All posts by mayajk

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 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.

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.

time (t) = 0 is Pure Awareness

To understand and interpret science properly, it is important to understand what we mean by t (time) = 0.  We can say that t=0 means that it is not the past, not the future but the present. It means it is ‘now’. Anything t = 0+ or t = 0- is not ‘now’ but it is the future or the past. Even a nanosecond more or less than t = 0 is not ‘now’; it would be past or future. For your information, based on the Plank constant, the smallest possible time unit is t = 10-44. Even the passage of this extremely small time unit would mean the event is not ‘now’, but the past or the future.

So, where is the t=0 for the universe? Science tells us that the big bang is the t = 0 for the universe. I do not think this is correct. The big bang is 13.7 billion years old, which means the t = – 13.7 billion years for the big bang. Only the location of ‘now’ can be t = 0. Therefore the big bang cannot be t=0. It may have been t = 0 at the time of the big bang, but right now the big bang is 13.7 billion years old. It is an event from the past. So how do we explain t = 0?

Any perception process must have the following two elements

  1. Subject or Observer
  2. Object or Observed

Without these two elements, the perception process would be incomplete.

In the following sections we will analyze and show where we can locate the t = 0 for the Subject/Observer and the Object/Observed. The proper understanding of t = 0 will go a long way in explaining many of the shortcomings faced by science.

Where is t = 0 for the Observer/Subject?

Even before we start understanding t = 0 for the Observer/Subject, the question which must be answered is – what do we mean by an Observer?

  1. All perception takes place only in the mind. Even science agrees with this – the outside image falls on the retina, which is converted into an optical signal and sent to the brain for processing. Science never explains what happens after that but it does state that the final perception takes place in the mind. Also, science never explains who the observer of the image within the mind is. Who is watching the movie being played in the mind?

According to Vedanta, Atma is the Observer which witnesses everything that is happening in the mind and we know the mind is full of activity. This Atma is the Real ‘I’ and it is our underlying reality. Atma is merely an Observer and it never influences, neither is it affected by what is happening in the mind. It is like a witness to a movie which is running in your mind. Though in real life a sad movie can make someone cry, in the case of Atma, it is never affected by the movie running in the mind.

  1. To locate the t = 0 for Atma/Observer let us study the external objects out there. If we can see a faraway star, say, 5 million light years away, it takes light from that star 5 million years to reach us. Now we see the sun, the light from the sun takes 8 min to reach us. We look at the moon; light takes 3 sec to reach us. We look at the plane flying in the sky, at 30,000 feet; light takes about 300 milliseconds to reach us. As the distance of the object being viewed is reduced, the time taken for light to reach us is much smaller. I now look at the tree outside the window; the time taken for light to reach me is 10 microseconds (10-6). I am looking at the computer screen 1 foot away while typing this article, light takes about 1 nanosecond (10-9) to reach me. You even watch your thoughts, they too take some time to form; they are not instantaneous. As the distance reduces the time taken for the light to reach our eyes, reduces. If you extrapolate this backward, the only logical location for t to be equal to 0 is in the Observer, who is watching all these objects. Atma is the Observer, so Atma is t=0 within you. This t=0 is beyond time, it is always ‘now’.

If you or anyone else looks around at the objects in the universe and uses the same reasoning as above, each one will reach the same conclusion: that the Observer within us is the t =0. Everyone will have their own t=0, which is within themselves. This will apply to every living being in the universe. It would therefore seem that I have my own t=0, you have your own t=0 and every living being in the universe has its own t=0. The only way to understand this is that each and every living being creates their own universe and also the t = 0 for each and every one of them. Does this mean that there are multiple t = 0, one for each and every living being? Vedanta teaches us that Atma is the common Observer/Subject for every living being and therefore there is only one t = 0.

  1. So how does Atma create the illusion of being a different Observer within each and every living being? To explain this, the classic example given by Vedanta is the example of buckets filled with water. Picture the sun shining over an unlimited number of buckets filled with water. What would you see? The sun reflected in each and every bucket. You will not see a partial image of the sun, but the complete image of the sun in each and every bucket. Now imagine the bucket represents our body and the water in the bucket is our mind. There are an unlimited number of living beings with a mind in this universe. The shining sun is the Atma. This one, and only one, Atma is reflected in the mind of each and every living being. So, you can see how, Atma/Observer within each one of us is the t = 0.

