Ignorance of our real identity!
Advaita philosophy and Ramana maharishi
Every thing is a grand illusion created by the mind!
Our perceptions of ourselves and the world around needs greater introspection. We miserably rely upon the mind and sensory perceptions. Has anybody proved that the mind is a guide to human beings? Mind is really an interface between the world and the individual. In fact, without the mind, man can never cognize the world around him. The brain acts as a processor but the mind is like the monitor where we read the output! In computer parlance sensory inputs are processed at the level of brain but the brain is incapable of knowing. Mind has enormous power. It hides the real, project a false one in place of real. How can we believe on the mind which plays illusory games and makes us believe the same? Above the mind, there is intellect or "Buddhi", which has got the capacity to differentiate between the real and illusion. Unfortunately, people all over the globe believe in the sensory mind instead of the intellect granted to human beings. People desire for pleasant rather than the good. This is termed as "Preyas and sreyas" in the scriptures. Preyas denotes the pleasures to our liking whereas sreyas denotes the goodness for the uplift of human conscious.
We might have heard about the terms 'atma' or 'self'. But we consider the self as the body which comes in the middle and depart in the middle. But the self within all beings prevails over the death of the physical cover called 'body'. The mind sadly depends on the body and body conscious, which breeds the ego. If someone scold us, immediately we get anger. Why? It is because, we consider ourselves as the bodies with a name and form. When the bodies takes birth, they do not come with a name label. It is given subsequently by the parents for identity and living in this world. There is no 'nameless' person in this world. Every one bear a clear name. When some one asks, "who are you?, we retort immediately that I am John, or Jacob or James, the name given by our parents. Bagawan Ramana Maharishi clarifies this point. He says, "You are neither the body or mind or intellect or the senses or sensual urges! You are none of this. You are the eternal witness, ever present everywhere!
I will give a small example! A boy cries over the dead body of his dear mother. He cries, "oh! mother!, where you have gone? A wise man who happens to pass by the place enters the house, hearing the pathetic cries of the boy!. He asks the boy, "what happened? The boy points out the dead body of his mother and says, 'his mother has left him'. The wise man asks him, "you say that your mother has left you. But her body is here in front of you, how can you say, she has left you. All along, you are considering this body which is lying here as 'your mother'. Now she died'. What has left? he asks the boy! This set the boy thinking! He says 'the life principle or breath has left her. The wise man clarifies that this life principle or breath is common to all. When it leaves the body, we call it death and bury the body, which was revered lovingly so long. This life principle is worthy of reverence though we call it differently!
This is the basic philosophy enshrined in the scriptures of India. The same point has been emphasized by Jesus when he said, "I and My Father are One. Here, he is not referring to the perishable body. He talks about the "Self within". Everyone knows that man borns in this world, stay for some period and leave the world one day. When we deeply think over this fact, we will be aware that these are like passing clouds and the sky is the 'eternal base in which many things happen but the sky is absolutely unaffected. A speeding jet leaves a trail of white smoke on the sky. In a few minutes, the smoke vanishes and we find that there is no trail of the movement of jet. Every thing in this world changes every moment but the sky or space is absolutely unaffected. Many galaxies are in the sky. The sky accommodates every conceivable thing in the world as well of multitudes of planets, stars, asteroids etc. Many accidents happen, even bombs are hurled like the one hurled during world war. Two cities were destroyed. Has it affected the sky? No, the sky accommodates every thing but at the same time unconcerned! In the like manner, the creator has created everything out of nowhere, sustain them for a while and absorb them back as the spider weaves a web, leave it for some time and absorb it back in its mouth. Hence, the world and the perceptions are mere illusions. Only the Self remains eternally witnessing all this! This is the basic philosophy of Advaita. Advaita says, One alone IS. There is no other!
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