(This is a guided discussion on the essence of Vedanta which shows us how to deliberate and reach the conclusion that the real I is actually Divine and not the mind-body-intellect complex.)
Q. When both the Self and the world exist; why there is a rule that the world alone appears and the Self doesn‟t?
(Relief: -) The world doesn‟t appear apart from the Self; but the Self, alone, without binding of the world, exists independently. For an instance, the Self exists invariably in the deep-sleep; then, the world never exists. Therefore, the world alone without the Self is not real; and the existence of the world is due to that of the Self; and this is the conclusion. As the existence of the world is falsified, so that of the Self is never falsified; and it is not possible to falsify the existence of the Self. Therefore, the Self, alone, is the Reality and the world is a mere appearance alone.
(Objection: -) As soon as we get up from the sleep, the world, suddenly, appears. Non-existent world in the deep sleep may not appear again. Hence, in the deep sleep, the world should exist somewhere, isn‟t it?
(Relief: -) This is not proper. Where is the world in the deep sleep? It doesn‟t exist in our sleep. If the world were existing then it would be seen there in the sleep; and its existence outside the sleep is not proper.
(Objection: -) Why is it not proper? Suppose a person sleeps, don‟t we find the world which is outside of his sleep? Similarly, when we sleep some other people may see the world which is outside of our sleep; isn‟t it? If we observe from this view point it seems that though the world doesn‟t appear in our sleep, it may exist by itself aloof there also; isn‟t it?
(Relief: -) We don‟t have a supporting experience to decide that someone is sleeping. Pleasure and pain of someone else are not directly experienced by us. Similarly, the sleep of someone is also beyond our experience. In our dream, we may see many people sleeping; do we decide now that those people are really sleeping? No. Similarly, the deep-sleep of someone in our wakeful state should be simply guessed. Therefore, the direct experience of the sleep of ours should be in our sleep alone. The sleeping people are included in the world of our waking state. It is improper to consider that the people of our wakeful state. Therefore, if we are sleeping that means that world of our wakefulness never exists. For, if we consider that the world of our wakeful state is in our sleep; this is not proper. It amounts to say that we are simultaneously sleeping and waking. This is a ridiculous statement. Hence, it is proper to consider that in our sleep, the world of our wakeful state never exists at all.
AN EXTERNAL OBJECT IS ILLUSIONARY.
(Objection: -) In that case, how does the externally appearing world come into being? As soon as we get up from the sleep, this world unfailingly appears; and this world should exist in the wakeful state and in the dream also. Therefore, there must be necessarily an essence in the world; what is it?
(Relief: -) The question, how does the world come into being, is not a proper one. For, it is told that the world is unreal and it is a mere appearance; and it is improper to ask the reason for the world. The world doesn‟t appear without the Self and the latter exists independently without the world. Therefore, for the appearance of the world the real support is the Self alone, and it is proved that the latter itself is the essence of the world. The strange form of the world which doesn‟t exist in Self, how does it come into being in between? Is it not illusionary? This is the answer.
(Objection: -) What is an illusion (Maya)? If you tell that the world is illusionary, what does it mean?
(Relief: -) An illusion is an appearance which appears without any reason, to the one who has misunderstood; and the word „illusion‟ is not a mere name. The world is illusionary means it is an appearance which appears due to the misunderstanding in the Self; and none can give reason for its appearance. This is our opinion. The illusion means:
1.The Sole Self has become the world of multiple forms.
2. An impure world appears in the Pure Self.
3.The changing world has come from the Eternally Changeless Self.
4.the world bound to a state is confined to the limited objects and this world has come from the Full Self.
All this is the illusion, means, it is against to the reasoning. None can reasonably explain the illusion.
(Objection: -) „The world has come from the Self‟. This statement is illogical. Therefore, why should we not tell that the world is not made up of the Self and it remains to exist so.
(Relief: -) Having examined the states, we have shown on the strength of the universal experience that the world of the wakeful state appears in the Self alone; and the Self is
Devoid of the world. Any reason that is against to the experience may not be a strong one; and this reason is the work of the inner-organ ( Antah-karana ) which appears only in the wakeful state. Therefore, we have to pacify ourselves that the reason of the wakeful state is not applicable to the Self who is beyond the three states. And we cannot dismiss either the experience or the reason followed the experience by stating that this case is against the reason.
(Objection: -) The world doesn‟t need that much existence of the Self; though the former is not always with the Self, at least in its own time does the former either appear or not? To what extent should we say that the world is either real or not?
(Relief: -) From the view point of Reality, none says that the world is real; and that doesn‟t exist independently; and such being the case, where does that obtain a separate existence? If anyone thinks that the existence of the Self exists separately; and it is equal to say that sweetness of sugar is different and that of the sugar added to the pudding is different. In reality, everyone of us know that the sweetness of the pudding is that of the sugar itself. Similarly, the existence of the world is that of the Self, itself. If we accept the existence of the Self alone is the one; and the inferior one cannot be called as the existence; for, if the existence is damaged none can find out its fragments.
(Objection: -) Then, in the world of activities, do not people tell that a house exists, a hermitage exists, etc.? If the world doesn‟t have its own existence, then, how does the existence of these objects appear to the people?
(Relief: -) We have already answered this objection. In the statement, „a house exists‟ , „house‟ is a part of the world appears due to delusion; and „exists‟ is the part of the Self who is the Absolute Truth. When the people say the above statement they mix these parts. Without knowing the Form of the Self, for them, the existence of the world itself is the real one; till the one knows the real position of the Existence, they call this existence of the world as the Empirical one ( Vyaavahaarika-sattaa )
(Objection: -) If the whole world is unreal, why do people believe that some of the objects are real and some of the appearances are unreal?
(Relief: -) This is due to the misconception alone. Among the chess pawns some of the pieces are symbolized as elephants and some other are considered as horses. This is only for the game. Similarly, people consider some of the objects are real. The existence of such objects is called as the empirical one. And they consider some of appearances are unreal; and the existence of such mere appearances is called as that of the appearing one ( Praati-bhaasika-sattaa ). In the illustration of rope-snake, the mere appearance of the snake has the appearing-existence. The rope which is the support of that appearance has the empirical-existence. But if we thoroughly examine both of these existences, these are one and the same; and both of them have the existence in the Form of the Self; and both of them don‟t have the existence in their respective forms; and both of them are made up of the delusion.
(Objection: -) In the world, the division of real and false is true. It is improper to tell that people have simply imagined, it would not have been possible that either the real object or the false one to the one person is the same to all. (Relief: -) There is no opportunity for this objection when we deliberate whether this world is real or false. For this, we can give an illustration of the dream. In a dream, many people appear to believe that a certain object is real; but really those people, the object and their belief- all these are made up of delusion alone. Not only that, in the dream, we may believe that some objects are real and some are false. But, as we get up, don‟t these all become false alone? Similarly, we have to know the division of real and false of the wakeful state.
……to be continued in the next edition of Venugaanam