Chapter 208 — Vasishta Explains that Everything is the Expression of an Idea in God, — including Laws and Secondary Causes

Vasishta continued:—

Now hear me tell you why men happen to meet with good or fortune at home and how, in the same way, rewards and punishments come upon departed souls from unforeseen causes in the far distant world.

You know that the entire world is a creation of Divine Will. The world appears as material phenomena to our outer sight, as concepts to our inner insight, and as concepts to Brahman himself in its spiritual light. In this volitional world, everything appears in the same way as you want to see it. In your own house, you are master of your children and you can dispose of your things and affairs as you please. In the same way, the Lord is the sole disposer and dispenser of all things in this world of his will, as he likes of his own accord. In your own home you find everything to your liking as you wish it to be. In the same way, the Lord directs and disposes all things in His world.

The disorder that appears to take place in the order of nature is to be attributed to the Divine Will as the sovereign law of all. The good or evil which waits on men owing to their obedience or transgression of the law is both attributable to Divine Will. It is also the dispensation of Divine Will whereby all living bodies have their perceptions of worldly things, just as they have the conception of the existence of the world which, in reality, has no substance. It is by will of Divine Intellect that everything appears to exist before us. It is the opening and closing of Intellect which causes the appearance and disappearance of the world to our view.

10 King Prajnapti asked, “Tell me sage, if the world is the production of Divine Will, why did it not exist before, with the eternity of Divine Will, and why did it came to be manifested afterwards? Is the world an unstable and vanishing appearance in the air, or it has any fixity in the Divine Mind or stability in nature?”

11 Vasishta replied:—

Such is the nature of the empty and volitional city of Divine Consciousness. It comes into being and not being in succession in the states of repeated waking dreams of creation and in the sleeping oblivion of its desolation.

12 Like the mud-built house of playful children and the air-drawn castles of fanciful men, the appearances of creation appear both real and unreal in Divine Consciousness, as well as to our minds. 13 You build and break your imaginary city in the air. You make and unmake a fabric of your will elsewhere, whether of your own choice or for any other reason. In the same way, the Divine Will constructs and retracts any of its works at its pleasure. 14 Thus all beings are continually rising and falling in this empty city of the Divine Will which is ever shining in its nature with the pure light of the Divine Mind. 15 The whole fullness of the world is an emptiness full with the dense intelligence of omniscience. This omniscient intelligence does whatever it thinks upon and wills.

16 Therefore it is not the hidden but the self manifest God that does all things, even at a distance of millions of miles and over multitudes of ages, as if they lay before him at the present time. 17 So there is nothing in any country or in any world which is not known or thought of by the sole and unhidden soul of all. 18 As a brilliant gem reflects its light and shade within itself, so does the gem of Consciousness reflect the various changes of the world in itself by its own light.

19 Laws and prohibitions necessary for the preservation of people are implanted in the human soul.

20 The soul neither dies nor revives. Brahman himself is the source and origin of the human soul. The human soul is his reflection constantly emanating from the Divine Soul. 21 Being the viewer, it supposes itself to be the view and thinks its imaginary world is a visible phenomenon. In the same way it thinks itself to be born, living and dying.

22 When the soul of its own nature ceases to cast its reflection, or suppresses it within itself, and remains quietly in the empty sphere of Divine Consciousness by assimilating itself into the Universal Soul of Brahman, then it is said to be quiet in death or vanishing from the world. 23 The emission and admission of its reflection are as natural to ignorant and imperfect living souls of animal beings as vibration and calm are inherent in air.

24 In the city of your imagination, you see the growth, decay and death of people at different times and places. 25 In the same way, the nature of this imaginary city of God is to exhibit these changes everywhere, as in the cases of animals, plant and all other things in all three worlds. 26 But God neither wills nor does everything himself in this creation of his will. He acts by general laws and secondary causes, like children playing, growing grass from grass, producing trees and their fruits from seeds, and everything else. 27 The nature of the almighty intellect of God is to bring forth whatever it wills to be in being.

28 All things originally have an intellectual form. Afterwards they appear in whatever forms and different natures as the Almighty Intellect invests them with. 29 Hence everything here, because they originate from Divine Intellect, ultimately and truly is of an intellectual form. Because the intellect includes all things in itself, it displays every form and shows itself in any form it likes.

30 This same intellect is the omniscient and Universal Soul without beginning, middle or end. It is omnipotent, something which is nothing, and an entity appearing as nonentity. It appears such as it remains anywhere and shows itself as anything. It is the origin of all things and beings and the source of all plants and grass.