The material world in which we live is real for an unrealized person and the very same material world does not appear real for a realized person. What is the difference between a realized and an unrealized person? Understanding spiritual knowledge is the difference. Who is an unrealized person? He is the one, who is going after deceptions and illusions, which is the world of māyā. All of us exist in this material world, known as māyā, which is full of desires, attachments, ego, arrogance, anger, frustration, enmity, etc. In fact, all dyads are products of māyā; for example, happiness and unhappiness, friend and enemy, etc. Except Brahman, everything else is considered as māyā. Therefore, how can there be friend or enemy when everyone is Brahman. Considering them as friends or enemies is known as duality; in the sense, we are considering them as either friends or enemies, the fact being that they also represent Brahman. Brahman is omnipresent. This verse explains this, by comparing dream state with active state. In dream, everything is illusionary. For example, we dream that we live in a palace and on waking, we understand that we live in our own homes. The world of māyā is like dream state, which is unreal. Now the question is, what is the need for this knowledge and what is the purpose of it and why we have to realize the Self? Kena Upaniṣhad answers this. “When one attains Brahman at all levels of one’s consciousness, he attains true knowledge and goes beyond transmigration.” When there is a possibility of redemption from transmigration, why can’t we pursue that path? Pleasures and material happiness may appear to be good for enjoyment; but this enjoyment is only temporary and we have to be reborn again and again and experience the pains of life. (6)

Now the logical question is this. When Brahman is omnipresent, where is the question of material word with names and forms? If this is true, then everything should be Brahman and if everything is Brahman, what is the need for realizing It (Brahman is referred as IT because Brahman is beyond gender)? This is exactly what is being said in all the Upaniṣad-s and now beautifully explained in Ātma bodha in simple terms. When the moon is bright, we mistake an oyster shell for silver. Here only oyster shell is real and truth; its reflection is māyā. The real oyster shell is projected wrongly as silver and this is māyā. Therefore, whatever exists in this world is Brahman, but because of our inherent nature of illusion and delusion, we look at everything in their gross forms. In other words, we go only with shapes, forms and names which are illusionary in nature instead of looking at the cause of these shapes, forms and names, which is always Brahman. This verse refers Brahman as “sarva adhiṣṭhānam”, which means support, basis or substratum. Adhiṣṭhāna is often used in Buddhism. Brahman is the base on which the entire world has manifested. That is why, Brahman is always referred as the Cause and the universe is the effect. When we have acquired spiritual knowledge, we get rid of māyā. If we do not pursue spiritual knowledge, which alone is essential for realization, then we continue to live in a falsified word and continue our painful transmigration. (7)

The manifested forms are considered as real by those who consider them as real. Such forms are only imaginations of the perceiver, who considers the objects as real. Gold is the basis for various gold ornaments such as necklace, bangles, etc. Gold remains the same in all the ornaments. Gold is adhiṣṭhāna for all the ornaments; similarly, Brahman is adhiṣṭhāna for the entire world. Chāndogya Upaniṣad cites two examples to prove this point. “By knowing a single lump of earth, you know all the objects made of earth. All changes are mere words in name only. By knowing a single lump of gold, you know all objects  made of gold. All changes are mere words.” These are only examples. In the first citation, earth is adhiṣṭhāna and in the second one, gold is adhiṣṭhāna. Similarly, all the shapes and forms in this world, both sentient and insentient are only Brahman. Hence, Brahman is described as Omnipresent. Those who meditate intensely will experience Bliss, which can be described as inexplicable happiness. This Bliss can be experienced only through meditation and not through any other methods such as mantra japa, ritualistic practices. In order to experience Bliss, one has to get connected with Brahman through meditation. Though Scriptures speak about bhakti yoga, karma yoga and jñāna yoga, it is only jñāna yoga that can make one to experience Bliss. Why Bliss? Brahman is Sat-Cit-Ānanda. When we go near fire, we feel the heat. Similarly, when we get connected to Brahman, who is nothing but Sat-Cit-Ānanda, we experience It (Brahman) in the form of Bliss. (8)

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