On Truth, Knowledge, Maya and neti neti

We are born of Truth. We are surviving by Truth and shall continue to survive by the same Truth. Hence never defy Truth. It is only Truth that expresses itself as Dharma, Law and Life principle. It is Truth that sustains the life. It is the same Truth by which we will get freedom in future and shall immerge ourselves with Truth. Therefore defying truth means inviting sufferings and going to hell which is equivalent to suicide.

Truth cannot be explained. Truth is a subject of self-realisation. According to Dibya Darshan everything is Truth. Each Truth has come from some other Truth. Each Truth has link with the Supreme Truth.

A question may be raised here- "If every thing is Truth, then wherefrom untruth has come?"

Dibya Darshan explains, "Untruth is untruth, it is true. The horses have no horns. It is a Truth. Untruth is based on some Truth. Truth expresses itself in various forms. Untruth or falsehood is a particular form of Truth. Truth is proved by Truth only. Falsehood is also proved by Truth."

Brahman has taken the form of Jagat. Brahman is Truth. Jagat is false. This is what Adi Sankaracharya had said.

Very few can understand this mysterious statement. Dibya Darshan says that everything is Truth. If Jagat is said to be false, many doubts and controversies are bound to come. The question may come, "If Jagat is false, then what is the proof of Ishwar's existence?"

Dibya Darshan while elucidating and analysing the statement further says that even though every thing is true, whatever is ephemeral is false which is also a form of truth. Whatever brings sufferings and creates hallucinations and anxieties is false. Since Jagat is a temporary or transitory Truth, it brings fears, doubts and sufferings etc.

Viewed from the angle of Brahman, everything is Truth. But due to Brahman's illusory powers, (veiling power and projection power) the truth is covered. When real knowledge is acquired, all the coverings vanish and the truth is realised as truth.

Maya(illusion) has no forms but it is always there. From the point of view Brahman jnana, there is nothing other than Truth. In order to explain a particular situation or form, we call it false. On the one hand, Brahman is true. On the other hand, Jagat is not true. Upanishads say, "Brahman pervades every where." If every thing is nothing other than Brahman, where is the existence of falsehood/untruth?

Is it not contradictory to say that Brahman is everywhere in every thing. There is nothing other than Brahman. Brahman is the only truth. Again we say that Jagat is false. Although it appears contradictory, it is really not so. The true seeker has to know the mystery of these two statements. Then only he can acquire total knowledge.

According to Upanishads, Jiva & Brahman are one and the same. There is absolutely no difference between Jiva and Brahman. Brahman pervades every thing every where and always. The true seeker will reach that ultimate stage when he will know the one in many and many in one. The Jagat is false. This is a particular state. When we use different adjectives and epithets to describe Brahman, that is His particular form only. On knowing the particular form of Brahman, one cannot call Jagat as the manifestation of Brahman. Unless total knowledge is acquired, one cannot say that Jagat is full of Brahman.

Upanishads further say, "He has neither forms nor qualities." That is why Yajnabalkya said, Neti Neti". To realise Him, who has neither forms nor qualities, is the Supreme state of realisation. He is realised in Nirvikalpa samadhi.

Knowing the Truth is True Knowledge. That which helps to understand the real Truth is True Knowledge. Opposite to this is ignorance or distorted knowledge. When illusions arise in our mind that is due to ignorance only.

This state is called Maya. In other words, Maya arises due to ignorance. Maya causes sufferings, fear and illusions. True knowledge is real knowledge. When man acquires true knowledge, he ascends to the level of truth. That is Bhava state. That truth is true knowledge. Without this, every thing else is ignorance. Bhava means non-dual state. In this state Brahman is realised. To experience many is ordinarily called knowledge (but it is ignorance only), which is full of dualities.

Hence sages say that Brahman is beyond knowledge. This knowledge cannot reach that level. Bhava state is divided into two states Bhava & Mahabhava. In Bhava state Brahman, the one reality, is realised. Mahabhava state is the state of Param Brahman (neti neti). He who has attained Mahabhava state has attained Param Brahman. To realise Brahman is Bhava.

Self is Brahman. To realise this is Mahabhava. Mahabhava state is a thoughtless state which is neti neti state. Just for explaining, the term Mahabhava is used. The sages who have realised Truth say," This Creation is a temple of Truth. Here in this Creation, love rules. As a result, there rules Supreme Bliss. In this Supreme Bliss, Jiva ultimately gets immerged.

"Therefore Truth is peace, Truth is Bliss and Truth is the basis of Moksa. He, who realises Truth, gets Peace, Bliss and Moksa. Without trying to know Truth, how do you expect Peace, Bliss and Moksa? Truth is Brahman. Truth is ParamBrahman. He, who realises Truth, realises Brahman. Therefore ultimately he attains Brahman."

Knowledge is like milk. Milk is costlier than water. Milk contains more valuable ingredients. Knowledge also contains many valuables. But just as milk is adulterated by water, similarly knowledge gets mixed up with ignorance.

Everything is knowledge. Without knowledge ignorance can't be identified or traced. True knowledge is like pure milk. Every one should acquire knowledge. Without milk, a baby cannot live. The infant's body is also prepared accordingly.