Where is t = 0 for the Observed/Objects?

If you look closely, you would agree that whatever we see out there is all dated or past stuff. The far way star is 1 million years old, the sun is 8 min old, the moon is 3 sec old, the plane in the sky is 300 milliseconds old, the tree outside my window is 10 microseconds old, and the computer in front of me is 1 nanosecond old. We do not see any ‘now’ objects where t = 0, we only see ‘memory objects’, which are no longer current. The universe is only made up of ‘memory objects’. It is just impossible to find a ‘now’ object in the physical universe. It must be understood that ‘memory objects’ means both living and nonliving objects.

The question is, does there exist a ‘now’ version of any memory objects, where t = 0 for the object? Intuitively you would think there should be a ‘now’ object somewhere. But where is this ‘now’ object?

Science adds to the confusion, when it talks about memory objects, it makes it seems as if they are talking about ‘now’ objects. When a planet is discovered 5 million light years away, it is referred to as if it is a ‘now’ object, but in reality it is a memory object. They are talking about an object which is 5 million years old, no one knows where that planet is ‘right now’. Does it even exist, has it already been destroyed by meteor. No one can be certain. One certainty is that the ‘now’ object cannot be in the same location where ‘memory’ object is 5 million years back.

It almost feels as if there are two different universes – one is the ‘now’ universe and the other is the universe of memory objects. We know where the universe of memory objects is – it is right in front of us. So the question is – where is the universe of ‘now’ objects? You will never find the ‘now’ universe by looking at memory objects, those are all in the past, with old content. You cannot extrapolate memory objects to the future to understand the ‘now’ objects/universe. In a way, memory objects and ‘now’ objects have no connection whatsoever. Therefore, I wonder if science is on wild goose chase when it is looking for the Singularity, by studying and analyzing memory objects.

So where is the universe where everything is ‘now’ and where there are no memory objects? This is just not possible in the space time framework as we know it. To be in the ‘now’ universe, every object in this universe must be at t=0. If t is not =0, then it is not a ‘now’ object, it is a memory object. We know the t = 0 for the Observer is within you, but where is the t = 0 for the ‘now’ object.

We know that the sun we see is 8 minutes old and it is a memory object. Let us play around with this. Now for whatever reason, the sun is only 3 minutes old; it would mean the sun has moved closer to the Observer (and much hotter). In the same way, if the sun is only 30 seconds old, it would mean the sun is extremely close to the Observer, but it’s still a memory object. If you keep extrapolating this and finally if t becomes 0 for the sun, it would only mean that the sun is within the Observer/Atma. We have seen earlier t=0 is the coordinate for the Observer/Atma. For the sun to be a ‘now’ object, it must be within Observer/Atma.

At t=0, the sun is a ‘now’ object, and this ‘now’ object is beyond the space time framework and is within Atma. The only way to understand that for anything to be outside the space time frame work, it must be in its ‘un-manifest’ or ‘potential form’ or ‘seed form’. There is no actual sun, but there is only the potential to become the sun. Just Playdo used by kids has the potential to be manipulated to become different objects, in the same way Atma has the potential to become any object in the universe.

This reasoning and logic will be applicable to every memory object in the universe. The t=0 for all the memory objects in this physical universe is present within Atma/Observer in its ‘potential or seed form’. There is no actual universe within Atma, but the only the potential to become the universe. We are going to explain later on what we mean by ‘potential or seed form’

T = 0 Is Pure Awareness

We just saw that the t = 0 for the Observer is within each one of us. We also saw the t = 0 for all the ‘now’ Objects is also within us. At t = 0 both Subject and Object are the same. They are completely unified and homogeneous with no separation whatsoever. What does this mean? THIS is the singularity which Science talks about. It is the unity of the subject and object.

Vedanta teaches us that the essential nature of Atma is Self-Awareness; that is, it is aware of itself. If you look at Awareness more closely, you will realize Awareness must always have the following two elements.

  1. If you are aware, then there should be someone who is aware. Awareness needs a subject
  2. To be aware, there must be an object which you are aware of. Awareness needs an object.

Subject and object are needed to complete the Awareness process. To be Self-Aware, the subject and object must be within Awareness itself, with no separation. This is Pure Awareness. In our daily perception, we always feel that the subject is here, while the object is out there, there is separation; we are therefore not Self Aware.

