Vyasa Maharishi, son of Sri Parasara Maharishi, founded the
Uttara Mimamsa system of philosophy. According to him, the Reality
appears to our finite intelligence as the universe of time and space.
When we come to realize the changeless God, we are no longer troubled
by the changing world. The Reality of the Supreme appears to us
as the universe through the veil of Maya. Here Maya should not be
taken as to mean illusion. The universe for the Hindu is reality
and not an illusion. It is only Buddhist Philosophers who taught
that the world is an illusion.
is the mystery, the mysterious power by which God, while remaining
changeless Himself, gives rise to the changing phenomenal universe.
It has two aspects; one in which, it hides the real by its veil
and secondly it projects a vision or object of unreal as real. So,
sometimes, it is identified with the Prakrithi and it is also called
Avidya or ignorance. It is the natural disability of the soul which
prevents it from comprehending God as He is really is.
The natural limitations of soul caused by the avidhya are called
Upaadhis. The Atman, when clothed in Upaadhis, becomes Jiva. The
Jivas are clothed in five sheaths. Jivas appear separate from one
another like several islands in an ocean with different fauna and
flora. Like all these islands are connected to one another under
the depths of the ocean, all jivas are connected. When the avidhya
and the natural limitations of the body, mind and understanding
are removed and when true knowledge is obtained, the individual
is no longer individual. He becomes one with the Universal spirit.
who knows the Supreme Brahman truly, becomes Brahman himself. A
man who has reached such a state is called Jivanmuktha. Brahman,
the Absolute, after creating the elements, enters them as the Light
of the soul. It is ever pure, Absolute Reality. It is the material
cause as well as the instrumental cause of the universe. Brahman
and the universe are not different, just as the pot is not different
from the clay. Brahman develops Itself into the universe for Its
own Lila or sporting, without undergoing any change and without
ceasing to be Itself.