“Sadeva soumya idam agra aseet ekam eva adviteeyam”
Existence alone was there before, one without a second. Then how come multitude came up????
There are different theories of creation that Vedanta or the Upanishads put up. The main two theories are Drishthi Sristhi Vaada or yugapad sristhi & the other theory is Sristhi Dristhi Vaada or Krama Sristhi.
Sristhi Dristhi – According to this theory, there was one Brahman alone & it thought “Let me become many”. Upanishad says that the Brahman thought “Ekoham bahusyaamah” – “Let me, the One become Many”. Also Upanishad tells that this Brahman did TAPAS or austerity for creation to begin. This theory thus tells the creator is called Hiranyagarbha or Brahma (the four-headed God). Here creation has already occurred and the person sees the creation and hence sight of creation is preceeded by creation & hence sristhi comes first and then dristhi or sight of the sristhi occurs.
Dristhi Sristhi – This theory tells that creation is simultaneous with sight. When a person sees, he creates objects and thereby sees them. All the objects are thus not different from the Seer, but are only thoughts of the Seer. The best example to illustrate this theory is the experience of dream. The dreamer sees and the dream world is created & the dream gets deluded into the dream world – but in reality, there is no dream world at all & the dream world is only a simultaneous creation of the dreamer. Similarly there is only the Self and no world at all. When the Self forgets its own real nature, then superimposition of objects occurs and thereby thoughts arise and different things are perceived and the world is created.
The above two theories of creation are only relative & are meant only to explain to the gradual seeker what the world is and where has it come from. These are told just to satisfy the doubts of the seeker. The first theory of gradual creation is best suited for the initial seeker for whom only this makes sense. But when the seeker is a little advance and has logic to analyze things, it is easy for him to apprehend that the world that he sees now is similar to the dream world & is his creation alone. But both these theories are only for the seeker & thereby have relative reality only. The absolute reality is that there has no been creation at all, there is only the ever-existent, changeless Supreme Being called Self. This theory is called AJATHI VAADA and is propounded in the Gaudapada Karika by Sankara’s parama guru. How is it that there is no creation, but I perceive it now???
The pure Self or Brahman is without parts, without birth and death & hence changeless. If the world has come from that Brahman, Brahman loses its changelessness. This is not possible & hence one has to come to the conclusion that there has been no creation at all. Another reason for no creation is that during deep sleep, there is no world at all but only pure Consciousness and Bliss of the Self (even though there is a ignorance veil without obstructs the person from being aware of the bliss during that time). This shows that the world that one sees has no absolute existence. Any person who is interested in finding out this absolute reality of no creation can follow the path propounded by the scriptures and through logic can experience this ultimate reality of ONENESS & no world or creation at all.
But there is the world at the relative level. As the dream world has its reality during dream, similarly the waking world has its reality during the waking state. But when a person wakes up from this waking dream, he realizes that there has been no world at all created, nothing but only pure Consciousness exists.
When a person tries to find out how this creation came, he finds that during deep sleep there was no world, but during dream and waking state there is the world. During deep sleep, there is no mind & hence no thoughts – such a state of thoughtlessness is Moksha or liberation (only difference in deep sleep is that in that state there is no awareness and hence it is temporary merging of vasanas or latent tendencies into the real nature of the Self but after liberation these vasanas get destroyed completely and hence there is no world after that). Thus, thoughts are the causes for the creation. It is really futile to think about this temporarily existing and illusory world because this is always changing and a changing thing can never be real. Thus one just needs to enquire into one’s own real nature through the words of great Mahatmas and the scriptures through listening – here he finds out that there is only the Self & that I am. Then slowly he tries to convince himself that this is the reality through logic and questioning and arguments in the mind. This is called Reflection, through which all doubts vanish and he gains a clear conviction that there is only Brahman or Self and nothing else. After this, when he contemplates on the ultimate reality of his own real nature & the ultimate truth through the vedic dictum of AHAM BRAHMA ASMI or I am Brahman, the ignorance veil gets removed, the world vanishes, all doubts perish, sorrow gets destroyed & what remains is the pure and blissful Self alone. This is the natural and real state of every one which has been forgotten now & hence all doubts and questions arise.
Doubts and questions will always arise until the reality of Self is known – till that time, all doubts will arise because doubts occur due to extrovert nature but the Self is known only through introverted nature. Until a person finds or realizes that only “I am there, no YOU and ME”, he will search for answers to his questions (really forgetting that I am Bliss eternal and there is no need to search for external bliss in the world).
