Chapter 212 — On Ascertainment Of Truth

Vasishta resumed:—

The man who possesses intellect and intellectual powers and considers himself as “I am that Brahman” is elevated to the rank of Brahman and contains the whole world in himself. As Lord Brahma Hiranyagarbha remains in this state, he is not then the creator of the world but was also the uncreated Brahman, the everlasting God, as he continued from all eternity.

The world appears in our consciousness like a mirage in a desert, an unreality that appears as a reality. Since creation this primeval emptiness began to present the illusion of the world in itself. How can such an illusion arise unless it was presented by Brahman himself? The world is a revolving sphere in the vast empty ocean of Brahman. How can the question of unity or duality arise in this? How can we talk of dualism in the whirling currents of the waters of the deep, or of unity if there is a lack of duality? The great Brahma is profoundly quiet. Having his intellect inherent in himself, he is conscious of his being the great or sole “I” in his mind. He sees himself as a vast expanse of emptiness. As fluctuation is inherent in air, heat is innate in fire, and the moon contains its coolness, so the great Brahma broods over the eternal ideas of things contained in the cavity of his fathomless mind.

Rama asked, “Tell me sage, how does the Divine Mind come to think and brood upon his creation when it is always employed in its reasoning process of intellect?”

Vasishta replied:—

It is even so, O Rama! The great Ego of God always thinks of everything in itself. There is nothing unknown to the uncreated and ever existent spirit of God. 10 Empty Brahma is always and everywhere present in both creation and non-creation. There is nothing known to him as existing or not existing at anytime. 11 As the mind is conscious of its fluctuation, the moon of her coldness, and the air knows its emptiness, so Brahma knows himself to be Ego and never thinks himself without the other. 12 Such is the entity of God, never otherwise. As Brahma is imperishable, this world must be without beginning or end.

13 You are led to a belief in duality of the non-dualistic unity of God only from a lack of sufficient intelligence and a prejudice arising from the idea of non-ego. 14 In reality, there is no one and nothing that thinks of anything of itself other than the Divine Ego. 15 The apparent threefold world is always one with and inseparable from God who dwells alike and evenly in all and who composes one uniform whole without any mixture of diversity or duality.

16 O Rama, know that nothing like a rock or tree is produced in empty emptiness. These seemingly solid worlds can never be produced in the empty spirit of Brahma. Know this and go on freely in your own way.

17 Teachings cannot persuade men of little intelligence and doubtful minds of the truth. As long as they cannot comprehend the unity, they are ever apt to believe in the multiplicity of objects. 18 No teaching or scripture can lead the ignorant to the knowledge of truth unless they can get rid of their prejudice of diversity which the creator Brahma has spread over the minds of men.

19 Rama asked, “Sage, I understand what you say, but I ask you to give some illustration so that I may understand better. 20 What does the supreme Brahma do by assuming the title of Ego or thinking to himself he is an agent? (What happens when the notion of “I” arises in God?) You know everything, but the audience’s understanding is less than satisfactory.”

21 Vasishta replied:—

The Supreme One was quite indistinct. He assumes the title of Ego to himself and becomes divided and distinguished into the distinct essences of emptiness, space and its directions, and time with all its divisions. 22 Then the Ego assumes its personality and finds many such distinctions appearing before itself which are quite imperceptible in its state of impersonality. 23 The knowledge of these empty principles and their qualities and attributes is preserved in the soul as abstract ideas. Afterwards they are expressed by certain symbolic sounds or words, which are also as empty as air. 24 Thus the formless and empty principle of the Ego entertains in itself the ideas or knowledge of time and space in their ideal forms.

25 This universe which appears as an expression of the ideal of the Ego and seems to be visible and substantial is in reality only the intangible Brahma appearing as the tangible non-Brahma. 26 The world is truly the quiet spirit of Brahma. It is one with him without beginning, middle or end. It is truly the void of Brahma who assumes to himself the titles of Ego and the living soul, empty himself in his own vast and extensive empty self.