Lesson 14: Two functions of Delusion
Session: F23 – F24
Delusion has two functions. It shields the real self (ONE) from our perception by projecting the imaginary self (EGO) on it. It negates both the experience and existence of Self.
Because of the Delusion, we say that we do not have any self and there is no such thing called Self, both at thought level and verbal level. The truth is Self is always present and it is always experienced. Delusion negates both these truths. These are the two functions of Delusion.
In addition to the fact that the people are ignorant of Self, they are not aware that they are ignorant. This is the biggest bottleneck in removal of Delusion.
The EGO is shielding Self from our view not by hijacking it outside our view but it just diverts our attention from it. Just as the TV screen is ‘hidden’ from our view by the movie that is shown on it.
If we become aware that the movie is an illusion, which is projected on the real screen, we will not be affected by the sorrow of the hero. Similarly, when we are aware that the universe is an illusion, which is projected on ME, then we are not affected by the events/ persons/ objects in it.
The mere fact that we are looking for immortality, to become more intelligent and to live joyfully shows that these are our real nature. Otherwise, we will not be attracted by these features.
Example: People who are ignorant about diamond will mistake an uncut diamond to be an ordinary stone and say, “This is a stone”
Similarly, when we say, “This is a man’ we are ignorant about our real nature. We assume our self to be an ordinary mortal and limited entity.
A detailed analysis is required to understand the function of Delusion with reference to our understanding of this sentence “This is a man”.
Statement 31: Delusion distorts the meaning of the words THIS and IS in the sentence “THIS IS A MAN”
Statement 32: Delusion projects a wrong meaning to the word MAN in the sentence “THIS IS A MAN”
We need to analyses the statement “This is a stone” (and ‘This is a man’) in detail to remove our Delusion. There are three components in the sentence.
THIS: The term ‘THIS’ does not belong to the ordinary stone since there is no ordinary stone. It is the product of the ignorance of the onlooker. It belongs to the diamond. Diamond is real and stone is imaginary.
Similarly the term ‘THIS’ does not belong to the ordinary man since there is no ordinary man. It is a product of the ignorance of the onlooker. It belongs to the ONE. ONE is real and the man is an illusion.
Since the term ‘THIS’ belongs to ONE, it signifies ALL PLACES and ALL OBJECTS. In our previous picture example when we talk about the cloth, we are aware all the objects in the picture are on the cloth. Moreover, there is no place on the picture, which is outside the cloth. Similarly, the universe is projected on ONE. There is no place in the universe, which is outside of ONE. Moreover, there are no objects in the universe, which are outside the ONE.
Therefore the term ‘THIS’ refers to the infinite ONE and not the limited man. The man is limited to a place and a specific body, which are part of the illusion that is superimposed on ONE. Therefore, when we see a man and say, ‘This is a man’ we are actually pointing out to the ONE, which is immortal and infinite.
If there was no diamond the onlooker could not have told, “This is a stone”.
Similarly, if there was no ONE, he could not have told, “This is a man”.
Thus the term ‘THIS’ is understood partly correctly and partly wrongly.
Statement 33: In the sentence “THIS IS A MAN”, the word THIS refers to ONE.
IS: The verb ‘IS’ does not belong to the stone since the ordinary stone is not existing. It belongs to the diamond. Therefore, it signifies existence for a long time. If it were a stone the ‘IS’ will hold good for few years because the stone will disintegrate due to passage of time. Since it belongs to diamond, it means it will continue to be IS for millions of years. Due to ignorance, the onlooker assumes that the stone will last only for few years while the fact is otherwise.
Similarly in the sentence “This is a man”, the verb ‘IS’ does not belong to the EGO of the man since it does not exist. It belongs to the ONE. Therefore, it signifies something that exists forever. If it were to refer to the ego (combined with the mind/body), it exists only for one lifetime. On death the verb ‘IS’ cannot be used. Since it belongs to ONE, it means a permanent existence without any beginning or end.
The statement “This is a stone” is possible only with the existence of a real object. The real object could be a stone or a diamond. If the ignorance of the onlooker is removed, he will no longer see an ordinary stone.
Similarly, “This is a man” is possible only with the existence of a real entity.
The real entity is not the mortal man but the immortal one. If the Delusion of the onlooker is removed, he will no longer see an ordinary mortal man.
Statement 34: In the sentence “THIS IS A MAN”, the word IS refers to ONE.
A STONE/ MAN: Here is the confusion. Instead of identifying the article as a diamond, due to ignorance, the onlooker calls it as a stone.
Thus, when he says, “This is a stone” he is partly correct on its meaning but not fully. With respect to the nature of the stone, he is completely mistaken.
Thus, when we say, “This is a man” we are partly correct on its meaning but not fully. With respect to the nature of the man, we are completely mistaken.
Instead of seeing the diamond as diamond, the onlooker sees it as a stone.
Instead of seeing the infinite and immortal Self we see the limited/ mortal self.
Statement 35: In the sentence “THIS IS A MAN”, the words A MAN refers to ONE but we mistake it for the limited body/mind complex of the person.
Therefore, when we gain the true knowledge about the diamond, we will negate our knowledge of the stone, recognize the true meaning of phrase “This is” and then say, “This is a diamond”
In case of the man, we will continue to say, “This is a man” but with complete understanding of the truth.
The cause of the confusion with respect to diamond is two fold. Both the diamond and the stone appear to be very similar. Secondly, we do not have the adequate knowledge on diamond to distinguish it from an ordinary stone.
The cause of the confusion with respect to self is two fold. Both our EGO and the Self appear to be very similar. Secondly, we do not have the adequate knowledge on Self to distinguish it from a non-existing EGO.
Knowledge will remove our poverty by ‘turning’ the stone into a diamond.
Knowledge will remove our misery by ‘turning’ our self into a immortal bliss
Lesson 15: The effect of the Delusion
The effect of the Delusion is the mix up of reality with the falsehood. As a result, we are holding lower levels of truth with respect to Self, GOD and the Universe as explained below:
Universe appears to be real and not ONE, just like the stone appears to be real and not diamond.
If we negate the universe, we see nothing, just like when an onlooker is asked what he sees inside an empty pot, he will answer ‘Nothing’
If we think deeply we will figure out there has to be something (ONE) that is supporting the existence of the universe, just like the onlooker after some deep thinking will answer ‘space’ instead of ‘nothing’.
Universe contains many inert objects and all of them are supported by ONE just as the cloth supports all the imaginary objects in the picture.
Universe contains many living beings and all of them reflect ONE just like the pot with water reflects the space.
