That which really exists is only the Self

The self and the appearances therein as the snake in the rope can be well illustrated like this. There is a screen. On that screen first appears the figure of a king. He sits on a throne. Then before him on that same screen a play begins with various figures and objects and the king on the screen watches the play on the same screen. The seer and the seen are mere shadows on the screen which is the only reality, supporting all the pictures. In the world also, the seer and the seen together constitute the mind and the mind is supported by or based on the Self.

Questions about the reality of the world and about the existence of pain or evil in the world will all cease when you enquire, ‘Who am I?’ and find out the seer. Without a seer the world and the evils thereof alleged do not exist.

The world is of the form of the five categories of sense objects, and nothing else. These five kinds of objects are sensed by the five senses. As all are perceived to the mind through these five senses, the world is nothing but the mind. Is there a world apart from the mind?

If the mind, the source of all knowledge and activity subsides, the vision of the world will cease. Just as knowledge of the real rope does not dawn till the fancied notion of the serpent disappears, vision (experience) of the Reality cannot be gained unless the superimposed vision of the universe is abandoned.

That which really exists is only the Self. The world, jiva (individual Self) and Isvara (God) are mental creations like the appearance of the pearl in the oyster. All these appear at the same time and disappear similarly. The Self alone is the world, the ego and Isvara.

Gems from Bhagavan, Ch. 2

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