1 Vasishta continued:—
The world is a clear emptiness existing in the entity of the empty Brahman. It is like the visible sky in the empty sky, and it means the manifestation of Brahman. 2 The words “I” and “you” refer to the same Brahman seated in his undivided individuality. All things are seated calmly and quietly in him as if they were not seated there, though they shine by the same light.
3 The earth with its hills and mountains resembles the protrusions on the body of Brahman. The whole world remains as dumb as a block of stone in the body of Brahman. 4 He views what is visible as he is no viewer of them. He is the maker of all without making anything, because they naturally exist with their different natures in the Supreme Spirit. 5 This knowledge of the existence of all nature in the essence of God precludes our knowledge of the positive existence of anything else. Our ideas of entities or emptiness, of action and passion, all vanish into nothing.
6 The one solid essence of the everlasting one is diffused through all everywhere, just as the solidity of a stone stretches throughout its parts. All varieties blending into unity are always alike to him. 7 Life and death, truth and untruth, and all good and evil are equally indifferent in that empty spirit, just as endless waves continually rise and fall in the waters of the deep. 8 The very same Brahman becomes divided into the viewer and the view, the one being the intellect and the other the living soul. This division is known in the dreaming and waking states of the living soul when the same is both subject and object in either state. 9 In this manner the form of the world is exhibited as a vision in a dream in the sphere of the Divine Consciousness. From the beginning, the form of the world is manifest as the counterpart or representation of Brahman himself. 10 Therefore know this world and all things in it are exactly of that spiritual form in which they are exhibited in the Divine Spirit. There is no variation in their spirituality owing to their appearance in various forms, just as there is no change in the substance of the moon during her different phases.
11 All these worlds reside and wander amidst the quiet spirit of God in the same manner as waters remain and roll in waves in the midst of the calm surface of the ocean. 12 Whatever is manifest is manifested as the work, and that which is not apparent is the hidden cause of them. There is no difference between them in as much as both are situated in that spirit, their common center. A traveler is always going forward, yet is never moving from the center of the earth.
13 Hence the prime cause of creation is as nothing as the horns of a rabbit. Search for it as much as you can and you will find nothing. 14 Whatever appears anywhere without its reason or cause must be a fallacy of vision and mind. Who can account for the truth of an error which is untrue itself? 15 How and what effect can come to existence without its cause, and what can it be other than an error of the brain for a childless man to say he sees his son? 16 Whatever comes to appearance without its cause is all owing to the nature of our imagination which shows the object of our desire in all their various forms to our view, just as our fancy paints fairylands in our minds.
17 As a traveler passing from one country to another still finds his body standing in the middle of this globe, so nothing departs from its nature. It only turns about that center. 18 Understanding also shows many false and huge objects in its airy and minute receptacle. Examples are the many objects of desire and the notion of mountains which understanding presents to us in our waking and dreaming states.
19 Rama asked, “We know well that the future banyan tree resides within the minute receptacle of its seed. Then why don’t you say that creation was hidden in the same manner in the un-evolved spirit of God?”
20 Vasishta replied:—
The seed in its material form contains the formless big tree in its undeveloped core. The seed develops into gigantic size by aid of auxiliary causalities. 21 The entire creation is dissolved in the end. Tell me, what remains in the form of its seed? What ancillary causes are there to be found which cause the production of the world?
22 The pure and transparent spirit of God has no possible shape or figure in it. If it is impossible for even an atom to find a place in God, what possibility is there for a formal seed to exist in God? 23 So the reality of a causal seed being altogether untrue, there is no possibility of the existence of a real world, nor can you say how, from where, by whom or when it came into being.
24 It is improper to say that the world consisted in a minute particle in the Divine Spirit, and quite absurd to maintain that it remained in an eternal atom. How is it possible that a body as big as a mountain could be contained in a minute thing as small as a mustard seed? It is therefore a false theory of the ignorant. 25 Had there been a real seed from eternity, it is possible for the world to be produced from it by causes inherent in it. But how could a real and formal seed be contained in the formless spirit of God? By what process could the material proceed from the immaterial? 26 Therefore that prime and transcendent principle exhibits itself in the form of the world and there is nothing which is ever produced from or reduced into it.
27 The world is situated in its intellectual form in the emptiness of Consciousness. The human heart portrays it in its material shape. The pure soul views it in its pure spiritual light, but the perverted heart perceives it in a gross and concrete state. 28 It appears in the mind as empty air and fluctuates there with the vibration of the wind. There is no substantiality of the world in the mind, nor even an idea of its creation, as the word creation (sarga) is meant to express. 29 As there is emptiness in the sky and fluidity in water, so there is only spirituality in the soul which sees the world only in a spiritual light. 30 The world is a reflection of Brahman and as such it is Brahman himself, and not a solid or extended thing. It is without beginning or end and quiet in its nature, never rising or setting of itself.
31 As a wise man going from one country to another finds his body to be always situated in the middle of this globe, so the universe with all its remotest worlds is situated in the emptiness of the Divine Spirit. 32 As fluctuation is innate in air and fluidity is inherent in water and emptiness is essential to vacuum, so this world is intrinsic in the Divine Soul without anything accompanying it.
33 The empty phantom of the world is in the emptiness of Divine Consciousness, Divine Intellect. Being thus situated in the Supreme Soul, it has no rising or setting like that of the sun. Therefore knowing all these to be included in that vacuum, and there is nothing visible beside the same, cease viewing the phantoms of imagination and be as the very emptiness yourself.