In a dream, we see a world full of so many people; we see the Sun and the stars, oceans and mountains. Everything in the dream appears so real. There is happiness and sorrow in the dream world. But on waking up, we just forget about it. Even if there was a fire in your dream house, you do not call a fire brigade after you wake up. Everything appeared real in the dream, but on waking up, it became an illusion. Similarly, as Vedanta says, what appears to be real world could be an illusion, like a dream, when we wake up to the knowledge of reality.
The essence of Vedanta is described in four words: ‘Jagat Mithya,Brahma Satya ’– the only reality is pure consciousness and all that is manifest in the form of the universe is only Maya, illusion. For an ordinary person, this thought is not only counter intuitive but also unacceptable.
The second question arises: why should i negate the existence of this world as illusion, when it is a field of so much of enjoyment? We eat good food, smell the roses, hear nature’s music and see her beauty, enjoy sensory touch – all these, only with the help of objects of the world. Why should i believe in all these not being real? Does it enhance my happiness?
These questions are addressed in Vedanta. It takes years for someone to understand this sentence and start living by this thought. But to begin with, one can dwell on this thought for a while and analyse it with a view to create a sense of primary possibility.
Consciousness which pervades all objects of the world, is described as limitless, formless, immortal bliss. But, we know that the objects of the world are ever-changing and, in that sense, mortal. Even the cells of living organisms keep changing every second. If we base our happiness on mortal objects, we are bound to feel sorrow someday. Object-dependent happiness is therefore limited and mixed with sorrow.