Saturday, September 21, 2013

World is an Illusion - Swami Sivananda

World is an Illusion
THIS world is a play of colours and sounds. This sense-universe is a play of nerves. It is a false show kept up by the jugglery of Maya, mind and nerves. You enjoy the sensual pleasures for a period of twenty years when the senses are strong. What is this short evanescent period of twenty years in eternity? What is this despicable, jarring, monotonous sensual life, compared with the eternal and peaceful life in the immortal Self within? If the nerve of taste, the glosso-pharyngeal gets paralysed, you cannot enjoy different kinds of palatable dishes. If your retina or optic nerve is paralysed, you cannot enjoy diverse beautiful forms. If the auditory nerve is paralysed, you cannot hear melodious music. If the olfactory nerve is paralysed, you cannot enjoy various kinds of sweet fragrance. If your sensory nerve of the hands is paralysed, you cannot enjoy soft things. If the nerve origin is paralysed, you cannot enjoy conjugal bliss. 

Do you not now clearly see that this world is a mere play of nerves? Do you not understand that this universe of opposites is illusory? 

You will have to depend upon these nerves and senses for your happiness. If these nerves go out of order, you become miserable, even though you possess enormous wealth. Can you call these little illusory sensual pleasures, which depend upon the play of nerves, as real lasting happiness? It is mere itching of nerves only, which tickles those deluded souls who have lost their power of discrimination and understanding.

You are deluded or deceived by the senses. That which is changing and perishable cannot be real. There is neither mind nor matter, neither world nor creation in reality. Brahman alone shines in His pristine glory. This is the absolute Truth.

The whole of experience consisting of perceiver and perceived is merely an imagination of the mind.That which exists only in imagination does not exist in absolute reality. Duality consisting of subject and object is a creation of the mind and the external senses.

As long as there is faith in causality, the world is eternally present. When this faith is destroyed the world is nowhere.

That which is nothing in the beginning and in the end does not necessarily exist in the present. Objects are all like ordinary illusions though regarded as real.

In deep sleep you have no experience of the world because there is no mind. This clearly shows that there will be world only if there is mind and that the mind alone creates this world. This is the reason why Srutis declare that this world is Manomatram-jagat and Manahkalpitam-jagat.

In Samadhi or super-conscious state, wherein there is annihilation of the mind, there is no world. Just as the snake in the rope vanishes when a lamp is brought, so also this world which is mere appearance or super-imposition disappear when one attains illumination, when the sun of knowledge dawns.

A liberated sage only has no world. This world is an illusion or unreal for a man of discrimination. For a passionate man who is ignorant this world is a solid reality. He is immersed in Samsara. This world is everything for him. There is nothing beyond this world. 

Because it is said that there is no world, young aspirants should not give up the practice of Karma Yoga. People in whom a little dispassion has dawned should not abandon the world. This world is the best teacher. You will have to learn many lessons from this world. 

Remain in the world but be not worldly-minded. View the world as Brahman only. Change your angle of vision. You will be happy and wise. If you constantly keep before the mind the idea that the world is unreal, you will develop dispassion and a burning desire for liberation.

Read also: The Illusion of physical world - by Sri Ramana Maharshi

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