Chapter 55 — The Spiritual Sense of the World

Vasishta continued:—

Thought and its absence produce the gross and subtle ideas of the world which, in reality, was never created in the beginning for lack of a creator. 2 The essence of consciousness is not material so it cannot be the cause of a material thing. The soul cannot produce an embodied being, like seed bringing forth plants on earth.

The nature of man is to think of things according to his own nature. Hence intelligent mankind views the world in an intellectual light, while the ignorant take it in a gross material sense. The intellect is capable of conceiving everything in itself. The ethereal soul enjoys things according to its taste, and the intellect entertains the idea of whatever it thinks upon. The ignorant soul creates the idea of creation just as a drunken man sees many shapes in his intoxication.

Whenever the shape of a thing, which is neither produced nor existent, presents itself to our sight, it is a picture of the ideal figure which lies quietly in the Divine Mind. Empty Intellect dwelling in the emptiness of consciousness, as fluidity resides in water, shows itself in the form of the world like water displays itself in the form of waves upon its surface. So the world is the very same Brahman, just as the wave is the very water.

Worlds shining in empty air are like clear visions in a dream, or false appearances in the open sky to a dim-sighted man. The mirror of the intellect perceives the spectacle of the world in the same manner as the mind sees things in dream. Hence what is termed the world is only emptiness. The dormant Intellect is said to be awakened in its first acts of creation. Then follows the inaction of the intellect, which is the sleep and night of the soul.

10 As a river continues to run in the same course in which its current first began to flow, so the whole creation moves in the same unchanging course as at first, like the continuous current and rippling waves of rivers. 11 As the waves of river accompany the course of its waters, so the source of creation lying in the empty seed of airy Consciousness gives rise to its constant course, along with its ceaseless series of thoughts.

12 The destruction of a man in his death is nothing more than the bliss of his repose in sleep. The resurrection of his soul in this world is also a renewal of his bliss. 13 If there is any fear or pain in sin, it is equally so both in this life and the next. Therefore, the life and death of the righteous are equally blissful. 14 Those who look on and salute their lives and deaths with equal indifference are men who have an unbroken tranquility of their minds. They are known as men of cool inner being.

15 As conscience becomes clear and bright after its impurity is cleansed and wiped from it, so shines the pure soul which they call the liberated and free. 16 Upon the utter absence of our consciousness, there follows a total disappearance of our knowledge of phenomena. Then our intellect rises without a vestige of phenomena in it and without its knowledge of the world’s existence. 17 He who knows God becomes unified with the divine nature, which is neither thinkable nor of the nature of the thinking principle or intellect, or any thing thought of by the intellect. Being absorbed in meditation, he remains quite indifferent to all worldly pursuits.

18 The world is a reflection in the mirror of the intellect. It is exhibited in the transparent emptiness of the Divine Spirit, so it is in vain to talk of bondage or liberty. 19 The world is produced by the vibration of airy intellect. It is an act of intellect’s imagination. It is pure airy spirit from where it has risen, and never in the form of the earth or anything else as it appears to be.

20 There is no space or time or any action or substance here, except a single entity which is neither a nothing nor anything that we know. 21 It is only a spiritual substance appearing as a thick mist to our sight. It is not empty or a substance but something purer and more clear than the transparent emptiness about us. 22 It is formless with its apparent form, and an unreality with its seeming reality. It is entirely a pure intellectual entity appearing as manifest to sight like an aerial castle in a dream.

23 Nirvana of a man is when his view of this extended, gross and impure world becomes extinct in its pure spiritual form in the emptiness of his mind. The vast and extensive world presenting all its endless varieties has no diversity in reality. It forms an infinite unity, like the empty space of the sky, and the fluidity of waters of the one universal ocean on the globe.