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Unity of Minds

We know each one of us has a mind. According to Vedanta, the mind is the subtle body and it is made up of thoughts, perceptions, feeling and emotions. In the same way, we have a gross body, which is the physical body we possess. There is no denying each one of us is physically separated in space. Your gross body is there, my gross body is here and in the same way everyone is at a separate location in space. Yes, the physical body is separated in space. What about the mind? You will be surprised to learn that all the minds in this universe at this ‘moment’ are at one location only. Shocking but true! Your mind, my mind and everyone’s mind at this ‘moment’ is at one location only. There is unity of minds.

The only way to understand this is to think differently. Don’t think about space or distance but think in terms of time. This is the key to understand this concept. We have seen in other articles that the mind is always at t = 0. Your mind, my mind and every mind are always at t = 0. We know t = 0 is the ‘now’ moment. So, for the ‘now’ moment, there is unity among everyone’s mind. It does not matter where your body is in space, but for the ‘now’ moment there is unity of all the minds. All the minds are at one spot (time wise), which is outside the spacetime fabric. The mind never moves, it is always at t= 0, it is always outside the spacetime fabric. The body moves, and it operates in the space time fabric. There is always a ‘now’ moment, therefore the unity of all the minds is always maintained. We have seen in other articles that the t = 0 or the ‘now’ moment is within each one of us. This means at this ‘now’ moment, your mind, the entire cosmic mind which includes all the minds is present within us. Can you guess the number of individual minds in this universe? I think it is countless. Imagine the population of humans, animals, creatures, plants etc. To this you can add life in other planets. All these countless minds are within us at t = 0 or the ‘now’ moment. Wow – what a feeling!

If your friend is sitting in front of you. His physical body may be in front of you, but his mind is within you. Your friend will also have the same experience. He will see your physical body in the front, but your mind is also within him. If there 10 people sitting in the same room, each one of them will have the same experience. Each of them will see the 9 physical bodies out there, but all the 10 minds will be within each one of them at t = 0.

How to understand this? We have discussed elsewhere that the physical universe out there is made of ‘memory’ objects only. This means that all objects out there are dated stuff, they are no ‘now’ objects in the physical universe. Why? Because it takes lights some finite time to reach us. So, we always see the dated version of the object. We know light takes 8 min to reach us from the sun. The sun we see is an 8 min old sun, it is not the ‘now’ version of the sun. In the same way, the moon we see is a 3 second old moon, the tree out the window maybe some milliseconds old, the computer in front of you maybe some nanoseconds old. There is nothing which is ‘now’ in the physical universe. We have seen that the mind resides outside the spacetime fabric, it is t=0. Therefore, from your point of view the person in front of you is a memory object, but his mind is at t = 0 which is within you. The person in front of you will have a similar experience. He will see a memory object of you, but your mind which is at t = 0 is within him. This will apply to each living being in the universe. Basically, each person creates their own universe on the spacetime fabric and this fabric starts with the individual mind.

In the article ‘Life is Living Wave’ we have explained that there is a fully functioning subtle universe, which is made of waveforms. This waveform of the objects in the universe is available to the cosmic mind and individual minds. The waveform of all the objects is within the cosmic mind, but a subset of this will be available in the individual minds.    

Once the unity of all the minds is properly understood, then the interaction of the mind with the universe waveform becomes clear. All the minds are at one place and the subset of the universe waveform is present in the individual minds at t =0. The subset waveform would depend upon what each mind is watching. Once the waveform in each mind comes in the presence of the ‘Observer’, the waveform collapses in every mind and then each mind projects their own spacetime fabric and the physical world (depending upon the waveform being watched) out there. Space is created with the collapsing of the waveform. Your body, my body and all the objects being viewed are placed at different locations in space. It must be understood, all the minds are still at t = 0, it has not moved. From your viewpoint, you are always carrying the both the mind and body. Where ever you go, the t = 0 is still with you. All the people you see, they are all memory objects and their minds are within you. All the people will have the same experience, their mind and all the minds are within them and all the people around them are memory objects.

It is interesting to note that the Observer or Sakshi is common for all the minds. There is no separate Observer for each mind, but One Observer for all the minds. All the minds are at same spot at t = 0, the single Observer collapses all the waves simultaneously in each mind and watches all the minds simultaneously. What can one say – this is sheer magic, this is the power of Awareness! Vedanta calls this Maya shakti.  

As a conclusion there is complete unity of minds, all the minds of every living being are at the same spot outside the spacetime fabric. Each mind projects and creates their own universe.  

Construction of Objects

The best way to start this discussion is to understand the popular Vedanta metaphor of Pot/Clay. We know the clay pot comes in many different sizes, shapes and designs. Some are tall, some are short, some are round, some are square etc. There seems to be an unlimited possibility for shapes and sizes. If you study all the clay pots carefully you will see that each clay pot has the following two components – Content and Form. So, which part is the content and which part is the from? The answer is obvious, the clay is the content and the pot is a form on the clay. With different shapes and sizes, the form of the pot could vary, but the content of all pots will always be clay.

Clay Pot = Clay (content) + Pot (form)

In the same way, we can say the following about the gold chain and wooden chairs

  • Gold chain = Gold (content) + Chain (form)
  • Wooden chair = Wood (content) + Chair (form)

A simple question – in the wooden chair, what is the weight of the wood which is the content and what is weight of the chair which is a form? The answer is obvious, the wood has all the weight and chair has no weight. Another question – can you separate the chair form from the wood content? The answer it is impossible to separate the chair form from the wood content. They are inseparable. If everything in the wooden chair is wood, what is the chair form? This is not a simple question. It would seem the chair form is an idea or concept which has been superimposed on the wood. Whose ideas? The idea will normally belong to the designer of the chair. In other words, the designer’s knowledge is superimposed on the wood.

These Vedantic metaphors can help us understand the underlying components for every object in this physical universe. it would seem every object in the universe must have the following two components

  1. Content
  2. Form.

There is an unlimited number of objects both living and nonliving in this universe. We have seen in the examples discussed, the substratum of the objects is always the content and form is superimposed on the content. Does this apply to every object in the universe? Logically this principle must apply to all the objects in the universe. Content is content, and it should make up the entire object. You cannot have a wooden chair, in which half the chair is made up of wood and the other half is made up of nothing. This is impossible, the entire wooden chair must be made up of wood. This logic must apply to every object in this universe. Every object has content and this content makes up the entire object. The answer which is not clear – do all the objects have the same content or different objects have different content. This is especially true because of the wide variety of objects in this universe.

Every object has a form and this form is superimposed on the content. The form is something, it is not nothing. We see the form, we feel the form, in some cases we hear or taste the form. So, what is this form? What is its source?

There are many questions about the Content and Form of all objects. In the coming sections we will discuss this further so that we get a good understanding on the construction of the objects.

What is the Content Made up off?

From our earlier discussion the content for the clay pot is clay, for gold chain it is gold and the wooden chair it is wood. This would suggest that the content for every object could be different. Is this correct? This is incorrect – firstly, the examples given where a metaphor only to explain the concept of content and form. Secondly, we know that gold, clay and wood are all made up of atoms and a full array of sub-atomic particles. They all have an inner layer of sub-atomic particles. Trying to find out the source of the content by investigating the sub-atomic particles is not very helpful and does not yield positive results.

So, what is the Content for all the objects in the universe? We need a different and novel approach. Science has not been helpful, so we must look elsewhere. But, where? The proper understanding of Vedanta can be helpful. There is so much to learn from Vedanta, the ideas, concepts and teaching from Vedanta can be solve many of the shortcoming of science.

As a starter question – how do we know an object exists? The answer is that we are aware of the object. We see it, we know it, we can touch it.

How do we know the tree is green? Because we are aware of it.

How do we know sugar is sweet? Because we are aware of it.

How do we know we have two legs and two hands? Because we are aware of it.

How do we know the weight of the chair is 20 lbs.? Because we are aware of it.

How do we know the smooth touch of silk? Because we are aware of it.

How do we know we are listening to music? Because we are aware of it.

The common thread to all these questions is Awareness. It would seem Awareness is a prerequisite to observe any object. Without awareness, we would not know any objects which are perceived by the 5 senses – eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. These objects from the sensory organs must encounter Awareness, then only we can observe the object.  For an analogy, think of the sun. When there is no light from the sun, you cannot see anything, but in the presence of the light everything becomes visible. In the same way when any form which comes in the presence of the light of Awareness, we become aware of the object. If there is no light of Awareness, you will perceive nothing.

So, what is Awareness and what does Awareness have to do with the content of the object? Everything. Awareness is the content of all the objects in the universe. The content of the objects from the 5 senses is Awareness only. To any newcomer, Awareness is just another English word, with a dictionary meaning ‘knowledge or perception of a situation or fact’. Awareness is much more than an English word.

Awareness is the most powerful force in the universe and it is the underlying reality of this universe. It has the power to connect with a form present in the mind and fill up the object with Awareness. If you analyze Awareness, you will conclude that the Awareness is made up of a Subject, Intelligence and Object with the following functions

  1. There must be a Subject, who is Aware of the experience. This subject is the knower of the Awareness
  2. There must be an Object, which must be experienced. This object is the known part of the Awareness
  3. There must be Intelligence by which the subject gets to know the object. This is the knowing part of the Awareness

Knower, Known and Knowing/Intelligence are the 3 powers of Awareness. It must be clear that

  • Awareness = Subject + Object + Intelligence
  • Power of Awareness = Power of Knower + Power of Knowing + Power of Known

Awareness is made of Subject, Intelligence and Object and it has three different powers – Knower, Knowing and Known. It must be understood that the Subject, Intelligence and Object and the three powers are not something outside in the world, but they are within Awareness and make up Awareness. If any one of them is missing, the awareness will not work, and will be incomplete.

  • If there is an object to be observed, but there is no subject, there will be no awareness, as there is no one to see the object.
  • If there is a subject, but no object to see, there will no awareness as the subject has no objects to observe
  • If there is an object, but the subject has no way of knowing what this object is, no awareness will take place. This knowing must have intelligence.

Wherever there is awareness, the Subject Intelligence and Object must be present with all the three powers. To understand how the content of every object in this universe is Awareness only, we need to understand the Power of the Known

Power of Known

Power of Known is power within Awareness. It is power which deals with objects. It deals with the objects received from the 5 senses. The better way to understand Power of Known is that it is a power to become any object. This power does not create any objects but becomes the object which is superimposed by the 5 senses on this power.

