Me: Who are you?

Brahman: I am Brahman.

M: Can you describe yourself?

B: I am you, the universe and beyond.

M: Wow, really?

B: Yes

M: Thats not really clear to me.

B: I am also known as the consciousness or creator. I don’t have any physical form or shape, or any other attribute you can think of.

M: Thats not easy to understand.

B: Yes. Thats because you are not ready to understand me yet. Just call me Brahman and lets move on.

M: Did you create me?

B: You could say that. But, technically speaking, that would be wrong.

M: Why?

B: Because you are a part of me and I am a part of you. Technically, you created yourself.

M: Sounds fantastic.

B: Yes, but thats what it is.

M: Then, who created this world, other beings, planets, stars & so on?

B: The same logic holds good.

M: You mean to say I created all these stuff?

B: Yes

M: Or was it you who created all these?

B: Both you & me. Remember we are one.

M: Sounds too fantastic.

B: (silence)

M: You are laconic. Lets proceed anyway. Why did you, I or we create all this stuff?

B: All these are part of us. So, technically speaking, we didn’t create anything.

M: Wow, mind-bending stuff.

B: You can say that.

M: You are saying you, me, this world, universe and everything in it are all just one big thing?

B: Yes, thats Brahman

M: That doesn’t make any sense to me.

B: Thats why I said before you are not ready to understand yet.

M: Thats disappointing.

B: You are on a journey. You can understand as you go along.

M: What journey is it?

B: A journey you call life

M: Are you saying I will understand when I die?

B: Not necessarily

M: Hmm, you are a difficult guy. Please explain

B: You can understand even before you die

M: Are you sure?

B: Yes

M: How are you so sure?

B: Because thats how you designed it.

M: You mean thats how I designed this journey called life?

B: Yes

M: I designed this mysterious journey of life and I also decided to understand it as I go through it?

B: Yes

M: Why should I go through all this trouble?

B: You are not ready to understand that yet.

M: Back to square one. Lets change tack. Why do we die?

B: You can call it a design constraint.

M: Ah, now you speak a language I understand. I won’t ask you why we have that constraint because I know I will get your stock answer that I am not ready to understand that yet. But, let me ask you what happens after I die?

B: Nothing really

M: Nothing??

B: Yes

M: How about going to hell or heaven?

B: They are figments of your imagination. They don’t exist.

M: Thats interesting. Many millions will be shocked to hear that.

B: Yes

M: Then what really happens to me after I die?

B: We just become one, you & me, like we were before.

M: Thats very heartening to know. So, no penalties or punishments for all my sins?

B: You already suffer in this life.

M: You mean to say I, or rather we, designed this journey called life in such a way that we get punished for our sins before we die?

B: You could say that.

M: What do you mean? Am I not right?

B: You are right and wrong

M: You are making me dizzy. Please explain.

B: What you call life is not real.

M: What??

B: It is an illusion

M: You, and I, created this illusion?

B: Yes

M: All this world, planets, stars, sins, punishments etc. are not real?

B: Yes

M: You are kidding me. But why?

B: Thats the design

M: And you & I designed it such?

B: Yes

M: I am out of my depth here. Oh, help me God.

B: Only you can help yourself.

M: Oh, yeah, I assume all Gods are also mere illusions.

B: Yes

M: Wonderful. What a piece of work. I should pat myself on the back

B: (silence)

M: I wonder where this chat is leading to.

B: (silence)

M: Should we stop here or continue?

B: Your choice

M: I knew that’s what you will say. And my choice is to continue.

B: Sure

M: If everything is an illusion, what about you & me?

B: We, you & me, are neither real or imaginary.

M: I give up.

B: Thats not your nature

M: Really?

B: Yes

M: If you say so. Lets move on to worldly stuff which I may understand better.

B: Your choice

M: Yea, I know that. Its always my choice.

B: (silence)

M: When & how was all this known material world & universe created?

B: Many millennia back. It may not useful to dwell on when.

M: Ok. But how?

B: You & me created it.

M: Just like that? Out of nothing or nowhere?

B: Yes

M: Thats preposterous. How’s it possible?

B: Anything’s possible

M: I guess I just have to take your word for it.

B: Yes

M: Since I am not ready to understand it yet.

B: Yes

M: Thats a easy answer. Are you not prevaricating?

B: No

M: Are you hiding something deliberately?

B: I, or you, cannot hide anything from ourselves

M: Why can’t you explain to me in a way I can understand easily?

