1 Rama said, “Tell me sage, how was it that the fourfold Vipaschit entertained different desires though one person with a single consciousness?”
2 Vasishta replied:—
Any person conscious of his self identity and its invariability and indivisibility may still think himself to be another person doing different things, just as a man does in his dream. 3 Again, the clarity of the soul shows abstract images of things in itself, as it did in the soul of the wise King Vipaschit, and as a mirror reflects the discrete figures of objects, and of the sky and sea, in its clear and empty space. 4 As reflectors made of the same metal reflect one another in themselves, so all things, which in reality are of an intellectual nature, reflect themselves in the intellect. 5 Hence whatever object presents itself to the senses of anyone is nothing other than the solidification of his intellectual idea of it. 6 The one and the same thing appears as many, and varied ones in reality are only the unchanging one. There is no positive variety or uniformity in existence because all apparent variety is positive unity. 7 Hence whatever part of the king was conscious of anything that presented itself at anytime, the same is said to be the state of his being during that time.
8 It is possible for a yogi who sits secluded in one place to see all present, past and future events simultaneously. In the same way, it is possible for a king sitting retired in his palace to manage all affairs of his whole domain and much more, for King Vipaschit delegated to his viceroys as if they were members of his body.
9 A cloud stretches itself to all the quarters of the sky and at the same time performs the different functions of quenching the parched earth with its water and of growing vegetables and fructifying trees. Similarly, a man boasts of doing several acts at the same time. 10 So also are the simultaneous acts of the Lord God and those of the lords of men and yogis who design and perform at the same time the multiple acts relating to the creation, preservation and management of the world.
11 So the one Vishnu, with his four arms and as many forms, acts many parts independently, such as the preservation of the world on the one hand and the enjoyment of his fair consorts on the other. 12 Again though a person’s two hands are enough to discharge the ordinary affairs of life, yet it is necessary to have many arms to use many weapons in warfare.
13 In the same manner, the one monarch was situated with his fourfold persons in all four sides of the earth where, though each was impressed with the consciousness of the one identity, each acted his part distinctly from the others. 14 They were all similarly conscious of the pains and pleasures of lying down on bare ground, passing to distant islands, and travelling to various forests, groves, and desert lands. 15 They all remembered their journeys over hills and mountains, as well as their voyages by water and air. They knew how they floated on the seas and rested on clouds. 16 They knew how they mounted upon waves of seas and rode on the back of flying wind, and how they lay on seashores and at the feet of mountains.
17 Again, the king proceeding to Saka continent on the east passed into an enchanted city of yaksha demons lying at the foot of the eastern Udaya-giri mountain where, being spellbound by their sorcery, he lay asleep for a full seven years in the woods of leafless mansasija trees. 18 Afterwards, rising from his drowsiness, he was converted to the dull state of a stone by drinking some mineral water and was condemned to remain for seven more years with the mineral substances of the earth. 19 Then he was confined in a cave in western Astachala Mountain which reaches to the region of clouds and is shrouded by darkness. There he became enamored of the company of pisacha and apsara females.
20 Then he arrived at a region free from fear where a high mountain rose with waterfalls on all sides. Here the king was lost in the forest of Haritaki having myrobalan fruits and become invisible for years. 21 The king that had before been spellbound by the yaksha afterwards travelled to the frigid climate. There, being transformed to a lion, he wandered about Raivata Hills for ten days and nights. 22 Then being deluded by the black art of pisachas, he was changed into the form of a frog and lived in that state in the caves of the golden mountain for a hundred years. 23 Afterwards, travelling to the country of Kumarika, he dwelt at the bottom of the northern ridge of Black Mountain. Then going to the Saka country, he was transformed into a hog and lived in a dark hole in that shape for a hundred years. 24 He lived for fourteen years in the land of Maribaca when the western form of the king was turned into a vidyadhara by virtue of his skill in learning various mantras. 25 There he enjoyed sexual intercourse to his full satisfaction under scented gardens of cardamom trees and passed his time in amusement.