Mr.Sriram srirudra at VSNL.COM
Fri Dec 13 06:26:13 CST 2002

I would like to share some of my ideas reg.the analogies:1)snake on rope,2)water in a mirage and 3) jiva in a dream state.

1) In the first analogy, there is a rope and the seeing faculty is somewhat disturbed. may be due to the mind of the seer or due to lack of proper lighting. Rope is real but the snake is a wrong perception. this is due to 

a) the fear of snake as usually a snake bite results in mortality. Incase the snake were harmless, no body would see a snake on a rope.
b) snake has already been seen by the viewer and he associates with his perception that a snake bite is mortal and therefore the defence mechanism in the brain warns him that the rope may be a snake so better take all precautions not to step on it unless you are sure that it is not a snake. In this case, the viewer errs on the safe side. Even if there is no snake, by stepping on may result in a snake bite if there was really a snake. 

2) in the next analogy, there is no water at all in a mirage, but due to difference in refractive indices by the rarer and denser mediums due to hot air currents, one sees water. here whoever passes through a desert will definitely see a mirage because it is a true happening. in the first analogy, the snake is only imagined due to fright. in this analogy, whether a person is thirsty or not, he will see water in the mirage.

3) coming to the third analogy, the dream is exclusively seen only by the dreamer or that particular jiva. though all jivas may dream, a particular dream may not be seen by all jivas at the same time. The dreams may be of bizzare type, may have no relevance at all to your waking state experiences. In fact, there are many theories on dreams postulated by Sigmund Freud, Helm Holtz and other psychologists. 

Sri Adi Shankara has given these examples only to indicate that Brahman alone is real, and due to Avidhya one is not able to realise the Brahman as one is engrossed in day to day muddles of life. the dreamer analogy is in a higher plane where it serves to illustrate how the Brahman the only Reality projects the whole multifarious Universe and activities through His power of Maya for whatever reason He has chosen, because the Upanishads say that Brahman desired like that. 



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