Science of the Absolute Chapter 3 - Verses








1. manomayamidam sarvam na manah kvapi vidyate ato vyomniva niladi drsyate jagadatmani
All this (world) is of mind-stuff,
The mind, however, is not anywhere.
Therefore, like the blue and so on in the sky,
The world is seen in the Self.
IDAM SARVAM, all this (world),
MANOMAYAM, is of mind-stuff,
MANAH, the mind,
KVAPI, anywhere,
NA VIDYATE, is not,
ATAH, therefore,
VYOMNIVA, in the sky,
NILADI VA, like the blue and so on,
ATMANI, in the Self,
JAGAT, the world,
DRISYATE, is seen.
In the sky there are no colours such as blue, etc. In spite of this, however we know this verity as we actually perceive the blue colour in the sky. In reality only the sky is real, and blueness, etc. are fully unreal. In the same manner in the pure unqualified Self this world is perceived which is a presentiment of the will. It is the Self alone that is real, and the world consisting of mind-stuff is unreal.


2. manaso'nanyaya sarvam kalpyate'vidyaya jagat vidyaya'sau layam yati tadalekhyamiva'khilam
By nescience, which is no other than the mind,
All this world is a presentiment of the will.
This (nescience) by knowledge gets reabsorbed,
Then the whole world (becomes) a mere configuration.
MANASAH, from the mind,
ANANYAYA, which is no other,
AVIDYAYA, by nescience,
SARVAM JAGAT, all this world,
KALPYATE, is a presentiment of the will,
ASAU, this (nescience)
VIDYAYA, by knowledge (i.e. true knowledge of the Self),
LAYAM ITI, gets reabsorbed (ignorance is abolished and Self-knowledge prevails),
AKHILAM, the whole (world),
ALEKHYAMIVA (BHAVATI), then it (becomes)a mere configuration (drawing)
It is the mind that is to be considered the same as nescience It is because of this ignorance that the world seems to be real. For destroying this ignorance, which is nescience, there is no other way than through knowledge, that is, true knowledge of the Self. When nescience is abolished Self-knowledge prevails, and when nescience is abolished and science prevails, the whole world resembles a configuration (drawing) presented by the mind. In the same way by the power of nescience which is the form of mind, the whole world is willed. Therefore this world is non-existent. When Self-knowledge prevails the fact that the world is unreal becomes experienced.

3. vijrmbhate yattamaso bhiroriha pisacavat tadidam jagrati svapnalokavad drsyate budhaih
Here, what a coward finds through darkness
To be like a looming ghost,
The same is seen to be by the wise
Like a dream-world of a waking state.
IHA, here (i.e. from a workaday standpoint),
BHIROH, to a coward,
TAMASAH, through darkness,
PISACAVAT, like a ghost,
YAT, what,
TAT IDAM, that same (i.e. what is visible),
BUDHAIH, by the wise,
JAGRATI, of the wakeful state,
SVAPNALOKAVAD, like a dream-world,
DRSYATE, is seen.
For a coward darkness is like a ghost, and this is a common experience. The ghost and its cause which is darkness are both non-existent. To the coward, however, because of his fear and lack of light it is darkness that is seen as a ghost. When a lamp is brought and one looks at it there is neither darkness nor a ghost. In the same way for those who are not aware of the principle of nescience, this world which is of the form of nescience (which is the same as ignorance), i.e. for a man who does not know this principle, it seems real. Just as in the same way as darkness becomes for a coward a ghost, through that ignorance which is of the nature of darkness, what looms in the form of this world is seen to be true only to those who have not attained to Self-knowledge. But to those who have Self-knowledge and who are wise, this world is like a daydream and seen to be unreal.

