1 Rama asked, “If the world has no cause and proceeds of itself from the essence of Brahman, as our dreams, thoughts and imaginations proceed of themselves from the nature of our minds, 2 and if it is possible for anything to proceed from no cause, then tell me sage, why does everything we see have its proper cause?”
3 Vasishta replied:—
Rama, I am not speaking about what men commonly perceive, the production of anything by application of its proper causalities. I am speaking about the creation of the world, which is not in need of any atomic principle or material elements, as the Atomists maintain.
4 People see this world in whatever light they imagine. Someone else sees it in a different manner according to his own imagination. 5 Some imagine it as the diffusion of the Divine Soul and think it is one with the nature of the deity. Others think of it as the living body of Viraj, with the unconscious parts resembling the hairs and nails growing upon his body.
6 The concepts of causation and lack of causation do not apply to God because the Lord, being almighty, has the power to be either the one or other as he likes. 7 If there is anything whatever that is supposed to be other than Brahman in its essence, then it is reasonable to suppose Brahman to be the cause of that which otherwise could not come to existence. 8 But when all things that appear to be so different from one another are without beginning or end and are coeternal with the Eternal One, then tell me, which of these can be the cause of the other?
9 Here nothing comes to exist or desist at anytime. All eternally exist in the self-existent One as one and the same with his empty Self. 10 What is the cause of anything, and to what purpose should anything be caused at anytime? The Lord expects nothing from his creatures, and therefore their creation is equal to their not being created at all. 11 Here there is no emptiness or fullness and no entity or nonentity either, or anything between them, as there is nothing attributable of the infinite emptiness of Brahman. 12 Whatever is simply is, and what does not may not be. But all is Brahman only, whether what is or is not.
13 Rama asked, “Tell me sage, how can the Divine Spirit not be the cause of all when all who are ignorant of its quiet inactive nature believe that it is the sole cause?”
14 Vasishta replied:—
No one is ignorant of God. Everyone has an innate conviction of God as his own consciousness. Whoever knows the empty entity of God also knows that this nature admits of no scrutiny or discussion. 15 Those who know the unity of God and his nature of motionless quiet, full of intelligence, also know that God’s unknowable nature is beyond all scrutiny.
16 Ignorance of God abides in the knowledge of God because one acknowledges the existence of God, yet says he is ignorant of God’s nature. This is like our dreaming is included under the state of sleeping.
17 I say that God is the soul of all, or is the all in all, to describe the omnipresence of God only for the instruction of the ignorant. In reality, his holy spirit is perfectly pure without decay. 18 Different understandings entertain different views regarding existence, whether caused or uncaused. 19 Those who see phenomena from a proper perspective have no reason to assign any cause to them whatever. Therefore, creation is without any cause whatever. 20 Therefore assigning a cause to this creation, either as matter or spirit, undermines one’s self-consciousness of divine permeation. It is all merely useless words of philosophers using clever arguments that serve only to confuse.
21 In absence of any other cause, creation is nothing other than like an appearance in our dream. There is nothing such as the gross material form or its visible appearance whatsoever. 22 What cause can the ignorant assign to their sight of a land in their dream other than the nature of Consciousness which exhibits such phenomena to minds? Say if there can be any other meaning to dreams? 23 Those who are unacquainted with the nature of dreams are deluded to believe them as realities. But those who are acquainted with their falsehood are not misled into believing them or this world to be real.
24 It is the impudence of fools to introduce any hypothesis of causality, either by their supposition, arrogance or in the heat of their debate. 25 Is the heat of fire, the coldness of water, or the light of luminous bodies as the ignorant suppose them to be, or any other nature of things and their respective causes? 26 There are hundreds of speculative theorists who assign as many causes to creation without agreeing upon any. Let them explain the cause of the aerial castles of their imagination.
27 The virtues and vices of men are formless things that bear fruit upon the spiritual body in the next world. How can they be causes of our physical bodies in this world? 28 How can our finite and shapeless knowledge of things be the cause of the constant rise and fall of endless and minute bodies in the world, as it is maintained by the Vijnana Vada gnostic school? 29 It is nature, says the Naturalist, which is the cause of all events. But as nothing results from the nature of anything without its combination with another, it is too indefinite in its sense.
30 Therefore all things appear as causeless illusions to the ignorant and their true cause is a mystery to them. The intelligent know them to be the wonderful display of Divine Consciousness that shows everything in itself. 31 As one who knows the falsehood of dreams is never sorry at his loss of anything in dream, so those who have the knowledge of truth never feel any sorrow even at the possession or separation of their lives.
32 In the beginning there was no production of the visible world. It is nothing more than the emptiness of the intellect. In its own and true form, it appears as a dream, and it is nothing other than a dream in its essence. 33 There is no other hypothesis which is more accurate than the world resembles a dream. This conception of the world has only the great Brahman for its ground work.
34 As fluidity, waves and whirlpools are the inherent properties of pure water, the revolutions of worlds are only appearances on the surface of the Divine Mind with the divine spirit of Brahman at their bottom. 35 As velocity and ventilation are inborn in the nature of pure air, the creation and preservation of the world are ingrained and intrinsic in the nature of God. 36 As infinity and emptiness are inherent properties of the great void, so the knowledge of all things existent and nonexistent, and of creation and annihilation are immanent in the Divine Mind.
37 All things in existence and lying dormant in the Divine Mind are perceptible to us because we participate in the very same mind.
38 This creation and its destruction both abide side by side in the dense intellect of the Divine Soul, just as thickening dreams and sound sleep reside together in the calm sleeping state of our soul. 39 As a man passes from one dream to another in the same sleeping state of his soul, so the Supreme Soul sees the succession of creations alternately taking place in its own essence. 40 The clear atmosphere of the Divine Soul, utterly devoid of earthy and other material substances, yet appears to be possessed of them all. In the same manner, the human soul sees many things in its dream without having any of those things in itself.
41 As the human mind sees the forms of a pot or painting rising before it in a thought, so the all seeing mind of God sees worlds upon worlds appearing at once in its presence with a glance of its thought. 42 The all seeing soul sees all things as they are in itself. It finds them to be of the same intellectual nature as its own intellect, and all things are equivalent to the words that express them.
43 What is the use of scriptures and what good is reasoning upon words when our lack of desire is the best way to bliss? There being no creation because it has no cause, we have nothing to do with what appears only seemingly so. 44 It being proved that the absence of desire is our best bliss below, the sensation of desire must be the source of perpetual misery to man. Though our desires are many, yet the feeling of it is one and the same. They betray the craving mind, just as the various dreams by night disclose the intense desire nature of the soul.