1 Rama said, “Please tell me sage. How is this globe of the earth situated? How and where does Lokaloka Mountain stand upon it? Do the stars revolve about it?”
2 Vasishta replied:—
As children build their fancied castles in empty air, so this world is the creation of the imagination of the mind of Brahma, and no more than this. 3 As a dim sighted man sees the shadow of the moon and other false sights before his eyes, so in the beginning, the creative power (Brahma) sees the phantoms of the phenomenal world in the emptiness of its Intellect. 4 As an imaginary city is situated in the mind and is invisible to the eye, so the notion of the world is assumed in the intellect and not exhibited in actuality. 5 Whenever there is a reflection of anything in the mind arising spontaneously of its own nature, the same presents itself, even then and in that state, before sight as in a dream. 6 As a dim sighted eye sees false sights in the sky, so the deluded mind sees the earth and heavenly bodies. 7 As the currents of water flow on the surface of rivers, and there resides a latent fire underneath, so the notions of things presenting themselves as dreams of the mind are manifested as real ones before sight. 8 Hence, as thoughts and ideas of things continually occur and settle in the mind, so the earth and heavenly bodies constantly appear to revolve in their spheres.
9 The world is entirely nonexistent to dull and inanimate beings. It is visible to those who have physical sight but utterly invisible to the blind and altogether unknown to those who are born blind. It is imperceptible to the insensible and perceptible only in the same manner as it is presented in the mind. So it is only in the power of the mind to represent it in some form or other to one’s self. 10 Thus it is according to mental conception that the bodies of stars are considered to be as large as the earth and the unreal world is believed to be a real entity.
11 The world has both light and darkness owing to the presence or absence of the sun. Beyond this there is a great abyss of emptiness, a vast expanse of darkness except where there is a glimpse of zodiacal light. 12 The polar circle is called Lokaloka Mountain from the bulging of the poles at both ends. It is also called Lokaloka because it has a light and a dark side, owing to the course of the sun towards or away from it. Its distance from the starry circle also deprives it of zodiacal light.
13 Beyond Lokaloka Mountain and far away from the sphere of the sky, there is the sphere of the starry frame which revolves around them at a great distance on all the ten sides. 14 This starry zodiacal belt encircles the sky up and down, from the heavens above to the infernal regions below, in the vast emptiness of space extending to all sides. 15 The starry belt of the zodiac turns round Lokaloka Mountain on earth and its nether regions, as it appears to our imagination and not otherwise as fixed and motionless. 16 The sphere of zodiacal stars is twice as distant from the poles as they are distant from the middle of the earth, in the same way as the shell of a ripe walnut is distant from the sheath of its seeds. 17 Thus the starry belt is settled at double the distance from the poles, as Lokaloka Mountain is situated from the equator. It turns all about the ten sides, like a bael fruit whirling in the sky. 18 The aspect of the world is according to the pattern situated in the imagination of Brahma, and as reflected from its original model in the Divine Mind.
19 There is another sphere of the heavens, far away from the starry frame and twice in its extent. This is lighted by the zodiacal light and beyond it there reigns a thick darkness. 20 At the end of this sphere there is the great circle of the universe, having one half stretching above and the other below and containing the sky in the middle. 21 It extends millions of leagues and is compact with all its contents. It is a mere work of imagination, formed of emptiness in the immensity of vacuum.
22 The sphere of light turns on every side of the great circle of emptiness, with all the radiant bodies of the sun, moon, and stars in its circumstance. There is no upside or downward in it, but are all the same. 23 There is no actual ascending, descending or standing of any planetary body. They are merely manifestations of the intellect which exhibits these variations in the workings of the mind.