ILLUSION (Vaitathya)

The Lord (Ātman), with his mind turned outward, variously imagines the diverse objects (such as sound, etc.), which are already in his mind (in the form of Vāsanas or Sankalpas or desires). The Ātman again (with his mind turned within), imagines in his mind various (objects of) ideas.

Śaṅkara: How does he imagine the ideas? It is described thus:—The word “Vikaroti” means creates or imagines, i.e., manifests in multiple forms. Lord, i.e., Atman, *with his mind turned outward, imagines in diverse forms various objects, perceived in the (outside) world, such as sound, etc., as well as other objects, and also various objects permanent (such as earth, etc.), and impermanent, i.e., which exist only for the moment, i.e., as long as that imagination lasts—all being of the nature of subtle ideas (Vāsanas) in his mind and not yet fully manifested. Similarly, turning his mind within, the Lord imagines various ideas which are subjective.

* With his, etc—The distinction of objects as internal and external is due to the association of the two organs of perception, namely, mind and sense-organs. When mind alone is concerned we cognize internal objects, when sense-organs are associated with mind we perceive external objects; or in other words, the Ātman with the association of sense-organs externalises the internal ideas, i.e., makes them appear as gross physical objects. This division of externality and internality is not true.

Unborn Commentarius: This is the realm of illusion, and hence deluded ideations—Maya, the queenship of names and forms, masking the Real and Unborn thus creating false identifications. The effect is the creation of a veil that blurs the True Essential Self THAT otherwise is devoid of such imperfections of the imaginary mind. All this is what we refer to in Unborn Mind Zen as being MIND in pluralized obstruction mode, thus externally fixated through skandhic lens on objects of perception and internally captivated by the workings of subjective and speculative meanderings of Its own imaginative capacities.

This Ātman, though non-separate from all these, appears, as it were, separate. One who knows this truly imagines (interprets) (the meaning of the Vedas) without hesitation.

Śaṅkara: Though this Ātman is verily *non-separate from these, the Prāṇa, etc.,—like the rope from such imaginary ideas as the snake, etc.,—it appears as separate to the ignorant persons. But to the Knower (of truth), the Prāṇa, etc., do not exist apart from Ātman, just as the snake, etc., falsely imagined in the rope, do not exist apart from the rope. For, the Sruti also says, ‘‘All that exists is verily Ātman.’’ One who thus knows truly, that is, from Scriptures as well as by reasoning that Prāṇa, etc., imagined in Ātman, do not exist separately from Ātman (as in the illustration) of the (illusory) snake and the rope, and further knows that Ātman is ever pure and free from all imaginations,—construes, without hesitation, the text of the Vedas according to its division. That is to say, he knows that the meaning of this passage is this and of that passage is that. None but the Knower of Ātman is able to know truly the (meaning of the) Vedas. “None but the Knower of Ātman is able to derive any benefit from his actions,’’ says Manu.

* Non-separate—It is because that which is superimposed cannot exist apart from the substratum. Therefore the Prāṇa, etc., which are superimposed upon Ātman, are non-separate from Ātman from the standpoint of Reality.

Unborn Commentarius: none but the knower of the Actual True-Self (Ātman) is able to distinguish the Real from the Un-Real. Nothing is apart from Mind—all has its origin and eventual re-constitution into the Sea of Suchness (Thus Mind in a perfect state of Actuosity). Mind Unbound is key here, otherwise it cannot awake and break-free from the mad factory of associations. As the Lanka would state, Mind Recollecting Itself in Its original and pure nature (egolessness)—before  being encaged again and again in the dream-like realm of samsara (the realm of life and death).

As are dreams and illusions or a castle in the air seen in the sky, so is the universe viewed by the wise in the Vedānta.

Śaṅkara: The unreality of duality has been demonstrated by of Vedānta Scriptures. Therefore it is stated:—Dream objects and illusion, though unreal when their true nature is considered, are thought, in spite of their unreality, as real by the ignorant. As an imaginary city in the sky, filled with shops full of vendable articles, houses, palaces and villages frequented by men and women, though appearing real to us, is seen to vanish suddenly as dream and illusion, which are known to be unreal (though they appear to be real),—so also is perceived this entire duality of the universe to be unreal.

Unborn Commentarius: All of this is similar to those passages in the Lankavatara Sutra that reinforce time and time again ideations such as “horns on a hare”, or the magically shifting shapes of the Gandharvas.”  All those who cling to discriminatory reality, says the Buddha, are like those who live in the magically-created city of the Gandharvas; this mythical and magical city could very well be compared with the present-day “Disney World”—where children see magically-created people, merchants, and many others, going in or coming out, and imagine that they are really people going in and coming out. Indeed, all phenomenal reality can be likened to a Disney-like creation, where the imaginative fancy rules the day.

Therefore knowing the Ātman to be such, fix your attention on non-duality. Having realised non-duality behave in the world like an insensible object.

Śaṅkara: As non-duality, on account of its being the negation of all evils, is bliss and fearlessness, therefore knowing it to be such, direct your mind to the realisation of the non-dual Ātman. In other words, concentrate your memory on the realisation of non-duality alone. Having known this non-dual Brahman which is free from hunger, etc., unborn and directly perceptible as the Self and which transcends all codes! of human conduct, i.e., by attaining to the consciousness that ‘I am the Supreme Brahman,’ behave with others as one not knowing the Truth; that is to say, *let not others know what you are and what you have become.

* A wise man does not broadcast his realization before the world. The sentence may mean that a wise man, on account of his being established in the non-dual Ātman, does not see others as separate from him; and therefore he does not assume consciously the role of a Knower (Jnāni).

Unborn Commentarius: Non-duality, the Not-Two but One of Advaita. The equivalent of Bankei’s Unborn Buddha Mind, or Huang Bo’s Mind-Only. As stated above, this does not need to be shouted from the rooftops since it would largely fall on the deaf ears of the Icchantikas. The Mind-adept Alone will suffice. The Self-gnosis of the One and Unborn is the only compass one needs in swiftly sailing through Nirabhasagocara, of the imageless realm no-shadows. Yea, from a Lankavatarian perspective in actuality there is not even “a one”, nor is It other than one, since even “one” has a discriminatory flare.

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