“Brahmasatyam jaganmithya” means “Brahman (Self \ Spirit) alone is real, the world is unreal”
Meaning of ‘Advaita’:
‘Advaita’ means “not two” or non-dual—the One only, without a second. That is, the universe is a manifestation of one undifferentiated reality (Supreme transcendent and immanent Reality).
Self (Brahman \ Spirit) is the unchanging conscious principle.
Self (consciousness) always exists and is never changing, whereas material world is ever changing. ‘Self’ is the substrate of all that exists, the omnipresent, eternal ground of all existence. As with the Self, one need only realize what has been there all along. This understanding is the self-realization.
One who sees all beings in ‘Self’ and ‘Self’ in all beings is called a realized person.
The significance of Self- realization:
The perceived world does not disappear for a self-realized person (jnani). But his outlook and attitude to the perceived world become different. He understands the non-dual reality, that he is the infinite Brahman. Since he knows that the perceived world, including the body mind complex is unreal ( mithya), he has no sorrow, no anxiety, no fear, no desire, no hatred, no worry and no sense of insecurity. In short, the realized person (jnani) is not psychologically affected by anything, good or bad, happening in the world.
o The non-dual nature of Brahman as the ultimate Reality and the concept of a cosmic negative principle known as māyā or ajñāna, ignorance.
o Pure Consciousness, ‘cit’, or pure knowledge, ‘jñana’, is self-existent; that is, it exists by itself, independent of body and mind.
o Māyā or Ajñāna is a superimposition. Reality is of the nature of knowledge, and ajñāna is a veiling or covering of knowledge.
o “Maya literally means that which is not (Skt., ma=not; ya=that: ―’Ya ma samaya’‖ – that which is not there, that is Maya).”
o “That which did not exist in the beginning and will not exist in the future, how can it be said to exist in the middle?” – (Nagarjuna, 200 CE).
o “It is the ego which, identifying with the body becomes the doer or the experiencer.”
o “The veiling power, whose nature is ignorance, covers the Self whose glories are infinite, which is Indivisible, Eternal, and One-without-a-second.”
o “Apart from the mind there is no ignorance (avidya). The mind itself is the ignorance which is the cause for the bondage of conditioned existence. When the mind is destroyed, everything else is destroyed. When the mind manifests, everything else manifests.”
o The ultimate Reality, known as Brahman, is unchanging and eternal.
o Four states of consciousness: Waking, Dream, Deep Sleep and Turiya.
o ‘Turiya’ means ‘fourth’: In that stage one rests in ‘Samadhi’, a state of complete, pure consciousness where dual consciousness does not exist.
o “Though there is no perception of duality in deep sleep, ‘avidya’ (ignorance) continues to exist in seed form.”‖
o Realization is not something to be attained. Attaining implies that something was lacking. Since the Self is eternal and omnipresent, there is nothing to be gained or attained. Self (Consciousness), was never lost; it is always present and one need only realize it.
o Ego (Ahamkara) is the greatest obstacle to Self-realization.
o There is neither birth nor death: neither bondage nor freedom: neither Sadhana (practice) nor Samadhi(realization): neither meditator nor meditated: neither seeker after liberation nor liberated—this is the ultimate truth.
o “This Self is its own witness, for It is realized only by itself. Hence the Self Itself is the supreme Brahman and nothing else.”
o “You are neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor air, nor space. In order to attain liberation, know the Self as the witness of all these and as consciousness itself”. ----- (Sage Astavarka to Janaka)
o The eternal Atman, which—through the changes of waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep, Through childhood, youth, maturity, and old age — Persists as the inexhaustible flow of consciousness, Revealing Itself in the heart as the ever present sense of "I." --- Sri Adi Sankara , (~Hymn to Sri Dakshinamurti, Nikhilananda.)
o Tat Tvam Asi - That You Are: Man is essentially Divine. He is not different from that eternal, non-dual substratum, Existence-Knowledge- Bliss Absolute.
o “Let erudite scholars quote all the scripture, let gods be invoked through sacrifices, let elaborate rituals be performed, let personal gods be propitiated---yet, without the realization of one‘s identity with the Self, there shall be no liberation for the individual, not even in the life times of a hundred Brahmas put together.” ------- Sri Adi Sankara (Viveka chudamani).
o “A father has his sons and others to save him from his financial debts, but there is no one other than oneself to redeem one from one‘s bondage.” ------- Sri Adi Sankara (Viveka chudamani).
o “The world itself shines as Brahman when the veil of ignorance is torn down by the dawn of Knowledge of the Imperishable. See Brahman in your Guru, Brahman in the world, Brahman in everything. In reality there is no creation. The world itself is an appearance of Brahman. The world is superimposed upon Brahman.” ---- Swami Sivananda.
o “The purpose of life is the realization of one’s own essential nature. It is to know that you are the pure ever-free Atman.” ---- Swami Sivananda.
o “That one is consciousness, and you are that consciousness, you are that atman, you are that Brahman. Self is within.”; “Self is within, Self is without.” --- (Swami Swaroopananda).
o “Essence can exist without the form, but form cannot exist without the essence.” ---- (Swami Swaroopananda).
o “My own existence, ‘astitva’, does not need any proof; it is self-evident, ‘svataḥ-siddha’. This awareness of our own existence comes from the Atman in us.” ----- (Swami Bhajanananda)
o “Ignorance is the cause of all our misery and suffering, and ignorance exists because of non-discrimination. When we take the unreal for the real and cling to it, we become disappointed and thus suffer”. ----- (Swami Paramananda)
o “There is no greater mystery than this, that we keep seeking reality though in fact we are reality. We think that there is something hiding reality and that this must be destroyed before reality is gained. How ridiculous! A day will dawn when you will laugh at all your past efforts. That which will be on the day you laugh is also here and now. Realization is getting rid of the delusion that you haven't realized.” (Talks with RamanaMaharshi)
o “Now how do you stop being, Mr. so and so? By ceasing to believe that you are. What is this belief? Egotism, nothing else: an egotism which is asserted and reinforced by hundreds of your daily actions. Every time you desire, or fear, or hate; every time you boast or indulge your vanity; every time you struggle to get something for yourself, you are really asserting: 'I am a separate, unique individual. I stand apart from everything else in this universe. But you don't.” ---- Christopher Isherwood.
