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Can Consciousness know the world without the body-mind?

by | Feb 8, 2022 | Advaita, Awareness, Body, Consciousness, Direct Path, Dreams, Illusion, Mind, Personality, Senses, Upanishad

Ektaji, is it true that the Awareness/Knowingness/Consciousness can know only until there is a body-mind complex?


Let’s use the example of space to help explain this.

Where is a building built? A building is actually built in space. The walls of the building apparently divide the space into rooms. In reality, is space divisible? No! It cannot be divided by walls. The walls simply have a temporary function of creating a so-called room. In reality, this function cannot affect space.

Consciousness is like space. The body-mind is like a room in Consciousness. This room cannot personalize or own the apparently-divided Consciousness. The only function of this room called body-mind is to experience the waking-dream world projection.

Adi Shankaracharya explains this by providing references to the sleeping-dream state. In the sleeping dream, there is an imaginary dream subject with a body-mind. That dream subject is the doorway or peephole to experience the sleeping dream world.

In the waking state, you-the-consciousness forget that you are like space and assume to be an individual room, an individual body-mind personality. You experience the world of people situations and things that appear and disappear through the limitedness of the senses of the body-mind. The waking body-mind-personality is the peephole for Consciousness to experience this waking dream world.

In summary, without the sleeping dream subject’s body-mind, you-the-Consciousness cannot experience the sleeping dream world. Without the waking dream subject’s body-mind, you-the-Consciousness cannot experience the waking dream world. There is no difference between the waking state and the dream state. Both are illusions, my dear!


#AdvaitaVedanta #Non-duality #MandukyaUpanishad


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  1. Vikash Prasad

    Ekta Ji, I just wanted to check my understanding that I (the Consciousness) don’t need to know or realise anything of this world/creation? It’s only when combined with body-mind complex (manifested form), that I forget my identity and attach myself to the experiences of the body-mind complex (False I) in sleep dream and awake dream states, which in reality is only a projection of me (the Self). The Deep Sleep state reveals (when body-mind is no longer there) that I just continue to exist, without the world, the experiences, the creation. I exist as Nothing, just stillness, an emptiness (shunyata).

    A question: Is it correct that, I can never know/see my true Self (the Consciousness) as there are no objects, no senses, no memory, no intellect here? However, if I rest as a Witness in the Self in the Awake dream state long enough, then eventually I may begin to recognise/feel/visualise the various projections of the Self in the sleep/awake dream states.

    • Gnyana Sangha

      Yes dear, just abide in witnessing all day long and watch the body-mind working automatically like a program, soon the witnessing will spill from the waking to the dream state. Keep chugging!

  2. Arun K Aggarwal

    Thank you Ekta didi. I understand sleep dream and waking dream state are just illusion. However this knowledge is also coming to me in the waking dream state. Does that mean that this knowledge is also an illusion? If this knowledge is also an illusion, how would I ever get enlightened?

    • Gnyana Sangha

      Please understand the meaning of an ‘illusion’ first dear. Illusion does not mean that which is not real, illusion means that it is not what it seems to be, just like the sky is not blue but it seems to be blue. Similarly, the world of people, situations, things seems to exist independent of me but it is not. The Advaita level I videos on the website will help clarify this more in detail dear. Keep chugging!


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