Chapter 144 — The Individual Mind is a Microcosm of Brahman; Dreams and Creations; the Rules for the Dreams (Destiny) Are Inherent in Brahman

The sage continued:—

The visible world is something in nothing, an entity based upon nonentity. It resembles our consciousness of things seen only in our dreams. As all things are eternally situated in the Divine Mind, there can be no meaning in our being bound to or liberated from them. These worlds appearing to move before us are seen like specks of dust flying about in sunbeams. They are only impermanent phantoms in the air that appear like stable bodies in the minds of the ignorant.

Whatever is seen placed before us in any form or state is soon found to change its mode and manner. In the same way, all things here are in constant change, continually revolving like water in a whirlpool. The earth, air, water, and other elements are the materials that combine to form frail bodies that are doomed to decay and dissolve in a short time. Yet the ignorant expect it to last for kalpa and yuga ages. The world is a dream and the totality of existence a mere nothing. Yet the idea of existence that is had of this nonexistence is no other than a reflection of the one Eternal Intellect.

There are hundreds and thousands of other worlds to be seen in the skies like this solar world of ours, and we can believe that others have the same ideas about other peoples. We see seas and lakes swarming with living beings of various kinds, and find pools and bogs full of frogs everywhere. But none of them know anything about reservoirs or their inhabitants other than their own. A hundred men sleeping in the same room see as many different air-built castles in their dreams. In the same way, different worlds appear in the airy intellects of some which are unseen and unknown to others. Just like many men sleeping in the same room dream as many different aerial cities, so these aerial worlds appear in the empty sphere of our minds. They are said to be in being and not being at the same time.

10 The sky is a miracle of the mind and a phenomenon of itself. It is visible without its form, appears as limited without its limitation, and as created without its creation. 11 The emptiness bearing the nature of the empty mind is vainly called the physical sky. It presents the forms of fleeting objects to sight as understanding represents its ideas and passing thoughts to our knowledge. 12 The memory of a thing is the cause of its dream by night, just as the desire of something (samskara) causes its conception in the mind, and as the apprehension of one’s death comes from seeing it in others.

13 In the beginning of creation, the world appears as an image in the mind. It is only a flash or reflection of Divine Consciousness. No other name can be properly given to it other than a thought in Divine Consciousness. 14 The saying that Brahman shines like world does not mean that he shines anew in the form of the world, but that this form eternally exists in his omniscience.

15 It is said that cause is identical with the effect because the common cause of all is specialized in its form of the effect. An action initially confined in the cause afterwards evolves into the germ of creation. 16 When things we have not seen or known before occur in the mind in dreams, they are called pristine impressions in the mind and not the external objects of sense which are not innate in the mind. 17 These mental impressions or memories are perceptible to us in our dreaming and not in the waking state. Yet they are not lost as long as we retain those impressions in the mind. They naturally appear in the soul in dreaming, just as visible phenomena appear to sight in the waking state.

18 Thus the Vedantist comes to know the nonexistence of the outer world, and by knowing the knowable one, they come to attain their object.

19 The impressions of the waking state which occur in the state of dreaming are the newly made imprints of the waking hours on the memory. These make the sleeping hours seem like waking to the dreaming soul. 20 These recent ideas fluctuate in the mind like the breath of the wind. They occur and reoccur of themselves without the agency of pristine impressions.

21 There is only one Consciousness that possesses many multitudes of airy dreams. Being dispossessed of them at last, it remains solely by and in itself. 22 The consciousness that we have of the dreams, ranging at large in the empty sphere of our intellect, is truly what we call the world. The lack of this consciousness in our sound sleep is what we call the extinction of the world. This comparison applies equally to the nature of the self-existed One.

23 There exists only the infinite sphere of one eternal Intellect (chidakasa). In that Intellect appears an infinity of shapes, perpetually rising and setting in its open space like dreams. These are born of its own nature, are called the world, and bear the same intellectual form with itself. 24 Thus the atomic particle of the Intellect contains the form of the entire cosmos within its open space. This cosmos is an exact pattern of its original model, just as the reflection in a mirror is the true representation of the original. 25 The opening of the Intellect contains consciousness diffused in it like an atom being stretched. It extends throughout without beginning or end and this is called the cosmos. 26 The emptiness of Intellect extends to all infinity. Connected with it is the appearance of the cosmos which is immanent and identical with itself at all times.