The Self or pure Conscious or Being is the natural state of every person. This is to be realized through listening, hearing and contemplating on the ultimate reality. Once a person gains intellectual conviction and puts this thought or always remembers his own real nature, he gets liberated from this illusory and unreal dual world full of sorrow and sufferings. Until then, the search for happiness will continue without realizing that my own nature is Happiness alone. Realizing the Self is the easiest of thing & one just needs to remember it at all points of time & slowly the obstacles and obstructions will pave way for the self-luminous and blissful Self & then the person becomes completely satisfied and content as there is nothing more to know, nothing more to add because only the Self exists. Each person can realize this & it is high time that a person stops searching for this happiness in the external world & spends daily some time to realize one’s own real nature, trying to figure out WHO I AM. Let us all try to start this process now itself and realize that “I am already liberated as there is nothing to get liberated from or get liberated to”. Let the Almighty guide each one of us to realize & immerse in the eternal bliss of the Self. PS: Please send a mail to me, Hariram_Subramonia@infosys, with subject "subscribe quotes" to get these quotes directly in your inbox. Send a mail with subject "unsubscribe quotes" to stop getting quotes in your inbox.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #175 The thought that “I am not realized” is the obstruction for realization.
- Ramana Maharshi
Maharshi here explains that the thought that “I am not realized” is the main cause for sorrow, cessation of which is called Self-Realization. Realization is not something new to be gained because that which is born will die & hence it will vanish. If realization was something new, then it will die & hence will not be eternal. That which is not eternal can never put an end to sorrows and give eternal and ever-lasting happiness. Thus scriptures proclaim that Realization is not something new to be gained, but realizing one’s own real nature. Atman or Self is not something new to be realized, but it is one’s own very nature & one has to just realize it & become aware that “I am the pure Consciousness called Self, one without a second & that which is the only thing present”.
The very first obstacle for realization is that “I am not realized”. In deep sleep, there is no such thought but pure Consciousness is present & therefore happiness is perceived and enjoyed. That happiness is not perceived at this moment because of thoughts rising up. Thoughts are the obstacles that makes one think that one is different from what one already is, makes one work for something that one already has but is not aware of. The faculty or the instrument which causes these thoughts is called Mind or Manas. The thoughts rise only due to ignorance. When the ignorance of one’s own real nature is not known, then a person superimposes the unreal or not-Self on the Self. Thus when a person is unaware that “I am Bliss Absolute”, he superimposes the thoughts of “I am the body and I am the mind” on the pure Self. This is the cause for all sorrow and sufferings because when a person thinks that I am the body, then whatever bad happens to the body is superimposed on the person – thus he enjoys and suffers the good and bad of the body (but in reality the Self or “I” remains as a witness to even the body and its activities).
Thus, Maharshi here brings out the ultimate reality that “I am already realized”, I am NITYA SUDDHA BUDDHA MUKTA ATMA – ever free, eternal, pure, enlightened and liberated Self. The only thing that is required to do by the seeker is remove the ignorance veil and realize that “I am THAT”. The story of ten fools crossing over a river is given in the Upanishads to illustrate this point. Ten fools were crossing a river. They started swimming and reached the other shore. Then they had a doubt whether all are alive or someone has got drowned in the river. So, one person started counting other persons. He counted till 9, but forgot to count himself. They were all now afraid and disturbed. Then another person counted and again 9 only. They started crying aloud and weeping for the seemingly lost 10th person. At that time, a passer-by saw this and felt compassionate towards them. He asked them what is the problem and told them that he would help them. He told them that “I will count and check it out”. He started counting & he counted 10 people. The ten fools were surprised. Then the passer-by told the first person to count others. The first person counted 9 and the passer-by told him that the TENTH person is YOU ONLY. Thus, the ten fools realized that the lost person has been found. They were very happy and all their sorrows vanished.
The import of the story is that TAT TVAM ASI or THAT THOU ART. The Self one already is, but is unaware of & has been forgotten. But when a Guru comes and out of compassion addresses the person that “YOU ARE THE SELF, YOU ARE BRAHMAN, YOU ARE GOD, YOU ARE EVERYTHING, there is nothing apart from you”. When the Guru addresses the disciple thus, he gains indirect experience of the Self. Slowly he follows the tri-fold path of SRAVANA (Listening to the scriptures & identifying that their import is ONENESS or ADVAITA alone), MANANA (reflecting the truth of the scriptures, about Brahman with the help of logic using the intellect) & NIDHIDHYAASANA (contemplating on the eternal truth which has gained intellectual conviction but not directly experienced). Once he completes these three steps to realization, he realizes that there was nothing new to be known or experienced. He realizes that whatever is present is only the Self, nothing else. Thus, there is nothing to be experienced, but to realize the EXPERIENCER who is at the moment mixed with wrong identifications of body and mind & is termed EGO. When the Ego is killed through Knowledge and the SEEKER realizes that I am the pure Consciousness devoid of any parts, devoid of any changes – the one only – EKAM EVA ADVITEEYAM (one without a second). This is what is called the PATH OF REALIZATION. Actually speaking, there is no path to realization because the Self is already realized. Whatever happens in this path is removal of the ignorance that “I am not realized”.
