"The very first step in understanding what this is all about is giving up the concept of an active, volitional 'I' as a separate entity and accepting the passive role of perceiving and functioning as a process." - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Changing World

Sri Ramana Maharshi/Sri Annamalai Swami

From Annamalai Swami's Diary Extracts

Bhagavan (B) once made the following remarks about the waking and dream states.

The world vision which appears in the waking state and the world vision which appears in the dream state are both the same. There is not even a trace of difference. The dream state happens merely to prove the unreality of the world which we see in the waking state. This is one of the operations of God's Grace.

The world of the waking state changes in the same way as the world of the dream state. Both are equally insubstantial and equally unreal.

Some people dispute this by saying 'But the same world which we saw yesterday is existing today. Dream worlds are never the same from one night to the next. Therefore how can we believe that the world of the waking state is unreal? History tells us that this world has existed for thousands of years.'

We take the evidence that this changing world has been existing for a long time and decide that this constitutes a proof that the world is real: this is an unjustified conclusion.

The world is changing every minute. How? Our body is not the same as it was when we were young. A lamp which we light at night may seems to be the same in the morning but all the oil in the flame has changed. Is this not so? Water flows in a river. If we see the river on two successive days we say it is the same river, but it is not the same; the water has completely changed.

The world is always changing. It is not permanent. But we exist unchanged in all the three states of waking, dreaming and sleeping. Nobody can truthfully say, "I did not exist during these three states.: Therefore we must conclude that this "I" is the permanent substance because everything else is in a state if perpetual flux. If you never forget this, this is liberation.

(To be continued)

सर्वभूताधिवासं यद्भूतेषु च वसत्यपि।
सर्वानुग्राहकत्वेन तद्स्म्यहं वासुदेवः॥

That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings,
who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being:
I AM THAT. -- Amritabindu Upanishad