Lesson 24: Relevance of the Eternal Questions
The questions on the Universe, God and life are perceived differently at various levels as described below:
Statement 65: Animals do not ask such questions.
Statement 66: At Level 1, these questions are not comprehended.
All events that could not be explained are attributed to God. For example if there is a viral fever that affects a group of people, it is viewed as a curse of the God.
Statement 67: At Level 2, these questions are considered irrelevant.
There is no role of God. If there is, it is considered irrelevant. The universe as we perceive exists and we need to learn only that part which will enable us to shape up our future. We need to develop science and technology to understand the nature of universe for the sole purpose of controlling it.
Everything depends on the self-effort. Individual is distinct from the universe. The universe exists for the benefit of the individual. Human being should control the universe in such a way that every individual lives for a long time without any problems.
Statement 68: At Level 3, these questions cannot be answered.
The focus is shifted from individual to God. Individual is just an insignificant part of the universe. It is necessary to respect and serve the nature in order to get the blessing of the god, which is the only way for the continued substance and growth of human beings. Man can know the answers of these questions only through the grace of god.
Statement 69: At Level 4, answers to these questions are highly relevant.
The focus is to understand who is God. Through the self-effort supported by God’s grace (in the form of a teacher), answers to all the questions could be learnt. This will make a person independent.
Statement 70: At Level 5, answers to all such questions are known.
Because of this knowledge, independency is achieved and the result is Joyful Living.
Statement 71: If one is not able to find the answers, then one has to work to gain more intelligence.
Lesson 25: Answers to the Eternal Questions
The only reality is ONE, which is nameless, form less, attribute less whose nature is Truth, Consciousness and Infinite.
ONE manifests the universe just as a magician creates an illusion.
All the living beings are the reflection of ONE and they are eternal.
The universe is manifested and dissolved in a continuous cycle just like day and night. (Scientifically this is called expansion that follows a Big Bang and contraction into the singularity) All the living beings go back to the seed form during dissolution.
The living beings are constantly involved in action. The actions of the human beings invariably bring back results to them.
Just as we wake up after the night sleep to enjoy the world around us, when it is time for all the living beings to enjoy the fruits of their action, the universe is manifested. From the seed form, all the living beings involve into subtle form. At appropriate stage of evolution, they take gross form.
After one lifetime, the gross body is discarded and depending on the actions done during the birth, new gross form is taken in the next birth. The cycle of birth and death continues until the next dissolution of the universe into singularity.
Thus, the entire creation is caused by human actions. The universe is sustained by the continued actions of the living beings. God has no role to play in determining the actions or results of the actions of human beings.
When living beings migrate from one life to another or from one phase of manifestation to the next, they carry with them the entire package of
1. Accumulated results of good/ bad actions
2. Accumulated Intelligence
3. Accumulated Personal Preferences (Personality)
The Holy Scriptures are thus part of the accumulated knowledge of few individuals to whom the scriptures are ‘revealed’ during the initial phases of creation.
Statement 72: Answers to the questions will lead us to Joyful Living.
Because we know that, the whole universe is an illusion it will be joyful to live.
Lesson 26: Before and After knowing the Answers
It is essential that everyone go through the different steps in order to reach the destination of enlightenment. This takes several births.
The life style of the person will change drastically if the person has already gone through most of the stages in the previous birth.
Example: Buddha left the kingdom at the age of 24 and become a monk. This is so because he as completed most of the steps before taking the current birth. His accumulated results of good actions lead him to be born in a kingdom. He was ignorant of his potential and the destination because he was not exposed to the realities of the world. In his previous birth, he would have desired to live joyfully. Since he could afford a princely life, he was born to a king. In addition, as desired he lived a joyful life, which is artificially created by his father by shielding him from the miseries of the world. When he is exposed to them, he realized that he is also destined to become old and suffer death. Therefore, he abandoned his royal life and become a monk in search of the truth.
After attaining the true knowledge, he could have returned to the kingdom if he had thought that is the better way to spread his message. He continued to be a monk because he did not want to digress his efforts into governing the country. He wanted to spend all his time and energy into directly helping people to reach enlightenment.
Thus, his life style is completely different before and after enlightenment
On the other hand, King Dasaradha attained enlightenment while continuing his duties as king. Therefore, he did not feel the need to abandon his royal life in order to serve the people. He chose to serve the people according to their level of maturity, which did not warrant him to become a monk.
Thus, his life style did not change at all before and after enlightenment
These two were extreme cases. Most of the people who are currently in hot pursuit of money are capable of gaining enlightenment within this lifetime. Attainment of enlightenment is much faster in the present day compared to olden times. Therefore it is expected that the life style is briefly changed while one slows down in material pursuit and turns his attention towards spirituality. One has to spend a considerable length of time in spirituality before reaching enlightenment. Once enlightened, one has the option to choose the life style.
However, the only ‘duty’ of an enlightened person is to help others to progress in their pursuit of true knowledge. However, one has the freedom to do this task according to one’s own preferences and there are no restrictions on the method/ life style.
Therefore it may not be possible to determine if a person is enlightened or not by observing the life style.
A typical event/ situation in a day-to-day life may be same for an ignorant and the enlightened person belonging to the same life style. The actual process of how it affects both of them is compared below.
The situation: Someone beats him on his shoulder from behind.
Event/Process Ignorant Person Enlightened person
Physical Effects/ Reactions Depends on the physical body’s health/ status Depends on the physical body’s health/ status
Assessment why he was beaten up Depends on the level of intelligence He understands the reason much more quickly because his level of intelligence is high
If it is an appreciation Very happy Happy
If it is a warning by an enemy Depends on the level of intelligence
At lower level:
Gets angry and reacts according to his mental strength/ mood without much concern of the outcomes
At higher level behaves more maturely but still get affected by the incident Does not get upset/ angry but quickly understand how to come out of the situation.
He has no real enemies but he may be perceived as an enemy by the others.