4. sankalpakalpitam drsyam sankalpo yatra vidyate drsyam tatra ca nanyatra kutracidrajjusarpavat.
This visible world results from a willing presentiment.
Where willing is present alone
Is this visible world seen, not anywhere else,
As a snake, too, when alone a rope is found.
DRISYAM, this visible world is seen (results),
SANKALPA KALPITAM, (as) a presentiment of the will,
YATRA, where,
SANKALPAH VIDYATE, willing is present,
TATRA CA, there alone,
DRISYAM VIDYATE, this visible (world) (exists),
ANYATRA KUTRACID NA, not anywhere else,
RAJJUSARPAVAT, as a snake too where alone a rope (is found)
All visible things are the product of willing. Only where there is willing is there any object. If there is no willing there is nothing at all. The snake imagined on the basis of a rope is merely a product of willing. For a man who has the presentiment of a snake, a piece of rope lying in a place badly lit seems like a snake. When a lamp is brought and the object is examined there is no snake in the rope. If we now inquire where the snake was, we can see that it has its being only in the will. This snake has neither a workaday reality (vyavaharika) nor an absolute reality (paramarthika). It has only a reflected eidetic (pratibhasika) status. In the same way as with this eidetic snake, if we consider any other of the many objects presented to us we conclude that they are only products of the will. Here we find the justification for what was said in the first chapter about the creation of the world by the mere will of the Highest Lord. In the same way as this eidetic snake came from the vitalistic will (of the individual), (so too) this workaday world is the product of the Highest Lord. All things as presentiment of the will are unreal. When knowledge comes they are destroyed. But the difference we should note here is that the snake-rope is of the nature of a vital presentiment of the will, when the right knowledge which belongs to the living being is operative they (i.e. snake and rope) get abolished. But in the case of this workaday world having its origin in the will of the Highest Lord, even after we come to know of it as unreal we cannot abolish it completely because the Lord's willing is stronger than individual vital willing and because all beings are caught and helplessly spun around by the will of the Lord. It is only the will of the Lord that can abolish altogether this collective presentiment (called) the visible world. In spite of this, however, those great souls who have attained to the experience of reality through Self-knowledge, know the unreality of the world in respect of the three aspects of time; whether past, present or future. Because it arises from the will and is also dissolved by the will the world is non-existent in the same way as the snake supposed in the basis of the rope. By bringing in the analogy of the rope and snake we have to understand that the world was not before or after but only present in the intermediate period when nescience prevailed and knowledge had not asserted itself. What is not present in the past and in the future can certainly be said to be non-existent in the present.

5. sankalpamanasoh kascinnahi bhedo'sti yanmanah tadavidyatmahprahkyam indrajalam ivadbhutam
Between the will and the mind,
There is no difference at all,
That which is mind and called nescience and darkness,
Like the magic of Indra, is a marvel.
SANKALPA MANASAH, as between the will and the mind,
KASCIT BHEDAH, any difference,
NA HI ASTI,there is none at all,
AVIYA TAMAH RAKHYAM, what is called nescience and darkness,
YAT MANAH, which is mind,
TAT, that,
INDRAJALAM IVA, like the magic of Indra,
ADBHUTAM, is marvel
What is given as the world, which is false in respect of the three aspects of time, is an appearance preserved with all the varied picturesqueness belonging to it, seems itself as created by that specific power which is the mind endowed with will. It is therefore described as a marvel (adbhutam) like the magic of Indra. Because this power remains in the form of darkness and nescience it is difficult to clearly determine the intrinsic nature of this factor which is itself unreal. Although all persons know that the objects produced by a magician are unreal yet they are taken to be real. Because it is difficult to find the truth about this unreality, it is said to be a marvel. In the same way, because it is not possible to understand the nature of the mind it is also said to be a marvel.

6. maricikavatprajnasya jagadatmani bhasate balasya satyamiti ca pratibimbamiva bhramat
Like a mirage, to a wise man,
The world looms in the Self,
Just as to an infant, by confusion,
A reflected image might real seem too.
PRAJNASYA, to a wise man, (who can discriminate between what is real and what is unreal),
JAGAT, the world,
MARICIKAVAT, like a mirage,
ATMANI, in the Self,
BHASATE, shines, looms,
BALASYA, to an infant(without discrimination),
BHRAMAT, by confusion,
PRATIBIMBAM IVA, like a reflected image,
SATYAM ITI CA, as if real too,
(BHASATE), might seem
For a child having no discrimination, when it sees a reflection in a mirror it thinks that there is another child in the mirror. The child treats the reflection as if it were a real child. This is due to confusion in the child's mind. By confusion we mean the erroneous comprehension of one thing for another. But a person who has attained to discrimination understands the reflection in the mirror to be non-existent. In the same way people of non-discrimination understand the world as real, but those with discrimination take it to be non-existent. The mirage that is seen in the desert in the form of water seems only real to animals while those who have knowledge and experience understand it to have no real existence. In the same way, the wise man who discriminates between the transient and eternal values in life arrives at certitude in knowledge. He treats this world like a mirage, or in other words, as having no real existence. It is only to people of non-discrimination that the world seems real. The world is a mere superimposition or epiphenomenon, of the Self. Therefore it is absolutely non-existent.