If you see a round circle, then awareness cannot take shape of a square. If it does, you will never experience the round circle. Awareness must also be a round circle with the same exact dimensions. If you see a tree, then awareness must also take the shape of the tree. This tree must be filled up with Awareness. If the tree is half filled with awareness or the awareness does not have the same shape as the tree, you will not be aware of the tree.

If you want to observe any object with form:

  1. The form must be filled with Awareness and nothing but Awareness. If the form does not have Awareness, then observer or subject will not be able to experience the object with that form.
  2. The Awareness must take the exact shape of the form.

It is therefore correct to conclude that the content of the object must be Awareness. Awareness by itself is formless, but it has the potential to become any object. The object it will become depends up on the input received from the 5 senses. A good metaphor to explain this is that it is like a lump of playdoh which is formless, but you can manipulate the playdoh to any shape. Whatever shape you create, the content is always playdoh. In the same way, the content of all the objects in the universe is only Awareness. It can take any shape or form, but the content is always Awareness.

Next time you see a tree, or listen to music or feel the cold water, you must be clear that the tree, music or water is made up only by Awareness and nothing but Awareness. It is content of every object.

What is the Form Made up off?

We now know the Content of any object is Awareness. So what is the Form of the object made off? What is the source of the Form? To understand this properly, you need to understand how the mind functions. As we have discussed in other articles, the mind is made up of mental waves or Vrittis. The ingredient of these waves is knowledge and intelligence. These waves come into the mind from the 5 input or sensory organs – eye, nose, tongue, ear and skin. These intelligent mental waves are the bases of the Form. When these intelligent waveforms come in touch with Awareness and it superimposes itself on Awareness to become the form of the objects we see in the physical world. The content is Awareness, but the form comes from the 5 senses. The waves from the ear, become the sound form we hear. The waves from the eyes becomes the form of the objects we see. The waves from the tongue becomes the taste form we feel. In the same way, smell and touch also function using the input wave from the nose and skin.

We saw in the earlier metaphors, clay is the only content in the clay pot. The pot is only a form which is superimposed on the clay. In the same way, Awareness is the only Content for all the objects and the Form comes from the 5 senses which is superimposed on Awareness.

This may be true, why don’t we feel that the content is Awareness with our daily interaction with objects? This is because our attention is always focused on the Form part of the object and in the process, we ignore the Content part. As an example, if you go to a furniture shop, our attention is always focused on the different designs of furniture. I like this design, I do not like this design. This design will look nice in the house. The focus is on the form part of the furniture and not on the content part. Our focus on Form of the object is so deep rooted that we do not know and understand that the Awareness is the only Content for all objects. If you think about it, even science has been focusing exclusively on the Form part of the object. They have been investigating the Form part of the object and they have made great strides by discovering all the different inner layers of the Form. Molecules, atoms and all the sub-atomic particles. The problem is that Science has been investigating the Form of the objects, but they want to discover the Content of the Object. They are not going to find Awareness by smashing sub-atomic particles in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). They are working at the wrong end of the object. They are working with the Form part of the object and not the Content part of the object.

Actually, you do not have to hunt for Awareness, it is hiding in plain sight. If you see an object, Awareness is already present in that object. It is right in front of you. You are already aware of the object. Next time you see an object, do not focus on the Form, but focus on the fact that you are aware of the object. If you do this regularly you will realize that Awareness is everywhere, and objects are just a skin on top of Awareness.

Karma Yoga

How Do We Perform Karmas?

It must be understood that all karmas or action happen in the Mind itself. It is part of nature when the Ego comes in contact with the Object Vritti, the Ego MUST make a response. The Ego either likes the situation or dislikes the situation. This duality of Raga/Devesha, like/dislike, good/bad is the underlying force that compels the Ego to do Karmas. Every beings has to react to every situation. They cannot remain still.

The interaction between Ego and Object is NOT Karma, it is the response of Like or Dislike which is Karma.

  • People think that when we talk it is karma. This is incorrect; talking is natural. However if you talk positively or negatively about anyone, only then you have done a good or bad Karma.
  • Watching the physical world is natural. However, if you make a judgment, what a horrible shirt someone is wearing, or how nice this person is looking, these judgment calls are Karmas.

Every good or bad karma done must yield fruits either immediate or later on. Because of this we have an infinite amount of pending karmas from this and previous births and we are trapped in this never ending cycle of rebirths. What is the solution? The first step is Karma Yoga.

Prerequisites to Karma Yoga

In order to practice Karma Yoga, we must have the required prerequisites.

  1. Living with Positive Values

Many people lead this type of life, they may think they are leading a life of Karma Yoga. This is not Karma Yoga, but a minimum prerequisite for Karma Yoga.

  1. Living with Dharma

Leading a life of Dharma is the essential and a key prerequisite for your spiritual growth.

 

Attitudes of Karma Yoga

We’ll summarize some of the key teachings from Bhagavad Gita.

  1. Karma Phala Data

Who gives the Fruits of our Actions? Understanding this is the core value of Karma Yoga. Chapter 2, Verse 47 explains this concept brilliantly.

“You have the authority or control on the action you do, but you have no authority or control on the results of the action”

This is a profound and universal truth. We can only do action, but we have no choice or control over the results. This sounds like an obvious statement to make.  But how often do we undertake any action without any expectation of what the result will be?

The BG teaches that it is Ishwara who decides the results. Does that mean Ishwara is judgmental? No. Ishwara has a Will but it has no Ragas and Dveshas. Ishwara’s Will is the Law of Nature. Once these laws are set in motion, Ishwara does not do anything. Good actions will results in Punya Karma phalas and bad actions will results in Papa Karma phalas. This devotional attitude, this is the first right step in Karma Yoga.

  1. Prasada Buddhi

Even if you accept Ishwara to be the Karma Phala Data, it is not easy to accept the results. If the outcome of any action is not as per our expectation it causes frustration. Negative emotions dominate. We usually want things our way. This inner conflict is the major source of turmoil in the mind.

How to overcome these shortcomings? Karma Yoga teaches the concept of Prasada Buddhi. When we go a temple the priest will give us a Prasada which has been blessed by Ishwara. We receive this with humility, respect and love. In life too, we should receive the results of our actions as if we have received a Prasada from Ishwara.  We accept the results of all our actions with humility, gratitude and love. This attitude of acceptance is called Prasada Buddhi.

  1. Gaining Equanimity

Once you understand that Ishwara is the Karma Phala Data, and that everything that you receive in life is a Prasada, we should be able accept the results of our actions with equanimity. This is easier said than done. On the surface, we may accept the outcomes, but deep down we are still unhappy of bad results. So how do we cultivate equanimity?

The easiest way to cultivate this attitude is to elevate our motivation factor or upgrade our attachment to spiritual growth. What does this mean? Think of the various attachments you have formed as you journeyed through life – as kids we were attached to toys, then as we grew up we formed new attachments, like reading books or playing sports. As you can see, when we get a new attachment, the previous attachment is reduced or disappears. If this is correct, we should change our lifestyle and make spiritual growth our primary focus of attachment. This way we can accept negative or positive outcomes with equanimity because we are no longer attached to these expectations. A devotional or spiritual life style is the only way you can gain equanimity in life.

  1. Arpana Buddhi

Arpana Buddhi is the attitude of offering our actions to Ishwara. Both Prasada Buddhi and Arpana Buddhi are complementary. One is receiving and the other is giving.

To understand Arpana Buddhi you have to understand the concept of Yagna in ancient India. Yagna were conducted for thanking Ishwara for the blessings received. The main motivation is to thank Ishwara and acknowledge that everything happens because of Ishwara. The rains are because of Ishwara, the heart beating without resting is a blessing from Ishwara. There is nothing in the universe which is not due to Ishwara. Yagnas was one way of ‘paying back’ for all the blessings received in life.

Everything belongs to Ishwara. So what is it that you can really offer Ishwara? The only thing you can offer is your actions. This is Arpana Buddhi. You do all actions as a dedication to Ishwara, you offer your actions with love and affection to Ishwara. Any action is done with a prayerful attitude, even mundane daily activities. If you are offering all your actions to Ishwara, there is little chance that you will act against Dharma.

All your actions (Arpana Buddhi) are done with a prayerful attitude and, all results thereof are also to be accepted (Prasada Buddhi) with a prayerful attitude. This is the core of Karma Yoga. If you can cultivate this attitude, we can lead a more peaceful and calm life. Another key benefit of Karma Yoga is that our mind is purified so that we can assimilate the ultimate Knowledge more easily to achieve Moksha.

A full version of this article is available at the website. >> Click here 

 

Understanding Photons

A Photon is unique; it has both wave like and particle like properties. It is the only particle in the universe which travels at the speed of light – 186,000 miles per sec. According to science it is physically impossible for anything to travel at the speed of light, because it will require infinite amount of energy to push something to achieve the speed of light. Infinite means infinite, therefore it is just impossible to achieve the speed of light for any object. At the Large Hardon Collider in CERN, Switzerland, it has been possible to achieve 99.999% of the speed of light – achieving 100% seems impossible.

This really makes you wonder- if it is impossible to achieve the speed of light how come the photons achieve this speed so easily, and to top it all, they seem to be everywhere in the universe. Anything traveling at the speed of light must have infinite energy or mass, but photons zero mass.   If you apply the tool kit of the special theory of relativity to the photon, the implications are profound and breathtaking.  Let us talk about this now

Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity

The Theory of Special Relativity deals with Space and Time. It is based on the fact that the speed of light is fixed at c = 186,000 miles per second irrespective of the frame of reference. We all experience relative speed. Going in a car at 60mph, we look into another car traveling in the same direction at 55mph, and we see things inside the other car because the relative speed is only 5mph. We don’t have this experience with reference to the speed of light. Light is travelling at 186,000 miles per sec and suppose you are traveling in a car at 60% of the speed of light. Sitting in the car, you would logically expect the light to travel at only 40% of its usual speed, but if you take measurements you will find to your amazement that light is still travelling at 186k miles per sec. The same applies if you increase the speed of the car to 80% of speed of light or slow down to 30% of the speed of light. The speed of light is fixed at 186,000 miles per hour irrespective of the frame of reference

To explain the implications of this theory, Einstein provided a thought experiment, as it was impossible for cars or rockets to reach speeds anywhere close to the speed of light.

You are on earth and your twin brother goes into space in a rocket. You both have the top of the range atomic clocks. Your twin brother’s rocket is traveling at the speed of 0.8c. You at earth measure the speed of the light, you find it be c, your twin brother also measures the speed of light, he will also find the speed to be c. How come? The clock in the rocket slows down and his ruler in the rocket gets compressed and is much shorter so that the speed of light is still c. His spacetime framework is more compressed, but the speed of light is still c. Your twin brother returns to earth. Your clock shows he travelled for 10 years, while his clock shows he travelled for 6 years only.

