Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

The Changing Form of the Immanent

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The following is an extract from the book “dRRigdRRishyaviveka: Discernment between Atman and non-Atman, Attributed to shaMkara ” by Raphael (Ashram vidyA Order). Visit the Aurea Vidya Foundation.

(Buy 'dRRigdRRishyaviveka' from US or UK).


21. Pure Existence [sat], Pure Consciousness [cit] and Pure Beatitude [Ananda] are common not only to AkAsha [ether], to the air, fire, water and earth, but also to the Gods, men and animals; only names and forms [created by mental power] render one being distinct from the other.

This sutra is very important because it gives us the key with which to comprehend many things.

First of all BrahmA, as active Principle, is present in every part of the manifest dimension, in the smallest sub-atomic par­ticle as in the great sun. From this point of view we can say it is immanent, but at the same time it is transcendent because it operates and acts only indirectly, outside of the play of change. Likewise our sun is immanent and at the same time it transcends the earth. The sun penetrates, heats and gives life to everything on this planet, but at the same time it is outside the phenom­enal interplay of earthly life. All emerges from the intrinsic, infinite possibilities of Brahman and every manifested thing, seen from the point of view of the Atman, has no distinction or differentiation because it is upon its substratum that phenomena can arise. A form is a simple fleeting energetic modification of light. But then, what makes us create absolute distinctions and classifications? What spurs us towards conflict, towards the struggle for the assertion of these distinctions?

All chemical compounds are mere electronic substance or undifferentiated energy; what makes us believe that the element iron must be distinct absolutely from gold and have a different value? All compounds, being unstable, therefore changeable, must slowly dissolve into the undifferentiated electronic substance whence they first emerged. There is no instant of time in which all manifest things do not undergo some process or some change, going back towards their "original" condition. How can we distinguish one electron from another? Vedanta says that the distinction, classification and crystallization of forms is carried out only by the sensory mind which is unable to penetrate the synthetic mystery of the One-without-a-second. The sensory mind crystallizes forms, and although itself a temporal product, it wishes to fix the time-motion of the form, ignoring the fact that it is impossible to detain what by its very nature cannot be restrained and crystallized. By the time we state that a datum is, it already changed. Man seems to want to capture and bridle time-space and does not realize that this desire makes him a prisoner. The infinite classifications, the numberless names, the possible differentiations are only an attempt by the sensory mind to give definitions to things, but it is inevitable that as soon as the definitions emerge things have already changed.

That piece of metal which we are able to grasp cannot have an eternal configuration because not even for one mo­ment does it cease to transmute. Forms are flashings that rend the fathomless darkness.

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Page last updated: 10-Jul-2012