When we contemplate on the Universe we say that it is made up of inert objects and living beings just like the onlooker will say that he sees ‘water’ and ‘space’ in the pot. The problem is the ‘space’ which he ‘sees’ is the reflection in the water and not the real space contained within the pot. Similarly, we refer to the reflection of ONE in the subtle body as a living being. We do not see the original ONE, which is the only reality.
The presence of the subtle body differentiates the living beings from the inert objects just as the presence of water differentiates dancing pot from the non-moving pot. Both water and the pot are inert objects but the presence of the water in the pot gives it a semblance of life. Similarly, both the subtle body and physical body are inert. However, the presence of the subtle body gives the semblance of life to some inert objects. This is so because water can reflect sun and the subtle body can reflect ONE.
We are ignorant of ONE because our attention is diverted from it by its reflection just as we are ignorant of the cloth when we see the picture since our attention is diverted by the colorful cloth.
Statement 36: We are holding lower level of truth with respect to Self, GOD and the Universe.
Lesson 16: The reason for Delusion
Statement 37: We have not studied systematically the truth of Self, GOD and Universe. This is the reason for Delusion. No one taught us the truth.
Example: If one does not know Arabic Language, what is the cause of the ignorance? The cause is he has not been taught. When the Arabic language is learnt, the ignorance of that language will disappear.
When one learns about the diamond then he will be able to discriminate a diamond from an ordinary stone. The reason for Delusion is that he did not learn about it earlier.
Similarly, when we learn about the nature of our true self, we will be able to discriminate the immortal being from the mortal body.
It causes less harm if one does not have any knowledge on a subject than having half-baked knowledge. That is the problem in case of self-knowledge. Every individual has his own theory to the question ‘who am I?’ which is a lower level of truth. In addition, many schools of thought with varied theories and philosophies confuse the learner.
It is quite normal not only to be ignorant of many subjects but also it is quite possible to have wrong knowledge in the absence of systematic education. The ‘wrong knowledge’ could be called a lower level of truth since at each stage it appears to be truth.
The ultimate truth could be comprehended only by those who have intelligence and determination to pursue the subject. Those who do not start on the enquiry or stop half way through will end up having lower level of truth. Until the ultimate truth is completely understood, the lower levels of truths will not lead the person to Joyful Living.
Infact these lower levels of truths make people to stick on to their wrong notion for a long time before they could realize that there is a higher level of truth. Therefore, the move to the next higher stage is delayed.
People hold lower levels of truths with respect to Self, GOD and the Universe because of absence of systematic teaching. There are many different schools of thoughts existing in the world, which teaches different levels of truth with respect to Self, GOD and Universe. It is perfectly all right if one studies any one of them. Unfortunately, people study history, geography and science and ignore this subject. Even those who study philosophy are not interested to find the truth. They stop with a comparative analysis of various theories. It is important one should have a deep desire to find the ultimate truth of Self, GOD and the Universe and study any theory on them until they reach their goal.
Lesson 17: Stages of Delusion with respect to Self
Session: F27 – F33
Let us analyze the various stages of wrong knowledge on “who we really are?”
Statement 38: At the first stage, we think, “I am the body”
This is one of the most popular views, which are supported by science. According to this view, after the formation of atmosphere on earth some chemical reactions triggered ordinary inert objects to become living beings. Accordingly, the physical body is the foundation on which the life has developed.
Therefore, it is of very important to nurture the body and keep it in a healthy condition. It is necessary to find out what sustains the body and provide the right inputs so that the physical body stays alive as long as possible. It is generally accepted that the human body can last for about 100 years. Since there are evidences of people living upto the age of 150, it should be possible to increase the average lifespan of people to over 100 years.
As we get advanced in technology it should be possible to live for a long time, may be over 200 years.
It is not enough to live for long. The body should be able to function efficiently as long as possible. When both these are achieved one should be able to retain the physical capabilities of a 35 year old for about 150 years! (The efforts to extend the life expectancy will not stop until we attain immortality!)
Assuming this is made possible, what will be the objectives in life for the human beings who remain young for about 150 years?
Gratification of sense pleasures will be the primary objectives of life. Every one will always be chasing material progress so that they could
Live in a comfortable house with a pleasing environment
Eat tasty food with good flavor
Listen to the music of personal liking
Visit pub and parlors to wine/ dine/ dance
Have sex with any one when there is an urge
In this scenario, one needs to be just smart to achieve these objectives. There are no moral codes (all you need to know is how to project a respectable image to the world), no right/ wrong actions (you can steal whatever you want if you are smart enough not to get caught), no law to obey (you can kill your neighbor if you have high connections to get you off the legal hook)
Since there is no life after death nor there is a possibility of any judgment day, people will start consuming the natural resources at much faster rate.
The world will turn into a hell if this assumption is true. ‘Dog eat dog’ scenario will emerge and world will truly become a place for the survival of the smartest. Unfortunately none of the ‘smartest’ will ever think beyond their lifetime. The popular saying that we have not inherited world from our parents but have borrowed it from our children will fall into deaf ears.
Theoretically, it can be easily proved that if the entire population of the world starts consuming the resources at the current maximum level the world will not last for long.
The question to ask at this stage is “Is it true that I am just a physical body?” If the answer is YES, then the world is doomed to disintegrate in the near future. Fortunately majority of the people in the world believe the answer is NO.
So prior to proving that this view is wrong it is essential, to see that it should not be true if we are interested in the survival of earth with its varied life forms.
Fortunately, it is not mere wish that this view is wrong. We can logically prove it is wrong.
Proof that the view ‘I am the body’ is wrong:
When we observe a living being, we see two things. One is the physical body and another is something else (called ‘life’ or ‘soul’ or by some other name). Both these factor together causes the living being to function. According to the view ‘I am the body’, it should be possible for the living being to live as long as the physical body is fit. However, it is scientifically proved that this is not so. Many people, who are in perfect health die while they are still in the middle age. Although efforts are made to find the cause, the medical community is not able to do so. They will never be successful in their attempt because the basic view that the ‘physical body sustains life’ is wrong!
This is also proved by the very high rate of cot deaths. England, one of the most developed countries in the world, has medical records to show that every year more than 600 perfectly healthy babies are dying without any reason whatsoever before they reach their first birthday.
Therefore, it is conclusively proved that body is not as important as the ‘life’ or ‘soul’ or whatever the other component is called. The body becomes an inert object (dead body) when the other component chooses to leave the body. Unless the other component is independent of the body, it cannot decide to leave the body when it pleases. Thus, it cannot be said ‘I am the body’
Statement 39: In the second stage we wonder, “Am I the sense organs/ action organs?”
This stage is not popular and no one really thinks that he is his organs. However, most people have wrong notions thinking that their physical body is capable of action.