B: You will understand by asking more questions to yourself.

M: Which means you won’t explain to me

B: That doesn’t help

M: I need to find out myself?

B: Yes

M: I guess thats how we designed it.

B: Yes

M: Wow, we are crafty guys, aren’t we?

B: (silence)

M: I know you won’t answer that.

B: (silence)

M: Ok, lets move on…to more practical things. Now that we have created this journey called life, and I am deeply immersed in it, what should I do?

B: You will have to go through this journey.

M: I know that. I mean how should I go about it? How should I lead my life?

B: Study the Vedas

M: Really? Is it so simple as studying a few texts?

B: Yes

M: What are the Vedas exactly?

B: Something like a design cum user manual.

M: Excellent. I like that description. Who wrote them & when?

B: They came about along with life.

M: Who exactly?

B: No one in particular

M: How’s that possible?

B: (silence)

M: Ok, I get it. I am not ready to understand it yet.

B: (silence)

M: Ok. Atleast tell me when were they created?

B: (silence)

M: Hmm, you really want me to read your thoughts, don’t you?

B: (silence)

M: Ok. I take it the Vedas were created when we, you & me, created this illusion aka world aka journey called life. Lets move on. What do the Vedas say?

B: They tell you how to lead your life.

M: To tell you the truth, I had a cursory look at them. They don’t seem to be as simple to understand.

B: You need to study them.

M: You mean study them really deep & hard?

B: Yes

M: But the Vedas seem to be vast & complex. I may need a whole lifetime to understand them

B: Yes

M: Don’t confuse me. Are you agreeing they are complex or admitting a whole lifetime is required to understand them?

B: Maybe both.

M: Don’t be difficult. Please explain

B: The Vedas are as complex as you think they are. They take as long as you think you need to understand them.

M: That sounds like one of your stock replies. Are you saying the Vedas are only as complex and as time consuming to understand as I choose them to be?

B: Yes

M: Does that also mean I can go through life and die without understanding them?

B: Yes

M: I can also die with just a partial or incomplete understanding of the Vedas?

B: Yes

M: I can also fully understand them and live an enlightened life?

B: Yes

M: You, I mean, we, you & I…we are awesome, aren’t we?

B: (silence)

M: We have designed, created something which is so illusory, complex and yet very open ended.

B: (silence)

M: I can choose to understand or remain ignorant.

B: (silence)

M: All this sounds fantastic. Lets push ahead. Can you give me the gist of the Vedas?

B: Vedas provide the ideas, models, & best practices.

M: What about the many rituals, codes of conduct, abstract hyms, myths, stories and so on?

B: You created them

M: You mean my ancestors?

B: Yes

M: But those rituals, beliefs, stories etc. sound boring or meaningless.

B: Everything has a meaning…reason.

M: Are those hyms, slokas, etc. really useful?

B: Try them

M: What if I find them meaningless or empty…or just plain superstitious?

B: They are not the only way

M: The only way? For what?

B: To understand yourself..understand me.…us.

M: What are the various ways?

B: Try faith, devotion, discipline, logic, reason…

M: Wow, all of these?

B: Not necessary

M: Just one will do?

B: Yes

M: What if I don’t try anything at all?

B: Thats your choice

M: I shouldn’t have asked that question when I knew the answer. But some people live life blissfully unaware of these ways.

B: Thats’s their choice

M: But they didn’t consciously choose that life. They just are ignorant, not literate enough, or just mad or diseased or something like that. What happens to them?

B: Nothing really

M: Aren’t they less favored or less equal than others, who are at least aware of such ways to a superior understanding of themselves?

B: You can help them

M: Ok, what about congenital idiots and people disadvantaged from birth?

B: Remember the illusion.

M: Are they all illusions?

B: (silence)

M: I know you said this whole life is an illusion. But the pains & travails of this life seem so real, complex, confusing & frustrating.

B: (silence)

M: Should I just ignore them all and focus on the ways to understand myself?

B: Yes

M: Then what about various religions which seem to prescribe different ways?

B: You are free to choose your way

M: What about philosophy, science, & other methods of enquiry?

B: (silence)

M: Ok, I get it…same answer…my choice. But is there a superior, faster way?

B: You can find out

M: Ah, you want me to wade through all the multitude of possibilities and choose the one way good for me?

B: Yes

M: Can’t you make it easier?

B: You can.

M: Oh, I can?

B: Yes

M: Hmm…I hope so. Lets go back to the Vedas. You asked me to study them. When & how should I start?