Therefore appropriate action is taken to normalize the situation
Immediate reaction Depends on the personality and the intelligence level Depends on the personality only (since the level of intelligence is high)
What happens after the event It stays in the mind for a long time. At lower level of intelligence it might lost for a life time. More maturity means it stops bothering sooner. It stays long enough to decide on the future course of action
- to avoid repetition of the action
- to help the ‘enemy’ to gain more knowledge
Future impact At lower level of intelligence: Heavy damage if not controlled by wise people around
At higher level the impact is minimum None
Essence of Picture of Life
Unit 01 The Big Picture
Unit 02 Analysis of the scenario
Unit 03 Delusion
Unit 04 Enquiry
Unit 05 Building Blocks of Joyful Living
Unit 06 Benefits of the Enquiry
The big picture
Number of Sessions: 13
(01 – 13)
Number of Lessons: 9
(01 – 09)
On completion of this unit, the student will be able to
(j) Get the big picture of the universe
(k) Identify the differences between humans, living beings and inert objects
(l) See the oneness of the universe
Notes to the teacher: (Ref 6.1 and 6.17 of the original text)
The painter should be equated to GOD while explaining the picture.
The multiplicity and higher/lower gradation among creation is our own creation in our mind.
The sun light is reflected both on a stone and on a mirror. Mirror reflects the sunlight stone does not. Similarly, both human being and an inert object have the consciousness but only living beings have the ability to reflect it. Mirror can use the reflected sunlight to illumine objects. Similarly, living beings can use the reflected consciousness to know the objects.
There is an issue in extending the picture example. In the picture, the animals do not have dress. However, this should not lead to the wrong conclusion that animals do not have reflected consciousness.
30. What is the only goal for all human beings? (Lesson 1)
31. What is the difference between Joyful Living and living happily?
32. Explain the four steps described in the creation of the picture. (Lesson 2)
33. How these four steps are related to the creation of the universe?
34. What is the specialty of the dress worn by the human beings? (Lesson 3)
35. What is the difference between living beings and inert objects? (Lesson 4)
36. What is the difference between human beings and other living? (Lesson 5)
37. What is the choice we have to exercise regarding our real self? (Lesson 6)
38. How it is said that the problems in the world cannot affect us? (Lesson 7)
39. How is ONE being projected as the entire universe? (Lesson 8)
Lesson 1: Why are we here?
We have a lifetime to live. There are many ways to lead the life. The question ‘How to live the life?’ can be answered only if we know the answer to the question ‘Why are we living?’
Example: There are many ways to write a computer program. It is not possible to arrive at the best way of writing the program unless the purpose of the program is clear.
There can be many ways of writing a program and most of them can be classified as good programs as long as the stated purpose is achieved.
Similarly, in life there are many ways of living life. Nevertheless, there is only one purpose of living, which is applicable to all the human beings.
The only goal of all the human beings is to live joyfully.
Many people may claim that they are already living joyfully. This is not true. People are happy when the environment around them is favorable. They become unhappy when the situation changes for worse. This is not joyful living. In fact they are unknowingly sowing the seed of suffering when they enjoy life.
The key to joyful living is the removal of attachment. When people enjoy life they get attached to the objects that they enjoy. This attachment will bind them to the object. Everything in the universe is under perpetual change. Therefore, without exception, everyone’s life will be a mixture of the pairs of the opposites. Prosperity and poverty will alternate. Fame and blame will alternate. Love and hate will alternate. Health and ill health will alternate.
There is no difference between man and animal if he also oscillates between happiness and sorrow depending on the environment. One has to learn to remain joyful all the time. This is achieved by enjoying life without attachment. It is like watching a movie and enjoying the ups and downs in the story. One can do this easily because one is not attached. It is possible to enjoy life in the same way.
True joyful living means living happily all the time irrespective of what happens in the external world. Unless one has the big picture of everything, this is not possible. The big picture will reveal the true identity of self, fellow human beings, other living beings and inert objects in the universe. In addition one will understand God and the nature of creation. When this big picture is grasped then one will not be attached to any object in the world. Therefore, it will be possible to live joyfully.
Lesson 2: Creation of the big picture
Session: F02 – F04
In order to achieve Joyful Living, one should have complete grasp of the environment in which one lives. We see that we are living in a vast universe and we keep wondering about the creator of this universe.
The total scenario comprising of self, other living beings, universe and god is explained here by comparing them with a picture drawn on a white cloth.
There are four steps to create a big color painting of natural scenery with people, animals, rivers, mountains and sea on a canvas as detailed below.
Step 1: A big pure white cloth is taken for drawing a picture.
The big white cloth is hung on a wall (or imagine the blank white screen in a cinema theater) and if anyone is asked the question ‘What do you see?” the answer will be “Nothing”. If there is a black dot on the white cloth then people will respond, “I see a small black dot”.
Thus, generally, the white cloth is not seen at all or its presence is ignored. However, when someone answers ‘Nothing’, if it is pointed out that they are seeing a white cloth then they will acknowledge its presence.
The white cloth is the basis on which the painting will be drawn. When a picture is drawn, people will see the picture but will continue to ignore the cloth.
The big pure white cloth represents the ONE.
ONE has no name or attribute. It cannot be described by words.
ONE supports the universe. One is the only reality and the universe is an illusion
People recognize the existence of the universe but they do not recognize the basis on which the universe is created.
It is easy for the people to recognize the existence of the blank white cloth, once pointed out. It is difficult for them to perceive the presence of ONE. As the picture is covering the entire white cloth, the universe is covering the ONE. In fact the only way to infer the existence of ONE is by observing the presence of the universe but unfortunately, for most people it acts as a curtain covering ONE.
It requires high level of intelligence to figure out the existence of ONE by enquiring the real nature of the universe.
Statement 1: White canvas is real. Picture drawn on it is imagination. ONE is the only reality. The universe, which is superimposed on it, is an illusion.
Step 2: The white cloth is straightened.
It is not possible to draw the painting on a white cloth unless it is held straight. Therefore, the second step is to starch the white cloth and fix it tightly without wrinkles or folds. Once this is done the painting work can begin.
ONE in its pure form is not capable of any action. It has an inherent power called Illusion. ONE along with this expressed power of Illusion is called GOD. GOD is now ready to support the manifestation of the universe.
Statement 2: The straightened white cloth represents GOD (ONE with Illusion).
Step 3: On the straightened white cloth an outline of the picture is drawn.
The first step in the creation of the color picture is to draw the outline of the proposed objects like people, animals, rivers, mountains and sea.