Our sense organs and action organs are independent of our physical body. We have five sense organs namely ear, skin, eye, tasting tongue and nose. We have five action organs namely hands, legs, speaking tongue, organs of digestion and organs of procreation.
These ten organs function from the physical body but they are independent of it.
Example: I have TWO SETS of legs. One set of legs is physical that can be seen and touched. The other set is the subtle and invisible. Science refers the subtle leg as ‘phantom leg’.
Similarly, there are subtle organs that correspond to the ten physical organs. These subtle organs are responsible for the respective functions and the physical organs are just tools.
Example: When we say ‘I see’, we mean that we use our subtle eyes to see using the physical eyes as an instrument.
However, normally people are ignorant of the existence of the subtle eye. As a result, when they say, ‘I see through my eyes’ they mean the physical eye. The physical eye is just an instrument like telescope or binocular. A telescope cannot see anything by itself. Similarly, our physical eyes cannot see anything.
Although science has not accepted the existence of subtle organs, they acknowledge their presence by accepting their ignorance.
Example: There are many recorded cases where a person cannot hear properly even though his physical ear is in order. Science attributes this to old age but actually, it is due to the withdrawal of subtle ear.
Although the subtle organs are different from the physical organs, they are not the ultimate authorities. I am different from all my sense organs/action organs.
Statement 40: In the third stage we assume, “Prana is the life force, which keeps my body alive.”
This is a common person’s view. People, who do not persist in their attempt to analyze the meaning of life, stop their thinking process with a statement ‘When prana leaves the body I will die’
This is true. Prana consists of five components and the fifth component leaves the body, it becomes cold, and signifies the arrival of death. Nevertheless, prana is also inert as the physical body. It helps in the process of sustaining the life.
Example: If a car can be compared to the physical body, then the engine power is compared to the prana. It is true that the engine power is essential for the functioning of the car. However, it is not superior to the driver.
Thus while it is true prana keeps the body alive it is not superior to me. I am different from prana and just like the driver is different from the engine power. Not only I am different, I am superior to my prana.
I have a prana and I am not the prana.
Logically it is very simple to see this truth. Nevertheless, many common people are stuck at this stage.
Statement 41: At the fourth stage, we are almost convinced, “I am my mind”.
No one really says ‘I am my mind’ but this is exactly what many educated people are thinking.
They know that the mind is superior to the physical body, sense organs/ organs of actions and the prana. Mind is the governing authority, which directly controls all the organs. Therefore, the human personality is shaped largely by the mind.
People at this stage are aware when we talk about the personality the physical personality and physiological personality play minor role. The most important factor is the psychological personality.
The objective in life is to achieve mental satisfaction rather than physical needs and sensory urges. Fulfilling the requirements of the mind will be the focus. At this stage, man seeks happiness at much higher level compared to those who are under the assumption ‘I am my body’ as described below:
Good interior design is more important than just comfortable house.
The company in which we eat is more important than just good food.
Enjoying the musical nuances is more important than just good music.
Love is more important than just good sex.
In this stage, it is recognized that happiness is the state of mind and not mere fulfillment of sensual pleasures.
People who think they are the mind are more refined compared to those who think they are just the body. At this stage, people observe many unexplained phenomena that are present in the environment. As long as, they think that they are nothing more than the physical body, they do not recognize the presence of god or some super power.
At this stage, people are aware that life extends beyond the physical body and prana. They recognize that there is something more but they are not fully capable of resolving the puzzle.
As a result, in addition to meeting their personal goal of enjoying life with food/music/love etc they devote time to pray. They start thinking that there may be life after death. Therefore in order not to jeopardize the chance of having a good life after death they pay attention to religious prescription of following the moral code and values in life.
They avoid cheating/ killing/ hurting others and still try to compete with a sportive spirit.
Statement 42: In the fifth stage, we declare, “I am the Intelligence”
Mind is deliberating faculty that oscillates between the alternatives. Intelligence on the other hand is the deciding faculty. Thus, it is superior to the mind and people who think they are their intelligence are in an advanced stage of truth ahead of those who think they are their mind/ prana/ sense organs or the physical body.
At this stage, people are attracted by concepts and theories. They start deduce and investigate facts that are beyond the reach of the five sense organs. Their sense of discrimination governs their life.
Unlike the people in the previous stages, their focus is no longer on mere sense pleasures. They like:
Poetry and give more importance to lyrics than just good music (tune).
Reading good books and appreciate literature
Intellectual debates/discussions and not just good company
Relationship and community development in addition to personal love
Life on earth becomes more appealing to them. They study their environment consisting of the plant and animal kingdom with much more reverence than ever before. They observe the insignificance of the size earth in the cosmos. They seriously reflect on the future of the humankind and not get bogged down with the concerns of one’s lifetime. Their appreciation of the universe is far more than others.
At this stage, people seriously work towards finding out the ultimate answers to all the unanswered questions on Life, Universe and GOD. These are among their list of concerns along with other material goals like ensuring a prosperous and comfortable life.
Statement 43: In the sixth and final stage we conclude, “I am the Ego”
It is not that people remain in any one of the stages. In the absence of the formal education, people keep changing their opinion/ views depending on the situation. In other words, they keep migrating from one stage to the other for providing a convincing reply to the question on ‘Who am I”.
Infact they bundle up all the five stages (Body, Organs, Prana, Mind and Intelligence) and recognize themselves to be their ego. Initially people will not be so sure who they are. They will keep oscillating between the various stages of thinking that they are the body or mind etc. When they claim, “I know myself perfectly well without any doubt” it signifies that they have a fully ripen ego.
Example: Only a ripe fruit falls off the tree.
Similarly only a fully matured ego is ready to cognize the truth.
Atleast the body, mind, intelligence etc have a higher order of reality compared to the Ego. Ego is a false notion and it does not exist. Nevertheless, people hold on to it claiming that they know who they are.
This is the final stage prior to getting the right knowledge. When they get adequate level of maturity, they start seeing the imaginary nature of the ego. The ability to discriminate between the truth and the falsehood will develop out of the matured mind and ripen ego.
Mental maturity will help us gain the ultimate knowledge on Self.
Ego is just an imaginary tool, which has its uses. It is highly required for achieving material success and prosperity in the world. However, it is a barrier to the knowledge if one is stuck to believing that the ego is the meaning of the word ‘I’.
Lesson 18: Stages of Delusion with respect to GOD
Session: F34 – F36
Similar to the misconception on the nature of our true self, people hold different levels of truth with respect to god as well.
In case of self ‘belief’ play a minor role. No one says, “I believe that I am a body…etc” Since the self is personally experienced, they come to a (wrong) conclusion about their true nature due to Delusion and absence of systematic teaching.
