17 April, 2013

Yoga Vasistha for Scientists

Above: Extract from the Yoga Vasistha. Right-click and 'save link as' for large size image

The world is Brahman only

The world is not different from Brahman 

O’ Scion of Raghu dynasty! This world neither arises from the Supreme Brahman nor does it merge into it, but is established in the Supreme Brahman itself. The imagination of void in the Brahman is because of the expectation of non-void. In reality, it is non-void. How can imagination of void and non-void be possible in the Supreme Brahman? What comes from fullness is fullness and that which is established in fullness is also full. This universe has never been created and whatever has been created is itself the Truth (Brahman). It is subtler than a subatomic particle, supremely pure, tranquil and blemishless. It’s nature is not limited by space, time or measurement and is omnipresent. It has neither a beginning nor an end and is self-illumined.

The Supreme Brahman which is the cause of all causes remains even after the cosmic dissolution. When the modulations of the mind are extinguished by equanimous intellect (Samadhi), it results in the mind being extinguished and only the inexpressible, self illumined, Reality remains. This is the nature of Supreme Consciousness. That Supreme Consciousness, in which the triad of the known, the knower and knowledge arises, in which it is established and in which it dissolves, is difficult to attain.

In the Supreme Consciousness, there is nothing called the world. That which we call “the world” is Brahman only. Just as blackness is non different from collyrium, just as void is non different from space and just as coolness is non different from ice, similarly, this world is non different from Brahman. This world is not separate from the Brahman. From the beginning, this world has evolved in the Brahman itself and hence is not different from it. This Supreme Consciousness alone is and there is no imagination of duality in it. I shall presently explain how this world came into being from the Supreme Brahman. It is by this Supreme Brahman that all these visible entities have gained expansion. That Supreme Consciousness itself is this individual and collective world which repeatedly manifests and unmanifests.

The seed of the world is the primary illusory power of the Brahman 

O’ Scion of Raghu dynasty! Brahman itself appears in the form of this creation. A dream does not appear solid and real by the conditioning (mental impression) of just one person, but the universe appears real and orderly because of the collective conditioning (mental impressions) of all beings. The all pervading Consciousness itself is the substratum of this universe and this entire universe is the existential form of this Brahman Consciousness.

The subtle elements or objects of senses (Tanmatras) i.e., Sound, Touch, Sight, Taste and Smell corresponding to the five primary elements (Panchamahabhootas) i.e., Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth are the seeds of this world and the seed of these five subtle elements is the primary illusory power. This is directly related to the Supreme Consciousness which is the primary cause for the world appearance. In this way, the world springs forth from the illusory power of Supreme Consciousness. When the illusion is removed, the same is experienced in it’s ever pure form. Hence this glorious world is the form of Brahman only.

Just as in a dream, a city appears without building anything, in the same way, in this great forest of Supreme Consciousness, the tree of world appearance is created and destroyed again and again. Know that, the seed is itself the fruit because there is no difference between the primary cause and the result. Hence, the entire world is Consciousness itself. How can that which is imagined be the Truth? This world is essentially not separate from this Supreme, undivided, unbounded, Brahman Consciousness and yet it appears to be separate.

The individual consciousness (jiva) endowed with mental sheath (Manomaya) imagines the grossness of body consciousness within itself and becomes identified with the gross body. The individual consciousness (jiva) endowed with the mental sheath, thinks that the mind itself is Consciousness. Just as intentions manifest in Brahman, similarly the world is also said to manifest intentions. In this way, the Supreme Brahman Consciousness evolves in itself by itself and there is no existence of this world apart from Brahman.

This world is the imagination of that Supreme Consciousness 

O’ Scion of Raghu dynasty! Having never been created, there is no existence for this world and what exists is the Supreme Brahman only. Just as the mountains and cities in a dream are destructible and not stable, similarly this world is also destructible and not stable. Brahman itself is the original primordial cosmic womb (Hiranyagarbha), the cosmic person (Virat) and the cosmic person itself is this creation. There is nothing apart from Brahman and that which is imagined to be different from Brahman is also Brahman. When the Self becomes aware of itself within itself, then that Consciousness by its own power, experiences a subtle ego sense within itself. This progressively becomes grosser and grosser and finally assumes the form of the universe. In this way, the power of this Consciousness (Chiti Shakti) itself assumes the form of the world and this world is only an imagination of that Consciousness. This imagination is dependent on the ego sense. So, the ego sense and the world are also nothing but Consciousness. There is no duality or non duality in it.  

With Consciousness as the primary factor, ego sense is the only actor and with vibration (Spandan) as the primary factor, the life force (Prana) is the action. There is no difference between these two. The cosmic person (Purusha) endowed with these is called as individual consciousness (jiva). So, there is no difference between individual consciousness (jiva) and the world. This world is nothing but a glimpse of that light of Consciousness. When the Ultimate Truth is known, this understanding becomes firm that - “No weapon can cut me, fire cannot burn me, air cannot dry me and I am eternal, all pervading, unshakeable and stable”. Only the ignorant argue among themselves. We have overcome this illusion and hence there is nothing for us to argue. Hence, this hypothesis has been established that existence of the world is only because of the existence of the Supreme Consciousness and the world does not have an independent existence of its own.

Hindi to English translation by Shri Prasad Rajanna. Translators Note: The terms Brahman, Brahman Consciousness, Supreme Consciousness, Supreme Brahman used in this text, all refer to the one Truth which is the Ultimate Reality.

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