Your twin brother goes on another trip and now he increases his speed to 0.9999c. He measures the speed of light and he still finds it to be c, the same as you will find on earth. His clock will be running very slowly as compared to your clock on earth. He returns after 50 days according his clock. Your clock on earth will show he has travelled for 10 years. Amazing stuff! His spacetime is extremely compressed.

Here’s an addition to the Einstein thought experiment. Your twin brother enjoys being in space. He goes back for another trip, and now his rocket travels at the speed of light c. He is tries to measure the speed of light, but he is unable to do so. Light travels at c and his rocket is also traveling at speed c, both are going in parallel to each other speed wise. To make a measurement you need light to bounce of an object, but if the rocket and light are going at the same speed, it is impossible to take this measurement. When he returns to earth, your clock shows he has travelled for 10 years, he will find his clock is at a standstill, no time has passed for him. Also, according to him he has covered no distance. You aged 10 years; he felt he did not go anywhere, both time wise and distance wise and therefore did not age at all.

Now replace the rocket and the twin brother with a photon. The photon will have the same experience as your twin brother travelling at speed of light c in a rocket. Here’s what you could say the photon “experienced” the following according to the special theory of relativity.

  • Distance travelled by photon = 0
  • Time experienced by photon = 0 or standstill
  • Energy content of photon = infinity. The formulae for the Lorenz Transformation will confirm this.

What is your experience as an observer stationed on earth tracking a photon traveling for 10 years?

  • Distance traveled by photon = 10 light years
  • Time travelled by photon = 10 years
  • Mass of photon = 0
  • Speed of light = c

According to the photon, it feels it is at a standstill not covering any distance. However, the observer feels the photon is covering a large distance traveling at the speed of light. How do we interpret this information? Based on the information we have understood, we can make the following important conclusions

  1. The photon travels only in the presence of the observer. If there is no observer, then the photon remains at a standstill. An observer is a prerequisite for the photon to travel. In our earlier discussions we have mentioned that the only observer in this universe is the Atma, which is the underlying reality of you, me and every living being. So, whenever a photon comes in the presence of Awareness in any mind – your mind, my mind or the cosmic mind, the photon becomes conscious and then and only then we are aware of the photon. It is this photon which zips around at the speed of light. The perception must take place in the mind first, only then it is possible for the photon to be observed in the physical world. It is this basic reason, why the perception process as taught by Vedanta is the only correct way to understand the phenomenon.

 

  1. From the photon’s perspective, it is at standstill in time and covers no distance. If time does not move for the photon, it must be outside time and it must be beyond the spacetime framework. If it was within the spacetime framework, time for the photon must change. What does this really mean? Anything beyond time must be in a dormant condition; it could also be called un-manifest condition. What is the “un-manifest” condition? According to Vedanta, it is in its potential form, just like a tree is in an un-manifest, potential condition within a seed. The physical tree still has not come out, but the tree is there in a potential form in the seed. So only a tree will manifest from this seed and nothing else. The photon is also in the same potential form. What potential form does the photon represent? The universe is the “potential” within the photon.

 

  1. Where does the photon reside in its un-manifest condition? Since the un-manifest photon is beyond the space time frame work and as we explained earlier that the Atma is always beyond time. It is only logical conclude that the un-manifest photon exists within Atma, which is unchanging, limitless, without boundaries. Since Atma is present in everyone, including in you, therefore the un-manifest photon is present within you, within your true reality of Atma. You, as an individual person, do not feel or realize this, because, like everyone else, you are ignorant of your own true nature.

 

  1. We saw earlier that according to the observer, the energy level or mass of the photon is zero, but according to the photon, the energy level of the photon is infinite. This photon with infinite energy is lying dormant within the Observer or Atma in an un-manifest condition. Now there is no infinite energy, there is only a potential for infinite energy. Whenever the Observer/Atma has the desire to view the universe, this un-manifest photon will come into the observer’s mind, this photon will become conscious and then it will manifest to become the universe we see around us. This manifested universe will have infinite energy.

We know from studying Vedanta that Atma/Brahman is the underlying reality of you and of the universe. It is the Observer of your mind and it is beyond the space time framework. We have also analyzed that from the photon’s point of view, the photon remains in an un-manifest condition in your Atma. When this photon enters your mind, it becomes conscious and manifests itself.

 

Energy which makes up this Universe

Photons, from their own standpoint, are in an un-manifest condition. They are in their potential state. The potential form of the photon represents the universe; it is not one photon, but a collection of all the photons in the universe.  A good analogy would be that the potential form is like software code that represents all aspects of the universe. Just like the software needs a CPU to manifest itself, the potential form of the photon needs a mind to manifest itself.

When the un-manifest photon meets our minds, it manifests itself and becomes a Vritti, which is like a mental wave within the mind. These mental waves or vrittis are the same as the probability waves which are explained by quantum physics, they are so similar in their functionality. We know from quantum mechanics that the probability waves collapse in the presence of the observing system. In the same way the mental waves of the photon collapse in the presence of Atma, which is the observing system in our minds. Maya Shakti then projects this collapsed wave function as the visible physical universe we see around us.

Put in simple terms, the universe is a manifestation of just the photon. In its un-manifest form, the photon had a potential for infinite energy. This infinite energy is now unleashed into the entire universe.

Types of Energy in the Universe

As we have seen, the photon is the only particle in the universe which travels at the speed of light.  If we apply the theory of special relativity to the photon, the photon will feel it does not travel any distance, that time is at a standstill and that it has an infinite amount of energy. In the presence of the observer or from the point of view of the observer, the picture is very different, infinite energy is distributed all over the world and photons are zooming around the universe at the speed of light.

The photon has an infinite amount of energy, but this finite universe can use only a finite amount of energy. You as an observer can only see a part of the universe and therefore only a finite amount of energy is required. I am guessing that the unused energy of the photon remains in an un-manifest condition.

It must be clearly understood that the only energy available in the universe is the energy provided by photons.

A photon in a wave form is also known as an Electromagnetic Energy Wave (EMV). The known spectrum of light starts from Radio waves (300 Khz) to Gamma rays (3 x 1021) Hz. This spectrum of energy covers the universe. It is the source for everything. All objects are made up of energy and this energy comes with the manifestation of the photon in the presence of the observer or Atma.

The energy described above is the physical or visible energy. Keeping the size of the universe and estimating the number of galaxies, cosmologists have estimated the composition of the universe in this way –

  • Dark energy – 79%
  • Dark matter – 26%
  • Visible Matter – 5%

Only 5% of the energy is used to create the visible galaxies. We must note that 73% of the visible universe is made of hydrogen, 23% Helium and 2% is made of the remaining elements. The cosmologist still has no clue what this dark energy/matter is. They have not seen it nor identified it. It’s just an assumption to explain how the energy needed to fuel the expansion of the universe is “created”.

Dark energy, Dark matter and the Visible Matter, all have the roots in the infinite energy source of the photons in the un-manifested Atma.

Understanding Motion

Motion is part of our daily life. We see motion or movement everywhere. What causes this motion? How does this motion happen? You will be surprised, it is completely opposite to our conventional understanding.

Frame of Reference:

If there are two cars next to each other and travelling in the same direction at 60 mph, they will not experience any motion with respect to each other. They will feel they are stationery. They will feel motion if they pass a stationery person standing on the roadside. If one driver is driving at 60 mph and another person at 55 mph. They will only experience a speed of 5 mph. To explain this, physics teaches us that there are two frames of references. One frame of reference is the observer and other frame of reference is the object. If both the reference frames move at the same speed, there will be no relative motion, if they are not moving at the same speed, motion will be experienced.

Motion has a knack of playing tricks with us. There are two stationery trains in a platform. You are sitting in one of them. The other train starts moving, why do we feel that we are moving, and the other train is stationery. The observer frame is stationery and the object frame is moving, but we feel that the object frame is stationery and the observer frame is moving with respect with the object frame. We look through the other side window and then realize we are stationery and the other train is moving. If there were no windows on the other side, we would really think we are moving. If there is no other frame of reference except the other train, we would really think we are moving. The conclusion is that if there are only two frames of references, then both the frame of references thinks they are moving with respect with the other reference frame.

Apply this logic to our daily life. We are walking towards some trees. Are we really walking towards the trees or we are stationery and the tree are coming towards us? The idea we are stationery and trees are coming moving towards us is a possibility based on the frame of references we discussed for the trains at the platform. But can this be true? Yes, it is true, and it is the only truth. It is difficult to digest this, how can the trees move, they seem so stationery.

The teachings of Vedanta can help us in this regard. We have seen in the other articles at our website, that the Observer, which is Awareness is within each one of us. This Observer is outside the spacetime fabric and is always t = 0. This Observer is not the body or mind and is always stationery and never moves. It cannot move because it is outside the spacetime fabric. If the Observer frame is always fixed, it is only logical that the trees are moving closer to us to give a sense of motion. But how can the trees and other such fixed objects in the universe move? As we have discussed in our article ‘Life is Living Wave’ that there is a fully functioning subtle universe made up of mental waves which is operating in the mind. These subtle mental waves are then projected out there as the physical world.

Based on this, there are subtle waveforms of the tree in our mind. In some way (which is discussed later), the subtle waveform of the tree moves closer to the fixed Observer in the mind. When this happens, the projected physical tree will now be closer to the Observer. Since the physical tree has moved to be closer to the fixed observer, there is a sense of motion or movement of the tree. We do not feel this, we feel the tree is fixed and we have moved closer to the tree. This is exactly the same way you feel your fixed train is moving as compared to the other train in the platform. This is the grand deception of motion, played by Maya shakti.

The Observer frame is always stationery and the movement of the object frame gives the impression of motion for the Observer frame. So, how does the object frame really move? What is the cause for the object frame to move? To understand this, we need to discuss the Einstein theory of special reactivity.

Theory of Special Relativity:

If you understand the Einstein theory of special relativity, you will see that there is a connection between motion and time. We just saw if one driver is driving at 60 mph and other person at 55 mph, they will experience a relative speed of 5 mph. We don’t have this experience with reference to the speed of light. Light is travelling at 186,000 miles per sec and suppose you are traveling in a car at 60% of the speed of light. Sitting in the car, you would logically expect the light to travel at only 40% of its usual speed, but if you take measurements you will find to your amazement that light is still travelling at 186k miles per sec. The same applies if you increase the speed of the car to 80% of speed of light or slow down to 30% of the speed of light. The speed of light is fixed at 186,000 miles per hour irrespective of the frame of reference.