With respect to god, it is mostly based on belief. People are born into a society and culture that has fixed notions about god. This belief is passed on to the child. The child seldom gets an opportunity to enquire into the true nature of god. As a result, the belief of the community governs and guides the personal belief.
Once a child becomes an adult, this belief is slightly modified by the personal experience. Some time the new company in which the adult functions may redirect him to another set of beliefs. Depending on the mental maturity, the individual understands different religions/ set of truths about god and chooses to follow a particular set of beliefs that suits his personality.
Thus, every adult has his own definition of god.
It is not a coincidence that all such definitions can be termed as ‘right definition’ since all of them are based on some religion or the other. (All the religions in the world talk about a single truth but they describe it differently to suit the intelligence level of the followers. Therefore, every belief about god is correct).
The conflict between various religious groups arises only when one claims that their definition is the only correct definition and the rest are all wrong. Only when the ultimate truth of the god is understood it is possible to see that all the personal definitions are correct. Of course this ‘right definition’ of god, which a person holds, is not a result of any systematic study or analysis.
Example: The examiner might be able to find out that the student does not ‘know’ the answer although he has written the correct answer to a particular question.
It is necessary to have a complete understanding of god. The current ‘right definition’ that one holds is a stepping-stone for finding out the complete truth.
The various personal believes that are prevalent in the world could be grouped under three stages as discussed below.
Statement 44: In the first stage, people believe that there is no god.
This belief is due to the confidence one has on the scientific and technological development. They believe that the human race has evolved by chance and we control our destiny. There is no role for god.
Although popularly known as ‘non-believers’ this group also believes that there is no god!
Those who believe in the existence of god do not have any proof to show that god exists for real. Similarly, even the non-believers do not have any proof to show that their belief, that god does not exist, is correct. It is just their personal belief, which cannot stand any logical validation/ scientific investigation.
However, it is interesting to note that the ultimate truth on the nature of GOD is very close to this group.
The truth is GOD is an illusion and exists only in the relative reality.
Therefore, those who are in this stage are closer to truth. Nevertheless, they are also wrong since they do not have a correct understanding of their claim that there is no god.
Statement 45: In the second stage, people see god as an invisible power, which is the intelligence cause of the universe.
By seeing the created universe, the creator god can be inferred. While this belief is partly correct, they wrongly see god as an independent entity outside the creation.
It is like seeing the reflection and claiming to have seen the original. The reflected space appears very vast and unlimited. Similarly, GOD is part of the illusion created out of the power of ONE. Since this illusion is perfect, the reflection appears without any distortion. As a result, people believe that god is Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniprevalent and Omniscient.
However, if enquired further, they will fail to explain these attributes of god since they are under the assumption that god is away from creation in terms of both time and space.
Statement 46: In the third stage, people believe the god has specific form, and has immense power.
According to this group, god is a living being with superior power to create, maintain and destroy the universe.
This is the lowest stage of truth. This is primarily meant for people who are not able to comprehend something, which has no name, no attribute and no perceptibility.
Such people start worshiping various Gods according to their personal belief on how the god will appear. Their gods may have 4 legs and 10 heads or the other way around and it is still a (partly) correct view. The main purpose of devotion to such gods is to enable mental maturity of the person
All the actions performed for the satisfaction of such personal gods go a long way in purifying the mind and making it eligible for higher stages of truth.
However, since they believe that god has a specific form and lives in a particular location, difference of opinion with the fellow human beings is bound to arise. This group is the main cause for all the misunderstandings, disputes and wars in the name of god.
In all the three stages people hold varied sets of truths about the god.
In the first stage, people claim that there is no role for god in creation of the universe. They claim that the universe is created naturally without any external effort.
In the second stage, people think of god only as the intelligence cause of creation.
In the third stage, people give a specific name, form for this intelligence cause, and assume that such a god is living in heaven, which is far away from earth.
While all these people hold parts of the truth, one of the main truth that god is the material cause of the world is not perceived at all.
This misconception on god will prevail among most human beings since it requires high degree of intelligence and mental maturity to perceive god as both the raw material and the intelligence behind creation.
Example: A baker is different from bread. Maker is one with the world.
This ultimate truth on GOD can be understood only when deep enquiry is conducted into the nature of Self, Universe after gaining the mental maturity and intelligence.
All the people in the world are unknowingly working towards understanding the true nature of god by engaging in activities that will give them the required intelligence and mental maturity.
Lesson 19: Stages of Delusion with respect to Universe
Unlike the misconception with respect to Self and GOD, there are no stages of misconception with respect to the Universe. There is only one stage here. Whatever is perceivable through our five sense organs (Ear, skin, eye, tasting tongue and nose) constitutes the universe.
Science is the main source of information, which shapes the known universe. Although there are many contradicting views prevalent within the scientific community, since the common person is not competent enough to conduct independent verification of the claims made by the scientists, the popular view is accepted as truth.
There is no guarantee that the popular definition of the universe with respect to its origin, development and future will remain valid forever. Infact it is continuously modified by the scientists. One established truth is overthrown with a next version of truth. This process of refining the truth is continuously happening which itself is a proof that whatever be the current definition of the truth about the universe is not correct.
The correct truth about the universe is that it is not real. It is an illusion that is projected on ONE. This will be clear once the ultimate knowledge is gained.
Statement 47: There are no stages. Everyone believes that the Universe exists.
Lesson 20: Removal of Delusion through enquiry
Session: F38 – F39
The ignorance on Self, Universe and GOD can be removed only through systematic learning, as in the case of ignorance of any other subject. Since it is beyond the human intelligence, the knowledge on Self, Universe and GOD is to be obtained from the Holy Scriptures.
One of the main concerns with respect to the Holy Scriptures is this: There are so many Holy Scriptures. Moreover, every scripture seems to contain all sorts of information. Many teachers, who are well versed in these scriptures, are teaching many contradicting views as the content of the Holy Scriptures.
In this scenario it appears that, it is impossible to learn anything from Holy Scriptures.
This is the concern of many.
On one hand, it is not possible to find the truth about Self, Universe and GOD through purely scientific investigation. On the other hand, the teachings of Holy Scriptures are not available without the confusion caused by the number of interpretations.
Therefore, the removal of Delusion on Self, Universe and GOD appears to be a very difficult task.
Suggested course of action:
Step 1: One must have a deep desire to find the ultimate truth about Self, Universe and GOD. This desire should not be a passing fad nor be a pastime pursuit. It is essential one should realize that the need for finding the ultimate truth. One should be convinced that the only way to get liberation from all the problems of life is the removal of Delusion on Self, Universe and GOD.
Step 2: One must have a deep faith that the Holy Scripture contain the answers for all the questions relating to Self, Universe and GOD. This should not be a blind belief. One can get this faith by being exposed to many different Holy Scriptures and by reading/listening many different philosophies with respect to Self, Universe and GOD.
