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Aeriform Intellect

THE AERIFORM INTELLECT


 The Sage Vasishtha said: Whether you gain your goal or not, whether you witness the world or its dissolution, know that neither is any gain or loss to thee, since nothing here is real. At best, it is but the shadowy and fleeting form of a dream.

 Volition and inertia, being and non-being, presence and absence, pain and pleasure, loss and gain, are all but idealized airy fantasies of mind. He whose desires decrease day by day becomes as joyous as the enlightened Sage, and, like him, experiences the soul's emancipation.

 When the sharp knife of keen desire pierces the heart, it engenders the intensely painful sores of grief and misery which defy all remedies ofmantrams, gems and herbs. Whenever I look back to the vast assemblage of past actions, I find them all marred by mistakes, and not a single one entirely free from error, faultless and stainless.

 Confronted with the errors of past conduct, finding them to have been all for naught, how then can we claim to know the hearts of others, which are to us like inaccessible hills? Our designs upon the unreal world are dissolved by a glance, in the twinkling of an eye. Who can expect to hold the horns of a hare in his hands?

 The fixity of our egoism focussed upon our gross forms instantly transforms the aerial intellect into a gross substance, making the mind a seeming part of a solid body, just as the raindrop is congealed in the hailstone. Intellect generates the reality of our unreal bodies, just as the undying principle portrays its own death in dreams.

 As the apparent azure of the empyrean is ascribed to the empty and insubstantial void, so too is this creation, neither real nor unreal, ascribed toBrahman. As vacuity is the inextricable property of the void, and volatility that of the air, so too is creation an indistinguishable property of the Divine, one and the same property withBrahmanitself.

 Nothing is formed here as the world, nor is anything annihilated in it. All this is like a dream to a sleeping man, a mere appearance and wholly insubstantial. The non-existent earth and all else are illusory manifestations. Why then become anxious or fearful about the creation and dissolution of this world, which are merely its formulation and dissipation in the realm of the Intellect?

 The apparent body is not a real thing caused by elements such as the earth and the rest; it is an apprehension of Divine Intellect and is situated in the Divine Spirit. So too is the notion of the world as caused by the instrumentality of mind and other principles false and absurd, since all these are not distinct from the One itself.

 All things are uncaused and non-sequential in the Divine Mind, eternally present at one and the same time, just as the entire series of a man's actions from birth to death is evident instantly in a dream. All things are contained in, and as vacuous as, the void Intellect, wherein this spacious earth with all its high hills and solid ground, and all its peoples with all their actions and endeavours, are ever existent in their aerial forms in the aeriform Divine Intellect.

 The world is a picture painted on the airy surface of the Divine Mind in hues derived from the Divine Intellect. It neither rises nor sets, nor faints nor fades, nor does it ever vanish away. The world is as a huge wave in the fluidity of the waters of Intellect. Why it is so, how it is made to swell or subside, and indeed when, none can tell.

Yoga Vasishtha Maharamayana
Nirvana Prakarana Uttaradha XXXVII

Valmiki

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