What has happened is that time has slowed down so that light still covers 186K miles in one second. Since time has slowed down, the space of 186K miles will be smaller as compared to earlier. The space is still 186k, but the measuring ruler has shrunk, so the space measurement is still 186K. Amazing but true. If you increase the speed of the car to 80% of speed of light, time will slow down further, and space will further contract. If you now slow down to 30% of the speed of light, space will now expand. All this is done to ensure that the speed of light is a constant at 186,000 miles per sec. This expansion and contraction of spacetime also happens even when walking or running. However, the speed at which you walk, or run is so slow when compared to the speed of light that you are unable to notice, but the changes to the space time framework are always occurring.

  • This mean motion and time are interconnected. As speed of motion goes up, time slows down. If you reach the speed of light, time will not move, it will be fixed.
  • Suppose Person A is sitting in a chair, Person B is walking, Person C is running, Person D is cycling, and Person E is driving a car; all of them are moving at different speeds; this would mean that each of them will have their own separate spacetime framework.
  • From the above, it would seem the time clock of each moving person is different. This means that the atoms are vibrating differently for each person. If atoms are vibrating differently, the object makeup will be different. In other words, each person is not only having a separate spacetime framework, but all the objects in that spacetime framework are different.

Time and Motion

From the theory of special relativity, we can conclude that the motion and time are interconnected. When motion speed increases, then the time slows down. It seems motion comes first and then the time slow down. Motion is the cause and the slowdown of time is the effect. Is this the correct interpretation? I don’t think so. Motion is gross, we see motion everywhere. In contrast time is subtle – you cannot see it, touch it or feel it. Time is present in the mind as a mental wave. This wave has the power to create Time. It is quite difficult for us to understand or visualize the composition of this waveform, but one thing is certain that Time is subtle and therefore it is a waveform and is present in everyone’s mind.

Vedanta teaches us that subtle mental waves comes first, and the subtle waveforms is the cause for the gross world around us. The subtle waveform projects the physical world out there. If you apply this reasoning, time must come first, and the time waveform is the cause for motion. So, the correct way to interpret the connection between motion and time is that when time slows down, then motion is created.

When time slows down, it is only logical to expect the objects would be closer to the Observer. The physics equation s = v*t will support this. When time t is a smaller value, the distance s will be smaller, meaning it is closer to the Observer. There is motion of the object by slowing of time. Before the slowdown of time, the objects were at a certain location and by slowing down of time, the objects have moved closer to the fixed Observer. The objects have moved, meaning there is motion. However, we feel the opposite, the objects are fixed, and the Observer has moved. This is exactly the way we feel when the other train moves in the platform. We are fixed, and the other train is moving, but we feel the other train is fixed and we are moving.

So, time controls motion and not the other way around. Time is the cause for motion. Increase or decrease the time factor in the mind, the resulting motion (or speed) of the objects will change in the physical world. Time is also the cause for the spacetime fabric expansion or contraction. Increase or decrease the time, space time fabric will also expand or contract. This corroborates the Einstein theory of special relativity.

Next time you are walking or running, just imagine you are fixed at your location, but the objects around you are moving closer to you. True and amazing.

Just a quick word about acceleration. The same logic also applies to acceleration. Acceleration is a type of motion, so here also time controls the motion. In the earlier discussion, the time slowed down by a fixed amount and this resulted in motion at a fixed speed. But in acceleration, time slows down by squaring itself, this results in motion being accelerated. So time is king, it controls both velocity and acceleration.

Construction of the Universe

Millions and millions (maybe countless) of objects make up the universe. So how are these objects put together to create the universe we see around us.

We will try and understand the construction of the universe by studying a typical scene we see every day. For example, we see a series of trees from two different location. The following table gives the details of the trees we are seeing

Location A Location B
Tree 1 100 ft 600 ft
Tree 2 300 ft 800 ft
Tree 3 500 ft 1000 ft
Tree 4 1000 ft 1500 ft

 

From Location A, you can see 4 trees at different distances. Location B is 500 feet back, so the same 4 trees will be 500 further away. There is nothing complex about this, we see this type of scene every day. We see objects at different distances from us daily. We are so used to seeing space in terms of distance. Doing this hides all the underlying mysteries of this universe.

So, let us take a different approach, let us look at space in terms of time. Einstein taught us that space and time are the same thing and he coined the term spacetime. Things become interesting and complex when you look at the universe in terms of time. Let us look at these trees in terms of time taken by light to reach us from the trees. We know light travels at 186,000 miles/sec. Even though the trees are not very far, light will take some time to reach us. See below the results

Location A Location B
Tree 1 0.10 µs 0.60 µs
Tree 2 0.30 µs 0.80 µs
Tree 3 0.50 µs 1.0 µs
Tree 4 1.0 µs 1.5 µs

Note: µs = microseconds = 10-6 seconds

If the distance between the tree and you is zero, light will take zero seconds to reach us. This would mean you would see the most current version of the tree. I like to call this the ‘now’ tree. The tree we see at 100 feet is a 0.1 µs younger version of the tree as compared to the now version. This is because light takes 0.1 µs to reach us, so what we see is not the ‘now’ version but a 0.1 µs younger version of the tree. Tree 3 at 500 feet is a 0.5 µs younger version of the tree. Extrapolating this, the moon we see is a 3 sec younger version as compared to the ‘now’ moon. It takes light 3 sec to reach us from the moon. The sun in the sky is an 8 min younger sun as compared to the ‘now’ sun. If a distant planet is 1 million light years away, then that planet will be 1 million years younger than what it is ‘now’. None of the objects we see in the physical universe out there is a ‘now’ object, they are all ‘memory’ or dated objects. In terms of placement, the closer the object is to you, the less dated it is and the objects which are further away are much more dated.

Einstein in his theory of relativity mentioned the presence of a spacetime fabric. Different objects are placed on the fabric depending upon how much time it takes light to reach you from these objects. If light takes less time, these objects will be closer to you on the spacetime fabric and if light takes a longer time, those objects will be further away on the spacetime fabric. In the tree example, the light from tree 1 takes 0.1 µs, so it is placed much closer to you on the spacetime fabric as compared to tree 4, which takes 1.0 µs. Light takes 8 mins from the sun, so it is placed 8 min away on the spacetime fabric. In the same way all the different objects are placed appropriately on the spacetime fabric.

So, where does the spacetime fabric start and end. The only logical starting place is You. We are talking about light reaching you from different objects, so you or your location is the critical starting point. This is the t = 0 for the spacetime fabric. Let us look at this in a different way. In the current example, location B is 500 feet away from Location A. If you were standing at location B, light will 0.6 µs to reach you from tree 1. If you move to location A, which is 500 feet closer, light will take 0.10 µs to reach you. If you are standing at tree 1, light will take zero seconds to reach you. This also shows that the spacetime fabric must start with your location.

The end of the spacetime fabric will be the longest distance you can see. If you are indoors, the spacetime fabric will end at the walls of your house because you cannot see anything beyond the walls. Outdoors it will depend upon what you are seeing. If you are seeing the stars, the spacetime fabric will cover a long distance into space. So, the spacetime fabric keeps changing depending up on the scene you are seeing.

Person 1 at Location A and Person 2 at Location B

There are two people, person 1 is standing at location A and person 2 at location B. They are looking at the same trees but from different distances. They are looking at the same trees, but are they seeing the same version of the tree? The answer is no, they are not seeing the same version of the tree. Person 1 is seeing the 0.1 µs younger version of tree 1, while person 2 is seeing the 0.6 µs younger version of tree 1. The age difference between the two versions is 0.5 µs. This difference is very small, but it must be understood that the two versions of tree 1 are not the same. The same applies to tree 2, 3 and 4 and in fact to every object in the universe.

It seems Person 1 at location A has a spacetime fabric with his own version of objects. Person 2 at location B even though looking at the same objects has a completely different spacetime fabric with different versions of objects. We have seen earlier that the start point for spacetime fabric is You. So, person 1 has his own spacetime fabric with his own version of objects. Person 2 also has a different spacetime fabric with a different version of objects.

It is breathtaking to conclude that every living being in this universe creates their own spacetime fabric and place different versions of objects on this spacetime fabric. It must be understood that spacetime fabric comes from the mind and is a creation of the mind.

Person 1 moves form Location A to Location B

Suppose Person 1, moves 500 feet away from location A to location B looking at the same trees. What happens? At location A, this person was seeing the 0.10 µs version of the tree 1, but from location B, this person sees the 0.60 µs version of the same tree. It is same tree, but different version of the tree. What happened? It is a physical tree out there, how did it change its version? Who changed the tree version? Did someone uproot the old version and replace it with the new version? This not only applies to tree 1, but all the objects which are being viewed along with the tree. If person 1 moves 10 feet back, this person will now a see a different version of all the objects. This means any movement forward or backwards by this person or any person will always result in a different version of all the objects being viewed. The object version is continuously undergoing change. How to explain this continuous change? Can Science explain this? I do not think science has any explanation. So, what is solution? Vedanta has a clear-cut and correct explanation. Vedanta has always maintained that there is no physical world out there, it is only a projection of the mind. The mind projects the physical world. It is not like a projector and a screen. The mind itself becomes the physical world. Your mind is the physical world.

In the articles at our website ‘Understanding the Mind series’ and ‘Life is Really a Wave’, we have given a detailed explanation about how the mind functions, how the mind creates and projects the physical world.

For our current discussion understanding the role of time is important. Time must be subtle – you cannot see it, touch it or feel it. Vedanta teaches us anything subtle must be part of the mind. Everything which is present in the mind is made up of mental waves or Vrittis. So, Time is present in the mind as a mental wave. This wave has the power to create Time. It is quite difficult for us to understand or visualize the composition of this waveform, but one thing is certain that Time is subtle and therefore it is a waveform and is present in everyone’s mind. Vedanta also teaches us that all the objects in the world must have a subtle form and this form is present in the mind as mental waves or Vrittis. The time waveform combines with each object to create a combined time object waveform. The time factor is now added to the object. It is like a mathematical waveform with time as a variable. If you think about it, this superimposed waveform will now provide a history or timeline of the object. Since Time has been superimposed on the object waveform, the new waveform will have the ‘potential’ to show the object in all it stages of growth from its birth to right now. The object with the historical time line is present in the Vritti in its ‘potential’ form.

