IS THE ONLY REALITY
or Consciousness is the only reality.
Consciousness plus waking we call waking.
plus sleep we call sleep.
plus dream we call dream.
Consciousness is the screen on which all the pictures come
screen is real, the pictures are mere shadows on it.
The Self (consciousness) and appearances therein as the snake in
the rope can be well illustrated like this.
is a screen (of consciousness, awareness, Beingness, existence).
that screen first appears the figure of a king. He sits on a
throne. Then before him on that same screen a play begins with
various figures and objects and the king on the screen watches
the play on the same screen.
The seer (subject) and the seen (objects of perception)
are mere shadows (projected appearances) on the screen (consciousness) which
is the only reality (substratum) supporting all the pictures.
the world also, the seer and the seen together constitute the
mind, and the mind is supported by or based upon the Self (consciousness).
The ajata school of Advaita (non-duality) says "Nothing
exists except the one reality (awareness, Beingness, consciousness,
existence). There is no birth or death, no projection or drawing
in, no sadhaka (practiser), no mimikshu (one who desires to be
liberated), no mukta (one who is liberated), no bondage, no liberation.
The One unity alone exists forever."
To such as find it difficult to grasp this truth and ask "How
can we ignore this solid world we see all around us?" the
dream experience is pointed out and they are told: "All
that you see depends on the seer (subject). Apart from the seer
there is no seen (object to perceive)."
is called drishti-srishti vada or the argument
that one first creates out of his mind and then sees
what his mind itself has created.
To such as cannot grasp even this and who further argue "The
dream experience is so short, while the world always exists. The
dream experience was limited to me. But the world is felt and seen
not only by me but by so many and we cannot call such a world non-existent."
such srishti-drishti vada is addressed and they
are told "God first created such and such an element and
then something else and so forth." (This is the insight
that all forms of creation are the result of a finer cause which
in turn are the effects of a still finer cause, etc).
That alone will satisfy them. Their mind is not otherwise satisfied
and they ask themselves "How can all geography, all maps,
all sciences, stars, planets and the rules governing or relating
to them, and all knowledge be totally untrue?"
To such it is best to say "Yes, God created all this and so
you see it." All these (explanations) are only to
suit the capacity of the hearers.
Absolute (consciousness) can only be One (since nothing else
There is first the white light, so to call it of the Self (consciousness)
which transcends both light and darkness. In it no object can be
is neither seer (subject) nor seen (object to perceive).
there is total darkness or avidya (lack of awareness of reality)
in which also no objects are seen.
from the Self (consciousness) proceeds a reflected light, the
light of pure manas (mind), and it is this light which gives
room for the existence of all the film of the world which is
seen neither in total light nor in total darkness, but only in
subdued or reflected light.
From the point of view of jnana (knowledge) or the reality, the
pain seen in the world is certainly a dream as is the world of
which any particular pain like hunger you refer to is infinitesimal part. In
the dream also you yourself feel hunger. You see others suffering
from hunger. You feed yourself and moved by pity feed the others
whom you find suffering from hunger.
So long as the dream lasted all those pains were quite as real
as you now think the pain in the world to be. It was only
when you woke up that you discovered that the pain in the dream
might have eaten to the full and gone to sleep. You dream that
you work hard and long in the hot sun all day, and are tired
and hungry and want to eat a lot. Then you wake up and find your
stomach is full and you have not stirred out of your bed.
all this is not to say that while you in the dream you can
act as if the pain you feel there is not real. The hunger in the dream has to assuaged by the food in that
can never mix up the two states, the dream and the waking state.
Till you reach the state of jnana (realize consciousness to
be the sole reality) and thus wake out of maya (the world
illusion) you must do social service by relieving suffering whenever
you see it. But even then you must do it without ahamkara - the
sense of 'I am the doer' but with the feeling 'I am the Lord's
one must not be conceited 'I am helping a man below me. He needs
help. I am in a position to help. I am superior and he is inferior.' But
you must help the man as a means of worshipping God (consciousness)
in that man.
All such service too is for the Self (consciousness) and
not for anybody else. You are not helping anybody else,
but only yourself (inner awareness which is consciousness).
Giving to others is really giving to oneself (consciousness).
If one knows this truth, would one ever remain without
The above insights
of Sri Ramana (1879 - 1950), are known among spiritual seekers
the world over and prized for their great inspirational power,
which transcends all religious differences.
scholarly circles in the spiritual community of India, Sri Ramana is
considered the most important mystic on the world stage during
the 20th century because of the unprecedented timeliness of his
emphasis on self-inquiry for direct Self-realization (of one's
true nature). At
the age of 17 he attained a profound experience of the true
infinite Self without the guidance of a Guru and thereafter remained
conscious of his identity with the Infinite at all times.
some years of silent seclusion he finally began to reply to questions
put to him by spiritual seekers all over the world. He followed
no particular path or traditional system of teaching, but rather
spoke directly from his own experience of non-duality. Sri
Ramana wrote virtually nothing; his teaching took the form of
conversations with visitors seeking his guidance (as transcribed