Since, time immemorial the one question is raised by the humanity again & again about the creation which is;
What is the material by which this entire creation is made up of? or what’s the underlying substance of the entire world (Jagath)?
The Advaita Vedanta answers this question in a deeper & profound way, lets try to grasp in step by step:
1. The World (Jagath) exists: The common experience of all living beings which is undeniably is the ‘world is’ and which can be experienceable.
Vedanta Perspective: The Vedanta accepts the experience of the Jagath and its existence at this point without any conflict but asks to examine further about its fundamental or underlying substance by which this creation is made.
2. Five elements by which the Jagath (World) is made: Akasa (ether), Jala (water), Wind (Saturn), Fire (Mars) and Earth (Mercury), are the Five Primordial Elements by which this world of living & non living entities are made. This is proved some extent by modern science recently and accepted by most of the philosophies, but in fact this is stated in Vedic Knowledge dated back in thousands of years.
Vedanta Perspective: It is clearly mentioned in Vedntic doctrines about 5 primordial elements (Pancha Bhutas) and their combinations, how does it responsible for creation etc. This can be seen in Upanishads & Bhagavad Gita. This view is also relative from Advaitic Truth, and it suggested that lets investigate further deep from here to find the more subtle & reality behind the creation.
3. Play of Consciousness: In every experience of living beings, there is evidence of Consciousness. It is in fact, every experience is made possible by the Consciousness.
Vedanta Perspective: From here many philosophies cannot further driven & penetrate in to the investigation. But Actual Vedanta begins from here. It says, why Consciousness is more fundamental in our life?
because ‘you’ cannot experience anything either with the senses or with the mind without Consciousness
Therefore, Vedanta says with all its philosophical analysis & depth (Upanishads), the creation is just play of Consciousness but nothing else.
But, it is further to be understood, in order to answer the question posed by many dialectics philosophies that is; So, is it really Consciousness is material cause or fundamental material by which this Jagath is made up of?
4. Appearance in Consciousness (maya): The Vedanta says that Consciousness is not actually becoming into Jagath (material world), rather the world of names & forms are appearing in Pure Consciousness with its power called ‘maya‘
Vedanta explains this through the Examples: An individual being experiences so many things in the dream includes, humans, buildings, cities etc. But after he wakes up he realizes it is all made up of his own mind. Here, the mind with its power created a dream and made experience possible. Vedanta, shows a deeper truth here that, experience is there which cannot be deniable but find the truth by which this experience is made possible? is it not the mind alone !!!
In another example: The ocean has millions of waves, but if you see them as the wave then it arises immediately the concepts of name (wave) and form (shape). But Vedanta points to the truth about its reality substance that is ‘water’. Is there any ‘thing’ called ‘a wave’ apart from ‘water’. If water leaves from it then its form can be retained? No. Hence the only truth about the wave is ‘water’ the name & form are just concepts not part of the truth.
From above 2 examples Vedanta trying to explain that; The truth behind the appearance is different. The Jagath is the appearance but its underlying reality is the ‘Pure Consciousness’
5. Now, one more question may rise; So, is the entire creation is made up of ‘maya’ (mysterious power) but not Consciousness?
If this question rises in the mind then you have not fully understood the ‘Truth’ proposed by Vedanta. Because, the maya cannot exist apart from Consciousness and it is a kind of mysterious power of Consciousness (like dreaming power of mind in the dream example). Maya does not have independent reality. So, great Saints says; this whole creation is like a dream in ‘Pure Consciousness’, where the every bit of creation is pervaded by the Consciousness and the separation of experiencer & experienced Jagath is made possible by the power of Pure Consciousness it is called ‘maya‘
6. Finally, one can arrive at the question that, So is this entire creation is made by Consciousness alone then? If one arrived at this question then it indicates he/she grasped the ‘Truth’ some how.
The Jagath is nothing but Consciousness. Here one has to be careful that again the same mistake not to be committed in understanding by saying that Consciousness became this world (Jagath) or Consciousness is the material cause of creation. This is not true, because the Jagath is just an appearance in the ‘Pure Consciousness’ that’s all apart from that there is no true Jagath or creation is made by the Consciousness.
This is like, Snakes appears in the Rope when it is seen in semi darkness. So here, snake is not made by the rope but it actually appears in the rope by illusion of the person and when it is seen in full light he/she realizes that there is no snake at all but it all rope alone through and through. In this example one should not miss the point that; before he realizes the truth of the rope he has the experience of snake and all its effects such as fear, nervousness etc. This experience cannot be deniable and that is what proposed by the Advaita Vedanta although there is experience of Jagath (world) is clearly there for every living creature but when the illusion of the ‘Truth’ goes away by the Knowledge about the ‘Truth’ then ignorance goes away, then ever present, immutable, infinite, eternal ‘Truth’ that is ‘Sat Chit Ananda’ ‘Truth Absolute, Knowledge Absolute & Bliss’ is ‘revealed’.
Thank You all, Ravi Kumar Reddy Juturi