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World is Unreal-II

by Swami Sivananda

Four kinds of objects are seen in this unive

1. Objects which have names only.
2. Objects which have names and forms only.
3. Objects which have names and forms and are fit for worldly Vyavahara.

4.Eternal, unchanging, imperishable, homogeneous Vastu which exists in the three periods of time.

Examples of the above are:

1. Vandhya-putra (barren woman's son), Sasasringa (horns of a hare), Gaganaravinda (lotus in the sky).

2. Rajju Sarpa (snake in the rope), Suktirajata (silver in the mother-of-pearl), Marumarichika or Mriga-trishna (water in the mirage), blueness in the sky, Gandharvanagara (city in the clouds), Svapna-prapancha (dream objects). These have names and forms; when you go near them or when you wake up from the dream they vanish.

3. Ghata (pot), Pata (cloth), etc., have names and forms. They are useful for keeping water and wearing. When you go near them you see them, they appear to exist. But when they are destroyed they have no existence.

4. Atman or the Inner Self alone exists at all times. It is unchanging.
Objects of the first kind are called Asat Vastus. Objects of the second kind are called Mithya Vastus. Objects of the third kind are called Vyavaharika Vastus. The fourth kind is called Paramarthika Vastu.

Worldly-minded, ignorant persons are charmed and deluded by the products of Maya. They lose their understanding on account of the force of Maya or Avidya and indulge themselves in sensual objects and perish without realising the Atman or Paramarthavastu. The worldly objects are also unreal. If you think deeply and do Vichara (enquiry), the world with its manifold, multi coloured objects will appear as a long dream only. The object which appears for a short period only like the snake in the rope but does not exist in reality is only a Mithya object.

For the Ajnanis or the worldly-minded persons the sensual objects are quite real. For the sages or those who are endowed with discrimination and enquiry they are unreal.

Whatever you see is false. There is no doubt in this. The deer see water in the mirage when the sun is hot. They run towards the mirage for drinking water. They do not find any water there. The boy runs to take a piece of silver when there is bright sun. When he goes near the silver he does not find any silver. He finds only the mother-of-pearl. When a girl goes to bring water at night she sees a snake on her way and gets frightened. She takes a light to see the snake but finds only a rope. There is no snake there. A young man embraces a girl in his dream and experiences actual discharge of semen. When he wakes up he does not find a girl. You behold blueness in the sky. The sky appears as a blue dome. When one moves in the aeroplane in the sky he does not find any blue dome but the blue dome appears at a distance. Whatever you see does not really exist. They are mere illusory appearances like the objects in a dream. But the seer exists when the objects appear and disappear.

In the dream state big mountains, elephants, cities, big rivers, etc., are seen within a minute Nadi called Hitanadi that is located in the throat. There is no space in the minute Nadi for these big things to remain there. Hence the dream objects are false or illusory.

A very big tree grows out of a tiny seed. A big body springs from a tiny drop of semen. Water condenses itself and forms a big block of ice. The objects that appear in the waking state are also false.

In the dream you witness the events of several years within a few minutes. Within a day of Brahma thousand Chaturyugas pass for us. Within the day of a Deva six months pass for us. Within the time taken by a huge mountain snake for a second meal, man takes his meals a hundred times. Within the time taken by a child to develop itself in the womb, small insects take time to generate crores of their progeny. A happy man spends one night like a minute whereas a man who is drowned in grief spends one night like several years. Hence time also does not appear to be the same at all times for all. The objects that appear and perish in time are illusory.

The thing seen by you in your dream is not seen in the same place and in the same manner in the waking state. In the same manner one man says that Mr. X is a good man. The same man appears as a bad man for another.

The objects seen in a dream do not exist correctly in the waking state. The objects seen in the waking state appear different even in the waking state. In the dream state you do not recollect the things of the waking state. You do not recollect in the dreaming state I saw such and such objects in the waking state. I do not see them now. Therefore the objects of the waking state are more false than the objects of the dream. Srutis and sages declare that the objects of the world are as false as the objects of the dream. They call the world Deergha Svapna or a long dream.

That which does not exist in the beginning and in the end does not really exist in the middle also. It is unreal. The snake that is found in the rope at night does not exist when a lamp is brought. It appears in the middle only. Such is the case with silver in the mother-of-pearl, water in the mirage, city in the clouds, etc. Therefore they are unreal even when they appear. The dream objects also do not exist in the daytime. Similarly the objects of this world appear in the middle only. Hence they are unreal.

