Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
20th April 2016
The enlightened have declared that life is illusory and life includes the world, man and his mind. The statement nevertheless is not obvious to man, because he is convinced that life and the world are real in his mind and credible as well. The credibility is at times incredible to him, but nevertheless real.
It is very difficult for man to believe that the world and life are illusory, because his five senses convey signals to his brain that are interpreted to be just the opposite. The difficulty is further doubled by the meaning of the word ‘illusory’ because, to the conditioned mind, illusory means that it does not exist and to man it is obvious that everything exists.
Now, how is man to understand the statement of the enlightened that the world and life are illusory is the question. Without conviction man is unable to accept the statement. Therefore, what could be the understanding that would convince man that the statement of the enlightened is true?
The world and life are experienced as real by the ‘I’ who is the individual. This is understood by man. The individual ‘I’, however, sits in a dark theatre called the brain inside his head, in both the waking state and the sleeping state.
That the individual sits in the dark during his waking state is not understood by man because he believes the individual sits in light in the waking state. This is because he sees light in the waking state of daily life and believes that he is in darkness only during the sleeping state.
It is important to understand that the individual sits in a dark theatre to see a movie in the waking state. It is obvious to the individual that he is able to see a movie in a dark theatre because of light projected by the projector. It is, however, not obvious to man that the individual, while watching a movie in a theatre, actually sits in a smaller, dark theatre, which is his head. Therefore, it is an individual in a small, dark theatre who is able to see a movie in a much larger, dark theatre projected by light from the projector. The movie is real to a man as long as he watches it, but not later.
Likewise, it is important to understand that the individual, similarly, is able to see a dream in the sleeping state in a smaller theatre, which is his head, because every atom of the brain is a projector that projects light, just as a movie is seen in a theatre. The dream, like a movie, is real until he sees the dream and not anymore when he wakes up from sleep.
It is the same individual, who sits in a dark theatre called the brain, who is able to see life in the waking state as real, because every atom of the world is a projector that projects light. This enters his eyes to project a movie called life. But it cannot be real, because it is light that projects both a movie and a dream.
Therefore, incredible life is an incredible illusion; just as the enlightened have declared life to be. The moment understanding happens to man that incredible life is an incredible illusion, incredible enlightenment incredibly happens to man.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2016
It is incredible that such deep understanding of man’s cognition of life is so precisely described in this article by Dr Shankar. His step by step analysis of the illusion that utterly convinces every man of life’s reality is a priceless gift to loosen the bonds of unreality. Just as man’s awareness of his bondage emerges in the power of this light, so too does the realisation of his own freedom grows. Truly incredible.
Julian Capper, UK.