I heard about Sage Vashishta's teachings to Rama about life and the universe. He talks about this illusion (Maya). He says that we're within God's imagination! We're not apart from the Divine, but part of Him (Advaitha). Does it mean we don't exist?!
Our universe is in God's brain! When I realize I'm not really there, then I break the cycle of life and death and attain Moksha! Is that it? I once saw 2 pics showing the similarity of brain neurons and galaxies in the universe. Do I make sense?
—Pramod Prasad, India
Dear Pramod Prasad,
You’re right: we’re not apart from the Divine. We exist, but not as separate entities. It is only God’s compelling maya that makes us think that we are separate and limited. That thought is deeply ingrained in us, making us believe that we are these tiny bodies and personalities.
Here’s an interesting anecdote on this topic from Swami Kriyananda’s superb book, Conversations with Yogananda:
The Master said, “You can go on for incarnations, or you can say ‘I am free!’ right now. It’s all in the mind. As soon as you say you are free, you are free.”
Boone [a disciple], who was present, raised the objection, “Sir, if I said I was free, I wouldn’t be, would I?”
“Oh yes!” the Master replied. “But the thing is, you answered your own question! You said, ‘I wouldn’t be.’ The trouble is, you see, that the mind is already poisoned with the delusion it wants to overcome. It lacks force.”
So go for it: meditate deeply enough to go beyond the mind and break the cycle of life and death by realizing that the little you is not there at all, and never was. You are He.