An objector says, The food and drink that you take in the waking state give you satisfaction. But hunger is not appeased by the food taken in dream. Therefore the objects of the dream are false. The objects of the waking state are true. A man who goes to sleep after taking a sumptuous meal in the waking state suffers from the pangs of hunger in the dream. He who enjoys a good feast in the dream becomes very hungry as soon as he wakes up. Similarly the results of actions done in the waking state are not seen in the dream and vice versa. Therefore waking state is as false as dream.

An objector says, A man dreams that he has four hands and that he is flying in the air. Is this not false? Jagrat state is not like this. Therefore it is true. A man obtains the birth of a Deva or animal or a bird on account of his Karmas. He becomes Indra with thousand hands in the waking state. He becomes a bird and flies in the air in the waking state. He becomes an animal with four legs, a centipede with hundred feet or a snake without feet. Therefore waking state and dream state are same. Just as in dream some objects are false, some are true, so also in waking state some objects like the snake in the rope are false, some like jar, cloth are true. The objects of the dream and waking state are not so absolutely true as Atman or Brahman.

The sun, the moon and the stars appear as round, flat and small. They appear to move slowly in the sky. But in reality they are not attached to anything. They are not flat. They do not move from east to west. They remain in one place. Each planet is several times bigger than the earth. The earth also appears to be flat. Therefore things are not as they appear to be. The visibles are illusory. studied twenty years ago. When you begin to enquire the same professors are not there. The same building also is not there. The small old building that was in the back was demolished and a new building is constructed now. There is only the old name of the college. Still the officer imagines This is the college in which I studied. This is his pure mental Kalpana only.

Similarly the cells and atoms in the body of a man are ever changing. Constructive and destructive processes are ever going on in the different systems of the body. Within seven years the body is entirely built of new cells. He has a different body altogether. Still the son says, This is my same father who lived ten years ago. Is this not false?

If Govinda asks Rama, Whose house is this? Rama replies, This is my house. Rama sells his house to Krishna. If anybody asks Rama again, Whose house is this? he says, This house is not mine. It belongs to Krishna. Now Krishna says, This is my house. The house remains the same. But different owners say, This is mine. This is mine. From this it is quite clear that ownership is only a mental Kalpana.

A man sits over the treasure hidden by his grandfather and says, I am a poor man. I have not even a single pie. A rich man is sitting in the verandah of his own house. A thief comes through the back door and removes all the wealth. A Sannyasi comes to the rich man and asks for donation for building an Ashram. He agrees to pay Rs. 10,000. The first man who thinks that he is poor and the second man who thinks that he is rich are nothing but the results of mere mental imagination.

In the cinema some pictures in the film are rolling behind. But the pictures are seen talking and dancing on the empty screen. Even so the forms appear and disappear in this world. They are illusory.

When you look at the clouds in the west just before sunset the sky appears to be red. Within a few minutes the red colour disappears and yellow colour is seen. The yellow colour vanishes and then green colour is seen. Within a few minutes the green colour also disappears and blue colour is seen. Later on a blending of several colours is seen. What is the cause for this? In reality there is no colour in the clouds. There are seven colours in the light or rays of the sun. The white light is composed of seven colours. The seven colours pass through the clouds. The layers and the atoms of the clouds are arranged in different layers by the force of the wind. When the seven colours pass through the clouds, six colours penetrate through the clouds. The red colour is obstructed and reflected in the clouds. So you see red colour. In another layer of clouds yellow colour is obstructed. Then you see yellow colour. In the prism and the rainbow you behold the colours of the sun's rays only. What is the cause for our not seeing anything at night? Because there is no colour in any object. We can see only those objects which have colour. The rays of the sun penetrate the objects in the daytime. Each object has its layers of particles or atoms arranged in different manner. Each object splits the white colour into its seven components, absorbs certain colours and throws out a certain colour. The rejected colour forms the colour of the object. Then we say that such and such object has such and such colour. In reality an object has no colour but we say that This is green leaf. This is blue cloth. This is red stone. This is all illusory or false.