7. atma na ksiravadyati rupantaramato'khilam vivartamindrajalena vidyate nirmitam yatha
This Self, like milk (that turns),
Does not attain to another form.
Therefore, the whole (universe), as if created
By Indra's magic,
exists as (an eidetic) presentiment.
ATMA, the self,
KSHIRAVAT, like milk,
RUPA ANTARAM, to another form,
NA YATHA INDRAJALENA NIRMITAM, as if created by Indra's magic,
VIVARTAM VIDYATE, exists as (an eidetic) presentiment, (i.e. being non-existent, it appears as existent)
The Self is something that remains changeless and is without the states of birth, being, growth, transformation, decrease or destruction. Like milk that goes sour and changes over into curds or buttermilk, the Self does not change, taking the form of the world, because it is not possible for even an atom to be outside the Self. If one asks how this marvelous visible world originated and how it came about and on what basis it is established, the reply is that it exists in the Self in the form of an eidetic presentiment (vivarta). The things produced by the magician do not really exist. In the same way this world is really non-existent (i.e. it is false).

8. mayaiva jagatamadikaranam nirmitam taya sarvam hi mayino nanyadasatyam siddhijalavat
Maya itself is the prime (material) cause
Of the world, by that which is no other
Than the Maya-maker (Self) is all this
Created, as various magical effects.
MAYA IVA, Maya itself is,
JAGATAM, of the world,(with varied forms),
ADI KARANAM, the prime material cause,
MAYINAH NA ANYAT, what is no other than the Maya-maker, (i.e. the self),
SIDDHIJALAVAT ASATYAM, as various unreal magical effects,
SARVAM, everything,(i.e. the whole world),
TAYA HI, indeed by herself(i.e. by Maya),
NIRMITAM, created, made
Maya is what does not exist at all. When. we say that the non-existent Maya is the prime material cause of the world it goes without saying that the world is not real. Maya is not other than the Self and the resulting world which in its effect is not different from the Maya-maker which is the Self. The various unreal magical effects are none other than their author. Even thus they are unreal. In the same way the world is none other than the Lord, although it is non-existent.

9. vibhati visvam vrddhasya viyadvanamivatmani asatyam putrika rupam balasyeva viparyayam
To the mature mind, this universe
Looms like a sky-forest in the Self
Even as an unreal puppet-form
To a child (would seem) contrariwise.
VISVAM, the universe,
VRIDDHASYA, to the mature mind,
VIYADVANAM IVA, like a sky-forest,
ATMANI, in the Self,
VIBHATI, seems,
ASATYAM, unreal,
PUTRIKA RUPAM, puppet form,
BALASYA, to a child,
VIPARYAYAM IVA, as contrariwise (would seem)
Wise people look upon this world like a sky-forest imagined in the Self. In other words, they see everything in the form of the Self and they treat the world as unreal, because it is supposed in the Self. They understand that the Self alone is real. It is only unwise people who think the world is real. Children who lack understanding treat lifeless and inert puppets as equally real as themselves and play with them, carrying on a conversation. Only those of maturer years know that such things are inert and lifeless.

10. ekam satyam na dvitiyam hyasatyam bhati satyavat silaiva sivalingam na dvitiyam silpina krtam
One (alone) is real, not a second,
What is unreal, indeed, seems as being real.
The Siva Lingam is stone itself,
Not a second made by the mason.
EKAM SATYAM, one (alone) is real,
DVITIYAM NA, not a second,
ASATYAM HI, what is unreal indeed,
SATYAVAT BHATI, seems as being real,
SILA IVA SIVA LINGAM, the Siva Lingam is stone itself,
SILPINA KRITAM DVITIYAM NA, not a second made by a mason
It is the Self that alone is real. Anything other than the Self is not at all real. The unreal world merely has a semblance of the real. That which seems like the Siva-Lingam (i.e. the phallic emblem of Siva) is really the stone itself. As for the Siva-Lingam it merely seems as if it is a reality independent of the stone. What is real is the stone and the Siva-lingam is what is supposed on the basis of what really exists. The Siva-lingam, is not one that the mason made independently of the stone. It is the stone itself. The stone is real and the Siva-Lingam is unreal. In the same manner the Absolute is real and the world is unreal. The unreal world (only) seems real.