This universe is nothing but a mode of the mind, self-evolved from Brahman (the One Universal Spirit), the cause of the universe. All the universes which appear only through Manas are no other than its modes. The mind is subjectively consciousness and objectively it is this universe. Hence, this all-pervading world is nothing but consciousness itself.
"Manah-kalpitam Jagat-(Creation of) world is an imagination of the mind" (Yogavasishtha). This legerdemain of the world is enacted by the mind and the mind alone- "Manomatram Jagat. What you call world is the mind only." Mind is world. The mind manifests itself as the external world. This universe is no other than the mind itself. Like a dream generating another dream in it, the mind, having no visible form, will generate non-existent visibles. This perishable universe exists only when the mind exists, but disappears with the absence of the latter. If the mind, which is the instrument of knowledge, perception and activity, vanishes, with it disappears this subjective world also.
The whole world and all the Universes are a combination of six elements (the six expression of God's Mind):
Analyse, realise the illusory nature of all objects and abandon all false objects. When you begin to analyse, the whole world vanishes and with it the elements also.
The mind itself is a creation of Avidya (ignorance). Or perhaps wiser to say:
"Attachment to the Creation is delusion and brings nothing but pain." If you are attached to things in an ever changing dream then you are going to get disappointed when the appearance of things changes - change being the very nature of the Creation (which is the Mind of God).
It is a Karya (effect) of Avidya. It is filled with delusion. That is the reason why it deceives and tempts you. It makes you go astray. If you can destroy the cause of the mind, Ajnana, by getting Jnana (knowledge of the Supreme Self), mind is nowhere. It dwindles into an airy nothing. Manonasa (annihilation of mind) takes place when Jnana dawns. Avidya works through Upadhis (attributes, limiting adjuncts).
All the special apparatus required by Avidya constitute the Upadhis of the soul. Mind is an Upadhi; Buddhi is an Upadhi and Ahankara also is an Upadhi.
The sea of Avidya (ignorance) is in the mind of man. The explanation of the empirical concept must be sought in the nature of our cognitive faculty. Sri Sankara explains Avidya in this way. It is Naisargika; it is innate in our mental faculty. It is Mithyajnananimitta, based on wrong knowledge; and, knowledge is a function of the mind. It is Nityapratyayarupa; it consists in the form of a wrong conception."
All Jivas (souls) -human entities-which are really non-existent, are (with all concomitant appearance of birth, death, etc.) mere results of the objectivising tendency of the mind and nothing else." The whole experience of duality, made up of perceiver and perceived, is pure imagination. There is no Avidya apart from the mind. On destruction of the mind, all is destroyed. The activity of the mind (Ajna Chakra) is the cause of all appearance. On account of Avidya or Bhranti (illusion) in the mind, you see the objects, trees, etc., outside and feel as if they are separate from you and real. So long as there is mind, there are all these distinctions of big and small, high and low, superior and inferior, good and bad, etc. The highest Truth is that in which there is no relativity. If you can transcend the mind by constant and profound meditation on Atman, you will be able to attain the Nirdvandva state (a state beyond the pairs of opposites) wherein lies the supreme peace and highest knowledge.
The mind itself is Avidya. Imaginations and Sankalpas are products of Avidya. Ignorance is imbedded in the mind. The mind needs thorough cleansing with Japa, Pranayama, Satsanga, Vichara and Nididhyasana, just as a rusty copper plate needs cleansing with earth, ash, tamarind, powder, etc. Ahankara-how It Develops Atman in conjunction with the Buddhi is Ahankara.
As the Buddhi (Bheda Buddhi) is the cause for this differentiation (this little "I"), Buddhi is the cause or seed for Ahankara. Ahamta and Mamata ('I'-ness and 'mine'-ness) are Jivasrishti. It is Jivasrishti that binds a man to the world. Isvarasrishti (God's creation) helps man in his God-realisation. The seed of mind is Ahankara. Ahankara is development through the thoughts of the mind. As the first thought is the 'I' thought and as this 'I' thought is at the base of all other thoughts, Ahankara is the seed for the mind. This idea of 'I' will bring in its train, the idea of time, space and other potencies. With these environments, the name Jiva accrues to it.
Contemporaneously with it, there arise Buddhi, memory, Manas which is the seed of the tree of Sankalpa. When you are young, the Ahankara is not very potent. It is like a shadow in a glass. Without spiritual awareness and practice toward these realisations, the ego can get over-developed and established as our identity. The moment this little 'I' becomes stronger in your, side by side, various sorts of fears, various sorts of desires, a host of delusions take firm hold of you.
Manas - Mind, also part of mind relating to sense perception.
Buddhi - intellect, understanding, discriminating faculty, reason, and also memory.
Ahankara - egoism.
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