Sage Sri, Sankara :-VC 63. Without causing the objective universe to vanish and without knowing the truth of the Self, how is one to achieve Liberation by the mere utterance of the word Brahman ? — It would result merely in an effort of speech.
Sage Sri, Sankara was criticized for his views on Maya [illusion] without understanding him. He said that (1) Brahman [the Self] is real (2) the universe is unreal, and (3) Brahman is the universe. He did not stop at the second because the third explains the other two. It signifies that the universe is real if perceived as the ‘Self’ and unreal if perceived as apart from the Self. Hence Maya or illusion and reality are one and the same.
The realists criticise the concept of illusion without understanding it. He said that:-
(1) Consciousness (the Atman, the innermost Self) is real
(2) The universe or mind is unreal,
(3) Consciousness is the mind or universe, because universe or mind is mere illusion created out of consciousness.
One need not stop at the second because the third explains the other two. It signifies that the universe is real if perceived as the Self (consciousness) and unreal if perceived as apart from the Self (consciousness). Hence illusion and reality are one and the same because both are one in essence. Realizing the essence, which is consciousness as the innermost Self, is Self-Realization or Truth- Realization of GOD- Realization. Thus Sri, Sankara‘s declaration is rational truth, scientific truth and also ultimate truth.
The universe exists because you exist. Without your existence universe ceases to exist. Thus your existence is important for the existence of the universe. You exist, because the universe exists. Thus the existence of the universe is necessary for your existence because you exist within the universe. Thus you and the universe co-exist together. Thus it is necessary to know, how the universe which contains everything exists, not the things bifurcated by form and names within the universe.
Whatever Plants, animals, people, planets, stars, and ocean mountains everything, which is seen, known and believed and experienced as person are within the universe. The universe appears when the mind (I) appears and the universe disappears when the mind (I) disappears. Thus, it is necessary to realize the mind is in the form of the universe, which appears as waking or dream and disappears as deep sleep.
The mind is a universe, because when the mind (I) is there then only the universe is there. The ego, body, universe appear together and disappear to gather. Limiting the mind (I) to the physical entity is the cause of the ignorance. The body, ego, universe ceases to exist without the mind. If one of these is absent then the mind is also absent. Thus mind is the whole universe, which appears as waking or dream(duality) and disappears as deep sleep(nonduality) Thus one which is aware of the appearance and disappearance of dual and nondual experiences is not the form(body or ego) but formless(consciousness).
The consciousness (soul) is the true self. The true self is the source of the three states. These three states deceive; the people fail to look beyond them to its source, which is real, supreme and imperishable. The three states are mere an illusion. It is difficult to overcome the illusion without the wisdom. But one can cross over this illusion, by realizing and becoming aware of the fact that, the self is not physical but it is consciousness.
People are deluded by illusion, because they have immersed in the illusion experiencing it as reality. They are ignorant because they think the self is physical and birth, life, death and world as reality. Having lost all discrimination, they follow the way of their physical nature. When ignorance vanishes through wisdom then only it is possible to negate the illusion, the mortal becomes immortal. When all the physical shackles that strangle the self are loosened, the mortal becomes immortal, here in this very life.
The ultimate understanding is: Nothing has actually been created. All that appears is mere mirage. Everything is consciousness and nothing can be a part of it. No second thing exists other than consciousness, neither the man nor the world, which contains all the object exits in non-dual reality.