Chapter 68 — Vasishta in Samadhi Sees the Pure Ideals from which Intellect Fabricates the Unreal World
1 The vidyadhari continued:—
The habit of long practice, combined with the understanding and reflection, makes one proficient in a subject. So these applied to meditation of the spiritual and pure soul will cause the material world to vanish in the stone.
2 Vasishta said:—
After the celestial vidyadhari had spoken in this manner, I retired to a cave in a rock where I sat in lotus posture and became absorbed in samadhi. 3 Having given up all thoughts of corporeal bodies and continuing to think only of the intellectual soul according to the holy teachings of the vidyadhari, as I have related.
4 Then I saw a clear and fair intellectual void in me resembling the clarity of the empty vault of heaven in autumn. 5 Through my intense application to meditate on the true one, my false view of phenomena entirely vanished within me. 6 The intellectual sphere of my mind was filled with a transcendent light which knew no rising or setting but was always shining with a uniform radiance. 7 As I looked into and through the light that shone in me, I could find neither the sky nor that great stone which I sought to find. 8 Then I found the clear and thick blaze of my spiritual light seizing my outward sight, just as it had enraptured my inner vision.
9 As a man dreams seeing a huge stone in his house, so I saw the vast emptiness like a crystal globe situated in the clear atmosphere of consciousness. 10 A dreaming man may think he is another person, but after he is awakened, he comes to know himself. 11 Those who dream themselves to be headless beings and remain so in this world can be of no good or use to themselves, though they have a little knowledge afterwards. 12 A man drowned in utter ignorance comes to right understanding in the course of time and in the end comes to know that there is no real entity except the essence of God.
13 Thus, when I saw the solid and transparent light which appeared like a crystal stone lying in the emptiness of Brahman, I could see no material thing like the earth or water or anything whatever in connection with it. 14 Everything bore the same pure and spiritual form in which they were presented at their first creation in our ideas of them. 15 All these bodies of created beings are only forms of Brahman considered in their primordial and spiritual and natural natures. The mind gives them the imaginary shapes of materiality in its fabricated dominion of the visible world. 16 The spiritual form is the true essence of all things. All that is perceptible to the senses is mere fabrication of the original inventive mind. 17 The prime creation was in the abstract and imperceptible to the senses. It was perceptible to the mind in the form of the ideals which the ignorant converted to phenomena.
18 A yogi, like knowing minds, sees all things in the abstract and in a general view. But the ignorant who are deprived of the power of abstraction and generalization fall into the errors of concrete particulars and deceptive phenomena. 19 All sensation is only a temporary perception and presents a wrong impression in the mind. Know all conscious perceptions to be false and deluding. The concepts in the mind of a yogi are the true realities.
20 O, the wonder of taking phenomena for invisible truth when we know that concepts, which are beyond the senses, are the true realities. 21 The subtle form of a thing first appears before the mind. Afterwards it is represented in various false shapes before us, and this is true of all material things in the world. 22 Whatever has not been before, has never been afterwards. As different ornaments of gold are nothing but gold itself, so pristine subtle ideas cannot have any gross material form.
23 O the great ignorance of men that takes error for truth and falsehood as true. There is no way for the living soul to discern true and false except by right reasoning. 24 The material body cannot be maintained by correct reason, but its immaterial essence is indestructible, both in this world and in the next. 25 The error of materiality in the incorporeal, spiritual body presided over by the intellect is like the fallacy of a vast sea in the shining sands of a sandy desert.
26 Consciousness of materiality, which one has in his spiritual and intellectual form, is like seeing the figure of a human body in a mountain peak. 27 The false supposition of materiality in the spiritual entity of our being is like the error of seeing silver in the shells on the seashore, or sunshine on sands for water, or a second moon in the mist. 28 O the wonderful effectiveness of error that represents the unreal as real and vice-versa. O the great power of delusion which springs from the unreasonableness of living beings.
29 A yogi finds spiritual force and mental activity to be the two immaterial causes of all action and motion moving everything in both the physical and intellectual worlds. 30 Therefore a yogi relies only on his internal perception and rejects those of his external senses. By comparison, common people run giddy drinking the vapors of the mirage of senses.
31 That which is commonly called pleasure or pain is only a fleeting feeling in the mind of men. It is of short duration. Genuine and lasting peace of mind, which has neither its rise or fall, is called true happiness.
32 Infer the super-conscious from what can be sensed and see the true source of your sensations manifest in your presence. 33 Reject the sight of this triple world which your perception presents to your imagination, because there can be nothing more foolish than taking a delusion for truth. 34 All these bodies and beings carry only their immaterial forms of mere ideas. Only the demon of delusion causes us to suppose their materiality. 35 Whatever is not produced or thought of in the mind cannot present its figure to our sight. That which is no reality of itself cannot be the cause of anything else.
36 When phenomena are nonexistent and unreal, what else is there that may be real? How can anything be said to be real whose reality is by the unreal and delusive senses? 37 Phenomena being proved unreal, there can be no reality in perceiving or thinking about them. It is impossible for a spider to maintain its web before a storm that blows away an elephant. 38 So likewise, visual evidence being proved false, there is no proof of any object of vision anywhere. There is only one unchanging entity in all nature whose solidity depends upon the consolidation of Divine Consciousness, like sea salt in solidified seawater.
39 Like a dreamer dreams of a house on high hill in its ideal form, which is unknown and unseen to others sleeping with him in the same house, so we thought of that stone we have been talking about, and which is nothing other than the intellect. 40 The intellectual soul exhibits a great many ideal phenomena within itself, such as “this is a hill” and “this is the sky” and “this is the world” and “these are me and you,” all of which are as insubstantial as empty air.
41 Only men of enlightened souls can perceive these phenomena of intellect in themselves, not the unenlightened soul. It is like a person who listens to a lecture understands it, but not one who dozes through it. 42 All these false sights of the world appear true to an unenlightened person, just as the still trees and mountains seem to be dancing to an inebriated man.
43 A yogi beholds one irrepressible form of God in all places, manifest before him in the form of his intellect. But the ignorant are deceived by their false guides to place their reliance on the objects of senses, in spite of their frail nature.