Essence of Advaita

Miguel Angel Carrasco nisargadata at MX3.REDESTB.ES
Sun Dec 28 07:17:12 CST 1997

On Thu, 18 Dec 1997, Gummuluru Murthy wrote

>In this context, I have two questions to the list-members: [...]
    2. For an intellectual advaitin, which is more difficult to grasp ?
        Brahmah satyam jagan mithya         or
        Jeevo brahmaiva nah parah

For me, the second. For some years, I have seen quite clearly that there
can be only one reality, that everything is connected and comes from the
same origin. And it is also clear for me that all is consciousness. And
that there can only be one source of consciousness. And that source is thus
the Absolute.

For some time, before getting to know Advaita, I was contented with the
idea that I was just a thought in the Absolute^Òs mind, that I did not
really exist, but was just a piece in the process of God^Òs stream of
consciousness which I called Nature.

It was later that I found the ^ÓTat Twam Asi^Ô. I consider it secondary to
and much less obvious than the ^ÓBrahman satyam^Ô. I was and still am quite
ready to accept that I am nothing. If suddenly I am All that^Òs an added

But I cannot yet quite fit this ^ÓBrahmasmi^Ó (I am the Absolute) into the
^ÓBrahman satyam^Ô (Only the Absolute is). There seems to be a missing link.
I^Òve repeatedly tried in this List to find this link and have failed so
far. As I have said before, I don^Òt very well know how to formulate the
problem. So I tryied asking related questions.

When I started the ^ÓThere is no...^Ô debate (which went on from the 21 to 27
October), I was trying to get an answer to one question: ^ÓIf there is only
the Absolute, why are we discussing about other things?^Ô What I intended to
know was whether I (whatever that means) could really do anything to
clarify my relation to that Absolute, or if I had better leave everything
as it is, since anyway everything is unreal. Things (included my lack of
understanding) did remain as they were.

When I started the ^ÓWhy the same dream?^Ô debate (which went on from the 18
Nov to 10 December), I was seeking much the same thing: If I am the
Absolute, do I have any control over the different but similar dreams? Do I
have any responsibility? Can and should I do anything? Am I just the
witness or also somehow an active part in the process of enlightenment? Is
this particular experience called Miguel Angel something unchangeable, like
a movie in a can, or could it be steered and improved, like a theatre play?
I did not get the answer.

I tried again to find an answer with my post ^ÓAn Advaita Menu?^Ô (21 Dec)
which did not get any response. In it, I intended to learn whether I (the
Self) am :
a) the *un-embodied* witness of an imagined World that is experienced only
once, which would make all the jivas empty lifeless name-forms, just
characters in only one cosmic movie; or
b) the *embodied but unaffected* witness of an imagined world that is
experienced many times, in the many jivas, who would have no control over
their lives, just characters in many unchangeable versions of the same
movie; or
c) the *embodied and acting* subject of an imagined world that is
experienced many times, in the many jivas, with some control and
choice-freedom, an actor in different versions of the same theatre play.

In other words, if ^ÓJeevo Brahmaiva nah parah^Ô (if I am the Absolute and
nothing else), then every object of experience is imagined, including the
one who says ^ÓJeevo Brahmaiva nah parah^Ô. If, being the Absolute, I can^Òt
change, then why bother at all to speak about enlightenment? Who would be
enlightened? Why seeking for truth? Who would find it? Why speaking about
anything at all? Why on earth am I writing this post?

Unless I can untie this Gordian knot, saying ^ÓI am That^Ô will not bear much
meaning for me and will sound like an imposture.
If I am really That, I needn^Òt say it.
If I do need to say it, then I am not That.


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