The tenth person was not at all dead, he was alive all the time. But this was not known & the ten fools were ignorant about this. Thus when the Guru gives indirect knowledge about the Self through scriptures, he gains confidence. Then through his own practice, he counts the ten people are gains direct experience of the EXPERIENCER. Here no new tenth person was introduced or created, but whatever was there previously but unknown was revealed. Thus MOKSHA or liberation is SELF-REALIZATION and not SELF-ATTAINING. No words can explain realization because the Self is beyond words and thoughts. Neither can realization be experienced because only external objects can be experienced as they are all objective. The Self is subjective, the EXPERIENCER or all experiences. The EXPERIENCER can never be known or experienced because in that case the EXPERIENCER would lose his status of SUBJECT. When all the external objects are removed through seeing the ONE Consciousness, the one Self, the one God everywhere – all dualities vanish and slowly the mind becomes purified. Then the seeker realizes that state of OBJECTLESSNESS where there is no object but only the pure Subject (the state beyond the relative state of Subject and Object). This state is not one artificially gained or attained but the natural state of the Self. Patanjali says in Yoga Sutras
“Tada dresthuh svaroope avasthaanam”
There, in that state of thoughtlessness, the Seer remains in his natural state of THOUGHTLESSNESS. This state is experienced by each person in deep sleep where there is no object but only the Subject. Krishna says in Gita
“Ajo nityah saashvatooyam puraano”
I am eternal, without birth (and the shad vikaaraas of birth, growth, existence, changes, decay, disease and death) & always existing as the same, ancient but still new and fresh.
“Ajopi san avyayaatma bhootaanaam ishvaropi san”
Even though I am eternal and without birth, I am the God of all the beings (here the manifested form is only illusory as it has no real existence because the eternal one without any birth and changes cannot have any transformation like manifestation). The great Vedic hymn of Purusha Sookta says
“Ajaayamaano bahudha vijaayathe”
Remaining unborn and without changes, it creates different objects (thus the creation is only illusory like water seen in mirage and like dream world). Thus, I am Brahman or the Self without any changes or attributes. It is only thing present and already realized. The world that one sees now is similar to the dream world wherein the person himself becomes the dream world and the dreamer enjoying the dream world. Similarly this waking world has no existence apart from its substratum of Brahman. The Supreme Being cannot have any changes or transformations as it is without any parts & changes (only things that have parts and are subject to changes can manifest. Electricity is unmanifest in its natural state but becomes manifested in the form of bulb and light. Here electricity is getting transformed. This transformation is possible because of things separate or different from electricity like the gross materials of bulb and light. But Brahman or Self is without a second and is the only thing present & hence it cannot have any manifestation. Thus, one has to conclude through the scriptural statements of BRAHMA SATYAM JAGAN MITHYA – Brahman is the reality, the world is only illusory and unreal – and through logic that there is only the Self here. Whatever differences and multitude that one sees is nothing but the Self alone. There is nothing other than the Self. The Upanishads assert this again and again,
NEHA NAANAA ASTHI KINCHANA
There is no duality here, not even little. SA MRITYOR MRITYUM APNOTHI YA IHA NANA IVA PASHYATHI
He goes from death to death who perceives duality here. The word NANA IVA (like duality) is to emphasis that there is no duality really but duality is only a misconception and wrongly perceived. As the Svetasvatara Upanishad proclaims
TAMEVA VIDITVA ATIMRITYUM ATYETHI
NA ANYAH PANTHA AYANAAYA VIDHYATHE
After knowing the Supreme Brahman, a person attains immortality (becomes Brahman itself, realizes his own real nature of Consciousness). There is no other path than this to attain immortality. This is the absolute reality that each path prescribed in the Vedas take one to. Whether a person follows the path of devotion or the path of Action or the path of Vedantic Knowledge – all these paths have to terminate in the ultimate and absolute reality of ONENESS. The paths that don’t lead to this ONENESS of realization is not worthy of following. Such a path takes the seeker only to midway & not to cessation of sorrow and liberation of the Self. If the Self were something else present either with Vishnu or Siva in Vaikunta or Kailas – then such a Self would be limited by space & hence loses its eternality and changelessness. Thus the Self is not to be gained after death & by going to Vaikunta or Kailas, but the Self is already present & is one’s own real nature. This is the absolute and ultimate reality propounded in the Vedanta or Upanishads. Cessation of sorrow is impossible without reaching this stage, without realizing one’s own real nature. As Adi Sankara mentions in Viveka Choodamani
