Monday, 10 September 2012


A.Mental images are nothing but thoughts in the mind. If someone says a word ‘cow’, immediately an image of a cow is brought in from the memory, even when there is no cow outside. The name cow and the image cow are now intimately associated with each other, as both are stored in memory.

B.Thought is like a wave in my consciousness – a name for a form. Thoughts arise in my consciousness, are sustained by my consciousness and go back into my consciousness. But consciousness is unaffected by the observed thought.

C.We have an absolute truth which is Brahman and we have relative errors: the one at the collective level (macro level) is called vyAvahArika satyam and the other at individual level called prAtibhAsika satyam. The error of the snake is at the individual level and we can call the snake a ‘subjective objectification’ or ‘I see it, therefore it is’ – I see a snake there and therefore it is a snake. The error at the collective level we can call ‘collective objectification’ or ‘it is, therefore I see it’. Even if I know that there is no real water in the mirage water, I still seem to see it, since the effects that caused the mirage did not disappear with the knowledge. The same analysis applies to the sunrise and sunset since the source of the error is not eliminated with the knowledge that the sun neither rises nor sets.What is recognized is that the plurality is only apparent and apparent plurality is not reality. The person who has gained that knowledge is called a jIvanmukta. By analogy, a scientist, knowing very well that everything is nothing but electrons protons and neutrons, can still enjoy the food while discarding the garbage.

D.Unreal is that which has no locus for existence at any time, for example the son of a barren woman. The unreal can never be experienced. Then what about the world? The world is experienced, therefore it is not unreal. But the world itself (jagat) continuously changes and hence it is not real either. We have to come up with another word which means neither real nor unreal – this is the definition of mithyA. The apparent superimpositions are not real since they are only apparent. But the substantive for the superimpositions is real since it is changeless.

E.Vedanta says creation is nothing but name and form, and the substantive of the world is nothing but Brahman. There is really no world to call as worldly substance. It is Brahman only in a variety of names and forms. Existence is the essential ingredient in all objects when we say ‘there IS an object with these attributes’. That ‘IS-ness’ is the existence part.

F.The senses cannot perceive space directly and the mind infers it, based on the object-object relation.
Einstein’s definition of Time is a gap between two sequential events in space, observed by an observer who does not change with time. Two simultaneous events define space and two sequential events define time.
Hence perception of time depends on the mind too. When there is no mind, or to put it more accurately when there are no thoughts, there is no time either.

G.Vedanta emphasizes that experience is different from knowledge. Knowledge involves understanding of the truth behind the experience.

Reference & Courtesy: An introduction to Vedanta by Dr.Sadananda

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