Let us how this work for tree 1 when person 1 is viewing from location 1. There is tree vritti or waveform in our mind and this waveform superimposes with the time waveform to give a combined tree 1/time wave form. This combined waveform has to potential to take up any version of tree 1 from its birth to now. Since the tree is 100 feet away, the combined time/tree 1 waveform takes up the 0.1 µs version of the tree. When this 0.1 µs version tree waveform meets with Awareness it collapses. When this waveform collapses, the 0.1 µs version of the tree is projected out in its physical form and it is placed at 100 feet on the spacetime fabric. In the same way, all the other time/objects waveform in mind collapse in the presence of the Awareness and the correct time version of each object is placed on the spacetime fabric.

Now person 1 moves to location B to see the same trees. All the trees are now further away. Here again, the time vritti combines with tree 1 wave form. This combined waveform has the potential to take up any version of tree 1 from its birth to now. Since the tree is 600 feet away, the tree takes up the 0.6 µs version of the tree. This 0.6 µs version tree waveform collapses in the presence of the Awareness. When this waveform collapses, the tree is projected out in its physical form and it is placed at 600 feet on the spacetime fabric.

We have been talking about a single tree, the outdoor scene is complex with so many different objects at different distances. If you put all this in the time scale, the processing of the scene is not easy. Depending how far the object is, the correct time version of the object must be selected. This must be done for every object in the scene. If we move forward or back, or if we see another scene, the full process must be repeated. It is not easy to fathom how all this processing is taking place in the mind. It seems very difficult.

Is there an easier way to understand this complex process? Yes, I believe there is a map of the entire universe pre-installed in the cosmic mind. Depending upon the persons location, the relevant sub-portion of this map will show up in the individual mind. It is exactly like Google Maps. The entire map is available, but depending upon our location, only that local map will show up. If we move around, the map will adjust to the new location. The pre-installed universe map works exactly in the same way. The objects in this universe map will be pre-treated for the correct time version depending upon the distance of these objects from you. This universe map is dynamic and updated instantaneously. For example, you cut a branch of the tree, the universe map will update itself immediately. The next person who sees the tree, will see the missing branch.

To understand the complexity of the universe, it maybe a good idea to start looking at space in terms of time and not distance. This will highlight that the version of the objects keeps changing with our movement. It will also give a feeling that we are the starting point of the spacetime fabric and we are projecting our own world, which is different from others. Oh! What a feeling.

Expansion of the Universe

Does the universe expand? Science tells us the universe is expanding. Why is the universe expanding? How fast the universe is expanding? Science is not very sure about these questions. Using powerful telescopes, they have watched the movement of different planets and galaxies and noticed the expansion is uneven. Some places the expansion is faster and other places the expansion is slower. There is no explanation about this uneven expansion. Looking at some far away planets and looking at their rate of expansion, they have come up with a Hubble constant. The Hubble constant states that the rate of expansion is about 71 kilometers per second per megaparsec. A megaparsec is a million parsecs, or about 3.3 million light-years. It means objects 3.3 million light years away are expanding at 71 kilometers per second. This is based on observation only. If you understand the fundamentals of the universe expansion, it is possible to calculate and prove the Hubble Constant. We will be doing this in this article. 

So, what are the fundamentals of this expansion? Understanding the spacetime fabric is the key to understand this expansion. We have discussed the spacetime fabric in other arrticles. We have seen that the individual person or the observer location is the start point for the spacetime fabric. We can call this the t = 0 for the spacetime fabric. We have seen that the spacetime fabric is a time-based fabric in which different objects are placed depending upon the time light takes to reach the observer from these objects. 

What is the maximum size of the spacetime fabric?  Science tells us that the age of the universe is 13.7 billion years old. This is the big bang moment. Light reaching us from the big bang moment would be the outer edge of the spacetime fabric. Light will take 13.7 billion light years to reach us from this big bang moment. This is the outer edge because there was no universe before the big bang. So, the size of the universe: 13.7 billion light years or 12.9 x 1025 meters. One light year is the amount of distance light travels in one year, which is = 9.46 × 1015 meters

Is this spacetime fabric expanding? Definitely, yes. How much? Let us try and understand this. If you assume the universe is 13.7 billion years old ‘right now’. After one second, the age of the universe will be 13.7 billion years + 1 sec. Light must now must travel an additional 186,000 miles to reach us, which means the size of the universe has grown by 186,000 miles. After 10 seconds, the size of the universe would increase by 186,000 x 10 = 1,860,000 miles. After one year from now, the size of the universe will increase by 1 light year. 1 light year is the distance light travels in one year.

From the above, we can conclude that the rate of expansion of the Universe = 1 light year per year.

If you can imagine the spacetime fabric as an elastic rubber sheet, starting from the start point t=0 (which means you) to the edge of the universe. The end at the observer’s side is fixed it is always the t = 0; the other end which is the outer edge of the universe is being pulled outwards. This elastic space time fabric is expanding by 186,000 miles every second. It is expanding at the speed of light every second, which is one light year every year. As time flows, the expansion of the spacetime fabric will continue at the speed of light.

It must be understood that only the edge of the universe is expanding at the speed of light, anything in between will not expand at the same speed, it will be proportional to the distance from the observer. Using the rubber sheet example, if you pull the outer edge by a certain distance, the inner parts will not be stretched by the same amount. The stretching will be more at the outer edges and it will be much less as you move inwards to the other side. This means that the rate of outward expansion of galaxies, stars etc., would really depend upon how far these galaxies are far away from the observer. The observer is t=0. Stars close by will expand more slowly, as compared to stars which are further away. This is because the space time fabric for the stars nearby will stretch less as compared to the stars which are further away. 

Based on our understanding of the stretching of the space time fabric, let us try and calculate the Hubble Constant

  • The size of the universe is 13.7 billion light years and it expands by 1 light year every year
  • The object 3.3 million light years away from us, it will expand by 3.3x 106/13.7x 109 = .240 x 10-3 light year per year
  • 1 light year = 9.46 × 1012 Km
  • Therefore .240 x 10-3 light year per year = 2.27 x 109 Km per year.
  • 1 year = 3.15 x 107 sec
  • 2.27 x 109 Km per year = 71 km /sec

The above calculation shows that the Hubble constant is indeed 71 km/sec. We have just proven what has been observed by science. Since the calculation of the Hubble constant is accurate, it only shows that the expansion model explained in this section is correct and accurate. Science, please make a note and accept this expansion model for the universe.  

Functioning of the Mind

We have seen in other articles Awareness is a mix of subject, object and intelligence. Self-Awareness, has the Self and the 3 parts of Awareness.

In the mind because of Ignorance these 4 components are sitting in different departments. The Intelligence is sitting in the Buddhi, the Objects part is sitting in the Manas, the Subject part is sitting in the Sakshi and the Self or ‘I-ness’ is sitting in the Ahamkara. These four parts are separated, but there is a natural tendency for these 4 parts to combine to create Self-Awareness. There is a mutual attraction to come together so that they can achieve it original status of being Self-Awareness. When the subject, object and intelligence are separated out, the self feels incomplete, it feels inadequate and it wants to feel full and complete. The only way self can feel the completeness when the subject, object and intelligence combine into one entity.

In the mind this can happen only when the subject (in sakshi), objects (in manas) and the intelligence (in buddhi) combine to create Awareness. Only when these 3 parts combine, Awareness is generated. The Ahamkara then links with this Awareness to complete the feeling of Self-Awareness, which is the original state of fullness and non-duality which we have discussed earlier. When this is achieved the feeling of completeness and fullness (Ananda) is there but the problem is that it does not last very long. It is momentary. It lasts as long as one thought last. When the second thought pops up, the full process has to be repeated. We know we have countless thoughts every day, the same cycle is repeated with every thought. We have a momentary bliss after every thought when there is unity between buddhi, manas, sakshi and ahamkara. This bliss or Ananda will break up when the second thought pops up. This is a never ending cycle.

The Mind is complex and understanding how an experience or thought occurs in the mind is not easy. One thing, however, is clear – that the Buddhi, Manas, Sakshi and Ahamkara must combine to create an experience or thought. We will now undertake a step by step analysis on a how a typical experience is created in the mind

  • Step 1: Activity in the Manas
  • Step 2: Buddhi Knows
  • Step 3: Ahamkara Interferes
  • Step 4: Sakshi Witnesses

Step 1: Activity in the Manas

Manas is the home of the Objects and it has the Power of Known (Objects). This power is a very powerful part of the Power of Awareness, which has the ability of becoming any object you want to experience. This power has unlimited capacity, but unfortunately it is limited by the human mind. The human mind is limited what it can experience by the 5 sense organs – eyes, ears, tongue, nose and skin.

Even within these sense areas, the human mind has limitations. For example, the human ear can hear sounds up to only 20Khz of frequency. This is limited. We know other animals can manage a much wider spectrum. Our eyes can only see the ‘light part’ of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. There are species who handle other parts of the EM spectrum. In other words, there is a much bigger universe than what we can experience with our 5 senses.

If there are gross or physical sense organs, then there must also be subtle sense organs. These subtle sense organs are present in the Manas. The Manas representing the subtle body can be divided into the following abilities and powers:

  • Sense Organs – ‘Input’ organs connecting to the external Sense Objects
  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Nose
  • Tongue
  • Skin
  • Organs of Action – ‘Output’ Organs
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Talking
  • Reproduction
  • Evacuation
  • Antahkarana – Internal Organs: These are organs which operate at the sub-conscious level. Organs like, heart, liver, stomach, muscles etc. There is no direct control over these organs but they function at the sub-conscious level.

The sense organs are our connection to the external world. The external world of vision, sound, smell, taste and touch makes its presence known in the manas and each sense object is being connected to its respective sense organs. If you want see a tree, the subtle version of the tree will be present in the subtle version of the eye (in the manas). If you want to listen to music, the subtle version of the music will be present in the subtle version of the ear (in the manas). Whatever we experience in the external world is first present in the manas in its subtle form.

There is no denying that there is a lot of activity taking place in the Manas. All the sense organs, and the internal organs are continuously sending information into the Manas. It is indeed crowded with the different types of information. This information is in some type of wave form. Every object in the sense organs has a wave form representation. All these signals can become physical objects with the Power of Known which is available in the Manas. The problem is that the Manas does not know or understand what these input wave forms represent. This is because these wave forms are covered by Ignorance, in fact a better way to put it is that the building blocks of these object wave forms is Ignorance. Every wave form entering the sense organs in the manas is built in Ignorance. It may sound strange, but it is true that Ignorance is source of the entire subtle universe.

If Manas had the knowledge what these input waveforms represented, it could then create the required objects. At this stage the Manas does not know or understand any of the input signals. Manas has the power to become the objects, but it does not have the power to remove the ignorance from these input signals which are present in the sense and internal organs.

The Manas needs help in the removal of Ignorance.

