operation for the withdrawn yogi. The knowledge of endless varieties of unrealities of creation is blown away and lost in the sight of the Everlasting One. 52 Forsake the endless chain of phenomena and be attached to your nature of solid consciousness. All things, whether internal or external, are comprehended under its knowledge.

53 Say, how can you separate objects from the mind as you do seed, branches and fruit from one another? What can be known cannot be known without their knowledge, and knowledge is no known category. 54 The endless varieties and particulars are still and quiet in the Divine Soul, which is the only entity and manifests itself as all. All objects being only ideas in the mind, and the mind being a negative also, they are all only errors of the brain. 55 The mind which is the framer of objective thoughts is a nothingness of itself and an error also. The Eternal Spirit being the solitary soul of all, it is useless to imagine the entity of the mind.

56 The objective, being a false idea, is only a false apparition. Objects also having no cause for their creation also prove the subjective mind to be a falsity. 57 The mind is as fickle as flickering lightning and deludes us by the flashes of things of its own making. 58 The mind is nothing before knowledge of the Self-existent One. With that knowledge of the One, the mind no longer deceives us with its false shows. This world, which is the creation of the mind, disappears before the knowledge of the soul.

59 Men vainly wish to take silver from sea shells and believe the negative world is a positive one, but such is found to be nothing before the light of reason. 60 The error of egoism is opposed to the truth of nirvana, and error is the cause of only misery to mankind. Ego is truly as false as a mirage, a nonentity as emptiness itself.

61 The knowledge of the self or soul removes the error of egoism. By knowing and being full with the knowledge of the soul, one is absorbed with it, both internally and externally. 62 One who is unified with the Universal Soul resembles a wave that mixes altogether with the main water. The Divine Soul sends its essence to all, just as a tree supplies its sap to all parts from root to leaf. 63 There is one unchanging soul that shines far beyond the reach of our knowledge in the same way as the clear vault of heaven appears to be millions of miles away from us. 64 There is only one Unknowable and Infinite Being, and that is far beyond our knowledge of what can be perceived, and is purer and more rarefied than the all pervading emptiness. 65 Therefore know that pure and holy one to be both the states of knowledge and what can be known, just as chilled clarified butter becomes as compact as stone.

66 Divine Consciousness makes itself the object of its thought as a thinkable being. The soul thinks in itself as the mind, from eternity throughout the infinity of space. 67 The unintelligent Nyaya school of philosophy maintains the unity and positive rest of God. Although they may not be mistaken in this position, yet it is wrong to separate omniscience from the being of Divine Unity.

68 All great minded souls who are free from pride melt away into the inscrutable quiescence of God. Those who are unerring in divine knowledge find their eternal rest in samadhi, the renunciation of themselves to the Supreme Spirit.