GROSS, SUBTLE AND MENTAL PLANES (SIMILE)
Baba took a large glass in his hands which was covered with bright golden paper and marked "GOD." Inside the big glass were three other smaller ones. He explained:
Would you like Me to play some tricks? Take this glass as God the Infinite. God cannot be seen with our limited eyes. He is Infinite, absolutely invisible, independent, yet He pervades everything.
Now see that there are three illusory existences inside God — three smaller glasses inside the large glass. Here is one of them, the gross world; it is the smallest (the innermost glass covered with a coppery shade). Although to us it is so big, so infinite. This gross world depends on the next illusory existence, the subtle world (second inner glass). The gross existence depends on the subtle and is within the subtle.
This mental existence depends on God (the large glass). Thus the gross depends on the subtle, and the subtle depends on the mental, and the mental depends on God, and God is independent. Note that there are four glasses, and that each one is different and separate; but each one is dependent on the other; except the large outer glass marked GOD. Only GOD is independent — like the outermost glass that holds all the others.And this subtle existence depends on the mental world (the third inner glass).
The three gross, subtle and mental planes which are different but interdependent are explained with simile of four glasses. Subtle plane superimposes over gross plane and mental plane superimposes over gross and subtle both.