The boundaries of these objects are drawn using light black color paint. This can be clearly seen on the white screen. However, once the painting is completed the outline is not visible. The color painting is superimposed on the outline thereby the latter is pushed into oblivion.
ONE, using the power of Illusion creates an outline of the proposed universe. This outline represents the universe in subtle form. It is essential to support the gross form but it is not perceived when the gross universe is manifested, just as the outline is not seen after the painting is completed.
Statement 3: The black outline represents the subtle universe.
When someone looks at a completed picture, the outline is not noticed. If it is explained that the outline was drawn prior to the painting then it can be intellectually perceived.
Similarly, the subtle universe exists but not perceived by people using the five sense organs. Nevertheless, it can be comprehended intellectually.
Step 4: Appropriate colors are painted within the outline.
Once the white cloth is ready with the outline, different color paints are applied and the outline is filled up with appropriate colors to represent the various objects like people, animals, rivers, mountains and sea.
Similarly, from the subtle form, universe is manifested in to gross form (which can be perceived by the five senses)
Statement 4: The color picture represents the universe.
There are different colors of paints that make up the picture. In the case of universe, there are just five, which make up the universe. They are space, air, fire, water and earth.
When people look at the paint in the container, they will identify them as paints. However, once the paint is applied on the white cloth, it is no longer recognized as paint but as objects. Suppose in the picture a crow is drawn, people do not see it as a patch of black paint in a birds shape. They recognize it as a crow.
Similarly, the five elements in various combinations appear as living beings and inert objects in the universe. People do not recognize them as such when they look at them. They start seeing human beings, animals, birds and inert objects like sand, mountain, river etc.
A blue paint is used to paint the river and it is also used to paint the water that flows in a gutter. People who look at the painting will like the water in the river and dislike the water in the gutter. Nevertheless, the truth is there is absolutely no difference in the blue paint, which is used to paint both.
Similarly, all the living beings and the non-living beings are depicted in the universe by the use of the very same five elements in various shapes and sizes. Nevertheless, we see them as different entities. We like/dislike some of them.
The entire picture is made up of paints. There is nothing on the white cloth, which is other than the paint.
Similarly, the universe is made up of five elements only. There is nothing in the universe, which comprises of anything other than the five elements.
When we look at the picture, we are looking at the paint in various shades and colors. We like or dislike some objects in the picture. Although we are aware that the picture is just paints, still we see different objects.
Similarly, in the world, we like or dislike certain objects/ persons/ living beings, although all of them are made up by various combinations of the five elements.
In case of the picture, we are aware that all the objects are made up of paints. However, we lack this awareness with respect to the world due to our ignorance.
In other words, when we see the paints we imagine a picture and see differences among the objects.
Similarly, when we see the combination of the five elements in the universe, we see imaginary objects/ persons/ living beings but believe that they are all real.
Statement 5: The universe is our imagination and does not exist in reality.
Lesson 3: The Real Cloth Vs Imaginary Cloth
When we look at the picture, which contains many objects and living beings, we give special status to human beings. The only distinctive feature of the human figures is that they wear dresses unlike any other object in the picture.
The picture is drawn on a big white cloth. This white cloth is the only real cloth.
In the picture all the human beings are covered by cloth (dress). When we look at the human beings in the picture, we observe different types of dresses worn by men, women and children. We talk about these dresses as if they are made up of real cloth. The only real cloth is the cloth, which is the basis of the entire picture. However, whenever someone refers to the cloth our attention does not go to the entire picture but only to the specific color of painting drawn as dress of the human beings.
If we hear a command ‘touch the cloth’, we can touch the river or the mountain and claim that we have touched the cloth. However, that does not happen. We look for human beings on the painting and then touch the dress worn by them. Thus, we are ignorant of the existence of the real cloth and carried away by the paint that is depicted as a dress on the human beings in the painting.
The real cloth is ONE.
The imaginary cloth is on the human being.
We can take the cloth (on which the painting is done) and use it as our dress since it is real. The dress worn by the human being in the painting cannot be used as our dress because they are part of the imagination created through the illusion of painting.
Similarly, ONE alone is real. The numerous human beings that we see on the face of the earth are not independent of ONE. They appear to be independent (not only from ONE but also from each other) due to the illusion created by the power of ONE.
The river, mountain and animals in the picture do not have dress but still they are also in essence the illusion created by the paint drawn on the very same real cloth.
Similarly, everything in the universe is made up of the illusory elements sustained by ONE, which is the only reality.
Statement 6: Thus there is nothing but ONE.
Lesson 4: Living beings Vs Inert objects
In the picture, all objects are made up of the color paintings only. Nevertheless, we see some objects (human beings) wearing a dress (cloth) which resembles the original cloth that support the entire picture. The rest of the objects do not have dress. However, from the point of view of the white cloth there is no such difference. It lends support by providing the cloth to all objects without any discrimination.
Similarly, in the universe all the objects are made up of five elements. Nevertheless, the living beings alone resemble ONE, which supports the entire universe. The inert objects in the creation do not reflect ONE. Nevertheless, all of them (both living beings and inert objects) are imaginary caused by the illusion and the only reality is ONE.
The real cloth is all pervasive and it spreads across the entire picture. Similarly, the ONE is all pervasive and spread across the entire universe.
The cloth made up of paint is available only on the human figures in the painting. Reflection of ONE is clearly seen only on the human beings.
The cloth worn by the human figures is not independent of the real cloth. Human beings are not independent of the ONE.
The human figure in the picture is constituted by
Paint that looks like his body – This is an illusion created by paint
Paint that looks like the cloth – This is an illusion created by paint
Cloth (The real cloth that supports the painting) – This is the only reality.
The human being in the universe is composed of
The body – This is an illusion created by the five elements
The mind – This is also an illusion created by the five elements
The reflection of ONE (Cloth) – This is the effect of the illusion
ONE (On whom the universe is superimposed) – This is the only reality.
All other inert objects like river and mountain are also made up of paint supported by the real cloth but they do not have the paint that look like the real cloth. Similarly, in the creation while all the inert objects are created by the five elements they do not reflect ONE due to the absence of the mind.
