Question 144: When different worlds arise

Zen gardenThe young Rama asks about the worlds of different people. Do they mix with one another or not? Sage Vasishtha tells that everything arises from Atma, and those with different worlds (think, world-views is all a function of chitta which arises from Atma. Another issue is considered: how do we recognise or come to know our true nature? Do we cognise when we are awake? Or asleep? What about the fourth state of consciousness, the turiya state? When do we know and how do we know we are the Atma? That we are one with Brahman?

chitta: individual consciousness

pranayama: breath control

jagrat: waking state
jagrat-avastha: waking state

swapna: sleep

sushupti: deep sleep

turiya: fourth state of consciousness that transcends waking, dream and deep sleep states. The state where the individual self is united with the Universal self.

ishthadeva: San. m. the god of one’s choice that most appeals; the object of one’s desire, reverence and worship. The deity one meditates on;


Question 144: Sir, when do the universes of different jivas mix with each other and when do they not do?

Answer: Ramji, impure minds do not mix with each other and pure minds mix with each other. All chittas arise from the quiescent Atma and are, therefore, alike, but because of ignorance they cognise themselves as independent. When a jiva is stabilised in Atma, his chitta merges with that of all others owing to his knowledge or jnana — as water mixes water — and he understands them, but those not established in Atma cannot understand. Atma is the seed of all the creations and they are a reflection of Atma. Only he who does not have faith in the reality of the world and is directed towards Atma, realises Atma. He experiences no difficulty in knowing the universes of others. Numerous creations are embedded latently in the mind of every jiva. Only that universe finds manifestation the ideation about which is strong; feeble ideations do not materialise.

Ramji, when the body sense is lost, or when one is oblivious of name and form, then with breath control (pranayama) the chitta is very easily stabilised in Atma. At this stage, the seeker can know easily the ideations in other persons’ chitta, if he so desires. There are three states of jivas: (i) waking (jagrat), (ii) dreaming (swapna) and (iii) deep-sleep (sushupti). All these three states are attributes of Atma, and a jiva wanders in these because of his being oblivious of Atma.

When the chitta potency attains to the turiya state, liberation is attained. On realising Atma, one merges in Atma. Ramji, though the manifestation of the world is perceived explicitly, yet it is not independent of Atma. Hence Atma only is fit for contemplation. He who cognises Atma only at all times is free from the idea of the universe, but he who is always engrossed in the affairs of the world does not know Atma. Therefore, you abandon the illusions of multiplicity and be established in the Self. There is neither time, nor place, nor action; only Brahman that manifests itself as diversity is established in itself.

Ramji, the chitta cannot be withdrawn from physical gratifications and brought to quiescence merely by utterances. When discrimination is developed with continuous contemplation and practice, all desires and the sense of joy and sorrow are destroyed and ignorance then vanishes. The ideation arising in Atma – the substratum of everything – is called jiva; and that is the creation of the universe. It shows that all jivas and creations are aspects of Atma. Infinite jivas are created due to modifications in the chitta-potency which is natural in Atma. These jivas achieve according to what they aspire and strive for. Those who worship gods or demi-gods attain to the state of gods, and those who worship ghosts attain to the state of ghosts. This way, every jiva attains to the ideal of his worship (ishtadeva), and the seeker of Brahman attains to That. Therefore, be you a seeker of the Absolute (Brahman).

If only the agony and toil now being experienced by man for keeping himself and his family in comfort and to accumulate the symbols of wealth and power are directed towards God, man can be infinitely more happy. The veil of maya, however, hides from him the Face of God which is shining from every being and thing around him. Maya is of the nature of Tamas (sloth); it is darkness, lacking wisdom. In deep dreamless sleep, the self alone exists, but it is there aspected by illusion or lack of wisdom only. You are not aware then that you are Brahman; that is the difference between the Jnani and the sushupti stage. The wise one knows he is One with Brahman; the person in deep dreamless sleep does not know. All persons experience it; so it is universal. It is not real, it is not explicable. We cannot pronounce it as a-sat, (non-existent), for its effects are everywhere; we cannot pronounce it as sat (existent), for when the Reality is experienced, there is no duality at all. From the standpoint of wisdom maya is unreal; in the vision of the enlightened saint, maya is absent. It is a peculiar phenomenon, beyond description. To the wise one, who has crossed the shores of change and difference, it is non-existent; to those relying on reason, it is inexplicable; to the ordinary man it is a fact.

Maya creates the universe; it spreads before the mind the vast paraphernalia of the objective world. It is a narthaki, a juggler, an enchantress who entices the intelligence and traps the senses. This na-rtha-ki can be subdued by (mark the change of syllables) ki-rtha-na, kirthana or the concentrated contemplation of the glory of God. The mind is filled with admiration at a juggler’s manipulations, so long as one does not know that it is willed and caused by the juggler; once it is known that all the tricks are enacted by him, one rests satisfied that it is mere maya – temporary flashes, attractive displays which do not last. Kirthana reveals the juggler behind the jugglery and you know that He is capable of much more, for He has infinite wisdom, infinite power and infinite mercy. Prasanthi Nilayam: Krishna janmashtami 8-9-66

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Hamsa Gayatri
Om Hamsaaya Vidmahe
Paramahamsaya Dheemahi
Tanno Hamsa Prachodayat

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