Mithya for Beginners – Is the world illusory?

Advaita seekers in the West want to find out whether it is true that they are neither body nor mind, but in truth are one, eternal, free and all-pervasive. Most of all they are interested in the answer to the question: „Who or what am I?“ They do not really care what the world is.

But once the true import of the understanding that I am all-pervasive and One dawns, then we can no longer ignore the question about what appears to be a second thing: What about the world?

The knowledge that I am limitless in time and space (one and all-pervasive) is incomplete if no explanation is included in it of that ‘which somehow is also there’. My true nature is non-dual – but body/mind, other living beings, the ocean, the continents, space, objects and possible subtle beings – what about all that? After all this is pure duality, isn’t it! If the mind does not find an adequate explanation for it, a feeling of incompleteness of the Self-knowledge of non-duality is likely to persist. Continue reading

Gunas and History (Q. 318)

Q: 1. If the triple gunas are the matrix of the “reality”, aren’t they immutable and therefore truly real? (I have asked this question a while ago in our personal correspondence but I can’t access my old email and it still bothers me…).

2. What is the ontological status of the course of human history? Is it objective, or just a sort of shared mass illusion that somewhat gets transferred from generation to generation? I am aware of the imprecision of my language but hopefully you will understand my meaning.

A to Q1 (Peter)Guṇas are the subtlest form of manifest matter and, being matter, are thus subject to change. So they are not immutable.

 Guṇas in their unmanifest and undifferentiated form are the triple śakti of māyā: jñạna, krīyā and dravya shakti, the undifferentiated and unmanifest powers of knowledge, action and materialisation. When these move into manifestation they get the names sattva, rajas and tamas. Continue reading