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SELF-REALISATION

"The appearance of distinct countries, people, lands, sentient things, inert things, time, space and the entire lot is nothing but an illusion" - Yoga Vāsiṣṭha

"This universe, my friends, is an optical illusion", "The only time you will awaken, is when your mind is destroyed." - Sri Robert Adams

"Self-knowledge reveals itself after the annihilation of the mind", "Love All Serve All", "Help Ever Hurt Never" - Sri Sathya Sai Baba

"Every enlightened person on this earth, everyone who has been liberated, has had these virtues, and you cannot be realized without them. The first one is COMPASSION, the second one is HUMILITY, and the third one is SERVICE." - Sri Robert Adams

Related pages: BABA.azhagi.com, M.T. Mind, Yoga Vasishta (Yoga Vāsiṣṭha) -- Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6, Book 7
Yoga Vāsiṣṭha
If you can read the abovementioned 7 books of Yoga Vasishta (not 'here and there' but in order), , then, in my personal humble opinion, there is nothing more## for you to read, in the field of spirituality, in terms of understanding spirituality 100%. You might think "Oh. Every spiritual seeker says so about some spiritual treatise or other.". Honestly, that is not the case with Yoga Vasishta. Yoga Vasishta is the ultimate treasure house of the 'Ultimate Knowledge'.

You will believe what I say if only you can read all of the above 7 books. Even if you finish reading upto the 3rd Book, you would have realised the truth of my words. You would have perfectly understood how this whole universe along with the zillions of other parallel universes are all nothing but mere illusions. That understanding will help you realise how you shall put as much efforts as you can to attain Self-Reaslisation (same as GOD-Realisation, the ONE AND ONLY GOAL of life), get out of this (incredibly grand)illusion once for all and remain in Consciousness (i.e. Truth, the birthless, deathless, unchanging, eternal Reality), for ever, eternally.

Yes, self-realisation is Himalayanly tough^^, particularly with the attractions of this world, pains (due to physical challenges, diseases, injuries, old age, etc.) and vicissitudes of this life. But, even amidst all that, we (incl. me, of course) shall always try try try try try, to whatever extent we can. I have been thus trying since 1989. It is tough beyond words to still the mind, which is the sole requisite for self-realisation, as per all Mahans. A 'Nothing Entity' like me definitely needs a SadGuru (God in human form) around me all the time - to guide my each and every step, so that I can still (in other words, extinguish and annihilate) my so-called mind. My sincere prayers for you to get your own SadGuru. My sincere prayers (from the very depths of my heart) for GOD-realisation for ALL......... Sairam.....

(^^) An extract from Book 3 of Yoga Vasishta is as follows:
Sage Sri Vasishta: Lord Sri Rama! The illusionary appearance of the world is like cholera. It has been there for a long long time. It cannot go away that quickly. Self-inquiry is the only mantra to be out of it. 

(##) Only with respect to understanding spirituality to the hilt. Otherwise, one may need to keep reading one or other matter related to spirituality, in order to maintain focus. Reading/hearing/seeing spiritual matters alone can help us remain focussed since they serve as a great SATSANG when somebody does not have their own SadGuru yet. If you have your own SadGuru, then of course, His words are the only thing which matters for you. You would not be reading this page even, in that case.
Satsang
Having written about SATSANG above, my humble opinion is that after reading Yoga Vasishta, you may opt to do this - Along with whatever you are reading so far for your Satsang needs, you may read the divine words of Mahans "Sri Shirdi Sai Baba, Beloved Baba, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsar, Sri Maha Periyavaa, Sri Gautama Buddha, Sri Ramana Maharishi, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Sri Robert Adams, Sri Rumi, ..., ..," also, if at all you wish to and if at all you feel like. Their divine words, in great abundance, even as PDF files (for instance, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharishi), can be found very easily in the net in very many, very many sites. Books carrying their divine words are also available, if you are accustomed to reading books. For instance, Silence of the Heart is a book carrying the divine words of Sri Robert Adams. A 'MUST READ' in my opinion, perhaps as the very first book after reading Yoga Vasishta.
Our universe is a HOLOGRAM - some modern scientists too think so
After completing reading Yoga Vasishta, one fine day, the thought "this universe is a hologram" flashed in my mind all of a sudden. And, this was/is the best way I could describe our universe, after reading Yoga Vasishta (yv). Actually, even prior to reading yv, I have read Mahans repeatedly saying that this universe is all Maya and nothing is real about it but I was not clear on how exactly it is an illusion. I was not able to visualise it or conceptualise it with 100% clarity. But, after reading yv, I had 100% clarity on that. And it was that clarity which made me conceptualise/visualise that "our universe is a hologram". Of course all the zillions of other universes are also holograms indeed. yv tells that indeed zillions of universes exist at any given point of time because of the fact that universes keep on getting created every microfraction of a second.