Earlier, we saw that t = 0 has both the Subject and Object as non-separate from each other. The only conclusion we can reach is that t = 0 is not only Aware, but it is Self-Aware. Vedanta teaches us that Atma is Self-Aware. Therefore t = 0 is Atma, and this t = 0 is the underlying reality of the universe, including for every living being.

t = 0 is a concept which science can understand. If science does properly understand t = 0, it must reach the conclusion that t = 0 is no different from Atma, which is the underlying reality of this universe.

Time vs. Space

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. No one has seen Time, but we can certainly experience time. From our discussion elsewhere on Subtle and Gross bodies, we can understand that Time is non-physical or subtle. We know that anything subtle is an activity that happens in the mind and mental activities are made up of waves or ‘vrittis’. Since Time is nonphysical, subtle, it must be a mental activity and it must be made up of waves or ‘vrittis’.

Vedanta teaches that the subtle body creates the gross body. Time is subtle and Space is gross, it only correct to conclude that Time creates Space. How to understand this? Science tells us that the universe is 13.7 billion years old. If a photon has to travel from beginning of the universe, it will take the photon 13.7 billion light years to reach us. 1 light year is the amount distance light travels in one year. The size of the universe will be the distance travelled by the photon from the big bang. This distance travelled by the photon is the outer limit of the Universe, because there was no universe before the big bang. 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. The photon now has to 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. From this reasoning it is quite clear that Time is creating the expansion of the universe. Every year the universe is expanding by 1 light year. As more Time is passing, the Space of the universe is expanding. It is therefore only correct to conclude that Time (which is subtle), creates Space (which is gross).

  1. If Time is subtle, it must be a ‘vritti’ or wave which is present in an individual mind and also 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. 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 it 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 old Sun. This 8 min old Sun is present in the potential form in the combined Sun + Time ‘Vritti’. Also when the subtle Time becomes gross, it would automatically mean that the position of the sun will be 8 min away from you. It will take light 8 min to reach you.

Let us suppose a person in a planet 1 million light years away 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 old 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. Depending upon the age, it will be placed that many light years away in space.

This logic is not only applicable to the Sun but to each and every object in the universe, both living and nonliving. The Time vritti will combine with the waveform for each and every object in the universe, and this combination will contain the ‘potential’ history in time for all the objects in the universe. It would seem that the Time vritti or waveform is extremely powerful and it has the ability to create objects of different ages. It is indeed very powerful and this power can only be derived from Maya Shakti, the creative power of Atma. Atma is all powerful and it gives its power to Maya Shakti and Maya Shakti passes it on to the Time Vritti. The Time waveform (or vritti) can create objects of all ages by superimposing itself on the vritti of different objects. What is most wonderful is that Atma is the underlying reality for all of us.

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 also in the cosmic mind. This Energy vritti when it superimposes with any object vritti, will provide the required energy to the object and when this object becomes gross, it will have the required mass. This is another intriguing power of Maya Shakti and Atma.

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.

‘Memory Objects’ vs. ‘Now Objects’

Let us study the external objects ‘out there’. If we can see a far away star, say 5 million light years away, it will take light from that star 5 million years to reach us. Now we see the sun, the light from the sun takes 8 min to reach us. We look at the moon; light will take 3 sec to reach us. We look at the plane flying in the sky, at 30,000 feet; light will take about 300 milliseconds to reach us. As the distance of the object being viewed is reduced, the time taken for light to reach us or for us to see it is much smaller. I now look at the tree outside the window; the time taken for light to reach me is 10 microseconds (10-6). I am looking at the computer screen 1 ft away typing this article, light will take about 1 nanosecond (10-9).

If you look closely at what we have just discussed, you would agree that whatever we see out there is all dated or past. That far away star is 5 million old, the sun is 8 min old, the moon is 3 sec old, the plane in the sky is 300 milliseconds old, the tree outside my window is 10 microseconds old, and the computer in front of me is 1 nanosecond old. We do not see any ‘now’ objects, we only see ‘memory objects’ (for lack of a better word), which are no longer current. The full universe is only made up of ‘memory objects’. This applies to both living and non living objects. Can anyone show me ‘now objects’? However hard you try, you won’t find any ‘now object’ in this universe, you will only find ‘memory objects’.

