1 Vasishta added:—
I have already told you that Shiva is the representation of empty consciousness and that Rudra is dancing all about. 2 The forms attributed to them are not real, only representations of the grosser aspects of intellectual emptiness.
3 With my intellectual and clear vision, I saw that sphere of intellect in its clear, bright and clear light. But it did not appear so to others who, in their ignorance, saw it as dark as the black complexion of the associate goddess. 4 At the end of the kalpa cycle, I saw the two apparitions of delusion appearing before me. One was furious Rudra and the other ferocious Bhairava. I knew them both to be only delusion, creatures of my mistaken fancy. 5 The great deep opening seen to exist in the empty sphere of the Consciousness is supposed to be a vast void represented as dreadful Bhairava. 6 We can have no conception of anything without knowing the relation, the significant term and its meaning. For that reason I related this to you, as I found it to be.
7 Rama, know that whatever idea is conveyed to the mind by a word’s meaning, the power of delusion presents the very same like a magical appearance before the outward sight. 8 In reality there is no destruction and no destructive power of Bhairava or Bhairavi. All these are only false conceptions floating in the empty space of the intellect. 9 These appearances are like those of cities in dream, or warfare shown in our imagination. They are like the paradise realms of one’s imagination, or our feelings upon some pathetic and ear-stirring description. 10 As the dream city in the sky is seen in the field of fancy and strings of pearls seen hanging in the empty air, and as mists and vapors darken the clear atmosphere, so there are troops of fallacies flying all about the firmament of the intellect. 11 But the clear sky of pure intellect shines of itself in itself. When it shines in that state, it shows the world in itself. 12 The soul exhibits itself in its intellectual sphere in the same manner as a figure seen in a picture. The soul also manifests in the raging fire of final destruction.
13 I have told you about the formlessness of the forms of Shiva and his consort Shivani. Now listen as I tell you about their dance, which really was no dancing.
14 Sensation cannot exist anywhere without the action of the power of the intellect’s reasoning, just as it is impossible for anything to be a nothing or appear other than what it is. 15 Therefore the powers of sensation and perception are naturally united with all things, just as Rudra and his consort who are blended together like gold and silver in one and the same metal. 16 Whatever is sensation and wherever it exists, it must be a sensible object and have motion as its natural property. 17 Whatever is the action of the Intellect, whose consolidated form is named Shiva, that is also is the cause of our motions. As these are moved by our will and desires, they are called the dance of the intellectual power. 18 Therefore the furious form and dance of Rudra which Shiva assumes at the end of a kalpa is the vibration of Divine Intellect.
19 Rama asked, “In the sight of the right observer, this world is nothing in reality. Anything that remains in any sense is destroyed at the end of the kalpa. 20 Then how does it happen at the end of the kalpa, when everything is lost in the formless void of emptiness, that this consolidated form of intellect known as Shiva remains and thinks in itself?”
21 Vasishta replied:—
O Rama, if you entertain such a question, then hear me tell you how you can get over the great ocean of your doubts regarding the unity and duality of God.
22 The subjective soul then thinks of nothing, but remains quite tranquil in itself resting in the solid emptiness of its omniscience, just like and unmoving and mute stone. 23 If it reflects at all on anything, it is only on itself because it is the nature of consciousness to dwell calmly in itself. 24 As consciousness appears to itself like an inner city that it sees within itself in a dream, so there is nothing in real existence anywhere except the knowledge that is inherent in consciousness.
25 The Divine Soul, knowing everything in its empty intellect, sees the manifestation of the universe at the time of creation by the simple development of itself. 26 The intellect develops itself of its own nature, within its empty cell at first, then in a moment envelops this false universe in itself, and at his will at the time of its destruction. 27 The intellect expands itself in itself in its natural state of vacuum. It transmits itself likewise into its conceptions of “I” and “you” and all others. 28 Therefore there is no duality or unity, or any empty emptiness either. There is neither an intelligence nor its lack or both together. There neither I (subject) nor you (object). 29 There is nothing that ever thinks of anything, or anything whatever that is thought of that has its own nature. Therefore there is nothing that thinks or reflects, but all is quite rest and silence.
30 The unalterable steadiness of the mind is the ultimate samadhi of all scriptures. Therefore the living yogi should remain in his meditation like the silent and immovable stone.
31 Now Rama, remain to discharge your ordinary duties as they are required upon you by the rules of your race. But continue to be quiet and steady in your spiritual part by renouncing all worldly pride and vanity. Enjoy a peaceful composure in your mind and soul, like that of the serene, calm and clear hollow vault of the sky.