Statement 7: Living beings have subtle body that reflects the knowledge aspect of ONE. Inert objects do not have this capability.
Lesson 5: Human beings Vs Other living beings
ONE using the inherent power of illusion, manifests the universe comprising the three strands of AEM, namely Aura, Energy and Matter.
All the objects (Human beings, other living beings and inert objects) in the creation are made up of different proportions of AEM. The proportion of AEM in the living beings is such that it has the capability to reflect the consciousness aspect of ONE. Therefore, they appear to be alive.
Among the living beings, only the human beings are that they are conscious and claim an independent identity as an individual. Unlike other living beings they are self-conscious.
Statement 8: All the living beings are conscious and human beings are self-conscious.
This feature is the basis of our ego.
The ego converts the thoughts (which are the representation of the universe perceived through the five senses) as desires.
The power to desire is the distinct power, which makes the human beings superior to all other living beings. Animals and plants live based on their instincts. When they feel hungry, they look for food. They have enough knowledge to survive and they have enough capabilities to convert the knowledge into action to fulfill the need of survival and reproduction.
In case of the human beings both the power to know and the power to act are driven by the power to desire. Desire is the motive power to know and to act, which is the privilege available only with human beings.
Lesson 6: ONE is portrayed as multiple living beings
Just as the original cloth supports multiple types of cloths (on the different human figures) through the illusion created by the paint, in the universe the single ONE is depicted as multiple living beings through the illusion.
In reality, there is only one cloth. Similarly, in reality there is only one ONE.
The perceived cloths in the picture are of multiple types. Each cloth has different shapes (like shirt, frock, saree etc) and different colors. Some of them are torn and dirty. Others look nice and bright. But the real cloth is pure white without any wrinkles or holes.
Similarly, in the universe the living beings are of multiple types. Each one is looking different. In addition, some are suffering and others appear to be happy. But the ONE, which is the foundation, is ever witnessing joy.
There could be a dress on a particular human figure in the picture, which is of pure white in color. In other words if we look at the dress of that particular human figure, we realize that there is absolutely no difference between the real cloth and the superimposed cloth. The real cloth serves as the false cloth.
Thus, there are some human beings who identify themselves fully with ONE become ONE. Others are unaware of the fact that they are also the very same ONE and therefore suffer.
Statement 9: We have choice to identify ourselves with ONE or with the body/mind complex.
Example: An electric bulb is useless without electricity.
A glowing bulb can identify itself with the glass/ filament and feel small.
Alternatively, it can identify itself with the electricity and feel great.
The truth of the glowing bulb is the combination of two different entities namely glass/filament AND electricity.
In case of human being, there is only one entity, ONE. The body/mind complex is made out of power of illusion which reflects the consciousness aspect of ONE. Therefore, he has no choice but to identify himself with ONE. Without knowing this fact, many identify themselves with the body/ mind complex and feel small. When we realize that we are nothing but ONE, we ignore the universe.
Example: If the glowing bulb identifies itself with electricity, it does so with electricity that is common to all electrical gadgets. A ‘wise’ refrigerator may also identify itself with the very same electricity. There is no separate ‘bulb electricity’ and ‘refrigerator electricity’.
Similarly, though we are all apparently different, we should identify ourselves with the very same ONE, which supports the universe.
Lesson 7: Comparing ONE and Self
Since there is a similarity between the original cloth and the painted cloth, we make a mistake of assuming the properties of one on the other. For example, the painted cloth might be dirty or wrinkled. Nevertheless, the original cloth is pure white and fully straightened. The painted cloth might give an appearance that the original cloth is dirty or wrinkled.
Similarly, the human beings reflect ONE. Since the reflection is similar to the original, we make the mistake of superimposing one’s property on the other.
We assume that the human being is suffering due to poverty, disease etc. This is not true. The real human being is not touched by the miseries of the world. Just as the wrinkles on the painted cloth is an appearance which does not affect the original status of the straightened cloth, the miseries of the world belongs to the reflection and not to the original man.
ONE is Ever Witnessing Joy. Therefore, the reflection is also Ever Witnessing Joy. However, this truth is shielded from the human beings. Due to ignorance human being is constantly involved in action to achieve immortality, joyful living and to gain more intelligence. All these three are the basic nature of the human being and there is no necessity for frantic action to reach these ‘goals’.
Just as the dirt on the mirror will not affect the original face, the miseries of the world will not have any effect on the original consciousness. However due to ignorance the human beings are under the impression that the dirt is on their face (and not on the mirror). As a result, they keep engaging in action to wipe the ‘dirt’ on the face. Their effort will be like chasing a mirage but it will give them an opportunity to gain mental maturity. Soon they will understand that their face is clean and shining all the time and there is no need to change the world.
Statement 10: The problems of the world cannot affect ONE, our real self.
Lesson 8: Comparing ONE and the Universe
Session: F10 – F11
The universe is superimposed on ONE just like the picture is superimposed on the cloth. Both the universe and the picture comprise of three types of objects, namely, human beings, other living beings and inert objects.
In the picture, human figures are depicted with cloth, which resembles the original cloth. Although the cloth, which supports the picture, alone is real, people do not see it. However, they do see the cloth on the human figures.
If there were no images of a human figures on the picture, a question “Do you see any cloth?” will draw a negative answer. However, with the images of many human figures, the same question will receive positive response. It should be noted that the positive response does not refer to the real cloth but the imaginary cloth drawn on the real cloth.
Just as the dresses of the human figures resemble the real cloth, the three-fold nature of ONE is reflected in the three types of objects in the universe.
Light and heat are two aspects of the nature of fire. These are not attributes of fire like smell is the attribute of a flower. There can be a flower without smell but it is not possible for the fire to exist without light and heat. Similarly, TRUTH, CONSCIOUSNESS and JOY are the three-fold nature of ONE. These are not attributes of ONE but they constitute the attributeless ONE.
By looking at the picture, we say, “River is here. Mountain is there”. The IS ness in all these objects is borrowed from the cloth. Only the cloth IS there and there is no real river/mountain. Similarly, the river and mountains in the universe are also an illusion. They appear to exist but the IS ness in them is borrowed from ONE. The first nature of ONE is the TRUTH which is EVER PRESENT without any change. The universe appears, changes and dissolves like the objects in a magic show. We actually refer to ONE when we say ‘River is here. Mountain is there.” The entire universe in reality does not exist. Nevertheless, it appears to exist by borrowing the IS ness from the ONE.