27 Intellect is identical with the cosmos, therefore all minds and intellectual beings such as I and you are also worlds or microcosms. This is why the great macrocosm of the world is said to be comprised in the womb of an atom of consciousness in the mind. 28 Therefore I, who is a minute soul, also have the form of the whole world. Hence I abide everywhere likewise, even in the midst of an atom. 29 Being in the form of the minute atom of the intellect, I am also as great as the Universal Soul, and as expanded as the open air all around. I also see all three worlds wherever I live or move.

30 I am an atom of the intellectual soul. I am joined with the intellectual soul of the universe. When I see the Supreme Spirit in my meditation, I am lost in it like a drop of water is lost in the ocean. 31 Having entered into the Divine Spirit and feeling its influence in me, I am filled with its consciousness. I behold the three worlds within me, just as the seed lies hidden within its husk. 32 I see the triple world expanding within myself, beside which there is no outer world on the outside of anybody.

33 Whenever the world appears in any form, whether in gross or subtle form, such as in the states of our waking or dreaming, all these interior or exterior worlds are to be understood as reflections of the ideal one imprinted in the intellect. 34 When the living soul indulges itself dreaming of sights of the world, it is to be understood as a reflection of the expanded particle of the intellect. The sleeping soul delights to show fondness upon such reflections.

35 The hunter said, “If the visible world is causeless or without its maker, then how could it come into existence? If it is a caused or created exterior world, then how could we have any knowledge of it during sleep when the soul is dreaming?”

36 The sage replied:—

All this is without a cause. The world proceeded at first without any causality whatever. 37 Truly it is impossible for gross and perishable bodies and transient beings to come to being without a cause. But that which is only a copy of the original model of the eternal mind cannot possibly have any cause at all. 38 It is Brahman himself that shines brightly by nature of his intellectual brightness. Hence the world’s creation and destruction are utterly inapplicable to what is without beginning or end. 39 Thus uncaused creation abides in the substance of the great God and shines forth with divine glory to all infinity. The appearance of gross bodies appears only to gross minds that are prejudiced with the grosser ideas of materiality.

40 What numberless varieties appear in the unchangeable Brahman! What unnumbered diversities of shapes and forms are seen in the formless One that is ever unchanged and imperishable! 41 Brahman is formless in his person, yet because he is the mind, he exhibits himself in many forms. There he represents his spiritual self in all the various forms of moving and immovable bodies. 42 He makes gods, sages, and seers in his likeness, and also directs them to their different degrees and duties. He establishes the laws and prohibitions of conduct and appoints the acts and observances at all times and places.

43 All existences and privations, productions and destructions, whether of moving or unmoving bodies, or great or small ones, are subject to his decree. None can ever transgress any of his general laws. 44 Ever since the general decree, nothing takes place without its proper special cause, just as you can never expect to extract oil from sand. 45 The destined decree of providence leads all events in the world. It is like one part of Brahman’s body curbs the other part of himself, like we restrain the action of one hand by the other.

46 This unavoidable destiny overtakes us, despite our prudence and will, like the sudden fall of a fruit on a flying crow. Destiny drives us along with its course, just as the tide carries waters with it. 47 The preordination of certain effects from certain causes is called destiny. Without that, there would be only disorder and disturbance, and not even Brahman can abide that. Therefore destiny is the imperishable soul of all existence. 48 Therefore destiny is the cause of all. Although it is unseen and unknown, yet it acts on everything as it is destined for them ever since their very production.

49 The uncausing Brahman causes nothing. Yet the ignorant, through their error in judgment, mistakenly believe Brahman to be the cause of creation. 50 However, a wise man seeing the sudden appearance of the world before him, like the rotation of a wheel, considers its causes as such and such or this and that, just as they have been determined by their preordained destiny. 51 All existent bodies have their special causes in their primordial destiny, which determines their subsequent lots in endless succession. Hence occurrences in our waking state, resembling visions in our dreams, are never without their antecedent causes.

52 I dreamed the destruction of the world caused by impacts of elements and waters. I dreamed this way because of its cause inbred in me. I had memories of the great deluge that I had heard in traditional stories. 53 In this manner we see the reflections of almighty power in all things, just as we see crystals and shellfish shining with their intrinsic brightness.

May this Omnipotent power that is the ever-living soul of souls, known to us in our imperfect notion of him, be glorified forever and ever.