1 Vasishta continued:—
Now the self-born Brahma, having compressed his breath in his form of Viraj, the atmospheric air carried on the wings of wind, lost its existence. 2 The atmospheric air, the very breath of Brahma, being thus compressed in his breast, what other air could there remain to uphold the starry frame and the system of the universe? 3 The atmospheric air, compressed with the vital breath of Brahma, meant that creation was about to come to its ultimate extinction.
4 The sky, being no more upheld by its support of the air, gave way to fiery bodies of meteors falling down on earth like starry flowers from the tree of heaven. 5 The stars of heaven, being unsupported by the intermediate air, fell on the ground like the unfailing and impending fruits of our deserts, or the flying fates falling from above. 6 The gross desire or the crude will of Brahma was now at its end at the approach of dissolution. There was an utter stop to the actions and motions of the spiritual masters, just like the flame of fire before its extinction.
7 World-destroying winds blew in the air like thin, flying scraps of cotton. Then the spiritual masters fell down mute from heaven after losing their strength and power of speech. 8 The great fabrics of human wishes fell down with the cities of the gods. Mountain peaks were hurled headlong by shocks of tremendous earthquakes.
9 Rama asked, “Now sage, if the world is only a representation of the ideas in the mind of the great god Brahma or Viraj, then what difference do earth, heaven and hell make to him? 10 How can these worlds be said to be the members of his body? How can it be thought that God resides in them with his stupendous form? 11 I well know that Brahma is the willful spirit of God and has no form of himself. So I take this world to be a formless representation of the will or idea in the Divine Mind. Please sage, explain this clearly to me.”
12 Vasishta replied:—
In the beginning this world was not in existence and not in nonexistence either. There was the Eternal Consciousness which absorbed all infinity in itself, and the whole emptiness of space with its essence. 13 This emptiness is known as the thought. The intellect, without forsaking its form, becomes the power of using the intellect itself.
14 Know this power of using the intellect to be the living soul which, being condensed, becomes the gross mind. But none of these essences or forms of existence have any form whatever. 15 The emptiness of the intellect remains as the pure vacuum in itself forever. All this which appears as otherwise is nothing without the very same soul. 16 The very soul assumes to it its egoism, and thinking itself as the mind, becomes soiled with its endless desires in its empty form.
17 Then this intellectual principle thinks itself to be the air by its own volition. By this false supposition of itself, it becomes of an aerial form in the open air. 18 Then it thinks of its future gross form, and immediately finds itself transformed to an aerial body by its volition (sankalpa). 19 Though the soul, spirit and mind are empty in their natures, yet they can assume aerial forms to themselves by their will, just as the mind sees imaginary cities. So the Lord takes upon any form it pleases.
20 As the knowledge of our minds is purely of an aerial nature, so the intelligence of the all-intelligent Lord is likewise of an intellectual kind. He takes and forsakes any form as he supposes and pleases for himself. 21 As we advance in the knowledge of hidden truth, so we come to lose the perception of size and extension and know this extended world is a mere void, though it appears as a positive entity. 22 By knowledge of real truth, we get rid of our desires. By our knowledge of the unity and the absence of our egoism or personality, we obtain our liberation.
23 Such is he, the supreme one. Brahman is the entity of the world. Know Viraj, O Rama, to be the body of Brahman, the form of the visible world. 24 Desires or will and the false conceptions which rise in it have the form of empty vacuum. The same give birth to the world, which is then called the cosmic egg.
25 Know all this is nonexistence. The forms you see are only the formation of your fancy. In reality there is nothing in actual existence. You and egoism are no entities at anytime. 26 How can the gross world ever be attached to the simple Consciousness which is of the nature of a void? How can a cause or secondary cause ever be produced in or come out from a mere void? 27 Therefore all this production is false and all that is seen is a mere falsity. All this is a mere void and nothing, falsely taken for something.
28 It is only Consciousness that exhibits itself in the forms of the world and its productions, in the same manner as air creates its vibrations as winds in the very calm air itself. 29 The world is either as something or a nothing at all, devoid of both unity and duality. Know the whole to lie in the empty emptiness of Consciousness, void and transparent as Consciousness.
30 I am extinct to all these endless particulars and distinctions. Whether you take them as real or unreal, or be with or without your egoism, it is all nothing to me. 31 Be without any desire and quiet in your mind. Remain silent without fickleness in your conduct. Do whatever you have to do, or avoid it without anxiety. 32 The Eternal One, ever existent in our idea of him, is manifest also in phenomena which is no other than himself. But our imperfect idea of God has many things in it which are unknown to us and beyond our comprehension. Such is also with phenomena that are so perceptible to us.