Step 3: One must be highly intelligent and logical while studying the truth from the Holy Scriptures. One must not blindly accept the teachings of the Holy Scriptures without validating it with the personal experience and logic. One must have the perseverance to comprehend the essence of the Holy Scriptures by comprehensive cross-examination. It should be noted that there is only one truth. One cannot compromise on the conflicting information and accept that there are many versions of truth.
Example: Do you like A or B? The answer could be ‘I like both’. This cannot be the case with the truth. The Holy Scriptures declare ‘You are god’ but my personal experience shows that I am a limited human being, I should have the perseverance to find out the truth. I cannot say ‘I accept that I am god according to Holy Scriptures, since they hold the ultimate truth. But according to my personal experience I am not’.
There is only one truth, which should be validated by personal experience and logic. Moreover, one should not rest until this truth is found out.
Step 4: One must have the mental maturity to see that everything in the creation is functioning according to the predetermined laws that govern the creation. Every living being and inert object in the creation is functioning according to the cosmic laws of creation. According to the grand scheme, only human beings have ‘free will’ to do or not to do certain action. Therefore, they can do right or wrong actions. In either case, they will reap the fruits of their action. Therefore, even the functioning of the human beings is also governed by the laws of creation.
Therefore, there is no evil in the creation. Every human being inherently knows the difference between the right and wrong actions without any teaching.
As one studies the teachings of the Holy Scriptures and compare it with the experience of the universe, one should be able to see that the oneness of the truth.
People believe that they are physical body, sense organs, prana, mind, intelligence, ego or some combination of these. One should be matured enough to see that each of this understanding has some truth in it.
People hold varied sets of believes with respect to god. Some believe that there is no god and on the others worship gods in varied forms. Even plants and stones are worshiped as god. One should be matured enough to see that each of this understanding has some truth in it.
Once we gain such maturity, we will be able to discover the ultimate truth. Until then we should work towards getting the mental maturity.
Then we need to conduct consistent and continuous enquiry under the guidance of a competent teacher Self, GOD and Universe for a length of time, until the truth is found out.
Number of Sessions 40
(41 to 80)
Number of Lessons 23
(21 to 43)
On completion of this Unit, the student will be able to
(a) Gain a comprehensive knowledge on the subject to convert all the beliefs/ faiths into personal direct knowledge.
Notes to the teacher: (Ref 6.153 to 6.256 of the original text)
It is essential one asks all sort of questions that comes up in the mind during the process of enquiring the nature of Self, GOD and Universe. This is the only way to get absolute clarity on these factors. Since most of us are firmly rooted in the wrong knowledge, such questioning is the only way to progress towards the right knowledge.
The students should be allowed to express their viewpoints that belong to different schools of thought. It is important to realize the contents of this module ALONE is the absolute truth and all others belong to lower version of truth.
Example: Why is it that we find the lost article only in the last place of our search? Because we do not search after finding it.
Similarly, if the search of the students to find PHS (Pease, Happiness and Security) will end ONLY after understanding the truth revealed in this module.
This is the proof that what is revealed here is the highest truth.
Absence of scientific proof does not confirm absence of consciousness. It only proves that the science does not have the required tools to prove the existence. It is like a blind person declaring, since I do not perceive color, they do not exist.
We need to examine our personal experience and validate our experience using the tools scientific or logical or study of Holy Scriptures.
Example: If you have pain in the leg and the doctors, confirmation based on all the medical scans that there is no pain will be negated. Similarly, we should negate the absence of scientific proof for our enquiry.
Explain the similarities, difference and relationship between Self, EGO, ONE, Universe, GOD.
Lesson 21: Enquiry on the existence of the universe
Some time without understanding the question, we will be trying to find the answer. It is not possible to find a solution to a problem that does not exist in the first place.
Similarly, if are to start the enquiry on the existence of the universe, we will be searching forever just as the scientific community is trying to figure out the origin and boundaries of the universe.
Instead, we need to question the question. Does the universe really exist? Suppose the answer is no and there is a proof which can be verified both logically and scientifically, then we have found the solution.
Therefore, we need to eliminate this possibility as the first step in our enquiry. If we are to assume that the universe is an illusion, we need to understand the nature of the illusion and have to find out about the real entity that supports this illusion.
Holy Scriptures declare that the universe is an illusion and ONE is the only reality that supports this illusion.
This illusion is not very different from the normal magic show. When the magician performs various acts of appearance and disappearance, we see it with great wonder. We accept the inexplicability of the magic. Similarly, we need to understand the illusory nature of the universe and accept the inexplicability of the illusion. The universe appears to be real but actually, it does not exist.
The reason for the wrong knowledge is similar to the color picture on the white cloth. The white cloth is the only reality but it is shielded by the painting. Similarly, the universe appears to be real while shielding the truth.
We gain knowledge by relying on the inputs received from our senses. However, when we get stronger contradicting evidence then we should disregard the inputs from the sense organs in that respect.
Example: The sun appears to rise in the east and set in the west. This is the knowledge gained through primarily our eyes. Similarly, we feel that the earth is stationary. All our senses report this to be the truth.
However, on scientific enquiry we find this is a wrong knowledge. When stronger evidences are presented to us, we dismiss the authority of our sense organs and gain the right knowledge.
On gaining the right knowledge about the Sun and Earth, still our sense organs report that the Sun is rising in the east and the earth is stationary. However, we disregard this information and we are firmly rooted in the right knowledge that is gained by the scientific enquiry.
Similarly, we need to enquire the true nature of the universe. All our sense organs show the universe to be real. Therefore, we are under the wrong knowledge that the universe is real. We need to gain stronger evidence in order to negate this wrong knowledge and to be rooted in the right knowledge.
This stronger evidence can be gained through scientific enquiry as it was done in the case of revolution of the earth around sun.
Science has already proved that nothing exists. The uncertainty principle has proved beyond doubt that the world appears to be real but it is not so.
Normally when we see an object it means it exists. If it is not possible for us to perceive the object by using any of our five senses then it means that it does not exist. Illusion is of different type. When we go to a magic show, we see things that do not really exist or do not see things that are right in front of our eyes.
The universe we see around is an illusion because we perceive it to be real through all our senses but on enquiry, we find it to be non-existent. We should not hesitate to accept the proof provided by science.
Statement 48: It is scientifically proved that the universe does not exist. It is an illusion.
Therefore, we should not keep asking the question, “How does a world, which does really not exist, appears to be existing”. The answer to the question is, “It is its nature”. If we ask a magician, “How did you do it?” he will answer, “That is magic”.
