Question 224: What is the phenomena we call ‘Universe’?

Pebbles - stones

The Sage and the youthful Rama discuss the nature of the perceptible universe. If all is Atma, what is that we perceive? What is that phenomenon? Bala Rama also asks about the awareness in immoblie things, trees, stones, like this.

vasana: tendencies or desires

chidakash: The causal aspect of the universe. The akash or space of Chit; the Absolute Consciousness, the all pervading Spirit;

akash: San. m., n. (ambara) sky, space, an expanse; the element of ether, the subtlest form of matter. Space gives things form and keeps them discrete. Its quality is sound. ‘It is through space that sounds are transmitted and heard. Love and play are products of akasha and seeds sprout on account of akasha.’ ‘Akasha pervades the cosmos but remains unstained.’ (BG: 23:32)

avidya San. f. ignorance, especially in a spiritual sense arising from the illusion of maya, the veil of separateness. The darkness of ignorance veils our perception, so that we see a snake in a rope and are deluded by our senses into believing the world is real; we are unaware of the true Reality that underlies and sustains it.

Abyasa (abhyaasa). Systematic, steady practice.

vichara: self-inquiry; contemplation, thought; reflection and introspection

vichara: inner inquiry as against blind unreasoning faith.


Question 224: Sir, you say that the universe, along with all its objects, is a reflection of Atma and nothing else has been created. What then should the perceptible universe be called ?

Answer: Ramji, the sentient and insentient universe that is experienced has not been created. Consider that manifestation to be a form of chidakash (the absolute consciousness). There is no idea of being or non-being in it; understand that there is nothing but Atma. Just as a rope perceived as a snake in darkness is seen as rope in light, even so is Atma seen as a phenomenon in the darkness of ignorance. When the light of wisdom arises, the phenomenal aspect vanishes and only Brahman is realised. Ignorance is a name for the modification or ideation in Pure Consciousness. When, as a result of discipline (abhyas) based on discrimination and contemplation the modification becomes quiescent, ignorance becomes extinct and the illusions of creation and destruction, joy and sorrow, also vanish.

Ramji, the Atma is always immutable, but because of the modification it is perceived as a universe with its variations. Vasana (desires or tendencies) is another name for ideation. One shackles oneself with one’s own vasana.

Question 225: Sir, what is the nature of the vasana of those souls that are embedded in immobile forms, such as trees, stones, etc.?

Answer: Ramji, the immobile souls (jivas) have not attained to the state of extinction of mind, nor are they in a state with mind. Rather, they are in an intermediary state, because in that state their jiva-kala (soul-potency) is in a dormant or deep-sleep like state. They are in the suppressed or unconscious state of mind. This is a state of great suffering because here the mind is not extinct but is inert. In due course when these souls will awake, their minds will wander as ideations and will attain to phenomenal expanse.


Your vasana (innate tendencies) depend on the feelings you cultivate in your heart. Here is a small example. A paper has no smell by itself. If it is used for wrapping pakodas or dry fish or Jasmine flowers, it emits the smell of the item wrapped, good or bad. Your heart may be compared to a paper. If good feelings are packed in it, you will certainly develop good tendencies. See good, hear good, talk good, and do good. Then the evil effect of Kali will have no impact on you. Do not allow the Kali Prabhava (effect of Kali Age) overpower your Swabhava (true nature). Today practice of dharma is fast declining and, consequently, the water level in earth is also going down. Humanness has become scarce. There is no purity in society, no morality in politics. Neethi (morality) alone can sustain manava jathi (human race). 22 January 2001


rope knot
The rope by day is seen as the snake at night – an illusion


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.”

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