Bhaktha: I have been anxious for a long time to ask You some things and
to learn the answers from You. Today, I have the chance. This Manas and
its principle are unknown categories. Their meanings do not get fixed
and clear without actual experience. But, Swami, this delusion of Samsara,
it overpowers us, thick and strong, like the darkness of clouds in the
rainy season. What is this mighty force that drags us along? This is what
has been bothering me. I feel persons like me should understand these
things clearly in the very beginning. Will you kindly enlighten me?
Swami: Well, my boy. What am I to say? You are suffering from fright,
imagining a tree-stump seen in the park to be a man. That is you are mistaking
the non-dual, the full, the Adwaitha, the Purna, which is Brahmam as a
separate incomplete Jiva and... suffering from that error. That delusion
is the cause of all your sufferings.
Bhaktha: How, then, did this delusion come about?
Swami: You slept and so you dreamed. You slept the sleep of Ajnana and
Moha and so you dreamt this Samsara. Awake, and you will have no more
dreams. When the dream is gone, the delusion also goes.
Bhaktha: Swami, what is this ignorance? What are its characteristics?
How does it operate?
Swami: That which is attached to the body and feels, as "I"
is the Jiva. The Jiva is outward-faced; it believes all this mutable Jagath
and Samsara; it is immersed in both. When the Jiva ignores its Adwaithaswarupa,
and forgets it we call it Ajnana. Is that clear?
Bhaktha: But, Swami, the Sastras, all of them, say that Samsara is caused
by Maya. You are now saying, it is due to Ajnana. What is the distinction
between the two?
Swami: Ajnana itself is known variously as Maya, Pradhana, Prakriti, Avyaktha,
Avidya, Thamas, etc. Hence understand this well, Samsara is the consequence
Bhaktha: How can Ajnana produce this Samsara, I want to know, Gurudeva
Swami: Know that Ajnana has two powers: Aavarnasakthi and Vikshepasakthi,
the veiling power and the projecting power. It veils the reality and projects
upon it the unreal. The Aavaranasakthi also acts in two different ways:
Asathavarana and Abban-aavarana. When a Jnani and an Ajnani meet, though
the Jnani teaches that the Atma is one and non-dual, the Ajnani denies
it; he cannot grasp the reality so easily. Even when he hears the truth,
he has not got the faith and the steadfastness to imbibe it and he will
dismiss it with a shrug of indifference. This is the Asath-aavarana. Now
about the Abhan-aavarana. Even when the person believes by his study of
the Sastras and by the grace of providence that there is non-dual Atma,
he dismisses it as nonexistent, carried away by cursory and superficial
arguments. Though he has Chith or the consciousness, which is aware of
that very thing which he denies, the Moha makes him declare that it is
nonexistent. This is the sinister role of Abhan-aavarana.
Bhaktha: You spoke of the Vikshepa Sakthi also. What is meant by that?
Swami: Though you are formless, changeless and your nature is Ananda or
bliss, you are deluded into believing, feeling and acting as if you are
body, which has form, which changes and which is the seat of pain and
grief. You refer to yourself as the doer and enjoyer; you speak of I,
you, they, this, that etc., deluded into believing variety and multiplicity,
where there is only one. This illusion projecting many on the one is called
Vikshepasakthi or Adhyaropa, superimposition.
Bhaktha: What is that?
Swami: When you superimpose the object 'silver' on mother-of-pearl, when
you see not the stump but the human form, you have superimposed on it;
or when instead of the stretch of desert you seek a lake, you have superimposed
the unreal on the real! This is Adyaropa.
Bhaktha: Well, Baba. What is the real, what is the unreal? Please explain
Swami: The one and only, non-dual, Sath-Chith-Ananda Parabrahma is the
real. Just as the name and the Rupa of the snake are superimposed on a
rope, this Jagath (inclusive of everything from Brahma to a blade of grass,
all creatures, all inert objects like the earth) is superimposed on the
Parabrahmavastu. The Jagath is the Avastu, the unreal, that is the superimposed
Bhaktha: This superimposition of the Nama Rupa Jagath on that Adwaithavastu,
how is it caused?
Swami: By Maya.
Bhaktha: Maya means...
Swami: The Ajnanasakthi of the above said Parabrahmam...
Bhaktha: Ajnanasakthi means...
Swami: I told you, did I not? The incapacity to understand Brahmam...
though you are fundamentally Brahmam. That is Ajnana.
Bhaktha: Well, how does that Ajnana produce all this Jagath?
Swami: The Ajnanasakthi does not allow you to see the rope; instead it
imposes the snake upon it; it makes you see the Jagath, where there is
Bhaktha: Swami, when there is only the Adwaitha non-dual one, how did
the creation of all these worlds happen?
Swami: You have come back again to where we started from! Even if I tell
you now, it is very hard to grasp. Still, since you have asked, I shall
tell you. Listen. The Ajnanasakthi exists in the latent form in the rope
itself. That is to say, it is latent, unmanifested in the Brahmam. This
is also called Avidya. It has as its base, Brahmam, which is Chith and
Ananda. Of the two powers that Maya has, the Aavarana and the Vikshepa,
the Aavarana veils the Brahmam and the Vikshepa makes it manifest as Manas.
The Manas creates all this panorama of name and form through the exuberance
Bhaktha: Wonderful, Swami. How wonderful is this Prakriti! What is the
distinction between the waking stage and the dream stage?
Swami: Both are of the nature of illusion; in both, we have the Vasanas
operating. The Jagath is the stable illusion; the dream is the unstable
illusion. This is the distinction, there is no other.
Bhaktha: Swami, how can it be said that this Jagath is unreal, when it
is concrete and capable of being experienced in a variety of ways?
Swami: It is a delusion that hides the reality from the understanding,
the Jagath is as much a superimposition on Brahmam, as a series of pictures
on the wall.
Bhaktha: Avidya is said to be Anaadi, isn't it? Why then is it blamed
Swami: The beginningless Avidya is ended when Vidya dawns. This is only
logical. Darkness is destroyed by light. Every object has five parts:
Origin, nature, function, period, result. But in the case of the Paramatma
these cannot be enunciated, though everything that has evolved as if from
Him, has them. Maya alone has no explicable origin. It is its own proof.
It is there in Brahmam, with Brahmam: It is An-adi. No cause can be given
to explain how it manifested itself, so luxuriously. As a bubble rises
through force of its own nature, up from the water, a force which takes
the form of Nama rupa emerges from the limitless, the full, the Paramatma.
That is all. It is only the ignorant who will speak ill of Avidya: really
there is no well or ill.
Bhaktha: How can it be said the Maya has no origin or Hethu? Just as
the potter's handiwork is the Hethu for the clay to take the form of the
pot, the Sankalpa of Iswara is essential for the force latent in Brahmam
to become patent.
Swami: In the final dissolution, or Mahapralaya, Iswara too will become
nonexistent. Brahmam alone will exist, isn't it? Then, how can the Sankalpa
of Iswara be the Hethu? It cannot be. While considering this subject,
you should not take Brahma, Vishnu and Iswara as three separate entities.
These three are forms shaped by the three Gunas. All three are one Paramatma.
But, since it is difficult to understand the working of the world, it
is explained and grasped as three; three forms engaged in three types
of actions, bearing three names. At the time of creation, dissolution
is absent. Both can coexist only beyond time. Man who exists in time,
action and cause can never hope to grasp it. When you transcend the three
Gunas, you too can attain that, but, not till then. So, without spending
time in such un-understandable problems, engage yourself in the things
you urgently need, traversing the path, which will lead you to the goal.