B: Study the masters.

M: You mean stand on the shoulders of giants and discover truth by building on previous discoveries?

B: Yes

M: Excellent, I love that. Should I start early or late in life? Now, please don’t say its my choice. Please be precise.

B: Earlier the better

M: I don’t have to wait until retirement?

B: No

M: Maybe that will be too late?

B: Maybe

M: But the illusion of this life is too persistent and compelling. How to come out of it?

B: Explore the ways. Study the Vedas. Contemplate.

M: But kids & young people can’t do it. They got to enjoy life first.

B: Study the vedas

M: Ok, ok…back to square one. Let’s proceed. Why is life so difficult, complex and disappointing sometimes?

B: You made it so

M: I made it so? How?

B: Because of your ego

M: What?

B: Your ego’s desires and self-importance keep growing if left unchecked.

M: What happens then?

B: It creates more complexities, attachments, disappointments and suffering.

M: Why did we, you and me, create ego at all? We could have removed it when we started all this.

B: We didn’t create it.

M: But then…how? Oh, I get it. It’s an illusion. Ego is an illusion.

B: Yes

M: Wow, we are awesome designers. So what next?

B: Control or ignore your ego.

M: Is that possible?

B: Yes. Study the Vedas and the masters.

M: Is it fun leading a life without ego?

B: That’s your natural state

M: What is life without desires and attachments? It sounds so dull, unpleasant, and uninspiring. Is it worth it?

B: Study the Vedas and the masters.

M: What happens when I control or ignore my ego?

B: You will achieve your natural state of tranquility?

M: You mean eternal happiness?

B: No

M: I can’t achieve eternal happiness?

B: Happiness and sorrows are illusions.

M: Oh, I forgot. They are part of our design of the illusory universe.

B: Yes

M: So I can achieve tranquility. Neither happiness nor sorrow. No ups and downs.

B: Yes

M: That sounds boring, almost inhuman.

B: That’s your natural state.

M: I am not so excited or eager to achieve that state.

B: You are not ready yet.

M: Hmm, I was hoping you would say that.

B: (silence)

M: What can I do about the increasingly chaotic life? It has grown more complex over time. Disappointments and suffering are perhaps growing faster now. What should I do?

B: Study the vedas.

M: Ok. How about others? How about the world? How can I change or make the world better?

B: Study the vedas. Study the masters.

M: Can I change myself, others and the world?

B: Yes.

M: Ok. I guess I should trust you, or rather myself.

B: (silence)

M: Ok. I start with controlling my ego and desires. Should I become a hermit and retire into the forest?

B: Not necessary

M: But how to control ego and desires,  and also live in this illusory material world with all its distractions?

B: Study the masters.

M: Give an example.

B: Krishna

M: Wow, but was he not a god?

B: (silence)

M: Oh, I get it. Gods are illusions. So Krishna is a good example and a role model.

B: Yes

M: And there are other masters I can lookup?

B: Yes

M: So that’s what the Vedic stories tell us. About various masters and their paths to mastery?

B: Yes

M: So what’s special about Krishna?

B: Think it over

M: He was seen as a god or demigod in a material world full of good and evil, desires and attachments.

B: Yes.

M: He perhaps led a self-indulgent life in his younger days, if we go by the stories. But he became a yogi and mahapurush later.

B: Yes

M: He acquired godly powers. Maybe he became one with you, brahman. He was you and you were him. He fought the evils of the material world – desires and attachments. He chose to live in this world and make it better.

B: Yes

M: You make me say fantastic things. Is it really true?

B: (silence)

M: You don’t answer anything directly, do you? You want me to figure it out myself.

B: (silence)

M: Ok. let’s play it your way. So you are saying I could follow Krishna, copy his methods and ideas, and I may have a good chance to become one with you, achieve tranquility etc.?

B: Maybe

M: Why maybe? Is it because Krishna is a tough act to follow or you don’t have confidence in me?

B: Follow your own path.

M: But take inspiration from the masters?

B: Yes

M: Sounds practical. So I can live in this material world, study the vedas and the masters, change myself and the world.

B: Yes

M: I can start with controlling my ego, desires and attachments?

B: Yes

M: Looks like it’s going to be a long journey

B: Not necessary.

M: I know. It’s my choice. I can make it long or short.

B: Yes

M: I guess I can consult you now and then, as I go through this journey of life.

B: I am aways available.

M: Thank you. Will talk to you again soon.

B: Sure.