Just as a color cannot be comprehended by the ear, our mind cannot comprehend the illusion. Holy Scriptures provide answers to all the questions on illusion explaining that it cannot be understood.
From the scientific research we can understand that the world does not exist, it is an illusion. From the teachings in the Holy Scriptures, we can understand that the illusion cannot be understood.
Lesson 22: Enquiry on the self
The word ‘self’ normally means the combination of consciousness and inert matter. However, if we enquire how we came into the world, we will gain clarity on the reality. Human sperm is an inert chemical but unlike other chemicals, it has a potential to develop into a conscious being. This potential cannot be its nature, which can be proved through P/A Logic. Therefore, one has to conclude that it is not possible to explain how a conscious being evolved out of inert chemicals.
Science claims that the consciousness evolved out of inert matter, although they cannot explain how it could happen.
Logic tells us that consciousness is superior to inert matter. However, it is not possible to answer the question how we are born and what happens to the consciousness after death. We do know completely how the physical body originates from ovary and how it ends at death. Since the inert matter of the self (body) comes and goes, it can be logically concluded that the consciousness should be immortal atleast compared to the physical body.
The cause-effect relationship is valid only to certain level. In any field of science, it is not possible to establish a cause beyond three or four levels.
Example: How does cancer comes? Due to smoking cigarettes. There are many who smoke but do not get cancer! It may be due to heredity. Then why the siblings do not get cancer?
Since cause-effect is true only upto certain level, it can be logically debated whether it has any validity at all. Since we cannot scientifically arrive at the root cause of any effect in any field of science, it can be concluded that the resultant universe that we perceive has no cause.
We do see self as a combination of consciousness and inert body. We cannot determine the cause-effect of this combination. Therefore, we need to resort to the Holy Scriptures, which declare that the consciousness part of our self (referred as Self) is the only reality and the rest is illusion.
Our experience has given us the wrong knowledge about our real self. We need to gain stronger evidence through scientific enquiry to understand our true nature. Once we gain the right knowledge about ourselves, we can be firmly rooted on it.
We cannot accept the relative reality of the universe, unless we understand the absolute reality of the Self because that is the basis, which supports the superimposed falsehood.
In the picture unless we observe the presence of the real cloth, which is supporting the entire picture, we will not be able to accept the relative reality of the dress worn by the human figures in the picture.
We are receiving inputs from many of our primary source of knowledge, namely the five sense organs.
Example: Based on the childish voice we assume the speaker is a child. When we see the speaker, we get stronger evidence that the speaker is an adult with childish voice.
There is a contradiction: Ears report that the speaker is a child. Eyes report the speaker is an adult. We can ascertain the correct knowledge only through enquiry. If we observe that the voice is coming only from the speaker and we see him to be an adult then we should disbelieve the ears. But on our observance if it is found the person who is in front of us is moving the lips and a child is giving the voice from behind a screen, then we need to take the ears as the stronger source of evidence.
This ability to identify the stronger source is the key to find the right knowledge. Our five senses, keep reporting the existence of the universe around us. However, the Holy Scriptures tell us that ONE alone is real and the rest are illusion.
Now we need to discriminate between the knowledge given by the five senses and the knowledge given by the Holy Scripture and determine which one is superior. This depends on how good we are in our analytical capability.
Example: A ventriloquist can easily fool less intelligent people that the childish voice is coming from the lip movement of his adult companion. Only people with stronger discriminative power can figure out the truth.
Thus if we can discriminate properly we can figure out that the whole universe, including our body/mind complex is an illusion. If we enquire deeply, we will find out that there is someone observing the illusory universe. This observer, me is the only reality.
Statement 49: I am the only reality.
During the initial steps of the enquiry, we may find out that there is something real out there. This is indirect knowledge. When we know, “I am that”, it becomes the direct knowledge.
It is important that one should continue the enquiry until the direct knowledge is gained.
Lesson 23: Practical on Direct/Indirect Knowledge
Session: F43 – F44
We have five primary sources of knowledge, namely ear, skin, eye, tongue and nose. We experience this universe through these five sense organs. Among these five, the ‘ear’ has a special status.
While all the other five sense organs can, experience the objects only if they are directly accessible, ear alone has a special capability of comprehending the experience of the objects, which are not directly perceivable.
In addition, it has the capability of feeding the experience of all the five organs by using the memory. For example, a hypnotist can talk to his subject and it is possible for the subject to see, hear, touch, taste and smell objects that are not directly perceivable at that point of time.
Thus, the ‘ear’ can listen to words and convert them as complete knowledge without ever experiencing the objects directly. The knowledge thus obtained is called Indirect Knowledge.
Example: One might not have visited Auckland. But if someone describes the place in detail, the topography, type of people, landmarks, hotels, tourist spots, weather etc it is possible for one to gain the knowledge of Auckland without visiting that place. This is called Indirect Knowledge. This knowledge could be as complete as a Direct Knowledge. If this person after obtaining the complete Indirect Knowledge visits Auckland, he might be completely at ease with the new place. Infact he will move around the place with complete familiarity and no one will suspect that he is visiting the place for the first time. Still the knowledge he gets after visiting Auckland is a grade better. This is called Direct Knowledge.
Generally, most of the knowledge is first obtained as Indirect Knowledge and then converted as Direct Knowledge. For example, a trainee pilot obtains indirect knowledge about flying by attending theoretical classes and then gets the direct knowledge by flying an airplane.
Thus, we have formed a strong opinion that Direct Knowledge cannot precede the Indirect Knowledge. Although this view is true most of the time, there are some instances where the reverse is possible.
Example: In a car rally, the participants are to travel to different places and reach a final destination based on the clues given. Assume that one of the participant strayed into the final destination accidentally and trying to decode the clue that describes the destination.
He is directly experiencing the place around him. However, he does not know that, that is THE place he is supposed to reach, since he could not decode the clue given to him. The clue is describing the place in which he is standing. He calls his friend over phone, read out the clue and seeks his help to locate the place. His friend decodes the clue and describes him about the place. This is the Indirect Knowledge.
However, he is experiencing the place directly he but did not realize it. Therefore, in this case the Direct Knowledge is preceding the Indirect Knowledge. Therefore, after obtaining the Indirect Knowledge he does not need to go anywhere. He will have an ‘Aha’ experience and he just has to claim victory.
Similarly, in the case of Self-Knowledge, we are experiencing the ONE all the time since we are the ONE. However, due to our ignorance we think we are mortal and finite.
Through detailed enquiry, we find out that nature of ONE, which is our destination. Firstly, we find out the nature of ONE is Ever Witnessing Joy. This is Indirect Knowledge.