Statement 11: The IS ness of the universe is borrowed from ONE.
When we say an object is there, we assume the IS ness is a property of an object. The fact is the IS ness is the nature of ONE and the object has borrowed this and appears to exist.
The second nature of ONE is CONSCIOUSNESS. Only the living beings in the universe reflect this nature in addition to the TRUTH. This factor differentiates living beings from the inert objects. Thus a living being is capable of reflecting two aspects of ONE namely the IS ness and the consciousness.
Statement 12: The consciousness of the living beings is borrowed from ONE.
The third and final nature of ONE is JOY. Only the human beings in the universe reflect all these three natures namely the IS ness, CONSCIOUSNESS and JOY. When we say, “I am happy” we imply I exist (IS ness). I am conscious and I am happiness. Thus, all the three aspects of ONE are reflected only by the human beings.
Other living beings are not self-conscious and therefore do not claim to be happy.
Statement 13: The happiness of the human beings is borrowed from ONE.
The whole universe is superimposed on ONE just like the entire picture is drawn on the cloth.
There is no object in the universe that is devoid of ONE just as no object on the picture is devoid of the cloth.
The cloth is seen fully only in the dress worn by the human figures drawn on the picture.
Similarly the ONE is seen fully only in the human beings in the creation.
What is perceived as cloth on the human figures is also the imagination caused by the paint although it reflects the real cloth.
What is perceived as consciousness in the human mind is also part of the illusion although it reflects the real ONE.
Example: You see yourself in the mirror
Animals may not recognize themselves in a mirror and may start attacking the reflection due to ignorance. Human being on the other hand is expected to have enough intelligence to see the reflection, understand that the reflection is different from his real self and at the same time that it represents the real self.
If there is a dirty patch on the mirror, it may appear to be a mark on the face. If we are intelligent enough, we will be able to discriminate between the dirty patch on the reflecting surface and the reflected figure.
In the case of mirror, all human beings have this discriminatory power and do not assume that the original face is dirty. However, in the case of universe most of us continue to be ignorant. The miseries of the life are superimposed on our real self and we assume that we are suffering. Our real self, which is ONE, is above all suffering. However, we remain ignorant of this fact.
Suppose we see wrinkles on the dress of a human figure, we do not presume that the cloth on which the picture is drawn is wrinkled. However, due to ignorance we think the misery of the life belongs to us.
We are aware that the inert objects in the creation do not suffer. This is so because they do not reflect the consciousness aspect of ONE as we do. Since we do not realize that we ARE the consciousness, we see the superimposed limitations of our body/mind complex alone and we suffer.
Just as the limitations are imaginary, the suffering is also imaginary. The real ONE, which is our true self, is beyond any suffering.
Delusion shields the reality and projects the universe as real. Therefore, ignorant people see the world as an absolute reality. Since the world is real for them, the miseries of the world affect them. When they realize that just as the picture is depicted on a cloth, the universe is an illusion and it is superimposed on the only reality namely ONE, they become wise. They will see the miseries of the world as a necessary part of the illusion and will lead their life joyfully.
Statement 14: We need to discriminate between the real ONE and its reflection EGO.
Lesson 9: Answer to the question “Why are we here?”
We are here to enjoy life. Joyful Living is the only purpose of being here. The white cloth by itself is not interesting or appealing. The same cloth with a beautiful picture appears to be wonderful. Similarly, ONE by itself cannot provide nor have any experience. The universe is superimposed on ONE to make it interesting and entertaining.
It is stated in the Holy Scriptures that ONE decided to become many and the mere wish has brought about this universe.
We are not different from ONE. We are the ONE.
ONE without the body and mind cannot have any experience.
We perceive the world and perceive it to be different.
On the face of it, there is an observer and the observed. However, in reality there is only one. The observer is the observed.
We are the observer (ONE). The observed universe (which includes our body/ mind complex) is an illusion, which is superimposed on us for the purpose of our entertainment.
The universe does not exist for real. It is an illusion just like dream. In the dream the whole world, exist in our mind. The dream objects appear to be real in the dream. As long as, we are dreaming it is difficult to accept that they are not real. However, once we wakeup we become aware that the world that appeared to be real in the dream is just an illusion. In the same way, the universe, which is perceived by our five sense organs, is an illusion, which we will realize when we are awakened to the absolute reality, ONE.
During deep sleep, we do not experience anything because we exist without the superimposed illusion, namely the world, which includes our mind. In contrast, when we dream, the physical world is absent to us but our mind is active. Therefore, using our mind we experience the dream world, created by its inherent power.
The dream experience may be pleasant or unpleasant. Since the dream events do not have any impact on our real life, we can enjoy the dream irrespective of its content. Similarly, since the events in the world do not affect our absolute reality, we can enjoy our life irrespective of its content.
Without this knowledge, we are being caught in the unreality and suffer.
Example: A bee comes to a flower to enjoy the honey. However, it is stuck and it suffers.
Similarly we are being attached to the unreal world and do not enjoy life. Along with the happiness, we go through various negative emotions like fear, anxiety and such due to our attachment.
Therefore, we need to understand the big picture that we are the only reality and the entire universe is an illusion superimposed on us. If we do that, we will not be attracted to or attached to the unreal objects of the world and we can have a joyful living.
However, in order to comprehend this big picture one has to have sufficient mental maturity. Such matured mind is not common among most of the human beings. They have to work for gaining the required level of mental maturity.
Therefore the while the main objective of all the human beings is to live joyfully, most of them need to work for gaining mental maturity so that they can understand the big picture. Therefore, for them the objective in life is to gain mental maturity.
Such mental maturity is gained through work. People in general, work for material prosperity. They do gain intelligence in this pursuit but such intelligence does not lead to mental maturity. When they realize that they are chasing a mirage – seeking joyful living through material prosperity – they will start working selflessly. When they do this, their mind will become matured enough to receive the knowledge.
Serious pursuit of knowledge will give them the vision to see the big picture and as a result, they will have joyful living.
Statement 15: We are here to live life joyfully.
