Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, The Triple Transformation - Track 704

Advaita’s view of Moksha

 Something not very different from this in pragmatic terms although quite different in fundamental terms, is the answer of Advaita philosophy which is a variant of Vedanta. Vedanta has many variations, Advaita, Vishishtadwaita, Dvaita, Purnadvaita, Achintya bheda bhed Vada and so on. But prominent among them is Adwaita. People normally think Advaita to be Vedanta itself. Although others also are there and they are also quite important but they are not so very well known. Advaita Vedanta does not say that you should not ask the question as to how you have entered into this situation where you are. It says first of all that basically you are neither ego nor desire nor anyone of the constructs in the same way as Buddhism tells you. But Buddhism does not tell you who you are. Buddhistic answer is that corresponding to you, really there is nothing; it is called shunya, nihil. That is why Buddhism is also called nihilism; you do not exist, there is nothing like you existing; your sense of you was only a construct and when that construct is dissolved nothing remains. This dissolution is called the state of nirvana when everything is annulled. But in Advaita, you are Brahman. When all the constructs get dissolved, you discover that you are not ego. Then there begins to arise in your consciousness an experience of a stupendous reality — not zero, not nothing, not nihil but a stupendous reality which in our present state you cannot imagine at all. It is more stupendous than any stupendity that you can imagine. That stupendous substance you will experience as substance. Solidity, durability and resistance to my touch are the normal experiences of a substance that we have.  This stupendous reality is experienced even more substantially than this. And that universal and transcendental is indescribable, ineffable – that is yourself actually. That ego-construct is lost when you lose all ego-constructions. You experience behind it a stupendous reality, ineffably which you can express only as Sat. That is why one of the famous mantras that is given is: hari om tat sat, tat means "That". That is tat, but it is Sat, it is that which is real. And then you reach that reality, that experience. It is completely immobile, Akshara Brahman, Akshara means "that which does not move", kshara is "that which moves". It is akshara, that which does not move, and it is called Brahman. This is the word which is used to describe that, you can use the word aks even, any word, or you may not even describe it by any word at all that is why sometimes it is described as "neti, neti." They say any word and you say, "No, it is not that, it is not that'. And when you reach that point you find, "It was always immobile". But then what was all this? How did this construction come about? What is the origin of all this construction in which we were and which was troubling us? Advaita says that not only was it never there, it could never have been there. According to Advaita the reality is akshar and all construction is a movement. One cannot construct without a movement but akshara is without movement. If there is no movement, no construction could have been done. Construction was not there, it could not have been there and actually you are asking this question only because you are still in the construction. There was no construction ever made at all, so in that state of consciousness the question as to how the construction came about may not arise at all. So the question: "How did the construction arise?" has the following answer in Advaita, i.e. "There is no answer and there is no need to answer.  This answer may be satisfying or may not be satisfying. If you press very hard, they will say: "Look, you can go on pressing, I can only tell you the method by which you can come out of it". This is something similar to the Buddhistic answer. Buddhists also say, "Do not ask this question, I can tell you only the method of coming out". And how will you come out of the knocking? The method is the following. Buddhists have one answer i.e., if you do compassionate actions you will come out of these constructions. According to Advaita you first of all see that these constructions are all filled with goodness and evil, both of which are relative. There is evil in this world. There is good also in the world but even good, so-called good is not really good; it is all mixed with evil.  Intensify this feeling that this world is full of the mixture of good and evil.

Secondly revolve in your mind the truth that really speaking it does not exist; really speaking it does not exist.