We need to enquire until we get this Indirect Knowledge. Once we understand the Indirect Knowledge, we do not have to do anything. Since we are already experiencing that we are also Ever Witnessing Joy, we need to just claim victory saying ‘I am the ONE’.
If one feels that he has the Indirect Knowledge but still cannot experience it directly, it means that his indirect knowledge is incomplete.
To continue our previous example: After reaching the final destination, one hears the description of the place from his friend over phone. If he says ‘I understand what you are saying but do not know where that place is”, it only means that he has not understood.
The only option is to continue the enquiry until he realizes that he is already standing in the place.
It may be difficult to obtain the Indirect Knowledge. However, once the correct Indirect Knowledge is gained there is nothing more to be done since the Direct Knowledge is continuously experienced all the time. Therefore, he just has to claim the victory.
Similarly, the enquiry on the true knowledge has to be gained indirectly by listening to a competent teacher.
The enquiry is complete only when the Indirect Knowledge is gained thoroughly so that one could correlate it to the Direct Knowledge, which is experienced all the time. Indirect Knowledge is gained through enquiry, which will end when the Indirect Knowledge culminates into Direct Knowledge.
In case the enquiry on ONE, does not give us the Indirect Knowledge one can attempt to gain knowledge on Self (Who am I). This sort of enquiry may also lead to direct knowledge.
To continue our previous example: If it is not possible to understand the clue of the destination, the participant can describe the place in which he is standing to his friend over phone. If his friend is competent enough he will tell that ‘That is the destination. You are already there!’
Thus, there are many ways of getting Indirect Knowledge and getting the correct Indirect Knowledge will lead us to realize that we are eternal, immortal and infinite while the Universe and the Living beings are mere illusion.
Statement 50: If we understand the nature of ONE perfectly and say ONE IS THERE, it is indirect knowledge.
Statement 51: If we claim I AM ONE, after understanding the nature of ONE, it is direct knowledge.
Example: In a dream, tiger is chasing you and you are running for your life. At that time a person sitting on a tree is telling you “You are just dreaming, do not get scared”. On hearing this, if you get knowledge, that there is a person sleeping comfortably on the cot, it is indirect knowledge. You will continue to be scared of the tiger, which is chasing you. Instead, if you wake up and claim ‘I am sleeping on the bed’, then the dream tiger can no longer scare you. This is direct knowledge.
Statement 52: Without the indirect knowledge, direct knowledge is impossible.
Statement 53: Without the direct knowledge, indirect knowledge is incomplete.
Waking up from a dream will remove the dream tiger from the perception. However, when we wake up to the absolute knowledge (self-realization), the perception of the illusory world will not disappear. If a tiger is chasing us, we will have to continue to run and climb the tree to escape from it. Otherwise, it will eat our body, since both of them pertain to the realm of relative reality. The knowledge that our absolute real self will not be hurt by the relative reality, can only reduce or eliminate the fear in our mind, depending on how well we have trained our mind.
Lesson 24: Enquiry on the nature of Universe
The nature of this universe could be discussed from three different perspectives. If it is questioned whether the universe really exists, there will be three different answers. All three answers are correct from the respective perceptions.
Perception 1: From the point of view of ignorant people (common person) who is caught in the eternal cycle of miseries of the world.
Statement 54: ‘Universe exists for real. It is an absolute truth’ – Common man
Perception 2: From the point of view of an intelligent person who is making an enquiry to find the ultimate truth so that he could get liberated.
Statement 55: ‘Universe appears to exist but on enquiry, it does not seem to exist’. Therefore, it is impossible to say whether it is real or false. It is a mixture of both. – Intelligent man
Perception 3: From the point of view of an enlightened person who is completely liberated from the eternal cycle of miseries in the world.
Statement 56: Universe does not exist at all. It is just like a dream. – Enlightened Man
This is explained with the following example:
Example: A rope lying in semi-dark place appears to look like a snake.
Question: Is there a snake?
Perception 1: For a person who mistakes the rope for the snake, it is an absolute reality. He sees the snake. He gets scared of the snake, his heartbeat goes up, his blood pressure goes up and he starts perspiring. Therefore, from his point of view the existence of snake is an absolute reality.
Perception 2: The second person, who arrives at the scene at the request of the first person, starts the enquiry. Since he finds it to be motionless he suspects that it may not be a snake. However, he is not able to convince the first person. Therefore, from his point of view the snake is neither real nor false. It is inexplicable.
Perception 3: For the one who sees the rope very clearly, there is no snake. It does not exist at all.
The universe is just like the non-existing snake, which appears to be very real to most human beings. When the process of enquiry begins, it will appear to be inexplicable. When the enquiry is completed, it does not exist at all.
Lesson 25: Enquiry into the nature of our problems
Most human beings face some problem or the other throughout their life. When they are in the midst of the problem, it will look very real. If they start a proper intellectual enquiry, it will appear to be real and false at the same time. Therefore, they will come to a stage when they say, “If I probe into the problem it looks very unreal but then I am still suffering. So I am not able to explain whether the problem is real or not.”
Example: When we were students in the secondary school, corporal punishment was a real problem. However, when we look back now, it is a matter of fun to discuss the same with the friends and family. What was the problem to the student is fun from the adult perspective.
Thus, the seriousness of any problem in life depends on how it is perceived. The same set of events will be a crisis for some, problems for some and mere situation for some.
Example: A teen-age student mistakes the kind behavior of her teacher as love and wants to marry him.
Question: Is there real love between the student-teacher?
Perception 1: From the point of view of the student, the love exists for real. She is fully immersed in the thoughts of the teacher and she sees him as her life-partner. The mention of his name or his mere presence makes her feel very happy.
Answer: Therefore, the love is absolute reality for the student.
Perception 2: From the point of view of the teacher, there is no love. It is a good relationship between the student-teacher. All his actions towards her are very normal and not in anyway induced by the feeling of love. However, he is not able to convince the student that he is not in love with her.
Answer: Apparently, she is in deep love. Nevertheless, on enquiry it is seen to be just infatuation. It is impossible to explain the difference between ‘love’ and ‘infatuation’ to the student. Therefore, the teacher concludes that it is inexplicable.
Perception 3: From the point of view of an adult (may be the same student when she grows out of her infatuation) who sees the whole relationship in the true perspective there is no issue at all.
Answer: Therefore, the love is a non-existent feature.
Statement 57: On deep enquiry, we find that our problems do not exist at all.
Lesson 26: Enquiry into the nature of inanimate objects
Statement 58: All the objects in the creation are just names and forms. In reality, they do not exist at all.
For those people who blindly believe their sense organs without any thinking the object may be real. However, upon scientific investigation and logical analysis one can easily see that the object does not really exist. At the same time since it is perceived by the sense organs, it is difficult to declare that the object is non-existing. As a result, one will feel that it is not possible to comment on the true status of the object. However, one who is liberated will see that the object does not exist at all.
