Author Topic: Ramana Maharshi explains how can the single Reality manifest as innumerable jiva  (Read 2278 times)


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D.: If the Supreme Self had by joining the I-mode of the mind become the illusory jiva he should appear as a single jiva. But there are many jivas. How can the single Reality manifest as innumerable jivas?

M.: As soon as the illusion of a single jiva becomes operative in the Pure Supreme Self, it naturally begets other illusory jivas in the Pure Ether of Knowledge. If a dog enters a room walled by mirrors, it first gives rise to one reflection in one mirror which by a series of reflections becomes innumerable and the dog finding itself surrounded by so many other dogs growls and shows fight. So it is with the Self of pure, non-dual Ether of Consciousness. The illusion of one jiva is perforce associated with illusion of several jivas.

Again, the habit of seeing the world as you-I-he etc., forces the dreamer to see similar illusory entities in dreams also. Similarly the accumulated habits of past births make the Self which is only pure Knowledge-Ether see numberless illusory jivas even now. What can be beyond the scope of Maya which is itself inscrutable? Now this done, listen to how the bodies and the spheres were created.

Just as the Supreme Self is presented as “I” by the I-mode of Maya, so also It is presented by the ‘this’ mode as this universe with all its contents.

D.: How?

M.: The power of multiplicity is the ‘this’ mode whose nature is to be imagining ‘this’ and ‘that’. In the Ether of Consciousness it recollects the millions of latencies, as ‘this’ and ‘that’. Being stirred up by these latencies, the jiva though itself the Ether of consciousness, now manifests as the individual body
etc., the external worlds and the diversities.

D.: How can the latencies themselves appear as this vast universe?

M.: A man remaining unmoving and happy in deep sleep, when stirred up by the rising latencies, sees illusory dream visions of creatures and worlds; they are nothing but the latencies in him. So in the waking state also he is deluded by the latencies manifesting as these creatures and worlds.

D.: Now, master, the dream is but the reproduction of mental impressions formed in the waking state and lying dormant before. They reproduce past experiences. Therefore dream-visions are rightly said to be only mental creations. Should the same be true of the waking world, this must be the reproduction of some past impressions. What are those impressions which give rise to these waking experiences?

M.: Just as the experiences of the waking state give rise to the dream world, so also the experiences of past lives give rise to this world of the waking state,nonetheless illusory.

D - Devotee
M - Maharshi


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Dear prasanth,

Yes.  Maya is the multi-mirrored universe.  She creates many
Jivas through her manifesting power, from out of a single dog.
Sri Abhirami Bhattar says:  "You are the one bud but become
a million flowers and stay spread over the universe....."     

Arunachala Siva.