Faith

Illusory world

As long as Brahman is not realised, this prapancham will appear real is the emphatic assertion of Adi Sankara in all his teachings. Though sastras say that this world is illusory, it is difficult to accept it as true. But we are also aware of the ephemeral quality of life on earth. There is constant change taking place at all levels. So, it is important that one has to engage in atma tatva vichara to guide our attitude and perception of the world, pointed out Swami Omkarananda, who passed away on May 10, in a discourse.

Adi Sankara’s text Atma Bodha teaches us to see the world as illusory and look for that which is immortal and constant in our lives. The acharya shows that the sadana for mukti is jnana, while ajnana is the greatest hurdle. In our practical experience, many a time we are deluded into believing many false notions as true.

For example, a shell that shines in bright light is easily mistaken for silver. The common example of inferring a snake in a rope captures the essence of our response and involvement with worldly experiences. All the fear and anxiety of dealing with a non existent snake disappears when the truth becomes clear. There was no snake at all ever. Though all the worries are uncalled for, the experiences cannot be written off.

If we choose to get involved in life we will hurt ourselves. If we learn to ignore many things we will be more relaxed in life. Tirumoolar shows how everything depends on how we perceive the truth. For instance, a child sees an elephant in the wooden toy it plays with whereas we know it clearly as a mere plaything. Ajnana hides the Brahman who is the sole support and cause of this world and is also present in it at all times.


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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 7:02:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/illusory-world/article34635937.ece

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