Analysis of the scenario
Number of Sessions 7
(14 to 20)
Number of Lessons 2
(10 to 11)
On completion of this Unit, the student will be able to
(m) See the overall relationship of Self, GOD and ONE
Notes to the teacher: (Ref 6.18 to 6.121 of the original text)
This unit gives an example as the foundation for the rest of module. Therefore, it is not necessary to go into the details in this unit.
If the student is able to understand the example clearly, it is enough.
Explain how the word Self represents ONE. It meets two conditions.
Condition 1: The word Self can get attached with first person (myself), second person (Yourself) and third person (himself). It also refers to both living being and non-living being (Itself)
Condition 2: It can never be use with the word ‘soul’. Only ONE has no first person, second person or third person.
Therefore, it has to be represent ONE.
We refer I to refer the EGO and Self to refer the ONE.
The knower (I) is negated and therefore the question “How do I know the Self” does not arise.
30. Describe the steps from miserable life to Joyful Living. (Lesson 10)
31. What are the eight components described about the pot? (Lesson 11)
32. Compare each of the eight components with what they represent in the universe.
Lesson 10: What should we do?
Our only purpose of being here in the world is to enjoy life. Although we want to enjoy life all the time, we are not able to due to various obstacles. The first step towards this destination is to recognize the miseries of the world.
Statement 16: Recognize that we are leading a miserable life.
While the environment is conducive and nice, we feel that we are happy. This is miserable life because we are a prisoner of the environment and we do not have absolute control over the environment.
Only human beings are capable of getting fully liberated from all the miseries of the world and live joyfully. (Inert objects do not suffer or enjoy. Other living beings suffer/ enjoy as dictated by the environment since they do not have the capability to acquire the required knowledge to live joyfully)
Although capable, not all the human beings will get the liberation because most of them are searching for joyful living in the wrong direction. They are under the assumption by correcting the environment and making it conducive, they can reach the goal of Joyful Living. This is an erroneous belief.
Statement 17: Know that it is possible to be liberated from all miseries of the world and live joyfully forever
Most human beings do not consider this as a possibility. They accept that miseries are part of life and they think that one has to possibly reduce their frequency and impact or endure them
This is a wrong notion. As and when they realize that it is possible to get fully liberated from all the miseries, they will cross this hurdle and progress to the next step.
Statement 18: Identify that the root cause of all the miseries is ignorance
This is a very difficult step to cross.
Initially human beings tend to think that the misery is caused by external objects/ events/ persons. Each misery in their life is assumed to be due to varied reasons. After some experience, they will assume that money will solve most of the miseries. It will take a while for them to figure out the root cause is their ignorance.
When they understand this, they move on to the next step
Statement 19: Understand that the knowledge is the only solution.
After recognizing that the ignorance is the root cause of all their miseries, people tend to act in different ways to drive the ignorance. They may start meditating or praying to the lord, do service to the society etc in order to erase their ignorance.
When they understand acquiring the right knowledge is the only way to remove their ignorance they progress to the next step.
Statement 20: Realize that the enquiry is the only way to gain knowledge.
The true knowledge can be gained only through enquiry. Enquiry is required only when we have wrong knowledge. If we are ignorant of any subject, we can gain knowledge by reading/ listening. No enquiry is required. Only when we have wrong knowledge we need to enquire to get the right knowledge.
One should commence the enquiry on Living beings, Universe and Self, because one has wrong knowledge on all these aspects.
Statement 21: Ensure consistent, continuous and complete enquiry.
There should be a strong desire for Joyful Living. Only then, there will be seriousness in the enquiry. Enquiry is not a mere intellectual exercise. Unless one has deeply wishing to get liberated from miseries, the enquiry cannot be sustained for long.
It is essential this enquiry should be consistent and continuous until the right knowledge is gained.
It may be easy for someone to claim that since the universe is seen obviously, there should be a creator of the universe. This is a very generic knowledge. One needs to continue the enquiry to find the specific knowledge of the universe.
When we perceive that the universe is present, the IS ness belongs to ONE. Borrowing the IS ness from ONE, the universe appears to be present. It also claims the property of ‘reality’ from ONE, which it does not have.
Example: A bangle made of gold borrows the IS ness from gold. If gold is not there bangle will not exist. In addition, the bangle claims that it weighs 200 gram. The weight belongs to the gold and not to the bangle. The bangle is just a name and form. It does not have any weight.
Similarly, the universe is merely a form. It appears to be real substance by borrowing the IS ness of ONE.
Enquiry should be done until one gets this right knowledge.
Lesson 11: Analysis of Self, Universe and GOD
Session: F15 – F19
The enquiry is the primary method to reach the ultimate destination of Joyful Living. The enquiry has to be done on Self, GOD and Universe because we are currently holding on to the lower level of truth in all these three aspects. This is because of our wrong interpretation of the inputs from our sense organs. In this situation, it is essential to enquire and understand the meaning of:
1. The real meaning of the word ‘I’ (Self)
2. The literal meaning of the word ‘I’ (EGO)
3. The meaning of the word ‘GOD’
If we arrive at the truth of these three items then we will get the clarity that the Universe is an illusion. In order to answer these questions, we need to comprehend the nameless, formless and attributeless ONE.
In order to explain the above we will use an example of ‘space’. Imagine the four ways of perceiving the space as described below:
1. Pot Space
2. Space that is reflected in the pot water
3. Space that is reflected in the water droplets that make up a cloud
In reality, there is only one space. It appears to be many due to the presence of various adjuncts like pot water and cloud water.
Now we compare the
Space with ONE
Pot with Physical body
Water in the Pot with Subtle body (Including Mind)
Pot Space with Real meaning of the word ‘I’ (Self)
Reflected Space in the Pot water with Literal meaning of the word ‘I’ (EGO)
Water droplets constituting cloud with Preferences constituting Causal Body
Cloud with Illusion (The power of ONE)
Reflected Space in the cloud with GOD
At the causal body level, we cannot talk about our independent individual body. Our preferences are the result of our actions in all our previous births. The cumulative preferences of all the living beings have resulted as this universe.
Statement 22: ONE can be compared with space.
Space is the one, which provides place for everything in the universe.
ONE is the substratum of the universe.
