The perceived world is the ego! Do thoughts and desires create the Universe? How can physical objects be thoughts? Advaita | Non-duality

Is everything I see ego? Do thoughts create the world? What is ego? What is duality?

This video was recorded live during a Satsang meeting with Tom Das and put together by volunteers.

To attend satsang, see here: https://tomdas.com/events

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For recommended reading for liberation see here: https://tomdas.com/2020/10/19/recommended-reading-books-for-enlightenment-liberation-and-self-realisation/

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Why did we turn away from the Self? Why does ignorance arise? Why is there maya or illusion at all? Why do we suffer if we are really the Self? Advaita Vedanta | Sri Ramana Maharshi

Why did ignorance arise? Why is there maya or illusion at all? Why do we suffer if we are really the Self? What does Advaita Vedanta say about this? What was Sri Ramana Maharshi’s view? What does Tom think about this? The Law of attraction will also be mentioned and we will also hear a story from the Buddha about this…

Piercing the veil of illusion

When the mind starts to become profoundly still, and starts to shake off the notion ‘I am a body-mind, I am a person’, then not only does deep Bliss-Oneness-Love start to arise and the sense of individuality wane, but the intuition-seeing occurs that all of these things we perceive – such as body, mind and world – all of these are intuited-seen-perceived to be just a mere dancing of thought, a mere projection of mind-stuff, like a dream: empty, unreal, illusory, nothing more.

As thoughts markedly and profoundly slow down, all this comes to be seen directly.

Guru Ramana Vachana Mala (PDF download)- a wonderful text on the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi

Guru Ramana Vachana Mala is a small but wonderful text that concisely and accurately summarises the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi. It also clarifies areas of the teaching that may not be otherwise clear for the seeker. It also summarises the essential Vedanta teachings, as per verse 3 of the text.

Click here to download Guru Ramana Vachana Mala in PDF format

The text consists of 349 selected verses compiled together by Sri K. Lakshmana Sarma (who wrote under the pseudonym ‘Who?’), who was not only intimate with Sri Ramana’s teachings, but also a scholar in Vedantic studies and also fluent in the Tamil, Sanskrit and English languages. The verses are helpfully organised by topic and about 300 of these verses are taken from the text Guru Vachaka Kovai which is widely thought of as being an authoritative text on Sri Ramana Maharshi’s teachings.

Whilst the verses in Guru Ramana Vachana Mala do not go into great detail on the method of Self-Enquiry compared to other recommended texts, they are very illuminating nonetheless and give great clarity on areas of the teaching that may otherwise not be clear for the seeker. I therefore highly recommend this book, but I also recommend that you read this together another of the recommended texts pertaining to Sri Ramana, such as The Path of Sri Ramana which explains the process of Self-Enquiry in greater detail.

Sri Lakshmana Sarma was in close contact with Sri Ramana Maharshi for over 20 years and was also good friends with Sri Muruganar (who wrote Guru Vachaka Kovai). He was also one of only two people who received private tuition by Sri Ramana Maharshi on the teachings (the other person was Muruganar) and he was known for constantly checking his understanding of the teachings with Sri Ramana to ensure that his understanding was accurate.

These above factors, together with the fact that this text was first published during Sri Ramana’s lifetime means we can be confident that the teachings presented here are true to Sri Ramana’s vision.

Why turn away from the world? The outer is a reflection of the inner

‘The mind is by nature restless. Begin liberating it from its restlessness; give it peace; make it free from distractions; train it to look inward; make this a habit. This is done by ignoring the external world and removing the obstacles to peace of mind’

~Sri Ramana Maharshi, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 26

Objection: I have a slightly different view then Ramana perhaps did on ignoring the external world. It seems to me that the external world is the reflection of the inner. Becoming conscious of the beauty in nature resonates with the inner. This is perhaps a more indigenous view and is much older then even Vedanta and goes back even to the time when humans were Neanderthals as well as Homo sapiens when everything in nature was animating in presence.

Tom: Yes, being with nature is one of many things that can bring us in tune with the Self and bring us genuine peace and genuine insight, but ultimately for realisation to occur (and thus for suffering to end) one must turn within and all thoughts must cease. Otherwise the illusion of time and space are not seen through and suffering (and duality) continue, even if in a subtle way.

This is why Sri Ramana Maharshi writes in Who Am I?:

Q. When will the realization of the Self be gained?
Sri Ramana: When the world which is what-is-seen [ie. objects] has been removed, there will be realization of the Self which is the seer.
Q. Will there not be realization of the Self even while the world is there?
Sri Ramana: There will not be.

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Who Am I?

Tom: What we call the world (ie. space and time and people) is actually a projection of mind/thought. Put simply, the world, space and time are simply thoughts. Again, this cannot be known unless we turn within, away from the world, towards the Self, and thoughts competely cease. From Sri Ramana Maharshi:

‘When the mind, which is the cause of all cognition’s and of all actions, becomes quiescent, the world will disappear…All the texts say that in order to gain release one should render the mind quiescent; therefore teaching is that the mind should be rendered quiescent.’

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Who Am I?

Tom: When thoughts completely cease, time and space disappear. If time and space are still appearing, it is because thought (namely the ‘I-thought’, which is the notion or thought or belief that ‘I am a body-mind’) still persists.

Therefore, when the world appears, the Self does not appear; and when the Self appears the world does not appear.

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Who Am I?

When the mind comes out of the Self, the world appears.

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Who Am I?

Q. Does ego have to die or end for realisation to occur?

Tom: Yes, ego-mind-thought must die for realisation to occur. Those who are still attached to the body-mind-world and still take themselves to be the body say otherwise.

Ego is ignorance. Ego is duality. It is the ego that creates/projects the body-mind and world, like in a dream. When ego goes, everything goes, and all that remains is the Self. It cannot be put into words or understood by the mind. In truth ego never existed at all.

Objections to this such as ‘how does the sage function without ego’ only occur in ignorance of taking the sage to be the body and in the presense of ego-ignorance seeing body-mind-world.

The paradox of this cannot be explained in words, but when the mind becomes so completely and utterly still so that time and space and personhood all cease to exist, this ‘Self’ is somehow ‘known without knowing’.