Earlier, we saw that if we take the photon which is the building block for the universe as a frame of reference, there is no universe. However if we take the Observer as the frame of reference we see the universe. The logical conclusion is that the Observer/mind is creating this universe. We have also seen that the theory of special relativity supports this conclusion. In this section we’ll discuss how the Observer/mind creates this universe. We can divide our discussion into the following 3 step process:
1. Mind Activity
2. Projection – Maya Shakti
3. Closing the loop
1. Mind Activity
It is so uncanny that what is taught in quantum physics applies to what is happening in the mind. It almost seems that all the discoveries made in quantum physics was to understand what is going in the mind. Maybe it is, and the physicist who made all these discoveries never realized it.
Quantum physics began with the basic goal of understanding the wave and particle duality. Sometimes matter behaves like a wave and at other times it is a particle. There is an observed system which can be represented by a wave function. The form of the wave function of the observed system can be calculated via the Schrodinger wave equation. The wave function of an observed system is a mathematical catalogue which gives a physical description of those things which could happen when we take the measurement. When the Observer System interacts with this wave function by looking at the observed system, the wave function collapses to one entity and the probability of all the other possibilities becomes zero. In quantum physics the observer system is usually some type of measuring device which interacts with the wave function, thereby collapsing the wave function.
If you replace the observer system of the measuring device with the ultimate Observer, the awareful Brahman, the above paragraph could be describing what happens in the mind. The similarity is remarkable. An argument could be made that Quantum physics has not fully understood this: that the final and the only measurement/observer system is Brahman. We saw earlier that the umanifest photon becomes manifest only in the presence of the Observer and not in the presence of any measuring system. No physical measuring system has the power to convert an unmanifest photon into a manifest photon. Besides the measuring system itself is made up of photons which are made manifest in the presence of Brahman or the Observer.
The mind is made up of waves called Vrittis (which means Whirlpool), just like the waves in a pond. When the mind is turbulent, the waves can be intense and when the mind is peaceful, the waves are calm. Not much is known about the waves in the mind because they are subtle in nature and occur in the subtle body, making it impossible to make a scientific measurement. We know the brain, it is gross, but the mind is subtle, no one has seen the mind.
If we analyze ourselves, we realize that so much is happening in the mind. All the thoughts, feelings and perceptions coming from various sources like the senses, emotions, and memories, are all in the mind. All these are vrittis and have their own waveforms. If you mix and match these wave forms you will get complex wave patterns in the mind. There are different sources which contribute to the different vrittis in the mind; some of them are the following:
- Causal Body Vrittis: As the causal body or the seed body starts blossoming, they will continuously manifest and push vrittis into the mind. Incomplete karmas awaiting their results, personality traits formed by your DNA are some of the vrittis which will be available in the mind.
- Subtle Body Vrittis: The subtle body will generate a whole range of vrittis like, emotions, desires, memories, feeling etc.
- External Vriitis: Besides the internal vriitis mentioned earlier, there is a whole range of vrittis which will be come from external universe. Every external object in the universe has a subtle form, in fact there is a fully functioning subtle universe, which keeps modifying and updating to reflect the external universe accurately. As and when required, parts of this subtle universe will be available to your mind as vrittis.
All these vrittis combine together to generate one complex vritti. As in quantum physics, we now collapse this vritti or wave function. Vedanta has a well defined 2 step procedure to collapse vrittis.
Step 1: Vritti Vyapti:
This means “wrapping” of the vritti or wave by the mind. When a vritti is formed in the mind, it goes into its “ internal/external database” and checks what this vritti represents. The mind then take the shape of that object. At this stage it only takes the shape of the object, it does not have any content. It is like a wire diagram with no content.
Step 2: Phala Vyapti:
Phala means fruit but a better translation would be the yielding of a result from the wrapping. The shape of the mind object comes in the presence of the light of Awareness and this shape is now filled with Consciousness to become a conscious object. With this step the Observer is now fully aware of the conscious object in the mind. It must be understood this object is still in the subtle form. The object may have any shape or form, but the content is only Consciousness. Now because this object is made of Consciousness, the Observer is fully aware of the subtle object in the mind.
2. Projection – Maya Shakti
Once the Conscious mind and the conscious object in subtle form have been created, the next step is the projection of the object outside the mind like a hologram. This projection is done by Maya Shakti, which is readily available in any mind. Maya Shakti is the creative power of the Observer/Brahman. The Observer/Brahman really does not do anything, it is, as explained an wakeful witness of what is happening in the mind. However when the awareness emitted by the Observer/Brahman, comes in contact with the mind, it
1. Makes the mind and the vritti within it conscious
2. Empowers this conscious mind with maya shakti.
It must be understood and appreciated that this enormous power is within each and every living being, be it a human, animal or plant. Maya Shakti is the same for every living being, but it gets restricted by the limitations of the mind. The mind of the human being is more powerful than an animal’s; therefore Maya Shakti for a human being is much stronger than for an animal. The same applies within human beings; everyone has a different level of mind power (depending on their genetic make-up) and this restricts the power of the Maya Shakti in different humans, depending on individual differences.
