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or content is at its lowest and form takes over almost fully.  But when we go over to music, there are not even words. By the mere form of music we are  enraptured into whatever emotion the composer has designed for us. Music is pure form with no material content. If this can happen in art, it can also happen in the description of the reality behind the universe, where, as we advance in spiritual evolution, we pass to higher and higher states of consciousness. Starting from the waking  state of consciousness in which we are so full of content that even the consciousness behind it is hidden, we go step by step until we reach the stage where there is no matter but only pure spirit, pure consciousness. Twentieth century  Physics tells us that our consciousness is in some intricate way mixed up with the external world. Vedanta declares that there is no mixing up, in the sense that there is only consciousness. There is not even a subject and an object.
QUESTION: When the subject and object disappear, are we not left with a complete blank?
No. It is an error to think that when the series of presentations to consciousness come to an end, there is nothing left behind. Even the statement that there is nothing left behind is a piece of knowledge, presupposing consciousness.  The reminiscent experience that we slept well the previous night and did not know anything about what went on when we slept, would not be  possible if the state of deep sleep were a complete blank. While everything is presented to consciousness and is revealed by it, consciousness itself is not presented to anything else. It is never an object in relation to a subject. It is that which underlies both subject and object and can manifest itself without any aid. This is the Ultimate Reality which sages experience in the state of
nirvikalpa-samAdhi, when they have left everything far behind. One can deny everything external to oneself but one cannot deny one's own self. Consciousness is the Self.
Hence it is that the Lord is addressed as '
jnAna-svarUpa' and 'satya-svarUpa'. He is also 'Ananda-svarUpa'  because of His infiniteness. 'Ananda' is bliss and 'ananta' is infinity.  What is total bliss has only to be infinite, it cannot have any limitation. What is finite cannot be happiness or bliss.

For a discussion of this  go to the passage from the chAndogya-Upanishad in Essence of Upanishads.

What is infinite can have neither a beginning nor an end. Our

July 7, 99  ©Copyright  V. Krishnamurthy  Home  Contents    Next