Chapter 138 — The Unnamed Sage Describes Entering the Student’s Consciousness, Seeing Double, then Realizing All Is One; Vasishta Describes the Process of Brahman, Brahma and Creation

The (unnamed) ascetic sage continued:—

Then I thought of being united with his consciousness and I breathed out the breath of my life to be joined with his, like a ripe mango sends out its flavor to mix with the fragrance of lotus flowers. I did not forsake my vital heat until I entered his intellect. I began by infusing my outward sensations into the organs of his external senses. Then I used the internal consciousness of my heart to attract my outward sensations. I mixed them with those of his, like a drop of oil mixes and dissolves in water.

As my consciousness intermingled with his sensations, I became aware of a double feeling of all external objects. Objects appeared to my senses in duplicate forms. All things everywhere seemed to be doubled about me, and I saw two suns and two moons. Heaven and earth appeared in double forms before me. As one face is seen as two in some mirror reflections, so all things presented their double forms to the mirror of my eyes. All these double shapes seemed to be as closely united as the world. As the intellect resides in the same form of oil in two sesame seeds, so with my intellect united with his in his body, I saw two worlds mixed up together.

Though my consciousness was united with his in the same body, yet it was not wholly assimilated with his. Each saw the world in different lights, like milk and water. Yet as I continued to looked into his consciousness and compared and measured it with mine, I found both were the same thing and of the same essence.

10 My consciousness was joined with his in the same way as one season joins with another, or as two rivers run together, or as smoke mixes with clouds, or as wind carries the fragrance of flowers. 11 Thus, as our consciousness continued being mixed together, the double view of the world became one, just as the false sight of two moons in the sky is soon changed to one upon correct understanding. 12 My power of discernment, which was in his person, became finer and finer without wholly losing itself in his. It resided together in his body.

13 Afterwards, I saw the faculties of his mind which resided in his heart were directed to observing external objects, taking delight noticing the occurrences of the day. 14 After taking his meal and drink, he rested from his weariness. He felt drowsy and inclined to sleep, like a lotus flower shutting its petals at nightfall after sucking the nectar-like liquid of the lake. 15 He withdrew his mind from observing the events that circulated all about the busy scene of the external world, just as the setting sun retracts his rays from the face of the world as he goes to take his rest in the evening. 16 The functions of his senses receded into heart. The operations of his mind retired to his brain and remained hidden there like the limbs of a tortoise drawn inside its shell. 17 His eyelids were closed as his heart had shut up. He remained as dead as a lifeless block, or as a figure in painting or statue.

18 I also followed the course of his mental faculties and settled with them in his mind. My senses being under the direction of the mind were set in the recess of his heart. 19 Then unconscious of all outward perceptions and their conceptions, I remained with that spirit in me, like sleeping on a soft bed, perceiving nothing but a void all about me. 20 As the breathing of our vital breath was neither obstructed in the aorta nor passed rapidly through the lungs, as it does when eating and drinking in excess and fatigue, it passed evenly through the nostrils. 21 Then our souls remained in the heart with the Supreme Soul, keeping the course of the naturally uncontrollable mind under subjection. 22 Then the soul is employed in its consciousness of supreme bliss. It takes no notice of others’ actions. In that state of sound sleep, the body rests in perfect bliss.

23 Rama asked, “Tell me sage. If the vital breath, the cause of the mind’s operations while awake, is subjugated, then what does the mind do? The mind has no form other than breath. How can it exist without the breath?”

24 Vasishta replied:—

Even so, there is no body other than one’s own idea of it. Only the mind’s imagination makes the body, just as the dream causes a mountain and other things to appear. 25 As there is no mind without the idea of it, and as there is nothing with a thought of it, so there is no production of the visible world for lack of a cause at the beginning of creation. 26 Therefore all these are forms of Brahman because he is the soul of all. The world itself is nothing other than the image of God. 27 Both mind and body are Brahman to those who know the truth, even though mind and body appear otherwise to ordinary knowledge.

28 O intelligent prince, I will now explain how the triple world is Brahman, and how he is the soul of all these varieties.

29 Only pure Consciousness exists forever. It has the form of infinite emptiness. It alone shows itself always in all forms, without being either the world itself or its visible appearance. 30 The Lord being omniscient, took the form of the character or substance of the mind upon himself, without forsaking his nature of pure consciousness free from disease or decay. 31 Then, as the Lord thought upon the movement of his mind, he assumed the relationship of the vital breath upon himself. O Rama, know that the best of men knows the knowable, that these are only forms of the very same being of God.

32 Now as this expansion of air appears to be a model form of the Divine Essence, so sensations and bodily perceptions and the entities of space and time are only various modifications of the same being. 33 Thus the whole world is entirely the formation of the Divine Mind. As this mind is the very intellect of the Supreme Brahman, so the totality of creation is only the expansion of the mind of Brahman himself. 34 The formless Brahman, without beginning or end, who has no reflection of himself and is free from disease and decay, is the quiet intellect. The quiescent entity of Brahman has the whole universe for its body. 35 The Supreme Being is omnipotent, so the mind also retains its power everywhere, though it remains like empty air.

36 The will of the mind is called Brahma. Volition immediately produces whatever it wills at anytime in itself. The mind’s ability to reproduce whatever is in it is a truth well known, even to children.

37 Now behold, O Rama, the almighty power of the mind which first became a living being by breathing. Then it became an intelligent being by its power of thinking. Next it became the living soul with its body. It made the three worlds and became the Purusha in the form of Brahma. It became embodied from its aerial form in the shape of Viraj. Thus it created everything in itself of its own will, as men produce all things in their imagination and see the cities of their fancy in dream.