Example: Bangle is a name and form of gold.
Question 1: Is there a bangle that is independent of gold?
Question 2: Can the bangle shield the existence of gold?
Perception 1: A person who does not do any enquiry will see only the bangle and will not see the gold at all. For him the bangle is the only reality and the gold does not exist at all. Since he is very ignorant of the gold, he may not understand both the questions.
Perception 2: A person who makes an enquiry will find that the bangle is nothing but gold in a particular form. Therefore, it is clear only gold exists but the first person sees only bangle. Therefore, this person finds it difficult to answer both the questions. He knows that the bangles not independent of gold. At the same time, it seems to shield the gold from the first person. Therefore, he is not able to say no to the first question and finds it confusing to answer the second question.
Similarly, many scientists have confirmed that when any object is broken down to the atomic level, it appears to be non-existing (Uncertainty Principle). Therefore, it can be logically concluded that the universe does not exist. However since many people perceive the universe, it is difficult to say whether it is exists or not.
Perception 3: For those people who know the truth of the bangle see only the gold. For them the bangle does not exist at all. As a result, they will not attempt to answer both the questions.
Example: A woman who walks into a gold jewelry shop will find each piece of the jewelry to be different. However when a burglar enters the shop, he will see only one item in the shop. Gold
Thus the entire universe together with all the living beings (including self) and GOD are nothing but ONE. So the enlighten sees the expression ONE alone and does not recognize the existence of anything else.
Lesson 27: Results of the enquiry on Self and the Universe
Based on the enquiry conducted it is clear that the entire universe as just a name and form without any substance. The basic substance on which the apparent universe relies is the only truth that exists.
The first person sees the universe and does not see the ONE at all. He gives reality to everything he perceives. As a result, he is caught in the problems of life.
The second person after the enquiry sees this universe as a big confusion. It appears to be real but on enquiry, it seems to be non-existing. Moreover, it is very difficult to comprehend how a non-existing thing can hide something on which it depends for existence.
Example: A magician asks one of the spectators to go inside a box and says he is going to replace the person with another person. When the box is opened, the same person walks out with a new shirt. Everyone including that person assumes that he is a different person!
This is very improbable to happen in real life. Nevertheless, this is exactly what seems to be happening now.
ONE is the basis of the illusion. The illusion projects the images of ONE differently as living beings, GOD and Universe. These projections shield the presence of ONE. As a result, the human beings are ignorant of their real nature and assume that the universe is real. Such is the power of the illusion.
As a result, he sees the universe to be an inexplicable concept.
Since the third person is fully aware of the effect of the illusion, he does not see the universe at all. As a result, he is free from all the problems of life.
These three perceptions of the illusion also signify the progress of the ignorant person to become an enlightened person through enquiry. As long as a person remains ignorant, about the truth of Self, GOD and the Universe, he will not be aware of this illusion. When one starts enquiry, this illusion will be an inexplicable concept showing the universe as non-existing while it continues to affect his life. On successful completion of the enquiry, the illusion will not be of any interest. Just like, we do not take the dream to be reality and be entangled with the objects/ events/ persons of the dream, after enlightenment one is not caught in the objects/ events/ persons of the universe.
If the universe is real then it is possible to give answers to all the questions relating to its origin and sustenance. If we are aware that it is an illusion then there are no questions to be answered. All we need to do is to understand that it cannot be and need not be answered.
Example: The first person sees a rope as snake. The second person asks him many questions like which species of snake, how old the snake is etc. To the third person who sees only the rope all these questions are irrelevant.
All such questions on the universe are irrelevant because just like the snake it does not exist.
Statement 59: Depending on the depth of the enquiry and the intelligence of the person, each one will hold different levels of truth.
Similarly, the whole universe does not exist. However, the observer who is observing the illusory universe is real.
Although the enquiry is done using the words, one has to go beyond the words to the meaning of the words to get a grasp of the reality. If we continue to discuss and debate without attempting to go beyond the words, the enquiry will remain as an intellectual exercise. Such an intellectual exercise may also add to our existing list of miseries in life!
It is impossible to gain knowledge without receiving the information through words. Therefore, we need to resort to words. However, we should not remain at the level of information for too long.
All the Holy Scriptures of the world are describing something which cannot be described by words, since there is no other way to convey the knowledge. The reason for so many controversies in the name of the religion shows that people are stuck up with the words and not going beyond the words.
When we want water, it has to be served in a container. We need to quench our thirst by drinking water. Instead, we spend time in analyzing the container and debating on its nature or quality.
Similarly, once we understand the illusory nature of the world and the absolute reality of self our problems in life will be dissolved. There is no point in asking questions on the nature of the illusion. Joyful Living was our only goal for which we undertook the intellectual exercise of enquiring the nature of the Self and the universe. We should not lose sight of our goal and get stuck to the intellectual exercise.
Lesson 28: Practical – Role of discrimination
The necessity for an enquiry arises only when there is contradicting evidences. One must have a strong sense of discrimination in order to analyze the apparently contradicting evidences and come to a single conclusion.
The ultimate truth is only one. Therefore, it is essential to come to a single conclusion. One should not compromise on the truth. The depth of the enquiry depends on our sense of discrimination.
Most people do not see any contradicting evidences in the universe. For them there is no need to conduct any enquiry. Their source of evidence is the five sense organs through which they perceive the universe around them. Since the sense of discrimination is not strong enough they accept the universe to be real without any enquiry.
As the sense of discrimination increases, they start questioning the evidences collected from the five senses. They then start seeing contradictions.
Example: The eyes see an object and report the shape and color. It means that object exists at that point of time. Eyes do not guarantee that the object will exist forever. Nevertheless, we wrongly conclude that everything around us is permanent.
In addition, we start seeing objects that are not visible to the eye using our sense of discrimination. By seeing the smoke we infer the presence of fire.
Therefore, we advance to a stage where our source of information is not the sense organs alone. We start accumulating knowledge by the use of our sense of discrimination.
As we progress in this direction, we come to a situation that our sense of discrimination conveys a truth, which is totally contradicting to the knowledge provided by our sense organs.
The universe appears to be present, as perceived by the sense organs. However, our sense of discrimination says that it is an illusion.
When such contradicting information is gained, we should be able to come to the correct conclusion. We should figure out that there are two orders of reality. In the absolute reality, the universe is an illusion and in relative reality, the universe is real.
Accordingly we act in this universe as if it is real, knowing all the time that it is an illusion. Thus, once we find the truth we continue to live like anyone else and at the same time, the universe loses its power to hurt us in anyway.