Nothing is current and neither is anything real. ‘Real’, ‘Live’ or ‘Now’ objects cannot be Memory objects. Just to give an example, if you go to a stadium and watch a sporting event, this event would be a ‘live’ event. Your friend is busy and records the event to watch it the next day. When he watches, his is a recorded event, and what he is watching are memory objects, they are not ‘live’ or ‘real’ objects. If you apply this to the universe, you know that everything you see is in the past, and a memory object, so it cannot be the real “live” event. Therefore, if you see any object, then you can conclude the following

  • Since it’s a memory object, it must be a “recorded” event.
  • If it is a recorded object, it must be stored somewhere in some type of storage or memory device.
  • To see a memory object, it must be played back from some type of memory or storage device.

All this indicates that there is some type of cosmic DVR, which is playing all the memory objects. Maya Shakti, the creative power of Brahman or Atma is this cosmic DVR, which is playing out the blueprint of your life and also the life of the entire universe. This Maya Shakti creates stores and plays back all the memory objects. The space time framework is the screen on which these memory objects are projected. Maya Shakti is the DVR, the space time frame work is the projection screen and the movie being played is the current cycle of creation and dissolution, with memory objects of the universe. Atma is the observer of this movie called Life.

You will never find the composition of the real object by looking at memory objects. Going back to the earlier example of the recording being viewed by your friend, he is looking at the memory or recorded objects being played back on the screen. If he starts zooming in the image to see what the objects are made of, the only things he will find on the screen are pixels! If he spends his entire life only watching recordings and he never sees any real objects, he will conclude that the all objects are made of pixels. What a wrong conclusion this would be! The only reason he reaches this conclusion is because of his ignorance of the real objects. We can apply the same logic and reasoning for the memory objects of the universe. We will never understand what is ‘real’ by looking at memory objects. Because of our ignorance we think the memory objects are real and therefore we are trying our best to find the reality of the universe in these memory objects. Science will never find the underlying reality in these memory objects.

‘Now’ Objects

The far away star is 5 million old, the sun is 8 min old, the moon is 3 sec old, the plane in the sky is 300 milliseconds old, the tree outside my window is 10 microseconds old, and the computer in front of me is 1 nanosecond old – we saw this earlier. We do not see any ‘now’ objects, we only see ‘memory objects’, which are no longer current. The question is, does there exist a ‘now’ version of memory objects? If yes, – where do they exist, how do they exist and what are they made of?

Science adds to the confusion. When it talks about memory objects, it seems to refer to ‘now’ objects. When scientists discover a planet 5 million light years away, they talk as if it is a ‘now’ object, but really it’s a memory object. They are talking about an object which is 5 million years old, no one knows where that object is ‘right now’. Does it even exist, has it been destroyed by meteor. No one can be certain. One certainty is that the ‘now’ object cannot be in the same location where the ‘memory’ object was 5 million years ago..

It almost feels like that there two different universes one is ‘now’ universe and the other is universe of memory objects. We know where the universe made up of memory objects is, it is right in front of us. The question where is the universe of ‘now’ objects. You will never find the ‘now’ universe by looking at memory objects. You cannot extrapolate the memory objects to the future to understand the ‘now’ objects or the ‘now’ universe. It the same as the earlier example of seeing recorded images on TV and trying to find out what the ‘real’ and ‘live’ objects in the live event in the sports stadium are made up. If you study the recorded images on TV, you will only find pixels. You will not find the reality of the live objects.

So where is the ‘now’ universe where everything is ‘now’, where there are no memory objects? This is just not possible in the space time framework. To be in the ‘now’ universe, every object in this universe must be at t=0. If it is not t=0, then it is not a ‘now’ object, it is a memory object. We have seen in previous post and articles that the Observer/Atma/Brahman is t=0, which is fixed and non-moving as compared to the moving universe. We have seen that the Brahman/Atma is the underlying reality of you, me and of everything in this universe which is observed. It is the only ‘now’ universe, where everything is t=0, both for the Observer and Observed. The Observer is the subject and the observed (object) is the universe. Both the subject and object are t=0 in Atma/Brahman. Atma/Brahman is complete (with both the subject and object) and is the only reality of the universe. Everything else is a memory object.

