Question 108: ‘I am’ and how illusion arises:

lifting the veil of illusion

The experience of the universe arises due to the modifications in the individual consciousness based in Pure Consciousness, and this universe is cognised as real due to the illusion that arises therefrom.

daiva San. adj. relating to the gods, divine, supernatural n. a deity; God; divine will, divine ordinance, providence, destiny, fate, chance
Brahm-abhyas spiritual discipline; practice leading to realisation of Brahman
Brahm-satta the potency of Brahman
chitta: chitta San. noun. the mind (the seat of understanding and awareness, of intellect and will); memory, thought, reflection; the soul, heart. It is the individual consciousness, composed of intelligence and intellect (buddhi), ego (ahamkara) and mind (manas). In Vedanta, chitta is one aspect of Universal Consciousness (chit). The world hangs on the thread of consciousness – without consciousness, there is no world.
sushupti: deep sleep state.
turiya: the fourth state of consciousness that transcends and pervades the three states of wakefulness, dream and deep sleep; the state where the individual self is united with the Supreme Self.


Question 108: Sir, if that be so (consciousness and how it arises) and everything is the glamour of Brahman, then what are daiva, karma and causality ?

Answer: Ramji, ideation (modification) and quiescence (non-ideation) are aspects of Brahm-satta. When the ideation ‘I am’ (also called daiva) arises in Brahm-satta, there is manifestation of the universe. The state of dissolution of the universe is said to be the quiescent or non-ideational state; it is the peaceful state of Brahman.

Actions and causality are names for the ideation or modification of the chitta (the individual consciousness). The ideation of the chitta is the root cause of all these. Experience is not independent of ideation in the chitta, but is an aspect of chitta and all manifestations are products thereof. Sankalpas are of two kinds, viz (i) the extrovert sankalpa and (ii) the introvert sankalpa. Because of the extrovert sankalpa, an individual experiences multifarious objects. With the introvert sankalpa, only Atma is visualised and the jiva is relieved of birth and death.

Mind (manas) is another name for ideation or sankalpa. When the sankalpa is strengthened, it is called intelligence or cognition (buddhi). The feeling of ‘I am’ aroused therein is the ego and it is the cause of the manifestation of the universe. But in reality nothing except Pure Consciousness exists. The experience of the universe arises due to the ideation in the chitta based in Pure Consciousness, and this universe is cognised as real due to the illusion.

The ideation in the chitta is called waking state, and ego is the dream. That which cognises is sushupti, and the pure consciousness is the turiya state. On going deep into pure consciousness, one attains to a state beyond turiya called turiya-atit. On attaining that, the individual remains beyond sufferings, he understands the reality, and realises that nothing except Atma exists and everything that is perceived is an illusion. Although a non-doer, Atma is perceived as a doer due to association with the ideation, and it appears as the universe with diverse forms.


lifting the veil of illusion

College education gives you the chance to earn a few rupees and live thereupon, but unless it destroys certain illusions that are nourished by the common level of mankind, your lives will not be happy. One illusion which is basically undesirable is being under the impression that you are the body and that you are destroyed with the death of the body. Another illusion is: happiness consists in accumulating money or knowledge or comforts or reputation. Trying to be happy through such accumulation is like getting into the Madras Bus and hoping to reach Bangalore. What is happiness? It is the state of mind, which is unaffected by fortune, good or bad. By systematic education, the mind can attain that state. If activity is done as worship then the mind will be steady and free from anxiety. (23-7-1970)

Science asks the question, What? and the question, How? and seeks to get the answers from the objective world of name and form, the world one can see, hear, taste, touch and smell, the world one can categorise through reason. But the science of the spirit asks the question, WHY? For what purpose? It discovers that Maya is the answer for the Why! Sheer delight, at confusing reason, through the illusion of manifoldness! Ice and steam are but water, though they appear so different in every way, diamond is but carbon: jewels are but gold; pots are but clay. Go into the truth and you see the One behind the manifold! Brahman alone is the One; all else is the superimposition of name and form upon its Sat-Chit-Ananda (being-awareness-bliss) essence.

Fill the consciousness with the thought of the One, it will get saturated in bliss; fill it with ideas of the many, it will get befouled by hate and partiality, prejudice and envy. The world is the creation of your mind; go into deep sleep; it is negated! That is why sleep is said to be a form of samadhi, when the dhi or intellect becomes sama or balanced, merged in equanimity. Arjuna said, ‘Lord! YOUR maya is difficult to overcome’! The maya is His leela, His sport. So, take refuge in Him, for, He alone can save you from the machination of His creation. (8-10-1970)

Hamsa Gayatri
Om Hamsaaya Vidmahe
Paramahamsaaya Dhimahi
Tanno Hamsha Pracodayaat

“May we realise Hamsa that is our own Self as Swan. Let us meditate on that Paramahamsa, the Supreme Self. May Hamsa illumine us.”