When we grow up, with the inquisitiveness we possess, our knowledge level goes up. A person having less knowledge behaves in a childish way. Such types of persons suffer more. By knowledge man knows about the past, present and future. As a result he acts accordingly and saves himself from forlorn. Knowledge is life. Ignorance is almost death. In other words, he who possesses insufficient knowledge is almost dead. He, who acquires more knowledge, becomes strong and capable. He becomes more intelligent. These qualities are like ghee or butter in the milk. Without milk, how shall we get butter and ghee! Hence knowledge should be acquired. Then only qualities like devotion, love will come. Self-knowledge will develop. Self- realisation is the ultimate aim of human life.

An ignorant person cannot attain Self-realisation. Dibya Darshan says, " The knowledgeable is really powerful. He can understand every thing. He can do everything. Lastly he churns the milk-like knowledge and attains the Supreme Self. Knowledge is the greatest power because by this power all other powers are cognized and controlled. The result is happiness and bliss. The more knowledgeable one is, the more one gets peace and bliss."


Brahman has two powers, namely, veiling power and projection power. The effects of these two are Maya. Due to ignorance, Self is veiled by the veiling power. In whatever way man acts and reacts due to the effects of ignorance or veiling power and whatever occurs in the kingdom of nature is called projection power. The result is suffering. Maya is an offshoot of the greatness of Brahman. Due to His Greatness, different forms and qualities are manifested. The knowledge relating to the limited forms and qualities is also limited. Hence ignorance rules the roost.

The Jiva, forgetting his true Self, entangles himself with forms and qualities and in the process he gets limited knowledge and mistakes one for the other. This 'not knowing the truth' causes sufferings. Maya creates different forms and qualities and controls them. Maya is nothing but illusory powers of Brahman. Maya creates all the six enemies, namely, Desire, Anger, Greed, Infatuation, Pride and Jealousy. Man suffers due to these qualities.

If there is no Maya, why do we forget? Why do we mistake something for the other? Why are we deluded? Therefore, Maya is- "Not knowing the Truth."

By whom all these occur? Why these things happen? What are the reasons?

When these questions will arise in man, he will proceed further and ultimately realise the Truth. Then only he can be free from Maya.

This creation is a product of Maya. Maya projects it. This creation is called His Lila. This Lila is caused by His Greatness. All mutations in this Creation are all due to Maya. Maya does not have any particular form. Therefore, it is not possible to describe Maya by giving examples of any particular subject or object.

All projections are due to His Potency. All creations are due to His Consciousness. All apparent gradations and granularities are due to His Greatness. Due to Maya, one forgets one's true Self. Again by the help of Maya, higher thoughts come for knowing the Supreme Truth. Ultimately Jiva will transcend Maya by his inquisitiveness for true knowledge.

Whatever is projected due to Maya in this material world is limited because forms and qualities are limited. Hence the veiling power acts upon the limited forms and qualities. All resultant effects are caused by the projection power of Maya. Both the veiling power and projection power are operative under the tri-qualities. Maya is a state of not knowing the whole truth.

The play of the veiling power and projection power is called Maya. Although Maya is beginningless but it has an end. Maya is neither true nor untrue. Maya is neither existent nor non-existent. Maya is also not both i.e. existent and nonexistent.

Maya appears to be the only reality but Maya is unreal. Maya cannot be described or defined in any substantive manner. According to Dibya Darshan, every thing is manifestation of the Brahman. Because forms and their uses are many and varied, accordingly the qualities are also many and varied. For example, the same soil is the ingredient for pots and pitchers, bricks and toys. Every form has got its own distinct characteristics. Because of distinctiveness or separateness, one form is not in a position to understand another form.

Neti Neti:

Brahman is omnipotent. He has infinite energy. All the powers and all the qualities are created from Him. Hence all qualities are attributed to Him. But He is not entangled with any specific quality. Hence He is known as attributeless. When He manifests as various forms and qualities, He is not only attributeless but also with attributes. Depending upon the level of realisation of the experiencer, He is described as such.

When He possesses all powers and all qualities, what particular name or epithet can be applied to identify and describe Him! He is the Supra-causal factor for both attributeful and attributeless. At the same time, He cannot be identified with any specific quality. Hence he is neti neti. Not this, not this much.

Each and everything in this Creation is a particular form of the Omnipotent One, who alone is Total Form. By knowing a particular form, the total form cannot be realised. Due to His Grace only, we are able to tell that everything in this Creation is His particular form. There is no language, no example to explain His Total Form, which is unique. Hence neti neti. This hints upon His existence as well as indescribable power.

By seeing the Creation, we can well imagine that there is a creator. The Creator is great but He is not confined to any particular object or subject in this Creation. This means, some invisible power remaining behind the Creation is regulating and sustaining this Creation. Language fails to describe Him. He can be realised only.

Where is He? Wherever His Greatness is seen, there he is. No particular spot can be pointed out because He is all-pervasive. Dibya Darshan says, "Whatever is seen or experienced in this Creation all are His manifestation only. By telling neti neti, the inquisitiveness of true seekers will enhance further and they will be inspired to go in quest of Brahman. Lastly if anything substantial can be spoken about Brahman, then it is only neti neti. There cannot be any better or more meaningful description of Brahman. By neti neti, the quest is not closed; neti neti does not solve the problem. Rather it directs towards further inquiry, introspection and intuition."