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All Jivas Experience the Same Awareness
Leo: My name is Leo, and I have a few questions. Isvara has evoked a few epiphanies to me, and I wonder what the logic is behind them.
Sundari: Hello, Leo, good to hear from you. All epiphanies have the same message and that is that you are whole and complete, unlimited awareness and not the one experiencing the epiphany, although the experiencing entity’s existence depends on you. Unfortunately, unless you have a context within which to understand the experience, like a valid means of knowledge such as Vedanta, the knowledge is most often lost or not assimilated. One then believes that one must have another experience to know awareness. But no particular experience is necessary to experience awareness, because you are only ever experiencing awareness.
Leo: After a steady burnout of vasanas that I’ve noticed after simply following dharma, resisting indulgence from unnecessary urges, and rewatching some of Ramji’s videos, the world is appearing to me like a dream and all the objects and people are simply made out of me. It’s strange, I’m beginning to understand the fact that I only identify and become a jiva when I chase/worry after my fears/desires, but I stand as awareness, simply floating through the waking state, encountering myself when I simply relax, resist cravings and respond appropriately.
Sundari: What you write indicates that you have reached a critical stage of understanding necessary for self-inquiry, which is the ability to discriminate what is real from what is not real. What is becoming clear to you is that objects have no inherent value – they are inert and not real, meaning they are not always present and always changing. Only you, the awareness of the objects, are real – always present and unchanging. Yet you also realise that there is nothing but you, awareness, so all objects are you – BUT you exist independently of all objects. Non-duality and duality are not in opposition to each other; they simply exist in different orders of reality: satya and mithya, or the real and the apparently real. Freedom comes from the ability to discriminate you, awareness, from the objects that appear in you.
Leo: That being said, am I the only awareness situated in this jiva that’s experiencing the projection of this world? Or are all other jivas sharing the same waking state, encountering their own projections that are created by Isvara to help them respond to their life-duty, so to speak?
Sundari: There is only one awareness apparently appearing as many different jivas, or subtle bodies, so all jivas experience the same awareness. Each jiva has its own particular vasana load, or conditioning, given to it by Isvara. All jivas therefore have their own seemingly unique uphadi, or limiting adjunct, through which they experience objects. Each jiva only knows the objects it has contact with, so it cannot know what another jiva is thinking or feeling, unlike Isvara, who is omniscient. The jiva perceiving the world through the lenses of its conditioning becomes identified with the person and their story, feels limited and incomplete, and so chases objects in a vain attempt to complete itself. It will project its own subjective reality onto Isvara and suffer as a consequence. If the jiva responds appropriately to Isvara and lives and acts according to its svadharma (inborn nature) and according to Isvara’s universal laws (follows dharma), then it will have relative peace of mind, even without self-knowledge.
Leo: Unenlightened jivas, it seems, do not really know that Isvara is doing everything, so they act out their vasanas hoping to get the exact result they think they have control of. This ties them into the idea that they are an individual jiva bound and struggling through this world, while self-realized jivas simply accept everything as God’s will and understand that there are no coincidences in this creation and the objects/experiences they encounter are obviously created by Isvara to help them actualize that they are one with Isvara itself. We are all the same awareness, so to speak, sharing the same macrocosmic waking state, and some of the jivas programmed with the propensity to self-actualize will seek it out while the rest who aren’t programmed to self-actualize are already programmed to be okay with their duties in this world. In other words, there are no accidents occurring here. It’s all predetermined by Isvara.
Sundari: This is very good, Leo, good thinking. You are definitely on the right path! Well done and keep going with your inquiry. Feel free to write any time you need to.
~ Namaste, Sundari.