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Which I Is Speaking?
Ravendra: Advaita says that all difference is only apparent and seeming and make-believe and hence an illusion, as is all change, as are all relationships… all worlds, in general. So what really exists? Do I really exist or am I under an illusion that I really do?
Sundari: Awareness, or consciousness, is the substrate for everything and is your true nature. It is your being, your “I,” or your “Is-ness.” It is the only constant and the only reality. Ravendra and all objects, meaning everything else, have an apparent reality. In other words, you as Ravendra do exist but are not real. “Real” is defined as “that which has an independent reality, is unchanging and eternal.” Ravendra as the small “I” is always changing and is dependent on awareness for his existence. The small “I” would not exist without awareness but awareness is always free of Ravendra. So which “I” is asking this question?
Ravendra: Do we actually live in an ideal and perfect world or not?
Sundari: Yes, from the point of view of awareness, or the self, it is a perfect and purposeful creation/projection. If it wasn’t purposeful and perfect it would be impossible for human beings to attain success. It is a creation of laws, physical, psychological and moral. From Ravendra’s point of view it will seem to be imperfect until Ravendra knows who he is. The purpose for the individual subtle body, or jiva, is to free itself from limitation and its identification with the subtle body and realize itself as awareness. We know this because jivas are never satisfied with limitation. They always want freedom. Realising your nature as limitless, ever-free awareness is the easy part; understanding and actualizing Ravendra as the awareness, the self, within the “world” is the hard part. Samsara is the belief in duality and it is where pain and suffering originate. Vedanta reveals that duality is superimposed onto non-duality and not real although it does have an apparent existence.
Ravendra: Seriously, what really exists and how do I become immortal without losing my identity and tuning into ash or some sort of vapour or a corpse?
Sundari: It depends who is asking this question; as the jiva, or individual, you do have an apparent existence which is not real because it does not last. It is always changing and it depends on awareness to exist. As pure awareness everything depends on you but you depend on nothing. From the point of view of the awareness only awareness is immortal and never changes. As Ravendra you cannot “become” it because you already are it. Self-knowledge removes the ignorance of your true nature and reveals it to be unchanging, whole and complete, immortal awareness. Ravendra’s identity, or ego, is just an idea, it is not real. As stated above: real is defined by that which is always present and never changes. Ravendra has an apparent existence in the apparent reality (the world of objects) and as long as he does not know he is actually awareness he thinks he is a person and mortal. He will need to die to the idea that he is the ego identity in order to uncover his true nature. Only the body dies, your true nature as awareness is never born and never dies. If you are identified with the body-mind you will definitely turn to ash as a corpse one day.
Ravendra: If all that exists is some brahman, which is sat, chit and ananda for itself perhaps, would I not really die when I merge or lose myself in it? Am I some kind of a puppet on a string and God is the puppeteer? I could go on like this…
Sundari: All that exists is not “some” brahman. All that exists IS brahman and you cannot lose yourself in it because you are it. You can only lose the ignorance which keeps you from understanding your true nature as brahman. Ravendra is a puppet on a string. Isvara is the puppeteer.
If you do not have the qualifications for Vedanta you will go on indefinitely and not get it. You need to dedicate yourself to a proper self-inquiry. Read the scriptures, read Ram’s book How to Attain Enlightenment, read his website ShiningWorld where e-satsangs are posted regularly that answer most questions. You need to do the work.
Ravendra: In short, I would like the realisation of aham brahmasmi.
Sundari: Aham brahmasmi means “I am limitless awareness.” This means that you are free of Ravendra. Is this true for you? Who are you? Are you Ravendra or are you awareness? This is what inquiry is about.
~ Om and prem, Sundari