Let us look at this from another perspective. We know that the sun we see is 8 minutes old and it is a memory object. Let us play around with this. Now, for whatever reason, suppose the sun is only 3 minutes old; it would mean the sun has moved closer to the Observer (and much hotter). If the sun is 30 seconds old, the sun is extremely close to the Observer, but it is still a memory object. If you keep extrapolating this and finally if t=0 for the sun, it would only mean that the sun is within the Observer/Atma. We have seen in other articles that t=0 is the coordinate for the Atma/Brahman. For the sun to be a ‘now’ object, it must be within Atma/Brahman. At t=0, the sun is a ‘now’ object, and this ‘now’ object is beyond the space time framework and is within Brahman/Atma.

This reasoning and logic is applicable to every memory object in the universe. The only ‘now’ universe is Atma/Reality, this is the only place where everything is t=0. The ‘now’ universe is Atma, while memory objects universe is the universe we see around us.

So do we have two universes? Can there two universes? Vedanta says that the only universe is Atma/Brahman, but due to our ignorance we have forgotten our true nature of being Atma. This ignorance creates the mind and this mind manifests the photon and creates the physical universe with all the memory objects. Due to our ignorance we think the physical universe is real and we keep looking for the reality within this physical universe.

Where is the Center of the Universe?

Where is the center of the universe? Where is the x=0, y=0, z=0 and t=0 for the universe. Before Galileo, people thought the Earth was the center of the universe, and everything revolved around the earth. Galileo peered into the stars using his telescope; he found that the earth and all the other planets moved around the sun. He realized the sun was the center of the solar system we live in. Using more powerful telescopes, people found that there are billions of stars like the sun in the Milky Way; our solar system is part of this galaxy. All the stars in this galaxy are rotating around the center of the Milky Way. Cosmologists have now discovered there are millions of such galaxies in the universe and all these galaxies moving in relation to each other. There is continuous movement in this vast universe. To find the 0,0,0,0 coordinate for the entire universe, would mean this point should always be stationery or fixed, as compared to the continuously moving universe.

Science states that the big bang is the t=0 for the universe. This t=0 may have been correct at the time of the big bang, but right now the big bang is 13.7 billion old or the t= -13.7 billion years. It is definitely not t=0. Logically the position of ‘now’ can only be t=0. This ‘now’ is the fixed point and it is also the coordinate for x=0, y=0 and z=0. Where do you find this the ‘now’? Time flows continuously, what is ‘now’ becomes past in a millisecond.

Science is still looking but it will never find this immovable (0,0,0,0) in the space time framework, it has to be outside this framework. If you apply the teachings of Vedanta we can find this fixed, non moving coordinate.

  1. Let us study the external objects ‘out there’. If we can see a far away star, say 5 million light years away, it will take light from that star 5 million years to reach us. Now we see the sun, the light from the sun takes 8 min to reach us. We look at the moon; light will take 3 sec to reach us. We look at the plane flying in the sky, at 30,000 feet; light will take about 300 milliseconds to reach us. As the distance of the object being viewed is reduced, the time taken for light to reach us or for us to see it is much smaller. I now look at the tree outside the window; the time taken for light to reach me is 10 microseconds (10-6). I am looking at the computer screen 1 ft away typing this article, light will take about 1 nanosecond (10-9). You even watch your thoughts, this also takes some time to form, and they are not instantaneous. As the distance is reducing the time taken for the light is reducing. If you extrapolate this backward, the only logical place for t to be equal to 0 is the Observer, who is watching all these objects within your mind. We have said in other articles that Atma (your underlying reality) is the Observer, so it the Atma within you, where t becomes 0. This t=0 is, in a sense, beyond time, it is always ‘now’. If you think about it, the center of the universe is the Atma or the Observer, which is within you, me, or everyone. The earth, the sun, the center of the Milky Way is not the center of the universe. The center of the universe, which is your Atma/Observer, is right within you. Vedanta has always said in all its scriptures that Atma is the center of the universe. If the reasoning provided here is correct, it is only logical for science to agree and accept what Vedanta has been saying for centuries.

If you or anyone else looks around the universe, they will reach the same conclusion. Everyone has their own t=0, which is within themselves. This will apply to every living being in the universe. It would seem, therefore, I have my own t=0, you have your own t=0 and every living being in the universe has their own t=0. The only way to understand this, is that each and every living being creates their own universe and this universe starts with t=0. You cannot create your own universe and be separate from it. Science has to correct its thinking; the observer is non-separate from the universe.

As we have mentioned earlier space and time are inter-related. If Atma is t=0, than Atma is also the x=0, y=0, z=0 coordinate for the universe.