One object gives pleasure to a man. The same object gives pain to another man. One man dislikes milk. Another man likes milk immensely. Women like men. Men like women. Camels are fond of bitter neem leaves. Man dislikes neem leaves. Devas like days. Asuras like nights. In reality no object is a means for pleasure or pain. It is all mental imagination only.

What is a cloth made up of? Of threads. What was in the beginning before the cloth was made? Thread. What will be left if this cloth is separated of its parts? Thread only. What is there in the beginning, middle and end? Thread. When did the cloth manifest? In the middle. Is there any cloth independent of threads? No. If this is so, what came in the middle? The form of a cloth and the name of a cloth. When there is no such thing as cloth in reality, how did the name and form of a cloth come? Cloth is false or illusory. Thread only is real. But thread is nothing but cotton. Before the thread was formed, and after the destruction of thread, and even when the thread appears it is all cotton only. Thread is only false.

Similarly all products are false. Pot is false. Clay only exists in the three periods of time. Water is only a combination of two parts of Hydrogen gas and one part of Oxygen gas. There is no water independent of these two gases. Water is false and illusory. If oxygen exists independently without admixture with hydrogen gas the whole world will be burnt in no time. Oxygen is only another form of fire. The Upanishads declare that fire sprang from air, and water from fire.

Saturn, Venus, Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter and other planets move round the earth. The stars that you see are many times bigger than the sun. There are countless stars and suns which are not visible to us. When such is the truth we believe in the existence of this small world only. Is this not false?

Atoms revolve round atoms with tremendous velocity. A small block of stone is a collection of countless atoms. But to our sight the stone appears as one immovable object. Every object is a mass of moving atoms.

In solid objects the atoms revolve in a smaller circle. In liquid objects they revolve in an expanded circle. In air the atoms move very freely. If a piece of lead is melted, the atoms move very freely. If we heat water the atoms of the water move much more freely. The water becomes changed into vapour.

When a bamboo rubs against another bamboo in the forest, the atoms in the bamboos begin to rotate with great speed. Fire is generated. Fire is nothing but rotation of atoms with tremendous velocity. If you hold a piece of paper in a flame, the atoms of the paper which are revolving with a small speed begin to revolve with a tremendous velocity. The atoms of the paper assume the shape of fire. Then we say that the paper burns. When any portion of the body comes in contact with fire, the atoms in the skin and the subcutaneous tissue begin to rotate with tremendous velocity. Then we say that the body is burnt. Mind also is a collection or bundle of subtle atoms. This mind is always attached to the body. When the atoms of the burnt part begin to rotate with great speed the mind also revolves with great velocity. The rotation of the mind with great speed or the agitated state of the mind is pain. The serene state of mind is happiness. Fire, heat, pain are all different states of subtle atoms. Therefore all these are false only. All the visible objects are made up of elements or root substances. by the quintuplication of the elements countless objects are produced. The root elements also are nothing but combination of atoms. The atoms are arranged in different layers. So there are various elements according to the arrangement of the layers. The root elements are false when you look into the atoms. These atoms are made up of Paramanus or positive electrons and negative electrons. There are no atoms independent of electrons. With reference to Paramanus the atoms are also false. The Paramanus are nothing different from the Akasa or ether. Paramanus are Amsas of ether. All objects are nothing but Akasa. All objects other than Akasa are false. Akasa also is born of Atman or Brahman or the Supreme Self. Therefore the Atman which is all-pervading, which is Satchidananda, which is your own Svarupa or essential nature is the only Reality or Truth. All visibles are false and illusory. This is the emphatic declaration of the Upanishads.

Things are not as they appear to be. Why? You do not see the objects outside. The eyes cannot see objects. If the eyes can really see objects then the eyes should see the air and the ether. The eyes should see objects at night also. Even in the dark there are objects. Air and ether are objects. Why are they not seen in the dark?

If the eyes cannot see objects why do people say, The mountain in front of you is very high. The elephant is very big. This small cat runs. ? You see only the colours. But you think you are seeing the objects. In reality you do not see the objects. You take a round object that is at a distance for a flat one. When you see a coloured drawing in a wall you think that a picture is hung on the wall. If the eyes see an object why does this mistake occur? As the eyes see the colours only this wrong perception occurs.

