Vedanta and the Illusory World | Why Intelligent Man Does Not Run Behind Worldly Success?


The world runs on this fundamental premise that ‘The World is Real’. When this aspect is reiterated by the conscious element, the world and its activities gain momentum. It continues to proliferate and expand. The world population which was 3.3 billion in the 1960s has come to 7.8 billion at the start of 2020.  The world has expanded in population and activities.

Science has expanded, information has exploded. The whole world has come crashing in, accessible by the mere click of the little finger. The world is exploding with activities and yet imploding with regards to accessibility and technology. This is a situation when opportunities ‘appear’ galore. People want to do something, achieve something and get somewhere; to a place of ultimate recognition and comfort, both at the same time. Well, this approach encapsulates within itself two contradictory goals, which run parallel. Comfort cannot coincide with worldly power. People feel that if they have power, the world will be at their beck and call. This is when the beans shall spill.

The world has never seen a powerful man in terms of ‘wordly’ power and recognition, who is comfortable in any manner. He cannot be. When man becomes intelligent enough, when he recognizes that the power of the world, is that which corrodes and corrupts, he shall never pursue worldly ambitions. But then, such an intelligent man shall defeat the purpose of the worldly; the world itself can come to a stand-still, if people were to become intelligent, to such an extent. The ‘appearance’ of the world is such that it is unconsciously presumed to be real, by man. This is the irony. The Vedic scriptures, asks the intelligent man to deliberate and experience the ‘stuff’ of the world. Vedanta promises that if man strives to investigate the ‘stuff’ of the world, he would discover quite magically that the world has no stuff. It does not have anything that can give one, even the slightest joy or contentment. All that the world is capable of giving, is fleeting pleasure and pain, which pass through the senses, giving the ‘enjoyer’ a false sense of accomplishment and involvement. This is totally a sense driven experience and is validated only by the senses and mind which are mere gadgets fooled by sporadic electrical signals that hit the brain, short-lived that they are, like the wink of the eye.

The series of experiences that the mind and the senses throw up are random and in quick succession. This creates ‘erring’ on the part of the intelligence faculty. The world is simple aberrations in the field of infinite consciousness, mere disturbance which bombard the mind and senses. Thus the world is something as impermanent as the wink of the eye, but it is sad that this illusion is presumed to be ‘real’ and long-lasting. Vedanta points out that, it is the acceptance of the world as real, that is responsible for agitation of the senses and the mind, which has sent the supposedly intelligent species of humans reeling down the steep dark burrows of worldly experience and suffering. When man takes the ‘fleeting’; the ‘unreal’ to be real, suffering follows. This is the indomitable spiritual law. When man is ignorant of this fundamental of spirituality, he remains perennially disturbed and dissatisfied.

Pursuing worldly goals and ambitions, is like trying to shorten one’s shadow while the sun sets. The more we take the world and its experiences to be real, the greater shall we wallow in the deep wells of sorrow and suffering. Contentment shall always evade and elude us. The elixir towards ending the life ‘of the world’ is the path of investigation. Unless man, prepares himself for higher spiritual pursuit, he will continue to amble in pitch darkness. It is important that investigation is performed through processes like study of Vedanta under an able spiritual master, undertaking yogic practices through meditation, concentration, contemplation, pranayama techniques; and thus investigating  the life-energies, to get to the root of worldly experience. Unless time is devoted towards studying the life process itself, one can never reach a state of poise and contentment. The greater the ambitions within the world, the fouler will be one’s experience with the world. It is vital to come to this understanding that all our experiences within the world, is simply a play of consciousness, which is a projected one, similar to the play of lights on a blank white screen; this being a projection on the screen of space and time. The quicker man understands and progresses along this thought, the happier he shall get.