Space is unlimited.
ONE is infinite.
Space is not reduced when it is accommodating other objects.
ONE remains unchanged whether the universe is manifested or not.
Space cannot be constrained by anything.
ONE cannot be constrained by the universe.
Space is all-pervasive.
ONE is omnipresent.
Space is accommodating everything in the universe.
ONE is supporting the universe (including the space).
Space is part less, class less and non dual.
ONE is also part less, class less and non dual.
Space is changeless
ONE is also changeless
Following are the differences between Space and ONE
Space is part of the creation and therefore subject to arrival and departure. ONE is eternally present.
Space is inert and does not have intelligence,
ONE is Ever Witnessing Joy.
Statement 23: Our physical body can be compared with a pot.
Pot is made up of clay. The constituent of our physical body is not very different from it. In scientific terms if we break up to, atomic level there will not be any difference between the pot and the body.
Both are inert objects made up of five basic elements.
Both were created at certain point of time.
Both will decay and disintegrate in time.
Both need maintenance in order to be useful.
Both will be no more after a certain point of time.
Both have the limitation of Object and Space.
Both are used by us. (Pot is used for storing the water. Body is used for living)
All of us know that we are different from the pot but many do not know that they are different from the body.
Statement 24: Our subtle body can be compared with the water in the pot.
Water has the capability to reflect the space. Subtle body (mind) has the capability to reflect ONE
Water is inert matter. Mind is also inert matter.
Water in the pot is limited. Subtle body (mind) is also limited.
Water in the pot appears to be very deep because it is reflects the infinite space above. Mind appears to be sentient because it reflects the consciousness
Water in the pot distracts our attention from the space in the pot by reflecting the space outside. Mind, by appearing to be an independent live entity, distracts our attention from our real nature, ONE, by reflecting the ONE
The pot without water looks lifeless. Body without subtle body (during deep sleep mind is absent) looks lifeless.
All of us know that the water is different from the pot but many do not know that the mind is different from body (brain).
Statement 25: The real meaning of ‘I’ (Self) can be compared with the Pot-Space.
Pot Space is the space that is contained by the pot.
I appear to be contained by my physical body.
The space within the pot is not any different from the space outside the space.
There is no difference between me and ONE.
Pot space has a special status since it can be used unlike the open space.
I have special status since I can use my physical body/mind unlike ONE.
Space supports the existence of pot and the water in the pot.
I support the existence of my physical and subtle body.
The space is the basis on which the pot exists.
ONE is the substratum on which the universe is manifested.
Both inside the pot and outside the pot the all-pervading space exists.
I am omnipresent.
The clay in the shape of a pot appears to enclose a small portion of the space and define the volume of the pot.
The physical body appears to enclose me and give me a form and name.
The pot space is used for storing any contents.
I can do transactions in the world as long as I have access to the body/ mind.
Pot space is not limited by pot but appears to be limited by it.
Similarly, I am not limited by this body but I think I am limited by it.
Space is changeless which accommodates changes in everything.
I am the changeless ONE, which accommodates all changes in the universe.
Statement 26: The literal meaning of ‘I’ (EGO) can be compared with the Reflected-Space in the pot water.
The pot water appears to hold the space with clouds and moon.
It is obviously false since the space within the pot cannot hold clouds and moon
Therefore, reflection is not real. It just represents the real space.
Reflected space appears to be limited by the boundaries of the pot.
However, the real space is not limited by the pot.
Similarly, the literal meaning of the word ‘I’ is just a reflection of the original ONE.
ONE is infinite. It is omnipresent.
I seem to be finite, mortal and ignorant due to the constraint imposed by the body
The universe which includes the space, pot and my body are illusion that is projected on my real self (ONE) because of my power of illusion. However, my mind (which is also part of my body) is under the wrong impression.
My mind is also an inert object and I illumine the mind. However, my mind assumes an independent entity (called Ego) which is shielding me.
The water in the pot is creating the reflection of the space above. This reflection is distracting my attention to the real space that is contained in the pot. I am ignorant of the space within the pot and assume the reflection as myself.
Similarly, my mind, which is housed in my body, is capable of reflecting the infinite and omnipresent ME. This reflection is assumed the ego. This ego is distracting my attention from the real ME and makes me believe that I am the limited ego.
The water in the pot is supported by the space with in the pot. If there is no space in the pot, the water cannot be inside the pot. However, due to its inherent power to reflect the space, water distracts our attention from the space it is occupying.
Water, pot and everything is changing all the time and space is the one, which is changeless and hence support all the changes.
ONE is changeless and supports all the changes in the changing universe, which includes my body and mind. I am changeless.
Statement 27: The illusion can be compared with the clouds.
Water bearing cloud has the capability to reflect the space
Illusion has the capability to reflect ONE
Water in the cloud is wide and expansive unlike the water in the pot and reflects the space without any distortion or limitation.
Illusion also reflects ONE without any distortion or limitation.
Statement 28: GOD can be compared to the Reflected Space in the cloud water.
The cloud water reflects the space with all the stars and moon.
It is obviously false since the cloud cannot hold stars and moon
Therefore, reflection is not real. It just represents the real.
Reflected space also appears to be unlimited since the cloud is huge.
ONE is infinite. It is omnipresent.
GOD is also appears to be infinite, omnipresent and omnipotent
ONE is the only reality. GOD is a reflection (and hence an illusion) which appears very similar to the original.
It is not possible to see the reflection of space in the cloud. It can only be inferred.
It is not possible to perceive god directly and it can only be inferred. Everything that we see is God. However, God is not limited to what we perceive. His omnipresence can only be inferred and not perceived.
Number of Sessions 16
(21 to 36)
Number of Lessons 9
(12 to 20)
On completion of this Unit, the student will be able to
(k) Identify the cause of our miseries
(l) See the path to liberation
Notes to the teacher: (Ref 6.122 to 6.152 of the original text)
Delusion is Avidya. Proof of existence of Delusion: An ordinary many is not aware of the Self AND he denies the existence of ONE.
The bright students may ask “If I am consciousness how come I can be ignorant?”. Logic cannot defeat experience.
Since consciousness and ignorance belong to two different orders of reality, they can coexist.