As soon as the colours fall on the eyes which are shining like a glass they strike against the retina. The eyes assume the form of the colours. Just as the water of a lake that enters agricultural fields assumes a triangular, circular or rectangular form according to the shape of the plot, so also the mind mixes or enters the organ of sight and assumes the form of the organ and the objects. The ignorant Jiva experiences the form of the mind or the Vishaya. Similarly the mind assumes the form of the ear and other senses and the Jiva experiences the form of the mind or the Vishaya.

Mark here now. The outside objects are colourless. The colour that is not allowed to penetrate into the object is reflected. It falls on the retina. The eye assumes the form of the colour. Then the mind assumes the form of the Indriya. The Jiva knows or experiences this. Where is the object? What does the Jiva experience? It passes from the organ to the mind and thence to the Jiva. It passes through different hands or gates. Hence whatever is experienced by one is all false or illusory.

Whether objects exist outside or not, God only knows. They do not produce anything in man. The objects created by the mind cause pleasure and pain. It is the mental Kalpana or imagination that generates pleasure and pain. Lust, greed, delusion, pride do not exist outside. They are in the mind. They do not really exist. It is the mind that assumes these modifications. Through these man gets immense pain. The mind imagines and thinks, There is a beautiful object outside. Will I be able to get and possess this? A Sankalpa arises in the mind. Then the heart of the man melts. He thinks of the object constantly. At night a branch of the tree moves to and fro. One man takes it for a ghost and is frightened. He feels he is beaten by the ghost, vomits blood and dies. Everything is mental Kalpana and false. You are not aware of the illusory nature of this world and body. So you are caught in the Samsaric wheel of births and deaths.

Atman is the only Reality. It is eternal. It is Satchidananda Svarupa. Just as a wave arises in the ocean, so also a wave arises in Atman or Brahman. That wave is mind. That which appears through mental Kalpana is world which gives pain and births and deaths. The source or birth-place for mind is Atman. If there is no mind, there is no world. The birth-place for the world is mind. There is no mind apart from Atman. There is no world apart from mind. Between the world and Atman is the mind. It is in the middle. If the mind wanders, the painful and illusory world appears. If the mind is peaceful and settles down in its source you will realise Satchidananda Atman. To conquer mind you are in need of the grace of the Lord and Guru.

You should subdue the mind through devotion to Guru and the Lord. God is Prakasa Svarupa of Atman. Guru is Anugraharupa of God. Obtain the grace of the Lord through devotion unto Him. You will get a Guru through Lord's grace. Yon will be able to know the nature of Brahman and to control mind through the Guru's instructions and grace. Follow his instructions implicitly with faith and devotion. Serve him wholeheartedly and rest in Satchidananda Svarupa.

The objector may say, As everything is illusory and false save Atman, God and Guru are also false. How can you obtain any benefit from the false God and Guru? Whatever that is said here is also false. How can one attain the supreme good by believing all these false things?

Just as you remove a thorn by a thorn, just as you remove the dirt in the cloth by another dirt the salt-earth, just as, you cut the iron by another iron only, so also you will have to take recourse to another false object to destroy all these false objects. A false object in the dream produces real fear and wakes you up. Sometimes whatever you see in a dream turns out to be true. Although God and Guru are not so real as Brahman, they are boats to help you to cross this Samsara or ocean of births and deaths. Without their grace you cannot attain immortality and eternal bliss.

Atma Svarup! Brahman alone really exists. Jiva and world are false. This little 'I' is false. Rise above names and forms. Kill this little illusory egoism. Go beyond Maya. Annihilate Avidya. Practise Brahma-chintana constantly and rest in your essential Satchidananda Svarupa.

This world is unreal when compared to Brahman. It is a solid reality for a passionate worldly man. It exists like a burnt cloth for a Jivanmukta. It does not exist at all for a Videhamukta who is above body consciousness. For a Viveki or a man of discrimination it has lost its charm and attraction. You should not try to leave the world and enter into the forest because you have now understood that it is unreal. You will be ruined if you enter the forest without proper qualifications. You should be established in the conviction that the world is unreal and Brahman is real. This will help you to develop Vairagya and a strong yearning for liberation. Remain in the world but be not worldly. Strive for liberation while remaining in the world.

Friends! Do not misunderstand the Mayavada and Ajata-vada. Acquire the fourfold means of salvation, approach a Sadguru and hear the Sastras. Understand the correct import of their meaning. Reflect. Meditate and realise.

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