"The goal of Brahma/ Atma-Vidya is not the knowledge of dualism of the creator and creation, subject and object, but the realization of the illusoriness of the sense- perceived world, and the Oneness of Jiva, Brahman and the Universe. But a man who is under the spell of ignorance cannot directly experience this Oneness. He is deluded by the object as names and forms of creation. He cannot deny the actuality of phenomena. As long as he remains ignorant, the world is real to him and so are its pair of opposites such as good and evil, real and unreal, joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, righteousness and unrighteousness etc. These pairs of opposites directly support the relative existence and maintain that. The sense of duality is the hindrance to the 'Knowledge of Non Duality'. Only a highly qualified spiritual aspirant is able to conceive the Impersonal Absolute and meditate on It. Be pure in mind and intellect and free from desires, he alone can seek Brahman / Atman and realize 'That' directly by meditation, while the rest, the approach to the Impersonal Reality lies through the Personal God. This Personal God is the Lord of the Universe, Ishwara, the Omniscient Divine personality. Therefore, the worship of Ishwara or the Personal God is recommended by the theist at the beginning of spiritual life. Worship, prayer and devotion (love) enable a beginner to fix his mind on God and strengthen his power of concentration. Ordinary man considers himself as a psychophysical being conditioned and limited by body, mind and ego. As long as he regards himself as such he is unable to be fully aware of Atman or Pure Spirit as his True Self, so he cannot effectively meditate or contemplate on Impersonal Reality. As he is conscious of his many weaknesses and limitations he feels the need of prayer and other external supports. As not being of desire free nature and given to duality he worships the Personal God for protection, guidance and grace. Though in the end the worshipper realizes that both he and the Personal God are non-different, being manifestations of Brahman, yet as long as he is conscious of his individuality and retains even a trace of his ego, the distinction between himself and the Personal god holds good, and the latter is to be regarded as as the Highest Reality in the relative plane. From the sense of duality the standpoint of name and form a toy lion and a toy ship, though both made of clay, cannot be identical; similarly from the relative standpoint a man and the Personal God though both are admitted by the non-dualists to be manifestation of Brahman, cannot be identical. But the same lion and ship reduced to clay lose their difference; likewise, the man and the Personal God reduced to their Ultimate Cause, Pure Atman or Brahman, lose their differences. For men, victims of ignorance, that is for men of duality there is need of prayer and worship."
Welcome to the 2020 Sripanchami issue of e-Sanai
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