Thereafter I searched the net on hologram and found out that Japanese have taken hologram to the next level by making you feel the hologram contents itself. i.e. you can touch and interact with the hologram. I also read how that is made possible.

       

The knowledge of these things strengthened my feeling that the best way to describe our universe is that "our universe is a hologram".

And, when I further explored in the net, I could see that some of the modern scientists too are thinking on the same lines. Some of the articles/videos which speak about this are:
  • bbc.com/earth/story/20160901-we-might-live-in-a-computer-program-but-it-may-not-matter

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bwLtlA9eDM (Is the Universe a Hologram?)



  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmDKlcaAWO0 (Why do some scientists believe that our universe is a hologram?)



  • An extract from the first link (from bbc.com) I have listed above is as follows:
    "Are you real?", "What about me?" - These used to be questions that only philosophers worried about. Scientists just got on with figuring out how the world is, and why. But some of the current best guesses about how the world is, seem to leave the question hanging over science too.

    Several physicists, cosmologists and technologists are now happy to entertain the idea that we are all living inside a gigantic computer simulation, experiencing a Matrix-style virtual world that we mistakenly think is real.

    Our instincts rebel, of course. It all feels too real to be a simulation. The weight of the cup in my hand, the rich aroma of the coffee it contains, the sounds all around me – how can such richness of experience be faked?

    But then consider the extraordinary progress in computer and information technologies over the past few decades. Computers have given us games of uncanny realism – with autonomous characters responding to our choices – as well as virtual-reality simulators of tremendous persuasive power.

  • A divine quote from Siddha Gita is as follows:
      "Just as a mirror remaining unaffected presents within itself pictures owing to its clarity So also Chit (Consciousness) presents by its own power the objects illumined by itself within itself.".

      One needs to ponder over the above divine quote very well, in light of my (and few others of this universe's) feeling that our universe is a hologram. So, we can think of our universe as a sort of self-projecting hologram system, which is eternally powered to switch on/off any universe (one out of the zillions of universes) in cycles (ON[universe, lives begin] - OFF[after maha pralaya; no universe and life] - again ON[universe, lives begin]... .. .). During the ON/illumined cycle, the hologram system projects the universe inside itself, like a mirror. During the OFF/dark cycle, the hologram does not project anything. It is similar to a mirror which does not display anything in pitch darkness.

    The following divine verses from Sri Dakshinamurti Stotram also help to exemplify our thinking:
      1. This world is unreal like the image of a city in the mirror, it exists inside. Due to the power of Maya it looks as if it is manifested outside like in dream we see things outside ourselves. Salutations to Sri Shiva in the form of preceptor, who, at the time of self realization, makes one aware that Atma is without second (i.e. one)
      2. Like a tree inside a seed this world is not manifested initially. Later on it gets manifested due to Maya in space, time and various forms. Salutations to Sri Shiva in the form of preceptor who like a magician, through his yogic powers, transforms it by his own will.
      3. Who emanates from eyes and other sense organs like the light of a lamp kept in a vessel with multiple pores; by whose grace, I know that this light only illumines the entire world, salutations to Sri Shiva in the form of preceptor.
As we can understand from the above, in a mirror, we do see the images in 3D, though they are appearing in a 2D flat surface only. Due to its inherent nature, the mirror which is a 2D only, is able to show the images in 3D. Likewise, the universe appears in 3D in Consciousness though it is not in 3D, in reality.
Confirmation from my SatGuru
Based on my above conclusions arrived at by me (intellectually, after reading 'Yoga Vāsiṣṭha') that this universe is a self-projecting hologram (like in a mirror), I did ask about this to my SatGuru (whose advent in my life was in December 2019, after 12 years of intense prayers of mine to my beloved Baba) and he readily confirmed (in December 2019) that this universe is indeed like a hologram (where the objects are hollow and unreal) and it is indeed like the reflection in a mirror (where depth is seen but everything is in 2D actually and unreal). Sairam.....