  1. If you look closely at what we have just discussed, you would agree that whatever we see out there is all dated or past. That far away star is 1 million old, the sun is 8 min old, the moon is 3 sec old, the plane in the sky is 300 milliseconds old, the tree outside my window is 10 microseconds old, and the computer in front of me is 1 nanosecond old. We do not see any ‘now’ objects, we only see ‘memory objects’ (for lack of a better word), which are no longer current. The full universe is only made up of ‘memory objects’. This applies to both living and non living objects. Can anyone show me ‘now objects’? However hard you try, you won’t find any ‘now object’ in this universe, you will only find ‘memory objects’. We are so used to this that we don’t realize what’s really happening. I am sure scientists are aware of this, but think of it, perhaps as trivial.

 

Mind Creates Space

This definitely seems counter intuitive, but it is true the mind creates space. Let us try and understand this.

Science tells us that the age of the universe is 13.7 billion years old. This event is called the Big Bang. Using powerful telescopes scientists are hoping to peer into the past to see the beginning 13.7 billion years back. In order to do so the photon will have to travel a long way to reach us. The size of the universe will be the distance traveled by the photon from the big bang. This is the outer limit, 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

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. The photon now has to 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.

So, as long as time flows, the expansion of the universe will continue at the speed of light. The expansion of the universe is directly related to the amount of time which has elapsed. The expansion of the universe will come to an end only when time comes to an end. When will that happen? No one seems to know this. According to Vedanta, time will come to an end when the nominated karmas for this life cycle of the universe are exhausted.

One interesting and very important conclusion one can make from this discussion is that the space we see around us is created by time. We saw that as time moves forward, the size of the universe increases. We understand what space is, it is visible, and we can experience it. What about time? Time cannot be seen, it is not visible, but it can be experienced – it is subtle. Anything subtle must be a mental event created by the mind, because the mind is also subtle. Mind creates time, and time creates space, therefore it is only logical to conclude that the Mind creates Space. In other words, the space time fabric is created by the mind itself. Mind is the underlying reality of the space time fabric.

Who is the Observer?

‘I’ is a pronoun and it can stand by itself. This standalone ‘I’ does not need to be connected to anything internal (mind) or external (body), it is self sufficient and independent. This ‘I’ is your true Self. In Vedanta it is called Atma. The main role of the ‘I’ or Atma is to observe what happens in your mind and we know the mind is full of activity. This “I” is just a Observer and it never influences, neither it is affected by what is happening in the mind. It is like a witnessing a movie which is running in your mind. Though in real life a sad movie can make someone cry, but in this case the Atma is never affected by the movie running in the mind. The Atma is the Subject or Observer and everything which is happening in your mind is the Object or Observed.

According to the scriptures the nature of this Atma or ‘I’ is ‘Sat Chit Ananda’. In reality it is impossible to know the Atma. The Atma is not an object or thing to be known, it is the Subject which observes things or objects. If you think about it, it is only logical nothing can be known of the Observer. Therefore according to the scriptures ‘Sat Chit Ananda’ is not an adjective for Atma, but it only indicates or points towards the essential nature of the Atma. Let us now discuss what we mean by ‘Sat Chit Ananda’.

Sat: Sat means Real. If you look up any dictionary you will get a wide variety of meaning for ‘real’. This dictionary meaning is not good for understanding ‘Sat’. According to Vedanta, for anything to be Sat, it must exist and be present in all the 3 tenses – past, present and future. If you look into nature, you will not find anything which is Sat.

  • This universe was born 13.7 billion years ago and therefore it did not exist before that, so it cannot be Sat, also we know if anything is born it must die. So Sat must be unborn and anything which is unborn must be uncreated (to make it existent forever).
  • Everything which is born must have a cause. You were born because of your parents and they were born because of their parents. Since Sat is unborn it is also uncaused. No cause created it, it was, and it will be always present.
  • If anything changes in anyway small, e.g. (atoms have been displaced) or big, e.g. (planetary positions are different), it is not the same as what it was before. Therefore it cannot be Sat, because Sat is unchanging.

Atma or ‘I” is Sat and it is uncreated, uncaused and unchanging.

