There are those who posit the Universe is real and God is not, viz.; “there is no such thing as a soul”, blah, blah, blah. Such persons are firmly centred on their experience, that is, the experience delivered by the senses, the karmendriyas. See, hear, touch, taste, smell, like this. They are ignorant of the other senses, the jnanendriyas, the internal senses of knowledge. There is much to be known, by which, all else is known, as Vasishtha hints.
purushartha – the (four) legitimate goals of man: dharma, artha, kama and moksha. ‘Acquire wealth (artha) by righteous means and use it for righteous ends (dharma); develop desire (kama) for liberation (moksha).’ Vaishnava devotees consider bhakti to be the fifth and highest purushartha
purusha – the dweller in the citadel of the body’, ‘he who fills the body of man’ – man, the self, the individual person. By implication, purusha is used as a name for God within, the eternal witness – Consciousness, the Self, the atman (V. 14, 406). ‘You are all limbs of that one body, the purusha, who is far more expansive than this universe, which is but a fraction of his physical manifestation.’ The whole of creation is the cosmic body of God, the supreme Person, who is expressed through the medium of each created object, thus having uncountable (‘thousands’) of heads, eyes and limbs. Purusha is also the masculine principle; in one sense, God alone is purusha and all of creation is female (prakriti); ‘manhood comes with the rejection of the dual’.
Atma the Self, the soul, the life principle, the divine core of personality, man’s individual indwelling reality (jivatma), the wave in the ocean of the universal Self (paramatma or brahman), the inner controller which rules and regulates the senses, the mind and the intellect, and animates the body by means of prana: ‘I am the life-force in every heart’, ‘in the body but not of it’. ‘The atma is the unseen basis, the substance of all the objective world, the reality behind the appearance, universal and immanent in every being.
Brahman San. noun; the impersonal Absolute – a supreme, unmeasurable and transcendent essence that exists simultaneously with all of creation; the ultimate Reality, the Source, Consciousness not aware of itself, all-pervasive and self-existent. Brahman envelopes and permeates everything: ‘Brahman is all there is’ (sarvam brahman mayam). Creation is but a reflection in Brahman. Originally, in the Rigveda, the word brahman was used for the expression of the Mother-goddess, the divine female force that first revealed itself as the Word (logos), the basis of creation.
Question 34: Sir, what is the true form of this universe ?
Answer: Ramji, the universe does not exist. Whatever is perceived is experienced on account of ignorance and non-contemplation, and it resolves back on contemplation. Were there any substance underlying the universe, it would not be necessary to teach you. Since this world is unreal and is not experienced on reflection or contemplation, how can I explain its form ? What is essential to explain is that you should engage yourself in purushartha and discriminate between the real and the unreal. When one attains the true conscious state by rightly following the precept of his guru and scriptures, the illusion of the universe disappears. He who depends on family, friends, wealth, gods and deities, does not attain Atma. By controlling the mind alone a jiva (an individual; a person with soul) attains salvation because this universe is a creation of the ideation in the mind and it exists in the mind. Therefore, the mind can be said to be the substance or the form of the universe. He who has controlled his mind is liberated.
The process of living has the attainment of the Supreme as its purpose and meaning. By the Supreme is meant the Atma. All those who have grown up in the Bharathiya (Indian) culture — the Bharathiyas — know that the Atma is everywhere. But when asked how they have come to know of this, some assert that the Vedas have taught them so, some others quote the Sastra texts, and some others rely on the experiential testimony of the great sages. Each of them bases his/her conclusions and proves its correctness according to the sharpness of his intellect. Many great men have directed their intelligence towards the discovery of the omnipresent Atma and succeeded in visualising that Divine Principle. In this country, Bharath (India), they have evidence of the successful realisation of the goals placed before themselves, by preachers, pundits, aspirants and ascetics, when they tried earnestly to pursue them. However, among millions of men, we can count only a few who have been able to visualise the Universal Atman.
The supreme end of education, the highest purpose of instruction, is to make man aware of Akhanda Parabrahman, the ‘universal immanent Impersonal’. This is the truth that is loudly proclaimed in the Vedas. The seers and sages of Bharath courageously entered upon this adventure. The ever-changing aspects of Nature, the appearance and disappearance of its working, may be a fine subject for study. But the ancients of Bharath proclaimed that the science of the Transcendent Principle that permeates the Universe, the Unchanging Eternal, the Embodiment of Everlasting Ever-full Ananda, the Residence of Unaffected, Undiminished Peace, the Ultimate Refuge for all Time of the Individual Jivi, that science is the highest knowledge that man must gain.
Those who assert that the Universe is real, but declare at the same time that the existence of God is but a dream, are only proving themselves foolish. For when the effect, namely, the Cosmos is real, it must have a Cause, for how can there be an effect with no cause? God can be denied only when the Universe is denied. God can disappear, only when the Cosmos disappears. What now appears as the Cosmos is really God. This is the vision that the true spiritual aspirant will get when s/he succeeds in his/her endeavour. As a matter of fact, the Universe we experience is the dream. When we awake from the dream, the Truth of its being God will shine in the consciousness. From the beginning of time, the God whom we posit outside ourselves has been the reality inside us also. This Truth too will become steady in the faith of man.
Called the eXtreme Deep Field, or XDF, the photo was assembled by combining 10 years of NASA Hubble Space Telescope photographs taken of a patch of sky at the center of the original Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The XDF is a small fraction of the angular diameter of the full moon.
The Hubble Ultra Deep Field is an image of a small area of space in the constellation Fornax, created using Hubble Space Telescope data from 2003 and 2004. By collecting faint light over many hours of observation, it revealed thousands of galaxies, both nearby and very distant, making it the deepest image of the universe ever taken at that time.
The new full-color XDF image is even more sensitive, and contains about 5,500 galaxies even within its smaller field of view. The faintest galaxies are one ten-billionth the brightness of what the human eye can see.