viSvam paSyati kArya-kAraNatayA sva-svAmi-sambandhataH
SishyAcAryatayA tathaiva pitR-putrAtmanA bhedataH /
svapne jAgrati vA ya esha purusho maYA-paribhrAmitaH
tasmai SrI-guru-mUrtaye nama idaM SrI-dakshiNA-mUrtaye //
To The Self who, deluded by mAyA, sees, in dreaming and waking, the universe
in its distinctions, such as cause and effect, property and proprietor
disciple and teacher, and father and son, to Him of the form of the Guru,
(of the whole Universe) the blessed dakshinA-mUrti, is this prostration.
All our relationships in the mundane world are only manifestations of the
same Ultimate, just as in dream the same mind produces multifarious
characters and relationships which are all unreal though they appear as
totally real within the dream. Even in the waking state what appears as the
multiplicity is actually a manifestation of the Unity at the base. The
natural question that this may raise is the following: If the relationship
of guru and disciple does not have an absolute reality then how do you
expect it to give an absolute knowledge of Truth. But recall how using the
unreal reflections in a mirror we wipe off the dirt in our face.So also the
philosophical teaching done in the phenomenal state does produce the
knowledge of Reality in the Absolute sense.
The familiar method of giving analogies to everything in Vedanta in order to
bring home the point has been very effectively used here by our ancient
masters. Actions done in a dream do have real effects outside of the dream.
For example, a man may
have a wet dream.
The worldly relationships are therefore neither true nor false ; they are
what is called an indescribable (anirvacanIya). That is exactly what mAyA
is. Since it appears it is not totally unreal. Since it vanishes at the
onset of Enlightenment, it is not totally real. That is why it is neither
sat nor asat.
There is a beautiful analogy from the mathematical world for this. There are
several levels of infinity in Mathematics. The lowest level of infinity is
that of the set of numbers 1,2,3, ... . A higher (larger) level of infinity
is that of all points on any line segment. It is a difficult proposition to
decide whether this higher level is really the next higher level or whether
there is another level of infinity in between. That there is no such
intermediate level was conjectured for long. In the thirties Godel proved
that this conjecture cannot be disproved. In the sixties Cohen proved that
it cannot also be proved. Thus this conjecture has got the famous stature
of an 'undecidable' proposition in Mathematics.This undecidability is the
status of mAyA in vedanta.
When the Enlightenment sets in all this world of multiplicity is shown to be
only our mental construct. That is why the scriptures require us to
'sacrifice in the fire offering the Ego of the Self ', so that the Self
aham-eva-aham mAm juhomi svAhA /
yajur-veda, taittirIya AraNyaka, nArAyana-Upanishad.
Commentary and translation by Prof V Krishnamurthy
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