What is Non-Duality or Advaita?
According to Vedic philosophy, human life has a definite purpose. It is said that the final non-duality approach of life is to elope from duality and attain non-duality.One should know that origin and end of life is the same.There are forms of consciousness that define non-duality, which shows progression in the divine-human life and locale.
Forms of Consciousness
- Waking Consciousness- In waking consciousness, a human identifies his physical body. He then lives to satisfy the desires and his self-proclaimed ambitions throughout life.
- Dreaming Consciousness- In dreaming consciousness, a human identifies his morals and ideal people taken from his past. He tries to follow these memories.
- Deep Sleep Consciousness- In deep sleep consciousness, a human is free from self-morals and ideal people from past. Therefore, he enters into the realm of non-duality, eternity and originality. At this level, a human being becomes original and creative.
Different ways of approaching Non-Duality
There are five ways connected to the ultimate experience of non-duality approach.
- I am Brahman (Ahembrahmasmi)
- You are that-Brahman (Tatvemasi)
- Atman is Brahman (Ayetmanbrahma)
- All this is Brahman (Servametatbrahma)
- Brahman is non-dual (Prejnanambrahma).
These are the different ways of expressing the non-duality(advaitic) experience. The Vedas are not systematic treaties of philosophy, they are a mere collection of the various philosophical discoveries of India. Hence, it is an accumulation of different experiences from the seekers of Truth or God.
According to the great saints or Guru, a Brahman alone is real and the entire universe is just an illusion. The human soul is identical with a Brahman. hence, the non-duality approach is a path towards Brahman. The verse ahembrahmasmi, I am Brahman or God is a spiritual experience of non-duality approach. Therefore, Brahman is nirguna viz without any attributes. The way to realize this truth is Gyana Yoga(path), the path of wisdom.
The system of visistadvaita states that Creation and God are like soul and body, and are inseparable. God and human beings are similar just as soul and body are inseparable but they are not same. Hence, God lives in human beings and in every creation, and the complete creation and all human beings live in God but they are not identical.
For this reason, The soul remains within the supreme soul. They are emanated from Time, Space and Matter rather than created.They then obtain bliss not in absorption, but in being around the supreme soul. The only way to get this experience is through self-surrender. The proposed path of devotion or bhakti is a way to this realization. Consequently. a person might say I am in Brahman and Brahman is in me but he cannot say I am Brahman.
It has been clearly distinguished between human beings, Creation and God that God is the only supreme being and there is nothing or no one equal to him. Hence, the proposed path to god is devotion (bhakti) and good actions (karma). To reach God one needs a Guru.
Although the majority of believers believe that the non-duality of Shankar is the supreme truth, most of them follow the path of devotion and worship to various other manifestations of the supreme being, (ex. Vishnu, Shiva, Krishna and Rama) and the path of selfless action as well. Thus, the path of wisdom (Gyana), the path of devotion (bhakti) and the path of action (karma) are combined together to form the typical path of ultimate experience.
Biblical Relation with the Non-duality Approach
We see a progressive growth in the divine-human relationship of Biblical culture. It is similar and related to God through prayers and psalms. Further, it is linked to through the rituals and sacrifices in the temple. We also discover four levels of consciousness in Jesus:
- Jesus as a human being (waking consciousness),
- Jesus as a Jew (dreaming consciousness as Judaism was his spiritual ideal),
- Almighty Jesus, the Son of God, universal consciousness freed from the Jewish memory (deep sleep consciousness in which he says ‘I am the way, the Truth and the Life’), and finally
- God and Jesus are one (the Thuriya, I and the Father are one), ontological non-duality.
How Jesus depicted Non-Duality
Jesus has also made many great statements. These four quotes are:
I am the light of the world (I am Brahman)
You are the light of the world (You are Brahman)
I and the Father are one (Atman is Brahman)
This is my body and this is my blood (All this is Brahman).
The Jewish religion is basically a dual religion. In detail, God is the transcendent reality and creator. Consequently, human beings have to approach non-duality.