Step 2: Buddhi Knows

The Buddhi is the intelligent part of the mind and it has the Power of Knowing. The awesome power of knowing, which is part of Awareness. It has the ability to know anything and everything in this this universe and beyond. It has that decoding power. The Power of Knowing is within Buddhi. If any object wave form comes in the presence of the Buddhi, the Buddhi would know what that object wave form represented.

The Buddhi is like the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of the human being. The input signal comes to the CPU to be processed. In the same way, the input signal from the Manas comes to the Buddhi to be processed. We saw that the input wave forms coming from the Manas are covered by ignorance, the Buddhi peels out this ignorance and reveals its actual identity. The object wave form with ignorance transforms into an object wave form with knowledge. This wave form with knowledge is a mental wave form and in Vedanta it is called a Vritti.

We can say that Buddhi is the most powerful CPU with parallel processing capability. It can handle so many different input stimuli from the five sense organs and also from the internal organs simultaneously. It removes the ignorance for each and every waveform which is present in the Manas.

It awaits further action from Ahamkara (ego) on the some of the object vrittis (not all) which have come from the 5 sense organs. In many of the routine vrittis from sense organs and all the vrittis from the internal organs, the buddhi knows what action to take. Over time, it has learned what action is to be taken, so it can undertake these actions automatically. These actions can also be described as sub-conscious, the actions which you are not aware of but which continue to happen almost automatically.

Buddhi is a self-learning CPU, which learns and knows how to handle different actions. Like the CPU it is connected to output devices, the Buddhi is also connected to output devices like the five organs of action – hand, feet, talking etc. and also all the internal organs.

Since Buddhi has many different powers and capabilities, let us discuss some of the key powers:

Power of Cognition or Sensation: This is power of knowing what is available in the sense organs. This is the power which we have described earlier of changing the object wave form of ignorance to the object wave form of knowledge.

Power of Imagination: Day dreaming or creative/positive thinking are good examples. We are involved in this on a regular basis, where we can construct an imaginary vision for ourselves. This power is present in the buddhi.

Power of Logic: Power of comparing and contrasting, drawing interferences, discussion, etc. So we can say that the power of logic is within buddhi. If you see smoke on the hill, you conclude there is fire. A wide range of logic ‘circuitry’ is available in the buddhi, which we use on a daily basis.

Power of Will: This is the power to execute desires, wishes and ideals and is available within the Buddhi and the Ahamkara. It is originally within Ahamkara, but the Buddhi also learns this skill over time.

Power of Memory: This is where all the things learned and experienced are stored. This storage is also ‘Citta’. Next time a similar vritti is presented, Memory knows what the vritti represents.

 

Step 3: Ahamkara Interferes

After the Buddhi processes the object wave form of ignorance from the Manas to a known mental wave form (called Vritti), this object vritti is now presented to the Ahamkara.

Ahamkara means ‘I-Maker’, it is the sense of ‘I-ness’ within you. It is not the Self in Self-Awareness, but it is a vritti and thinks it is the ‘self’. It masquerades as the Self and Ahamkara is just a mental a wave form, ‘I’ or ’self’.  If Ahamkara was the Self, it would never feel incomplete, inadequate and get only momentary doses of bliss and happiness – it would always feel complete and have continuous Ananda.

The vrittis, from the 5 senses and also the citta, the memory bank of past events, is presented to the Ahamkara. You have object vrittis coming in from your senses. The Ahamkara now has to interact with these vrittis. We saw the Buddhi could handle parallel processing by handling multiple inputs at the same time. The interaction between Ahamkara and these wide range of object vrittis happens only one at a time. You can only have one experience at a time. The Ahamkara interacts only with one vritti at a time and it gives ‘my-ness’ to the vritti .

How does Ahamkara choose between the different vrittis which are available. There are two ways this can happen

  1. Ahamkara chooses a Vritti
  2. A Vritti chooses Ahamkara

Ahamkara Chooses a Vritti: This is a willful action, where ahamkara deliberately chooses one of the object vrittis for further action. It is a noisy street, but you stop to admire a beautiful flower. Your ahamkara did not focus on all the noise, but deliberately chose the flower vritti to admire. This is a complicated process and many factors can make Ahamkara choose one of the vrittis available.

There are many instances, where Ahamkara does not choose any of the available vrittis but instructs the Buddhi to locate another particular vritti which will meet its current requirements and desires. For example, you have a desire to eat ice-cream but there is no ice cream in the house. The buddhi then instructs the manas to go to the car and drive to an ice cream shop to satisfy this desire.

A Vritti Chooses Ahamkara: It must be understood that each of the vrittis are conscious and have a life of their own. We have seen that most of these object vrittis are provided by the sense organs. These sense organs have their own likes and dislikes. Eyes want to see beautiful things, the tongue to taste delicious food, and so on. We all have had experiences where our sense organs have ‘hijacked’ the Ahamkara and ‘as though’ forced it to take a particular action against its will. The doctor has told us that any more sweets can be harmful to our health. We are fully aware of this, but still when we see a delicious sweet our hands reach out against our will and we put it in our mouths. In such instances the vritti dominates and manipulates ahamkara to undertake an action.

Vritti Modification: It is very important to understand that whenever Ahamkara interacts with an Object Vritti, it will modify the object vritti according to its likes and dislikes. In Vedanta this is called Raga and Dvesha. We have seen earlier that Ahamkara is also a mental waveform and when it interacts or superimposes with the object vritti the resultant vritti is a vritti modified by Raga and Dvesha. If you like something you will modify the vritti differently than when you dislike something.

The bottom line is that the Ahamkara modifies the incoming vritti according to its own disposition. If Ahamkara is feeling angry, it will react to the vritti differently than it would if it is feeling happy and peaceful. Ahamkara or ego adds a personal touch to the interacting object vritti. In fact, it also adds the ‘I-ness’ to the vritti. Ahamkara can become attached or addicted to certain vrittis because they give it momentary happiness and it wants to repeat these moment of happiness.

Step 4: Sakshi Witnesses

This is the last step in the process. We have seen that for Self-Awareness you need the following 4 elements.

Self-Awareness = Object + Intelligence + Self + Subject

We have seen in this step by step process that the object waveform in the Manas combines with the Intelligence in the Buddhi and the modification of this object vritti by Ahamkara or ego. To have awareness, the only missing element is the power of knower (Subject). The Subject or Sakshi provides this power of knower.

When the modified object vritti from Ahamkara combines with the Subject or Sakshi, you have something ‘magical’ – you have awareness of the experience. You have awareness of the experience because all the elements of awareness are now present. Till we reached step 4, the object viewed was as a waveform or vritti. When the last missing element of the subject came in contact with the object vritti, the waveform collapses to create the experience of gross objects around you. The Sakshi or subject is the one which witnesses this experience.

 

This 4 step process is how the mind functions for all experiences. Let us discuss some examples to reinforce this concept.

Example 1 – Scientist at Work: A scientist is working hard to prove a hypothesis. His current level of knowledge is far from the ultimate goal. The object vrittis of the current level of knowledge pass through the manas and buddhi. The scientist’s ahamkara interacts with this object vrittis and modifies the vrittis according to what the scientist thinks are the best way to solve the problem. When the subject or sakshi collapses this updated wave form, the scientist will find that he has gained more knowledge but the goal is not yet in sight. The scientist keeps repeating this cycle, till one day, the ahamkara modifies the object vritti to match the vritti for proving the hypothesis. When this object vritti collapses, the scientist has gained the knowledge to prove his hypothesis.

 

Example 2 – Sub-conscious Driving: When we are driving, many times our mind is engrossed in some thought, but when the traffic light changes to red, we automatically stop the car. We (at least I do) sometime wonder how this happens. The red light vritti from the manas is presented to the buddhi. Over the years of driving, the buddhi has learned that one stops at the red light. So even without the involvement of the ahamkara, the buddhi on its own instructs the output device (the legs) to stop the car. The buddhi is always self-learning and has the ability to manage the day to day activity at a sub-conscious level while the ego is not involved.

Example 3Ahamkara Interpretation: The Ahamkara or ego is constantly modifying the incoming object vrittis and the resultant vritti is not the same as the original vritti. The original intention is lost. This modification is done by Raga and Dvesha. Desires of the Ahamkara is usually the driving force for Raga and Dvesha. When this updated vritti collapses in the presence of the Sakshi or Subject, the resultant experience has two components – the original representation of the object plus addition of the raga and dvesha. This addition by the ego is what we call emotions. Human being have a wide range of emotions and this is always the resultant of when desire interacts with thought.

 

Understanding Time

In classical physics, space and time were considered completely different and independent of each other. Newton considered space to have 3 dimensions and a separate single dimension for time.  Einstein with his Theory of Relativity showed that space and time where interlinked and he changed the terminology from ‘space and time’ to ‘space time’ and this space time had 4 dimensions. But, it’s hard to understand 4 dimensions, it’s not intuitive. We can only visualize 3 dimensions, so where is the 4th dimension? Neither Einstein nor science has given a proper explanation for this.

  1. If we look at the teaching of Vedanta, this confusion between space and time becomes quite clear. Einstein showed Time and Space are one and the same thing, the only difference is that Time is subtle while Space is gross. Space and Time are referring to the same thing. Space is the gross version of Time. Space is gross; we can see Space out there. We have seen that anything subtle is an activity that happens in the mind. As we saw, mental activities are made up of waves or ‘vrittis’. Since Time is nonphysical and subtle, it must be a mental activity and it must be made up of waves or ‘vrittis’.
  2. If Time is subtle, it must be a ‘vritti’ or wave which is present in an individual mind and in the cosmic mind. This wave has the power to create Time. It is quite difficult for us to understand or visualize the composition of this waveform, but one thing is certain that Time is subtle and therefore it is a waveform and is present in everyone’s mind and it creates time.

Let us study the Time ‘vritti’ or mental wave in little more detail and see how it interacts with other waves in the mind.

