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Which I Is Speaking?
Sundari: Hello, Ravendra. I am replying on behalf of James, as he is ill. He has been through it and given his approval.
~ With love, Sundari
Ravendra: Hi. Advaita says that all difference is only apparent, seeming and make-believe and hence an illusion, as is all change, as are all relationships… all the world, 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 realise itself as awareness. We know this because jivas are never satisified with limitation. They always want freedom. Realising your nature as limitless, ever-free awareness is the easy part; understanding and actualising Ravendra as the awareness, the self, within the world is the hard part. This is where pain and suffering originates.
Ravendra: Seriously, what really exists, and how do I become immortal without losing my identity, turning into ash, some sort of vapour or a corpse ?
Sundari: Only immortal awareness exists. Ravendra has an apparent existence, and as long as he does not know he is actually awareness, he remains mortal. If you are identified with the body-mind, you will definitely be a corpse one day.
Ravendra: If all that exists is some brahman which is sat chit 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