What you see outside in the universe is the projection of your mind and the objects therein. The all- powerful Maya Shakti has the capacity to do this. We saw earlier that the mind and the vrittis are completely filled up with Awareness/Consciousness. It would seem that this Awareness/Consciousness is also being projected outside by the Maya Shakti to form the fabric of the universe we see. This external universe we see is also completely filled up with Awareness/Consciousness, in fact it is only made up Awareness/Consciousness. The conscious mind objects within mind were previously in the subtle form. Maya Shakti with its power converts the subtle form into a gross form and these are objects we see around us. Once again these gross objects are completely made up of Awareness/Consciousness and nothing but Awareness/Consciousness
What is this Maya Shakti? Vedanta clearly mentions that it is indescribable. We know it is there because we see this awesome universe being created from the mind. We see the effects of this as the universe and we can conclude that the cause must be Maya Shakti. Seeing the universe around us, we can only guess some of the powers the Maya Shakti has:
- Creating the time space fabric of the universe
- Creating, sustaining and destroying the content of this universe. We have 3 gods or shaktis representing this power – Brahmaji (different from Brahman), Vishnu and Shiva.
- Implementing all the rules and laws of nature (both scientific and spiritual) because of which this universe functions so smoothly with clockwork precision. Scientists are continuously discovering these laws and therefore we are getting a better understanding of how this universe functions. Rishis have already discovered the Spiritual truth governing this Universe, and have provided their methods in the teachings of Vedanta so it is available for all to discover.
- Giver of the fruits for all your actions. Any action you do, it must have a result. This result is given by Maya Shakti.
3. Closing the loop
Now that we have a much better understanding how the real perception process works, it may be worthwhile to pause and think – if the real perception is being done in the subtle universe, where the Observer/Brahman witnesses all the objects in the mind, then we have the question – why do we need the Gross universe, it seems redundant.
The answer to this is ignorance. We forget our true nature of being the awareful Observer of all the activities in the mind; instead we identify and become attached to the vrittis in the mind, especially the vrittis that “I am this body”, “I am this mind”. Having forgotten our true nature of being the awareful witness, whose attributes are Sat Chit Ananda, we start looking for happiness elsewhere. To find this happiness we have the desire to take up a physical body and we also want desirable objects in the world so that we can interact with them and find this happiness, which forever seems to elude us. It is with this desire we use the Maya Shakti provided to us to create this universe. Obviously we will not find this true happiness in objects outside, but the quest continues. This quest will come to an end only when we realize our true nature as Sat Chit Ananda .
1. There may be some confusion that there are two types of objects, one is the mind object which is inside the mind and the other is the world object which is outside. Frankly our day to day experience also tells us that we are seeing the world object. Is this true? Obviously not, we have shown the world object is the ‘grossified’ version of the mind object. It’s the same thing, except the mind object is subtle and the world object is gross.
2. We have shown that the mind object filled with Awareness/Consciousness is projected out by Maya Shakti and the world object is created. It must be understood that this world object is also filled with Awareness/Consciousness. If the object did not have this Awareness/Consciousness, the Observer would not be aware of the world object. This is true of the whole universe. Vedanta goes as far as to say there is nothing but Awareness/Consciousness in the universe.
With this understanding it is very difficult to understand how science can say that the reflected light from the world object is what creates the awareness in the Observer. Light which is external to the world object does not have the capacity to create awareness within the world object. The world object is already full of awareness and does not need another source to generate awareness. This means that the world objects radiate awareness and the Observer receives this awareness and knows the object.
3. It must be understood that the full universe is not projected, only that part of the universe is projected which we are observing. Only the photons from these observed objects become manifest, the photons from all other objects which are not being observed will remain umanifest. It is difficult to grasp this concept, but it is true that the remaining part of the universe which is not being observed will be dormant and unmanifest. This is true for you as the Observer. However another person could be looking at another part of the universe, for that person that part of the universe will be manifest and the rest of the universe will remain unmanifest. If you now turn around 180 deg, than the new objects and new vision area will become manifest and the previous area of observation will become umanifest along with the rest of the universe. Only when you observe the universe is there, but the universe is not there if you are not observing. This is not an easy concept and it goes against our understanding. It is important to change our approach and keep reminding ourselves of how we actually perceive the world.
4. A question can be asked – if every person is creating their own time space framework and the contents therein, how is it possible that everyone observes the same external universe? The only logical answer is that the subtle universe is common and shared by everyone. This common subtle universe is continuously updated to reflect all the changes taking place and this is used to create the external universe. For example if Person A cuts a branch of a tree, the subtle universe will be updated to reflect this change because there is a subtle version of the tree. If person B wants to see this tree, he will project the tree without that branch using the latest updated version of the subtle universe. The subtle universe is like a software program which is being continuously updated to reflect all the changes and this common software is used by every person in the universe to project their own universe. The external subtle universe will be common, but the internal subtle and causal body will be unique to each person. This is not shared and our experience also confirms this.
The current perception process being taught by science has defects. We have shown them in this paper. I am positive even science is also aware of these issues. They refuse to acknowledge this because it means that they have to bring in an Observer into the picture. A few scientists acknowledge this, but unless and until the entire scientific community is agreeable, this incomplete information is what will prevail. In this paper we have shown with scientific logic that the gross universe is the projection of the conscious mind. The Observer is Conscious, the Observed is Conscious and the Observing process is also nothing but Consciousness. To understand and assimilate this is the final goal for any spiritual aspirant.
For science, to understand and know the Observer will be the answer to many unanswered questions.