“Vadanthu saasthraani yajanthu devaan
Kurvanthu karmaani bhajanthu devataah
Atmaikya bodhena vina vinmukthir na
Sidhyathi brahma sataanthare api”
Let scriptures be told or discourse of scriptures happen, let Gods be propitiated through sacrifices, let actions be performed, let the Gods be prayed through devotion – but without knowing the absolute reality of Oneness of Brahman or God and the Self, a person doesn’t get liberation even in the life span of a hundred years of Brahma (which comes to 311 followed by almost 10 zeros!!!!). Thus the Self is to be realized and not attained either through actions or after death. One is already that. Removal of ignorance and the obstacles of desire & anger, likes & dislikes will make one realize that “I am the pure Consciousness” and thereby the person rejoices in the eternal bliss of the Self – the state of desirelessness, the state of thoughtlessness, the state of complete cessation of sorrow. Let the Almighty guide each one of us to realize & immerse in the eternal bliss of the Self. PS: Please send a mail to me, Hariram_Subramonia@infosys, with subject "subscribe quotes" to get these quotes directly in your inbox. Send a mail with subject "unsubscribe quotes" to stop getting quotes in your inbox.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #176 Atman is realized with dead mind, i.e., mind devoid of thoughts and turned inward.
- Ramana Maharshi
First thing a seeker of realization needs to remember & get conviction is that Realization is not something new to be attained. If it were something new to be attained, then obviously Naasha or destruction of the realization will also happen & such a realization will be as futile as the sensual pleasures got from the external sense organs. But scriptures and realized people proclaim that realization is eternal. A thing can be eternal only if it transcends time & space. Thus realization must be present always (even in dream and deep sleep) as well as in all places (whether one is in India or America, whether one is in a liquor shop or in a temple). This takes one to the conclusion (which is accepted by Vedanta or Upanishads) that realization is already there.
What is realization???
Every one speaks about realization. The Sankhyan systems, the Vaishnavas, the Saivas, the Saktas all speak about realization. Realization or Liberation is nothing but cessation of sorrow. Mukthi is cessation of sorrow which when put in other terms denotes eternal bliss (ever-lasting and changeless bliss). The scriptures proclaim that cessation of sorrow occurs only when the Reality is known. When a person is in the desert and he is feeling thirsty and sees water (mirage), he runs for the water. But he doesn’t get any water. Thereby he becomes sad & sorrow occurs. This sorrow is not externally created but internal creation alone. As the reality that water is not present in desert is not known, therefore he runs for water & becomes sad. These examples do not completely give the picture of realization but just tell that IGNORANCE is the cause of sorrow (because in the case of mirage, even if the person knows that there is no water still thirst persists). Reality of one’s own nature is Absolute Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. When the real nature of Bliss is not known, a person searches for bliss externally. This search never fructifies & because of this search, he gets more and more sorrow. Sorrow is caused out of IGNORANCE alone. The real bliss is enjoyed by everyone is deep sleep as a person says after waking up that “I slept well”. Happiness was thus present during the whole state of deep sleep. But happiness is not there now. The reason for IGNORANCE & THOUGHTS of difference caused by ignorance.
When a person is ignorant about his own real nature of Bliss, he desires things to gain happiness. These desires are in the form of thoughts which are put into action. These actions again build up the ignorance as more search for happiness continues. This vicious circle continues. Thus sorrow has no end.
Will not a person get happiness from external objects like drugs and other things???
The scriptures as well as discriminative people proclaim that the happiness got from external sense objects are sources of sorrow. The happiness got from money leads one to sorrow when money is lacking or when money is being stolen or due to greed. Similarly the external sense objects can not confer eternal bliss to the seeker. What a seeker needs to do is realize that all the happiness got from external objects are temporary & thereby work towards finding out the real source of eternal bliss. The seeker thus figures out that Bliss is my own very nature & it is ignorance and thoughts that veil this bliss.
When a person forgets his own real nature of Consciousness, one without a second, he creates differences. He imagines that “I and this body, these are my people, those are not my people”. Thus whatever now happens to the body and mind is superimposed on the pure Consciousness and “I” am affected by disease, decay of the body & sorrow, desire and anger of the mind. Only when these wrong notions are removed, the eternal bliss of the Self is realized.