  • Time and Objects
  • Time and Spacetime Fabric
  • Time and Energy
  • Time and Motion

Time and Objects:

Time is a wave in the mind and all the objects in the world are also a wave in the mind. Do they interact with each other? Of course, the time wave interacts with every object wave in the mind. When any seed body germinates and becomes a wave in the subtle body, the time wave superimposes itself on the object wave. It is the t = 0 or the birthday for the object wave. Right from the t = 0 moment, the time wave is the driving force for the object wave to modify itself, grow itself to play out the blueprint of its life. If there was no time wave, all the object waves would remain static and remain in the same state, with no growth. The time wave is the underlying force which moves this universe and object waves forward

  • The t = 0 for each object would be different. The t = 0 for the universe was 13.7 billion years ago. The t = 0 for the sun was about 4 billion years ago. In the same way every object in the universe will have its own t = 0 when it came into existence. From t = 0 to ‘now’, each of the object has gone through a history of events. From one moment to another, each of the objects modifies itself. As the time moves forward, the object waveform keeps changing, playing out the blueprint of its life cycle. It is like a small tree shoot coming out form the seed and then over time it becomes a fully-grown tree with branches and leaves and finally it decays and dies. The tree waveform plays out its blueprint as time moves forward. This life cycle applies to everything in the universe. It must be noted that the time wave does not change the object wave, it only moves it forward. The change in the object wave are due many reasons including the fulfillment of its pending karmas and interaction with other objects waves.
  • If you are looking at the sun, the sun will also be present in your mind as a ‘vritti’ or waveform. Let us try and visualize how the ‘vritti’ of the sun combines with the Time ‘vritti’. It will generate a superimposed waveform in the mind. The time factor is now added to the sun. It is like a mathematical waveform with time as a variable. If you think about it, this superimposed waveform will now provide a history of the sun. Since Time has been superimposed on the sun waveform, the new waveform will have the ‘potential’ to show the sun in all its stages of growth from its birth 4.6 billion years to right now. All the different Suns in the historical time line is present in the Vritti in its ‘potential’ form.  For example, you are on earth and you want to see the sun. Your mind will have a superimposed vritti of (Sun and Time). When this waveform collapses in the presence of the Observer, you will see an 8-min younger Sun. From all the possibilities, this 8-min younger Sun is present in the potential form in the combined Sun + Time ‘Vritti’. Let us suppose a person in a distant planet which is 1 million light years away and is looking at our sun through a telescope. He will also have the same combined waveform of the Sun and Time in his mind as we do on the earth. However, when his waveform collapses, he will see a 1 million-year-younger Sun. These two examples show that the combined Sun + Time waveform has the potential of all the historical Suns. Depending upon the Observers location in the universe, Suns of different ages will be observed.

This logic is not only applicable to the Sun but to every object in the universe, both living and nonliving. The Time vritti will combine with the waveform for every object in the universe, and this combination will contain the ‘potential’ history in time for all the objects in the universe. The Time vritti or waveform is extremely powerful, and it can create objects of different ages.

Time and Spacetime Fabric:

We have just seen the interaction between time and the objects. Let us now study the interaction of time with the spacetime fabric. Einstein in his theory of relativity mentions that there is a presence of the spacetime fabric, which is the underlying framework of the universe. I like to compare the spacetime fabric with the TV monitor screen on which the image is displayed.

We are so used to seeing space and thinking about space in terms of distances. How far the tree is in the backyard or how high the plane is flying in the sky. This method does not give a full understanding of the spacetime fabric. A more innovative way to look at the spacetime fabric is in terms of time. The tree in the backyard is microseconds away, the plane flying in the sky is milliseconds away, the moon is 3 seconds away, the sun is 8 minutes away, the distant star is 1 million light years away. The edge of the universe is 13.7 billion light years away. We are talking about the time light takes to reach us from different objects. In the same way all the objects in the universe can be place appropriately on the spacetime framework.

We know all the objects out there in the physical world are memory objects. The sun is an 8-minute younger sun, the tree in the backyard is microsecond younger etc. These objects in the physical world are placed appropriately on the spacetime fabric. The placement would depend upon the time for light to travel from the object to us.

Let us explore this further. Suppose we are looking outside and we see a tree in the backyard, plane flying at 30,000 feet, the moon, the sun and distant star 1 million light years away. There is nothing else in our view, just these 5 objects. Let us try and understand what is happening in our mind. There is a tree ‘vritti’ in our mind, this waveform mixes up with the time wave form. This superimposed wave form has the potential to show up all the tree forms from its birth at t=0 to now. Since the tree is only microsecond away from us, from all the possibilities, the tree wave will show only the microsecond younger tree (as compared to the ‘now’ tree). In the same way, the vritti of the plane is also available in the mind. Here again all the possibilities of the plane are available from its birth at t = 0 to now. Since the plane is flying at 30,000 feet, the vritti or the waveform in the mind will show only the millisecond younger plane (as compared to the ‘now’ version of the plane). From all the possibilities, the moon wave in the mind will show the 3 second younger moon. The sun wave in the mind will show an 8min younger sun and the planet will show a 1 million younger planet. Ultimately there is a single wave form in the mind. Therefore, the millisecond younger wave of the tree + microsecond younger wave of the plane + the wave of the 3 second younger moon + wave of the 8-min younger sun + wave of the I million younger planet, all these waves will from one complex wave in the mind. This complex waveform will then collapse in the presence of the observer and the tree is placed microsecond away, the plane will be placed at millisecond away, the moon 3 seconds away, the sun 8 minutes and the planet is placed 1 million light years away on the spacetime fabric.

The scene we described above was a simple one with only few objects, but what we really see outside is thousands of objects at different distances from us. It is a complex array of memory objects and each placed object is aged differently. The memory objects which are as close to a ‘now’ objects will be placed near to us, while objects which are placed further away, will be the younger version of that object. When you view the scene out there in terms of distances, it does not seem that complicated. However, if you look at the same scene in terms of time, the scene becomes very complex. Different age version of the different objects is placed on this spacetime fabric. The right age version for the object will be chosen depending how far the object is from us. It maybe a good idea to start looking at scenes out there in terms of time, if you do that, you will be able to appreciate the real structure of the universe.

  • We have discussed earlier that the t = 0 for the ‘now’ universe is within us. This t = 0 is also the t = 0 for the spacetime fabric. It is important to note that the spacetime fabric starts from within us. This indicates that the physical world is projected by the individual mind, based on the object waves in the mind. This is so contrary to what we have been taught by science about the perception process.
  • Every projection of the complex object wave is like a single frame. We know from science taught in school that you need at least 24 frames per seconds for the image to look continuous. What we see outside is continuous movement of objects. From this we can estimate that the mind projects at least 24 frames per second. The image processing which takes place every frame is repeated at least 24 times every second. Can you imagine the processing power of the mind?

Just to avoid confusion, it is important to understand that the t = 0 for the object and t = 0 for the start of the spacetime fabric are different. The t = 0 for the object starts at its birthday, while the t = 0 for the spacetime fabric is within us.

Time and Energy:

Just like Time is subtle, and Space is gross, the same logic can be used for Energy and Mass. The famous Einstein equation E = mc2 is self-explanatory. Energy is subtle, and Mass is gross, they are both interlinked. Mass is the gross version of Energy. Just like Time is a vritti, in the same way Energy also is a vritti and is present as a waveform in an individual mind and in the cosmic mind. This Energy vritti when it superimposes with any object vritti, will provide the required potential energy to the object and when this object becomes gross, it will have the required mass representing that energy.

If you examine it closely, you’ll find that the Schrodinger Wave Equation applicable to any object has two variables – time and energy. We have just seen that any Vritti or waveform of any object in the mind also has two variables –time and energy. Once again proving that the quantum physics waves are nothing but the mental waves in the mind.

Einstein’s theory of relativity interlinks time and energy. This theory states that in the presence of energy, time curves or bends and time slows down. When you place any mass in a stretched-out rubber sheet, the rubber sheet curves around the mass of the object. In the same way if you place a mass on the spacetime fabric, the spacetime fabric bends and curves around the mass. This bending of the spacetime fabric slows down time.

We saw earlier that the time wave superimposes on the object wave, in the same way the energy wave also superimposes on this Time-Object Wave resulting in a combined Energy Time Object Wave. This combined wave then collapses in the presence of the observer, the resulting mass is placed on the spacetime fabric. The fabric will curve at this location and the time will slow down around this curve. The slowdown will depend on the mass of the object. Higher the mass, higher the curvature, slower the time.

Time and Motion: 

We see so much motion in the universe. Within planet earth, we see people walking, we see cars, trains planes moving around. If you look at our solar system, all the planets including Earth is moving around the sun. Then the sun and other stars are moving around the center of the milky way galaxy. The milky way galaxy is moving as compared to the other galaxies in the universe.

How is this motion generated?

We have seen Time is a mental wave in the mind. We have also seen that all the objects are also mental waves or vrittis in the mind. The Time wave superimposes with the object wave to create a combined Time/Object wave. If all the objects are stationery relative to each other, the time wave in each object will function on the same scale.  The time wave in each object will be identical. When the time scale is identical in each object there is no motion relative to each other.

Now suppose there are two objects A and object B. You now want to generate motion for object B as compared to object A. These are object waves in the mind, it is not possible to move these waves in the mind to generate motion. This is just not possible. So, what is the solution? The solution is to slow down the time wave in object B as compared to object A. This slowing down of the time wave in object B will give a sense of motion to object B as compared to object A. If object A and object B both have a clock in them. To generate motion, just slow down the clock in object B, and you will get a sense of motion of object B as compared to object A.

Physics teaches us S = V * t, where is S = distance, V = velocity and t = time.

When there is relative motion between two objects, the distance traveled between the two objects is the same. Object B moves S distance as compared to object A due to motion. Even though object A is stationery, it has also moved S distance as compared to object B. The relative distance between object A and object B will always remain the same. If you measure the distance from object A to object B or from object B to object A, it will always be the same. If the distance S is always constant between these two objects. In our example the time wave for object B has slowed down. To cover the same distance, the velocity of object B must increase as compared to object A. If time goes down, velocity must go up to cover the same S distance.

There is no separate motion wave in the mind, the time wave controls the sense of motion. The Einstein theory of special relatively completely supports this. If you study this theory, you will understand that, where ever there is motion, time slows down. Faster the motion, slower the time clock. If you achieve the speed of light, time will completely stop. It must be pointed out that this theory gives the impression that there is motion, therefore time slows down. This is incorrect. There is no motion wave in the mind. Time slows in the combined time/object waveform and this slowing down creates a sense of motion of the object. Time creates motion. Next time you see a car going past, you can think that the motion of the car has been created by the slowing of the time in the time/car waveform in your mind. When this slowed down time/car waveform comes in the presence of the Observer, it collapses, and you see car in motion in the physical world.  

The Time wave is King!  

 

Analyzing Awareness

To learn about Awareness, you need to first understand and analyze the experiences you have. All our perceptions, feelings, thoughts and current thinking are nothing but the experiences we have. When we are awake, there is hardly any moment when we do not have some sort of experience. We have experiences on a continuous basis, sometimes it is structured and willful, while at other times it is random, jumping from one thought to another.