Well, mine is only an intellectual understanding and confirmation of the same from my SatGuru. But, how exactly (like a hologram or mirror) it feels in the state of self-realisation, SatGuru alone knows. As all say, the state of self-realisation is ineffable, as such. Mortals like me are just trying to understand it via different words, until we attain self-realisation ourselves. That's all.
My Quora answers on spirituality
What follows are my answers in Quora, to questions related to spirituality. I do not know anything by myself. Obviously. So, whatever answers I have given are completely based on my humble understanding of what Mahans have prescribed us. You may read my answers, "if at all" you wish to. Actually, as said at the very start of this page, there is no need to read any of my answers below (most having been given before I read Yoga Vasishta) unless otherwise you feel that they will help in the form of SatSang.
God
  1. Where does God live?
    https://www.quora.com/Where-does-God-live/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan

  2. How can I meet God?
    https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-meet-God/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan
Enlightenment
  1. What does enlightenment mean?
    https://www.quora.com/What-does-enlightenment-mean-1/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan

  2. What is enlightenment and how it can be achieved?
    https://www.quora.com/What-is-enlightenment-and-how-it-can-be-achieved/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan

  3. What is the purpose of spiritual enlightenment?
    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-purpose-of-spiritual-enlightenment/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan

  4. Is enlightenment the end of the road for a seeker? Does an enlightened person not gain any further knowledge or experience?
    https://www.quora.com/Is-enlightenment-the-end-of-the-road-for-a-seeker-Does-an-enlightened-person-not-gain-any-further-knowledge-or-experience/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan

  5. Can you be spiritually enlightened, then lose it?
    https://www.quora.com/Can-you-be-spiritually-enlightened-then-lose-it/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan

  6. Do spiritually enlightened people have different kinds of brain activity?
    https://www.quora.com/Do-spiritually-enlightened-people-have-different-kinds-of-brain-activity/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan
Kundalini
  1. Which texts do you read for your kundalini awakening?
    https://www.quora.com/Which-texts-do-you-read-for-your-kundalini-awakening/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan
Goal of Life
  1. What do you want in life?
    https://www.quora.com/What-do-you-want-in-life/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan
Surrender
  1. What is meant by surrender in spirituality?
    https://www.quora.com/What-is-meant-by-surrender-in-spirituality/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan
Namasmarana
  1. Why is Namasmarana (remembering the name of Lord) given a lot of importance in Kalyuga?
    https://www.quora.com/Why-is-Namasmarana-remembering-the-name-of-Lord-given-a-lot-of-importance-in-Kalyuga/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan
Meditation
  1. What is Meditation? Is it an emptying of the Mind? Can one really do that?
    https://www.quora.com/What-is-Meditation-Is-it-an-emptying-of-the-Mind-Can-one-really-do-that/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan

  2. Is the emptiness of the mind the destination of meditation?
    https://www.quora.com/Is-the-emptiness-of-the-mind-the-destination-of-meditation/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan
Virtues - Gratitude, Forgiveness, etc.
  1. What do you think is your most important human virtue?
    https://www.quora.com/What-do-you-think-is-your-most-important-human-virtue/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan

  2. Is forgiveness a sign of cowardice?
    https://www.quora.com/Is-forgiveness-a-sign-of-cowardice/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan
Spiritual Quotes
  1. What are your top 5 favorite spiritual quotes and why?
    https://www.quora.com/What-are-your-top-5-favorite-spiritual-quotes-and-why/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan

  2. What are some best quotes regarding Spiritual enlightenment?
    https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-best-quotes-regarding-Spiritual-enlightenment/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan

  3. What's your favorite spiritual ocean quote or metaphor?
    https://www.quora.com/Whats-your-favorite-spiritual-ocean-quote-or-metaphor/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan
Spiritual Stories
  1. What is your favorite spiritual anecdote?
    https://www.quora.com/What-is-your-favorite-spiritual-anecdote/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan
Spiritual Books
  1. What are some good books for spiritual enlightenment?
    https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-good-books-for-spiritual-enlightenment/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan

  2. What are some books to read for self-realisation?
    https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-books-to-read-for-self-realisation/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan
Science vs Spiritualtiy
  1. Do spirituality and science go hand in hand?
    https://www.quora.com/Do-spirituality-and-science-go-hand-in-hand/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan

  2. ஆன்மீகத்திற்கும் கல்விக்கும் தொடர்பு உண்டா?
    https://ta.quora.com/ஆன்மீகத்திற்கும்-1/answers/124346574
Rebirth
  1. Does rebirth really happen?
    https://www.quora.com/Does-rebirth-really-happen/answers/98817928

  2. Reincarnation: Can humans ever be born again?
    https://www.quora.com/Reincarnation-Can-humans-ever-be-born-again/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan

  3. நான் ஏன் மீண்டும் பிறக்காமல் இருக்கவேண்டும்?
    https://ta.quora.com/நான்-ஏன்-மீண்டும்/answers/175423352
Previous Life
  1. Is it possible to know about the previous life by any yoga? How?
    https://www.quora.com/Is-it-possible-to-know-about-the-previous-life-by-any-yoga-How

  2. How can I know who I was in my past life?
    https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-know-who-I-was-in-my-past-life/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan

  3. Why does some place that I visit the first time seem extremely familiar? Is it just coincidence or could it be spiritual?
    https://www.quora.com/Why-does-some-place-that-I-visit-the-first-time-seem-extremely-familiar-Is-it-just-coincidence-or-could-it-be-spiritual/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan
Mantras
  1. What would be some prayers/mantras in Hinduism or Buddhism for wishing good health on someone else?
    https://www.quora.com/What-would-be-some-prayers-mantras-in-Hinduism-or-Buddhism-for-wishing-good-health-on-someone-else/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan
General
  1. What are some of the greatest examples of presence of mind?
    https://www.quora.com/Humor-What-are-some-of-the-greatest-examples-of-presence-of-mind/answer/விஸ்வநாதன்-Viswanathan
Transcendental Questions
    In spirituality, there are 100s of questions (e.g. Why was this Universe created?, When did Karma begin?, Why is there evil in this world?, etc., etc.) for which answers do not exist. They are called transcendental questions and Mahans have instructed that one shall not strive to dwell upon these sort of metaphysical questions but instead devote all the time spent in musing (for answers to these questions) to know oneself - i.e. to realise who one is, in reality - i.e. to attain self-realisation. Mahans have told that you will not find answers to these questions even if you rack your brain for millions of years. Please read answers to the questions numbered 78, 81, 120, 23 in the free book (May I Answer? - Swami Sri Sivananda.pdf) you can download from here - http://www.dlshq.org/faq.htm - where it is made crystal clear why we should never ever dwell upon transcendental questions. For those curious, question no. 78 goes like is: "I would like to know why we are all created and put to this miserable and pitiable plight. You would argue that we are never created and never would die. Then why should not we all be in that all-pure, omnipotent state without being entangled by Samskaras and Maya?"
The Clock to Self-Realisation
    I love the 'Clock Analogy' given here - Should-it-be-Bhakti-Jnana-or-Karma-for-me - and strive to act as per it, as much as possible. i.e. keep ticking on with your work - tick tick tick tick tick tick (like the second hand of a clock which is usually hardly noticed and not given much importance) - so that the minute hand (Bakthi) moves after a while, which results after quite a long while in the movement of the hour hand (Atma Viswaasam - Self-Confidence), and thus ultimately leading to SELF-REALISATION, the one and only goal of human life, as stated innumerable times by the Mahans.
The Train to Self-Realisation
    The 'Train Analogy' given here - http://media.radiosai.org/journals/Vol_08/01FEB10/01-conversations.htm - illustrates the 3 paths so so so beautifully. I have realised that the 'Clock Analogy' referred by me in the previous section shows the way to adopt for NOTHING entities like me, until my SatGuru (my own SatGuru; எனக்கே எனக்கான சத்குரு) arrives in my life and guides me uninterruptedly towards Self-Realisation, which is the one and only goal of life (as repeatedly said by the Mahans, countless times).


    Thanks a ton to RadioSai.org for the above image.