In this context, the lower order of reality of dream has to be discussed.As per science, there is no wall. It is made up of matter that consists of atoms with 90% of empty space. Matter is energy in motion. According to science there is no solid objects and what we see two solids touching each other is an illusion since only an empty space of one solid is touching only another empty space of the other object.
Atom means that which cannot be further divided. Even now we call it by same name even after splitting it.
There is difference between chemistry and biochemistry. Scientists cannot figure out what the difference is.
28. What is the root cause of all our problems? (Lesson 12)
29. What is the confusion between EGO and ONE? (Lesson 13)
30. What are the two functions of Delusion? (Lesson 14)
31. What is the understanding gained from the sentence “THIS IS A MAN”
32. What are the effects of Delusion? (Lesson 15)
33. What is the origin of Delusion? (Lesson 16)
34. Describe the six stages of Delusion with respect to Self (Lesson 17)
35. Describe the three stages of Delusion with respect to god (Lesson 18)
36. What are the four steps to be followed to remove Delusion (Lesson 20)
37. What are the problems connected with understanding the Holy Scriptures?
Lesson 12: The root cause of all the miseries
The confusion in the meaning of the word ‘I’ is the root cause of all the miseries of the world. This Delusion has to be understood fully in order to remove it.
We have seen that there are two meaning for the word ‘I’. One is the literal meaning and the second is the real meaning. Normally we should not have such confusion. The literal meaning should be same as the real meaning.
Example: Pen means pen
It is said that the reason for all our miseries is our Ignorance on the meaning of the word ‘I’. Therefore, it is very important for us to understand the root cause of the confusion between these two meanings of the word ‘I’.
There will not be any confusion if the meaning of the word is very different.
Example: Send the cattle inside the pen.
There is no confusion on the word pen because the meaning is very different from the writing tool.
However, in case of the word ‘I’ we have a complication due to the similarities between the two meanings and therefore we have confusion.
Normally without any thinking, we assume that the word ‘I’ means our body and mind complex. However if we pass to think, we can negate this view. We can easily prove that since I am aware of the changes in my body and mind, I should be different from them.
Now we go to the next step.
We no longer think the meaning of the word ‘I’ is the body/ mind complex. However, we start thinking the meaning is EGO, which resembles the real meaning.
This is the problem.
In case of the word PEN the two meanings of the word are very different from each other so that it is easier for us to take the correct meaning depending on the situation.
However, in case of the word ‘I’ the literal and the real meanings are very similar.
Example: The reflection of the space and the real space are different but very similar.
The literal meaning of the word ‘I’ is similar to looking into the pot and see the reflection of the space in the water and say ‘I see the space’
The real meaning of the word ‘I’ is similar to looking at the pot and inferring the space inside the pot and saying ‘I see the space’
The empty space within the pot is the real meaning of the word ‘I’, which is ONE
The reflected space is the literal meaning of the word ‘I’, which is EGO.
ONE and EGO appear to be very similar just like the space that is talked about in both these situation and therefore there is confusion.
Another reason for confusion is both the space occupies the very same place. Similarly, the Self and EGO function from the same place.
Because of the confusion, we transfer the quality of one to the other.
Example: X and Y are twins. If we expect X to behave like Y we will get disappointed.
This is the exact result of our confusion between EGO and ONE.
Statement 29: EGO and ONE are very similar and therefore the confusion between them is of very high order, called as Delusion.
The false is more attractive than the real. The real space within the pot is not attractive compared to all the stars, moon and clouds that are reflected by the water. Therefore, we mistake the reflected space as real space.
This Delusion between the EGO and ONE is the cause of all miseries because, if we know that our real nature is ONE, we will not worry about the non-existent EGO.
However, from the point of view of EGO, the world is real and therefore, all the experiences of the world are also real.
Example: Dream-food is enough to satisfy our hunger in the dream since both of them belong to the same order of reality. Dream-food cannot satisfy our real hunger since they belong to different order of reality.
The reflected space and the real supporting space belong to different order of realities. We need to ignore the reflected space and see the real space within the pot. Similarly, we need to ignore the Ego and see ONE.
Lesson 13: Confusion between EGO and ONE
Looking at the reflected space, it is wrong to assume that pot has infinite space inside. Similarly, seeing the reflection of ONE, we wrongly expect our EGO to be all-powerful. We expect that we should be able to control the entire universe. The truth is I am the only reality and the universe (which includes my body/mind) is an illusion. Therefore, I am more powerful than the universe. However, we do lots of action with a view to ‘become’ all-powerful. We get disappointed.
It is wrong to assume that if we move the pot, the space inside the pot will also move. The real space cannot be moved. I am like the real space, which is inside the pot. I am omni present. However, my body/mind complex is limited to a time and place. Due to the confusion, we wish to travel at the speed of the light to be present at any place at any time. The truth is I am present in all the places at all times. However, we do lots of action with a view to achieve this goal of being present at all places with instant travel. We get disappointed.
It is wrong to assume that if the pot is broken, the space is destroyed. Similarly, the death of our physical body will not have any effect on our real Self. ONE is immortal. Our body/mind complex is mortal. I am immortal. However, we are engaged in lots of medical research to enable our body/mind/ EGO to live forever. We get disappointed.
The nature of ONE is joyful. Therefore, we expect our EGO to be joyful all the time. The truth is I am happiness. However, we are engaging in continuous action in order to become happy all the time. We get disappointed.
EGO is an artificial entity that does not exist. Atleast in the case of body/ mind complex, it is an illusion. This means the body/mind complex appears to exist but in reality does not exist. However, in case of EGO it is an imaginary concept.
If we understand this then the EGO is treated as an imaginary tool to transact in the illusory world. As a result, we do not inherit any miseries of the world. If we identify ourselves with ONE then instantly we become Ever Witnessing Joy and there is no need to seek immortality and omnipresence. However, if we identify ourselves with the EGO we will continue to suffer.
In order to remove the confusion one has to enquire into the nature of Delusion.
Statement 30: The confusion between the EGO and ONE can be removed only when we enquire into the nature of Delusion.
Normally, it will be enough if we understand the nature of EGO and ONE alone to remove the confusion. Since this confusion is of a higher order, called Delusion, it requires deeper enquiry on the Delusion itself.