Some Analogies; (Swami Sivananda)
o Analogy of ether in a pot: There is the great Ether or the Mahakasa pervading the whole universe and there is the same ether inside a jar also. But the ether in a jar can be differentiated from the great ether on account of the ether being enclosed and contained by the jar. But the ether is in no way affected even in the least by the partitions made by the walls of the jar. When the jar is broken the ether in the jar becomes one with the great ether, having undergone no change at any time. Even so, the Atman in the individual is partitioned by the mind and the body, but, in reality, it is one with the great Paramatman, the Supreme Soul. When the body is broken and the mind is destroyed the Atman becomes one with the Supreme Brahman, having undergone no change due to the appearance of the mind and the body, the products of Avidya or Upadhi or ignorance.
o Analogy of the burnt cloth: If a cloth is burnt you will see, even afterwards, that there is the same form of the cloth appearing. But when touched with the hand even slightly, it is reduced to ashes. Even so is the body of the Jnani or the Jivanmukta. He does possess a body, but it is like the burnt cloth. It only appears, but it has no reality. It is burnt by the fire of Wisdom and there is no ego to sustain it. The Jnani is untouched by worldly taints and leaving that appearance of a body he attains Sadyo-Mukti or Kaivalya-Mukti.
o Analogy of Butter In Milk: Butter or ghee exists in milk. But where is it? It cannot be perceived. But it is present everywhere in milk, in each and every drop of milk. There is no particle of milk where butter or ghee is not present. In the same manner Brahman is present everywhere; and there is no speck of space where Brahman is not. But Brahman cannot be perceived and It seems to be nowhere. It is the very essence of cream of existence, but It is nowhere to the eyes of a worldly-minded man. This illustrates the omnipresence of Brahman.
o Analogy of The Chameleon: The chameleon is an animal which changes its colour at any time according to the colour of the surface it moves on. A person who has seen the chameleon when it is assuming the colour red says that the chameleon is red. But the other one who has seen it only when it is assuming the colour green says that the chameleon is green. But a person who has watched the chameleon all along, carefully, under the tree, knows all its colours, and does not have any more doubts. This is to illustrate that people who have only a partial understanding of the Nature of God quarrel among themselves that this is right and this is wrong, God is like this, God is like that, etc. But a Brahma-Jnani who has calmly watched the nature of the whole existence knows its true nature and does not have any more doubts regarding the nature of the Absolute.
o Analogy of Tree (Vivekachudamani).
Ignorance is the seed of the tree of samsara, the worldy existence. Body-identification is the sprout, desires are its tender leaves, actions are its water, the body is the trunk, the Pranas are its branches, the sense-organs are its twigs, the sense-objects are its flowers, different miseries born out of the varieties of actions are the fruits and the individual soul is the bird perched upon it.
The Story Of Virochana:
Once Indra and Virochana approached Prajapati to learn Atma Vidya. They underwent the rigorous discipline of discipleship for a period of thirty-two years. Thereafter Prajapati addressed them: “Look at yourselves in a cup of water and then whatever you do not understand about your Self, come and ask me.”
After doing so they replied: “We see ourselves as we are.”
Prajapati then asked them to adorn themselves with the best of clothes and look again in the water. They did so, and reported to Prajapati what they beheld of themselves.
Hearing that Prajapati said: “That is the Self, the immortal Self.”
They both went away to their respective abodes fully satisfied about the Vidya they had received. Prajapati said to Himself: “They both go away without having perceived and without having known the Truth or the Self, and whoever of these two, whether the Devas or the Asuras, will follow this doctrine will perish.”
Virochana with a satisfied heart preached among his followers: The self (body) alone is to be worshipped, and so on. But Indra, before he returned to the Devas, experienced difficulty in getting convinced about the doctrine that the body is the Self. So he went back to Prajapati and after a second period of thirty-two years’ discipleship learnt that the dreaming self is the true Self. Being dissatisfied still, he was told that the self in Sleep is the true Self, finally, after an austerity of one hundred and one years, he learnt that the real Self is above all individualistic implications.
“There is no birth, no death, no bondage, no spiritual aspirant, no seeker after liberation, no one liberated. This is the ultimate Truth.” ----- Vivekachudamani (Sri Adi Sankara)
न मे द्वेषरागौ न मे लोभमोहौ
मदो नैव मे नैव मात्सर्यभावः ।
न धर्मो न चार्थो न कामो न मोक्षः
चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ॥३॥
Na Me Dvessa-Raagau Na Me Lobha-Mohau
Mado Naiva Me Naiva Maatsarya-Bhaavah |
Na Dharmo Na Ca-Artho Na Kaamo Na Mokssah
Cid-Aananda-Ruupah Shivo[a-A]ham Shivo[a-A]ham ||3||
Neither do I have Hatred, nor Attachment, Neither Greed nor Infatuation,
Neither do I have Passion, nor Feelings of Envy and Jealousy,
I am Not within the bounds of Dharma (Righteousness), Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desire) and Moksha (Liberation) (the four Purusarthas of life),
I am the Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness; I am Shiva, I am Shiva,
The Ever Pure Blissful Consciousness. ||3||