- Religion and Philosophy
Is everything Illusion?
What is this Illusion?
The topic has been chosen but i am a little bewildered. Yes, this is the highest philosophy explaining the principle of non dualism. Adhi Sankara, an advaitin and recluse has propagated the philosophy of 'monism'. He belongs to the seventh century. He lived hardly for 32 years. But during the short period of his life, he not only mastered all the scriptures of Hindu philosophy, he has written commentaries for many religious texts. Greatest amongst is the commentary for Bagawat Gita. By the time he completed his 16th year, there was nothing more to learn! Hence he started going around the length and breadth of the country to propagate his philosophy. He engaged many of the religious preachers into discussion and proved that the non-dual philosophy is the only philosophy which stands to any scrutiny.
Now let us examine the fundamental philosophy of non-duality. The foremost statement is, "There is ONLY ONE and there is no second at all. If we perceive second, then "Maya" or illusory power is in action. What is "Illusion"? How it affects beings. Illusion hides the real and superimposes some other thing over the Real. For instance Reality is ONE, but illusion makes us believe that there is multiplicity! There is a statement; "Cows are many but milk is One, Beings are many but humanity is One. There is UNITY behind the seeming diversity. We perceive things through the sensory organs. Now eyes can see but it can not hear! Ears can hear but can not see. Likewise all the sensory organs can perceive only one aspect in the external world. These sensory inputs are taken in and we conceive some idea! To illustrate this further, "Seven blind men happened to come across an Elephant. All are fully blind. One man touched the ears of the elephant and exclaimed that the elephant is a big fan. The other blind man touched the leg of the elephant and said that the elephant is like a big pillar. One man touched its tail and said it is like a broom. The fourth one touched the stomach and said that the elephant is like a big wall. The last one touched the trunk and said it is like a pipe. A passerby who has good vision has said, "all your assumptions are wrong. The elephant is a big animal. Each of you have touched only a part and hence you could not comprehend it being blind!. Now the perception of human beings about the world is like the seven blind man trying to comprehend the elephant. How this illusion enters the mind? For instance when the twilight has set, one man walks on the road and finds a snake in the middle of the road. He stops there due to fear. Another man comes there with a torch light. To see the snake he focus the torch light and find it is not a snake but a coir rope. Now seeing a snake is an illusion. The reality is 'coir rope'. Hence the reality is hidden by the idea of a snake and this illusion is superimposed. This is how view the external world. The non dual philosophy states that the seeming external world is a function of Mind and it is an illusion. In the night, we go to sleep and dream. In the dream, we visualize many things and move around and undergo actual feelings. But they were not real but the manipulations of the Mind. You have not stirred out from the bed. But you have moved out, travelled and met many people and interacted with them. During dreaming state, every thing look so real but once you wake up, you realize that the experience is pure illusion! When this is our own experience, how we can rely upon the mind which is capable of creating a day dream also? When we wake up in the self, we will understand that this worldly experience is also a big Dream! Rest in next hub.