Clay is the cause of a jar; it is made out of clay. The waves, bubbles and foam are produced out of water and are not different from the water. The law that the effect is not different from its cause must be understood. The cause of all is Ishwara, the Lord, and I am that Lord. This form of meditation is called Laya Dhyana.
If the dream world is said to have an existence at all, it is not different from the dreaming consciousness. What are the garden, the palace in the garden, the library, the zoo, the lake and the springs seen in a dream? They are all nothing but the dream consciousness. The temple, the church, the priest, the holy books of a dream are all nothing but consciousness. Similarly; the world in the waking state is nothing but God and that God is the spirit of man.
The mind which projects the world, the world which is its projection, the king, the ruler, the village, the village school and the teacher are all dream-stuff. The cause of the stuff of which the world is made is God, and that God is the spirit of man.
The matter of which the world is a product is, in the ultimate analysis, prana and akasha. The vitality, prana, in the form of vibrations acting on the ether, akasha, is turned into the elements of the composition of the world. The cause of the visible is the invisible. The two, that is the prana and akasha, are superimposed on consciousness.
How is Chit – consciousness – indicated? It has no attributes and therefore it cannot be denoted by any attributes, colours or properties. It is not the object of the senses or the mind. It is not related to any thing or concept because it is indeterminate, infinite and all-pervasive. You can say nothing positive of Chit, nor can you directly describe it in any way. To explain this, the Shruti employs the characteristic expression: ‘Neti, Neti’ – ‘Not this, not this’.
One might suppose that it is a mere abstraction and has no existence. Paul Deussen and others say: “Brahman is almost nothing”.
It is not so. It is indicated by the ‘I’ of man. What is Brahman? I am Brahman – Shivo Hum. In the Upanishad it is said clearly : TAT TWAM ASI – That Thou Art.
What is your Self?
Being the witness subject of all the properties, the Self is not one of them, nor the collection of them. It is indicated by the ‘I’ of man. You cannot analyse your Self, because if what you analyse is the Self, then what is the entity which analyses?
This meditation – Laya Dhyana – is the highest. It is above faith and also above volition and desire. These are employed in the preliminary meditation on the form of the personal God and not in the case of Laya Dhyana. The meditation on the personal God needs the application of will-force. Jnana does not need volition.
To meditate on the personal God as ‘I am That’ is the highest form of worship or meditation. This form of meditation gives rise to the identity-consciousness and destroys all fear. All devotion and meditation other than ‘I am Brahman’ is done by application of a vritti, and vritti is an illusion. Still, it has a use. See the first verses of the chapter on meditation – Dhyana Dipa – in Panchadasi for further explanation of this theme.
The great Acharya, Shri Sureshwara, has given the form of the meditation on ‘OM’, Pranava Dhyana. It is also a form of the ‘I am OM’ meditation.