Ramana Maharshi On Simultaneous Creation
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When Adi Sankara wanted to explain the process of simultaneous creation, He gave the example of a city which is seen reflected, in a mirror: ˜"isvam darpana drisyamana nagariâ"(the opening words of Dakshinamurti Stotram). In his time no better example than that was available. But if he were living nowdays,he would certainly have given the very apt example of a cinema projector.
Let us therefore see how Sri Bhagavan used to explain the creation of the world
with the example of a cinema projector.
In a cinema projector there is a bright arc-lamp,in front of which passes a film, and in front of that there is a lens. The rays of the light which comes from the arc-lamp pass through the film, are enlarged by the lens and create a large picture on the distant screen. The arc-lamp in the projector is similar to Self, which shines within our body.
The film which is close to the arc-lamp is similar to the very subtle tendencies or vasanas accumulated within us.
The lenses by which these tendencies are enlarged and made gross are the five sense organs.When the tendencies, which are thoughts in their very subtle seed-form, are projected out through the five senses by the light of Self, they are made gross and are seen as the picture of this outside world consisting of so many different names and forms,which are merely the five sense-knowledges.
That is,the multitude of very subtle tendencies which exist within us is seen by us as the vast universe outside.Therefore everything which is seen outside is in truth only what was already existing inside.
Know clearly that everything which is perceived having come (out) through the mind (and the five senses), was already existing as tendencies (vasanas) in the heart, like a hidden treasure, and (therefore merely) an old story which has come out to be seen.
Source: Guru Vachaka Kovai verse 84.
If there were no arc-lamp in the cinema projector,the picture show could not appear on the screen.Similarly, if the light of self were not present, the creation, sustenance of this world could not take place. The light of Self is that which is commonly known by the name God.
If the film-reel were not in the projector, the picture-show consisting of names and forms would not appear on the screen. Instead only a bright light would be seen there.
Similarly, what shines in the outlook of the Jnani, in whom all the tendencies have been destroyed, is not this world picture consisting of names and forms; what the Jnani experiences is only Himself, the unlimited light of Selfconsciousness.
Source: The Path Of Sri Ramana Part Two By Sri Sadhu Om