Chapter 96 — Summation of the Story of the Stone; Nothing Exists or Does Not Exist

Vasishta resumed:—

O intelligent Rama! I have described at length the story of the stone which shows you plainly how all these created things are situated in the emptiness of Divine Consciousness, and how nothing whatever exists at anytime or place or in the air except the one undivided intellect of God which is situated in itself, like salt and water mixed together.

Know Brahman as Consciousness which presents many imaginary shows of itself in the dream which is inseparable from itself. God being the Universal Spirit and creation full of manifestations, it is not inconsistent to the nature of the universal and immutable soul to contain endless varieties of manifestations in the infinite emptiness of Divine Consciousness without any change in itself.

There is no self-born creative power as Brahma or its creation of the world. The world is only a production of the dreaming intellect. It is situated in our consciousness, just as the dreams are imprinted in the memory. As the city seen in your dream is situated intellectually in yourself, so the entire universe, from its creation to its annihilation, is situated in Divine Consciousness. As there is no difference between gold and the gold mountain of Meru, or between the dreamed city and the mind, so there is no difference whatever between the intellect and its creation.

Only consciousness exists and not the world of its creations, just as the mind exists without the gold mountain of its dream. As the mind shows itself in the form of the formless mountain in its dream, so the formless Brahman manifests itself as the world of forms, which is nothing in reality. 10 Consciousness is all this vacuum, uncreated, unbounded and endless, neither produced nor destroyed in thousands of the great mahakalpa ages.

11 This intellectual vacuum is the living soul and Lord of all. It is the ego without decay and embraces all the three worlds in itself. 12 The living body becomes a lifeless carcass without this aerial form intellect. Consciousness is neither broken nor burnt with the fragile and burning body, nor is there any place to extract the empty intellect from the body. 13 Therefore there is nothing that dies and nothing that ever comes to being. Consciousness being the only being in existence, the world is only a manifestation of itself to the mind.

14 Consciousness alone is the embodied and living soul and should it ever be supposed to die, then the son would be thought to die by the death of the father because the one is only a reproduction of the other. 15 Again the death of one living soul would involve the wholesale death of all living creatures, and then the earth would be void of all its population.

16 Therefore, O Rama, no one’s intellectual soul has ever died anywhere up to this time. Nor has there ever been any country devoid of a living soul. 17 Knowing that I am one with the Eternal Soul and the body and its senses are not mine, I do not know how I or anyone else could ever die at anytime. 18 He who knows that he is the purely intellectual soul, and yet ignores it and thinks to himself that he is dying like a mortal being, truly is the destroyer of his soul and casts himself into a sea of troubles and misery.

19 If I am the intellectual soul, without decay and everlasting, as transparent as the open air, then tell me, what is life or death to me, and what does my happiness or misery mean in any state? 20 Being the empty and intelligent soul, I have no concern with my body. Anyone conscious of his soul who forgets to believe himself as such is truly a destroyer of his soul. 21 The wise consider a foolish man who has lost his consciousness of being the purely empty soul to be a living dead body.

22 The knowledge that I am the intelligent soul and the bodily senses are not essential to me is what leads me to attain to the state of pure spirituality, which neither death nor misery can deprive. 23 He who remains firm, relying upon the pure intellectual soul, is never assailed by disasters, but is unaffected by sorrow as a block of stone to a flight of arrows. 24 Those who forget their spiritual nature and place their trust in the body are like foolish people who ignore gold and collect ashes.

25 The belief that I am the body, its strength and its perceptions falsifies my faith in these and destroys my reliance on the spirit. But my trust in the spirit confirms my faith in spirit by removing my belief in the body and its senses. 26 The belief that I am pure empty consciousness, quite free from birth and death, is sure to dispel all illusions of feelings and passions and affections. 27 Those who neglect the sight of empty consciousness, unable to see their bodies in the light of the spirit, deserve the name of physical beasts and are receptacles of only physical desires and passions.

28 He who knows himself to be unbreakable and unburnable like a solid and impenetrable stone, not in his unreal body but in his consciousness, cares little for his death. 29 O the delusion that spreads over the sight of clear-sighted sages who fear total annihilation at the loss of their bodies. 30 When we are firmly settled in our belief in the indestructible nature of empty consciousness, we are led to regard the fire and thunder of the last day of destruction in the light of a shower of flowers over our heads.

31 I am imperishable consciousness and nothing that is perishable. Therefore the wailing of a man and his friends at the point of death appears as a ridiculous comedy to the wise. 32 That I am my inner intelligence and not the outer body or its sensations, is a belief that serves as an cure against the poison of all grief and sorrows. 33 That I am empty consciousness without any annihilation and that the world is full of intelligence, is a sober truth which can never admit any doubt.

34 Should you suppose yourselves to be anything other than consciousness, then tell me, you fools. Why do you vainly talk of the soul and what do you mean by it? 35 Should the intelligent soul be liable to death, then it is dead with dying people every day. Then tell me how you live and are not already dead with the departed souls of others? 36 Therefore the intelligent soul neither dies nor comes to life at anytime. It is only a false idea of the mind to think it is living or dying; it never dies.

37 As the intellect thinks to itself, so it beholds the same within itself. It goes on thinking in its habitual mode. It is never destroyed in its essence. 38 It sees the world in itself, and is likewise conscious of its freedom. It knows all that is pleasurable or painful without changing from its unalterable nature at anytime or place. 39 It is liable to delusions through knowledge of its embodiment, but by knowledge of its true nature, it becomes acquainted with its own freedom.

40 There is nothing whatever that is produced or destroyed at anytime or in any place. Everything is contained in the sole and self-existent Consciousness, displayed in its clear and empty sphere. 41 There is nothing real or unreal in the world. Everything is taken in the same light as it is displayed by Consciousness. 42 Whatever the intelligent soul thinks to itself in this world, it retains the ideas of them in the mind. Everything is judged by one’s consciousness of it. Something which one thinks to be poison, another believes to be nectar.