Yoga vasishtha, Nirvana section II 88-93

Once upon a time when I was the pure sky of consciousness, in that sky of consciousness arose the moonlight of awareness. I was then Brahman. I, the Brahman meditated upon my own being, my own nature, with the cool moonlight of awareness in the sky of consciousness that I was. During one of these meditations upon my own pure, skylike, formless being, I noticed a tiny sprout of will, called the will to creation. Just as a seed, planted in a flowerpot, placed outside in the courtyard, begins to sprout when the rains fall, so the rain of my attention, my concentration, fell upon the seed of the will to create and the seed began to sprout. Just as when, in deep sleep, the attention suddenly falls upon the seeds of creativity, and there sprouts a dream (and when the attention is withdrawn, the dream is folded back again and the person returns from sleep to wakefulness), so I see this universe unfolding as a dream within me, who am the sky of consciousness.

As this rain of attention, volition, fell on the will to create, I saw within myself Earth. So with my attention, I permeated this Earth and I became the islands, the mountains, the grass, the trees. I became the minerals, the jewels, the gold and shining silver. Oh so many forests and trees, branches and twigs became my hairs; my body was filled with jewels; my body was ornamented with cities and villages and other habitations. I having assumed the form of Earth was filled with rivers, forests, seas, directions -- east, west, north, south. I became the one on whom so many creatures roamed. The lilies bloomed on my body; the vines and creepers grew on me; the rivers and lakes were in the hair roots of me -- all of this network, consisting of duality, is in fact tranquil, nondual.

On this earth, I paid attention to the waters, and thereby through that attention in the sky of consciousness I also became waters -- clear like sapphire. Then I, in my body of waters, rose and became clouds and gamboled in love-play with my wife, the lightning, becoming the taste of all things in the universe. I became so diversified that in trillions of creatures i became the essence of millions of their taste buds. Such pleasure of being water was mine, but I do not believe even that to be the experience of taste buds, but just this pure Self assuming that particular form. With my water body, I have taken rides on the chariot of winds, and in the clear lanes of the sky, I have roamed like fragrance. Though I am the pure conscious being, in order to see what the experience of being water is, within my own consciousness, I reduced the degree of my totality of consciousness and experienced the consciousness only of being water.

I became fires -- an illumination, a light, a brilliance: I became the brilliance of the moon; I became the splendor that is in the sun; I became the light that is in the stars; I became the warmth that is in the fires. Because illumination consists predominantly of the quality of sattva, the visibility of all things, therefore was my limbs. I became the father, giving birth to the white, blue and rosy colors -- all of them that sleep in the lap of their father, the light. With my illumination, I became the mirror for my brides, the parts of the sky, the directions. I became the power of the winds to remove the mists of the night. I was the life essence of the moon, the sun and the fires. I became the color in gold, in the emerald, in the ruby. With that power of illumination I became valor in man, and in the rainy season I became the lightning. With my power of brilliance I became the god Indra's weapon to split apart the heads of the demons of darkness, and I became the courage in the heart of the lion. I became the fearlessness in the limbs of the warrior in the battlefield, the courage that can break through the strongest armor. Besides all this, I was also in my form as the sun and I spread out my hands as rays and grabbed the mountaintops on the earths of all the universes. Within that illumination-form of mine this whole Earth, to me, looked like a tiny village seen from a very high mountaintop.

When I took the form of the moon (as I was the illumination of the moon), I became a lake filled with amrita, the drink of immortality. I was the face of the beautiful lady called the Heavenly World. When I scattered myself on Earth in the form of the moonlight, I was like the laughter of the lady called Night. And I was a little candle, too, for all the human beings walking around at night. In the form of fire I became conflagration and burned forest upon forest. I created sounds that frightened many creatures who scampered in the shade of those trees. But then I was also the ritual fire who gathered sacrifices made by the people, and as such I turned those sacrifices into finer essences and passed them on to the gods of the subtler worlds. Sometimes I was in a blacksmith's shop, changing the forms of iron into hammers; sometimes I was a mere spark. All of this I have been my disciple.

With my attention passed on that will of creativity, I became the winds. I made all the vines, creepers and leaves dance. I gathered the fragrances of lilies, roses and other flowers and scattered them to the wide world; I came into the parks full of freshness and carried their freshness to the cities; I slept on the bed of clouds; I dried the sweat of the tired human beings; I was the fragrance of the flower called the Sky. I was, as it were, a twin brother to the sounds that arise in space. I became the source of vitality moving and flowing in the limbs of all living beings, carrying fluids in their arteries; I was the thief plundering the jewels called the fragrances hidden deep inside the flowers. I had the power to pick up the mountains from their roots and scatter them. Such a powerful wind, too, I became! I turned water into ice, dried the mud, carried the clouds, moved the blades of grass, wafted fragrances from here to there and reduced the heat in the bodies of those who suffered.

In this form of earth, water, fire, air, I have lived in the bodies of trees, and in the form of trees I have sent down roots to suck the subtlest juices of food and moisture lying deep in the earth, and I have tasted them. I have tasted the way the tree tastes that moisture deep in the earth. I have lain about on the arctic snow. I have sun along with the cranes in the lotus forests. Through my will the suns and the stars, taking all kinds of colors, have dwelt in my body. In my awareness of being the entire space of consciousness, I have gathered and worn the seven worlds as that many bangles around my wrists. When I was this whole universe, the very deepest parts of earth were as the soles of my feet, and the top of this earth was, as it were, my belly, and the blue sky of earth was my forehead. And yet, in all of these manifold forms, as I dwelt as the earth, as the water, as the fire, as the space, as the illumination, as the entire universe, I have never for one moment abandoned my true nature, my being pure consciousness.

I have taken all of these forms just as the pure power of consciousness alone creates all the cities in the dream. Yet the power of consciousness is not lost, and that dream and those dream cities are merely a mode, merely a note in the music of consciousness that has not thereby abandoned its nature of being music. So all of this maya I have created, I have become. But I have not changed thereby.