Chit: Chit means Awareness. Many books will also translate this as Consciousness, but I feel this is not very accurate. When the mind comes into contact with this Chit or Awareness that mind becomes Conscious. The essential nature of Atma is Awareness. This Awareness has no edge or boundary, it is limitless. Basically it is everywhere and everything in the universe is Awareness, or full of awareness. There cannot be a single spot or area where this Awareness is not present. To visualize this, look at the sun’s rays, which is everywhere in the solar system.

If you look at Awareness more closely, you will realize Awareness must always have two elements.

  1. If you are aware, then there should be someone who is aware. Awareness needs a subject
  2. To be aware, there must be some type of object of which you are aware of. Awareness needs an object

Subject and object are needed to complete the Awareness process. Usually Subject and Object are separate, but in Chit there is no separate subject and object, Chit is always Self Aware, it is aware of its awareness (it is witnessing its awareness). It is both the subject and object rolled in one. Chit is therefore self sufficient and complete. Due to ignorance, the subject and object become separate. This is what it seems for an ignorant person.

Here is an appropriate quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj, an Indian sage who explains the difference between Awareness and Consciousness

“Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginningless, endless, uncaused, and unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness, as in deep sleep. Awareness is absolute, consciousness is relative to its content; consciousness is always of something. Consciousness is partial and changeful; awareness is total, changeless, calm and silent. And it is the common matrix of every experience.” (from “I Am That”, chapter 11)

Like the sun which glows, the Chit also glows with Awareness and is present everywhere. Anything which comes in touch with Chit becomes Conscious. Because the objects become conscious, only then Atma or ‘I’ can witness these objects. Anything you witness in this world is because those objects become “conscious” – because of the light of Atma or your true nature.

Ananda: Your essential nature is Ananda or Bliss. This term can be confusing because we do get momentary bliss in our day to day lives and this is not the Ananda we are talking about. Basically there are two types of Ananda or bliss

  • Vishesha Ananda This is the bliss or happiness we get from objects. We know and experience this bliss, it is momentary and it comes and goes. Vedanta has a complete explanation how this process works, but this is not the place to discuss this.
  • Swarupa Ananda: Swarupa Ananda means your essential nature is Ananda or Bliss. We saw earlier that the Chit is both the Subject and Object. This means ‘I’ is complete and full; it is self sufficient and does not need anything else. This condition of completeness and fullness gives ‘I’ continuous and unbroken Ananda or Bliss. The reason we do not experience this type of bliss on a continuous basis is because we have forgotten who we are, due to our ignorance. This ignorance creates a separation between subject and object. This duality is source of our unhappiness.

Summary

The ‘I’ is the Observer to what is going on in our minds. This ‘I’ is our essential nature and it is Uncreated, Uncaused and Unchanging. It is also Self Aware, it is Limitless and Blissful.

For a complete analysis, please read the article ‘I Am ……..’

Who Creates the Universe?

The observer is the one who creates the universe. This seems to be a radical idea. Actually it is not. Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity completely supports the idea that every observer creates their own space/time framework.

The Theory of Special Relativity deals with Space and Time. It is based on the fact that the speed of light is fixed at 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. What has happened is that space has contracted and has shrunk so that light still covers 186K miles in one second. If you increase the speed of the car to 80% of speed of light, space will further contract. If you now slow down to 30% of the speed of light, space will now expand. All this done to done to ensure that the speed of light is a constant at 186,000 miles per sec.

This expansion and contraction of space 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 definitely occurring.

The important take away point from this discussion is that any observer (a person) creates their own space/time framework. 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 and independent space/time framework. This has been scientifically proven.

SpaceTime

If there are 7billion human beings on Earth, each of them have their own time/space framework and will create their own universe within this frame work. There is not one universe out there but 7 billion universes; though any observer can see only their own self created universe.

This entire universe is based on relative motion, as we just cannot find anything which is fixed. We are walking on earth; the earth is moving around the sun, the sun is moving in the Milky Way. The Milky Way is moving further away from other galaxies. Where are the fixed (0,0) coordinates to make an absolute measurement of space?

Since each human being creates their own time/space framework, the (x=0, y=0, z=0, t=0) definitely has to within the person itself. This is usually the real Observer within each person. Who is this Observer? You will find details in the articles published in this web sites

The theory of special relativity clearly shows that each observer has their own time/space framework and since this true it is only logical to extend this by saying that the universe with its content is also created by the observer. Therefore the observer within you creates the universe ‘out there’.