Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


Here is a place to linger, to let your intellect roam. Aatmaavrajanam is being written as a progressive study and, as such, can be read like a book. Anyone arriving at any time can simply start at the very first post and work their way through at their own pace. Please take time to read the info tabs and ensure you don't miss a post, by subscribing to the blog. Interaction is welcomed. Don't be a spectator - be a participator!

Matter of Illusion

Hari Om

Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.

KINDLE LIFE. We continue exploring points raised by HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda-ji in the publication of this name. Remember, you can purchase, (very economically!), the book from  Chinmaya Mission Publications or if you prefer, the Amazon Link. Thus you can read Gurudev's words directly and bring your own voice to the discussion.

(We have been breaking up Chapter 26 of KL, firstly for length, but also for 'digestion'...mananam! It is hoped that you think deeply upon what you read, making notes and finding levels of inspiration. This is saadhana. To review the chapter so far, click the Choose-day label on right panel.)

Gurudev continues within this chapter with a further sub-heading now. RISE AND FALL OF MAN.

If, as said earlier, Consciousness/Awareness is our Real Nature and that evolution is completely fulfilled when we rediscover this state, them we must certainly seek the path by which we can regains this lost status of Perfect Bliss. When one gets lost in a jungle, the surest (if not the easiest) path to return to the familiar grounds is to retrace one's steps.  In order to go back to the pristine glory of our Real Nature, it will be easy for us if we investigate and discover the probable mistakes by which we have tumbled into this dark well of sorrow and finitude.

We, from that state of transcendent glory, from that nature of knowledge-bliss, have fallen to be men… limited, ignorant, sad.  How this seeming 'fall' has taken place is a necessary knowledge so that we may know our path to return to our h'om'e-divine.

Image result for tat tvam asiVedanta does not accept any real 'fall' in man from the Reality.  The Upanishads are never tired of repeating the assertion, "Thou Art that" ( तत्त्वं असि/tattvam asi). Yet, you and I are feeling our separate existence, our weakness and limitations. Minute by minute we only know the phenomenal world as we experience it. Vedanta asserts that this seeming world of sense objects is not real.  This is only a finite appearance.  It can be ended.

The world is seemingly real to us just as the snake is real to the deluded where only there is rope. The ghost is real to the frightened only for as long as it is not recognised as a post. Mirage can never be; even when we 'see' the mirage, desert alone is the reality in it.

Thus the eternal sat-chit-aananda alone is.

The world and the egocentric ideas of our separate existence are only superimposition upon the Truth. They are all false.  The plurality is a sad delusion. The One alone is Real and True.

This is how we are today, ignorant of the Real; we are in अविद्या/avidyaa (without knowledge). How does this delusion arise? This ought to be the natural question now in our minds.  An attempt to explain this stumbling doubt in the minds of the seekers has been made in vedanta, by the introduction of the term माया/maayaa.  It is defined as an inexplicable power of the Supreme, which is in That, as inseparable as heat from fire. Just as we cannot have fire as a thing of itself after removing heat from it, nor can heat have any existence if the fire element is removed from it then so, too, Maya is a power inherenet in the Supreme. Fire is heat, heat is fire.

It is possible that, when we have only a superficial understanding of this term, we entertain a growing suspicion that it is a tricky word introduced by the vedantins in their माया-वाद/maayaa-vaada, theory of illusion, to veil the main issues of a pointed question and to confuse the questioner with a mysterious nothing. Such misunderstanding can only arise out of our own ignorance of the language; for in Sanskrit, the word Maya in its etymological meaning stands for 'That which is not' (या मा सा माया/yaa maa saa, maayaa).  Our doubts and suspicions need not have any play at all.

The famous story of the boy Somadatta's father in vedanta is often quoted to explain the Maya in us, deluding us with our own active cooperation and sympathy…

...this example will be examined next Choose-day…


Ponder the nature of illusion. We often hear the term 'smoke and mirrors' where the doings of the political and corporate worlds are concerned. Stretch that concept now to the whole of creation. Consider the possibilities for the freeing of the spirit when all illusion is exploded!

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Hari OM
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