Experience can only happen in the mind and nowhere else. The world is out there, but we experience it only in our minds. Science also states the same thing. Light is reflected from an external object, and this light travels to the retina in our eye. The retina converts the incoming light into an optical signal. This optical signal is transmitted to the visual cortex in the human brain. Science still doesn’t tell us how the optical signal is converted to an actual image, but somehow the visual image is created and we experience this visual image in the mind. This is true for all the five senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Even the internal thoughts and emotions which we experience happen only in the mind.

  • Everyone has a unique and private experience. Even if two people are seeing the same object, the experience each of them will have will be different. I am color blind, when I see the external world, I have a different experience of the world compared to other people.
  • If you think about it, experience is the only connection we have with the external world. There is no other way to learn and understand the universe. If we do not experience a thing, then the question can be asked does that thing even exist. Experience is the only way to validate the existence of the universe. We understand and learn from experience, there is no other way to get to know the external world.

As experience only happens in the mind and we want to learn about the building blocks of the mind, the only way forward is to analyze our own experiences.

Experiences Decoded: The following simple equation is a perfect analysis of an Experience

Experience = Awareness + Form

We are always aware of our experience. We can never say we had an experience, but we are not aware of it. This is simply not possible because awareness is a critical pre-requisite and ingredient of an experience. You are having an experience because you are aware of it. If there is no Awareness, there can be no Experience. We are aware that we have a non-stop and a continuous flow of experience. Usually no two experiences are the same, the form part of the experience is always different and keeps changing. Sometimes it is visual, sometimes it is auditory, and sometimes it is based on past memories. The Forms keeps changing, the Experience keeps changing but does the underlying Awareness also keep changing? Our experience confirms that Awareness will always remain the same. It would seem that Form part is superimposed on the unchanging Awareness to complete the Experience.

If you expand this logic and apply to the entire human race, each and every person will have their own experience in their own mind. This Experience equation is valid for everyone. Everyone has different Forms superimposed on Awareness to complete the Experience. Everyone will have their own unique Form to create their own unique Experience.

The common factor in everyone’s experience is Awareness. This Awareness seems to be present in everyone’s mind. Can there be so many different Awareness’s? Is the same Awareness present in everyone’s mind? Is your Awareness different from mine and everyone else? These questions will answer themselves once we get a better understanding what we really mean by Awareness.

Understanding Awareness:

Awareness is the most powerful force in the universe and it is the underlying reality of this universe. It has the power to connect with a form present in the mind and create an experience which you are aware of. For an analogy, think of the sun. When there is no light from the sun, you cannot see anything, but in the presence of the light everything becomes visible. In the same way when any form which comes in the presence of the light of Awareness, the experience bulb lights up in your mind and you are aware of the form. If you think about it, even the light of the sun is a form in the presence of the light of Awareness.

If you carefully study Awareness, you will conclude that the Awareness is made up of a Subject and Object with the following functions

  1. There must be a Subject, who is Aware of the experience. This subject is the knower of the Awareness
  2. There must be an Object, which must be experienced. This object is the known part of the Awareness
  3. There must be Intelligence by which the subject gets to know the object. This is the knowing part of the Awareness

Knower, Known and Knowing are the 3 powers of Awareness. It must be clear that

  • Awareness = Subject + Object + Intelligence
  • Power of Awareness = Power of Knower + Power of Knowing + Power of Known

Awareness is made of Subject, Object and Intelligence and it has three different powers – Knower, Knowing and Known. It must be understood that the Subject and Object and the three powers are not something outside in the world, but they are within Awareness and make up Awareness. If any one of them is missing, the awareness will not work, and will be incomplete.

  • If there is an object to be observed, but there is no subject, there will be no awareness, as there is no one to see the object.
  • If there is a subject, but no object to see, there will no awareness as the subject has no objects to observe
  • If there is an object, but the subject has no way of knowing what this object is, no awareness will take place. This knowing must have intelligence.

Wherever there is awareness, the Subject, Object and Intelligence must be present with all the three powers. Let us try and understand this in little more detail.

  1. Power of Knowing or Intelligence

The knowing or intelligence component of Awareness is extremely powerful, in fact language and words may not be enough to describe its awesome power. Here are some examples that indicates its strength and power.

Example 1: I am seeing a tree. A more Vedantic way to put it will be ‘I am the seer seeing a tree’

This is a simple experience we have every moment, but it shows the extraordinary power of Awareness. Let us breakup this experience into the different components of Awareness

Ego = I am

Subject = Seer

Object = Tree

Intelligence = Seeing is the power of Awareness, which makes it possible for ‘I’ to know the tree. Without the power of Seeing, none of us will see any object. Someone may argue that the eye provides this power. The eye does nothing other than converting the image into an optical signal and bringing the signal to the mind. What is the ability that decodes this optical signal into the understanding that this object is a tree? It is power of the Seeing which is within Awareness which allows us to know that there is a tree. This intelligence in Awareness knows that the optical signal is a tree.

Awareness = Seer + Seeing + Seen

Example 2: You are reading a book or ‘You are the reader reading a book’

This power of intelligence is within Awareness and is available to each and every one. Let us decode the experience of reading.

Ego = You

Subject = Reader

Object = Book

Intelligence = Reading is a power within Awareness which allows the Subject or Reader to connect with the contents of the book. It is within Awareness because you are aware that you are reading – first, to know the words and sentences, and then to know what is being read. We are so used to reading that we do not think of this ability as anything special. If there was no power of reading within Awareness, there would be no way you could read anything. With this power of “reading” we are aware we are reading and this awareness completes the reading experience.

Awareness = Reader + Reading + Read

Example 3: You are visiting a friend or ‘You are the visitor visiting a friend’

Subject = Visitor

Object = Friend

Intelligence = You are aware that you are visiting a friend. This power of knowing that you are visiting is part of the Intelligence within Awareness and also knowing that this person is a friend. If you did not have this power within you, you will never know this person is your friend and you have specifically made an effort to visit him.

Awareness = Visitor + Visiting + Visited

We can continue to give any number of examples to highlight the power of Awareness. We can take any verb in the English language and add the ‘ing’ to this verb. This word when connected with a Subject and Object will have the power of creating an awareful experience within the mind. Some more examples:

Awareness = Eater + Eating + Eaten Awareness = Sleeper + Sleeping + Slept Awareness = Fighter + Fighting + Fought (an Object) Awareness = Player + Playing + Played (an Object) Awareness = Learner + Learning + Learned

The intelligence within Awareness has an unlimited range of power, it is impossible to comprehend. We can comprehend only what experiences our mind can handle. We will be discussing shortly, our minds are limited and therefore can handle only a limited range of experiences.

Awareness is not limited by the capacity of our mind. It is much more and has an infinite amount of intelligence, it has the infinite amount of knowledge about everything that is possible. What is amazing, this unlimited intelligence, this pure intelligence, this Awareness is available within everyone’s mind.

  1. Power of Knower or Subject

In the earlier section, we saw the power of knowing, the intelligence of knowing. There must be a Knower to actually see an object and perceive what it looks like. This is done by the Subject within Awareness. The Subject is the Knower of the experience. This Subject is not only the Knower of seeing, but is also the knower of hearing, the knower of reading, knower of sleeping, etc.

  • When it is the knower of seeing, the Subject is a Seer
  • When it is the knower of hearing, the Subject is a Hearer
  • When it is the knower of reading, the Subject is a Reader
  • When it is the knower of running, the Subject is a Runner

There is only one Subject, and it is the Knower of so many things. In fact it is the Knower of everything. All this is within Awareness. We shall see later on this Subject with the Power of Knowing is available within the mind of each one of us and it is the only way we can know, what our experiences are.

Our minds are limited and therefore the power and range of the Knower is limited. Awareness is beyond the mind and this Subject within Awareness is Knower of everything that is possible. There is nothing that Awareness does not know.

Conclusion: Where ever there is Awareness, there must be a Subject. This Subject is the Knower and has the power of knowing everything that is possible. We should never confuse this Subject with Ego. This Subject is part of Awareness and this Subject does NOT have an ego. If I say ‘I am the Knower’ or ‘I am the Subject’, the ‘I am’ is the Ego. Knower and Subject is not part of the Ego, it is part of Awareness. In Awareness there is no attachment and no ego, it is simply aware.

3.Power of Known or Objects

The Object component of Awareness is also extremely powerful and it has the ability to take any form that we experience in the mind.

If you see a round circle, then awareness cannot take shape of a square. If it does, you will never experience the round circle. Awareness must also be a round circle with the same exact dimensions. If you see a tree, then awareness must also take the shape of the tree. This tree must be filled up with the Awareness. If the tree is half filled with awareness or the awareness does not have the same shape as the tree, you will not be aware of the tree.

If you want to observe any object with form,

  1. The form must be filled in with Awareness and nothing but Awareness. If the form does not have Awareness, then observer or subject will not be able to experience the object with that form.
  2. The Awareness must take the exact shape of the form.

Awareness by itself is formless, but it has the potential to take any form. If you look into a powerful microscope, awareness can take the shape of a molecule or if you look at the universe through a telescope, awareness can take shape of the stars and galaxies. Big or small, awareness can take the shape of anything. Awareness has the potential to take any form.

What is the difference between Awareness and Form?

Pot/Clay Metaphor: Vedanta uses the example of pot/clay to explain this concept. If you have clay, this clay has the potential to take the shape of any type of pot – small, large, round or square. Once these pots of different shapes and sizes are ready, the question can be asked, what part is the pot and what part is the clay? The answer to this question is as follows

Pot = Form Clay = Content

The content is only clay; the pot form is superimposed on the clay. There can be no misunderstanding and confusion about this. In the same way everything we experience in our mind is only made up of Awareness and different Forms are superimposed upon this Awareness.

Next time you see a tree, or listen to music or feel the cold water, you must be clear that the tree, music or water is made up only by Awareness and nothing but Awareness.

Awareness is this powerful force in our mind, which has the ability to take up any shape or form. Another way to put it: all possible ‘potential forms’ are available within Awareness. They are inherently present in Awareness and they take a required form when you experience that form in your mind. How many different ‘potential forms’ are present in Awareness? Countless, infinite!!

Awareness and Maya Shakti Vedanta teaches us that Maya Shakti is the creative power, and this creative power is available within Awareness. From our earlier discussion we saw Awareness has the following 3 powers:

  1. Power of Knowing/Intelligence
  2. Power of Knower
  3. Power of Known/Objects

Maya Shakti is sum total of these 3 powers.

Maya Shakti = Power of Knowing + Power of Knower + Power of Known

This unlimited and amazing power is called Maya Shakti and it is resident within Awareness.