The journey through duality has many, many individual souls believing this life, this experiential universe is all that exists. Few if any, are masters of the mind, and fewer have encountered the light within, the self-effulgent Light that is one with all that is: Ayam Atma Brahma.
akash: San. m., n. (ambara) sky, space, an expanse; the element of ether, the subtlest form of matter.
akashroop: of the nature of akash; form of akash, form of the void,
jiva: individual soul
gyani: a learned person, a person steeped in wisdom, a scholar
sankalp Hin. sankalpa San. m. a vow; will, a definite intention, resolve, plan.
sankalpa: ideation; modification of chitta or consciousness; idea, resolve, volition (will);
sankalpa – mental conclusions, intentions
sankalpa – determination Bg 4.19, SB 2.9.28
Question 69: Sir, what is the substance of the experiential universe ?
Answer: Ramji, the experiential universe is made of nothing; it is akashroop (of the nature of void) or just an ideation (sankalpa). When the ideation is strong, it becomes gross (assumes a form) and becomes perceptible. Just as the dream objects are made of nothing, and sleep is their cause, so ignorance is the cause of the universe. The entire universe is experienced on account of the ideation (sankalpa) in mind. When with his methodical practice, a jiva nullifies his ideations, the universe is dissolved automatically. Whatever is experienced, is the ideation of the mind. With the force of his knowledge, the wise (gyani) liquidates his mind and thus his ideations vanish and he experiences the universe as akash (null). It is, therefore, clear that the universe is caused by the mind and nothing else has been created. When the mind becomes extinct, the illusion of the universe — names and forms — also vanishes. As long as the mind is there, non-existence of the universe cannot be experienced and till then the Pure Consciousness cannot be attained. So long as this is not achieved, bliss cannot be enjoyed.
When you do not know, confess that you do not know; if you pretend to know and to cover up ignorance, it is very dangerous, especially to the spiritual aspirant
Then the analysis of the Aham starts and ends in the conclusion. “Ayam Atma-Brahma”, this Aham is the Atma, which is Brahma. The two: That and This. Thath and Thwam are identified and This is found to be only That, when Thathwamasi (That thou art) is realised. Well, what is the thing called Thath, the That? What is Brahmam in other words? The fourth Mahavakya declares: Prajnanam, the Highest Wisdom, Unity, One.
All these Mahavakyas (great utterances of sacred scripture) relate to the Glory of the One, which is a veritable Ocean of Grace. The vapour rising from It is “Prajnanam Brahma”; the cloud is Ayam Atma Brahma;” the shower of rain, “Thatwamasi;” the river is “Aham Brahmasmi.”
Prajnanam Brahma is symbolised by Andapinda Lingam. It is the vision of the one entity in all the manifold entities, the expansion of the individual into the universal, the enlargement of the I into the vastness of the “He and We”. When you knock at another’s door and a voice from inside accosts you with the question “Who is it?” you automatically answer. “It is I”. That does not satisfy the questioner. So, another question eliciting further information follows. Then only will the door open. The door of Liberation can also open only to those who can explain who the “I” truly is.
This reveals to the Jivi (individual soul), “I am in the Light.” The second Mahavakya, Ayamatma Brahma, tells him, “The Light is in Me.” Slowly the truth dawns on the mind! “The Light which I imagined as enveloping me, the Prajnanam which I identified as the basis of all this appearance, that Illumination is in me, too. My innermost truth is also that Prajnanam, that Light.” This is represented by Sadasiva Lingam.
The Sadhaka sees in his Sadhana that Light which dispels the darkness of ages. He is told that He is that Light and nothing else, “Thath thwam asi”, “Thou art that.” He then becomes immune to spasms of ignorance which make him forget his nature.