Published On: Sun, Feb 7th, 2016

What is reality?

Does a floating bamboo stick divide the Ganga?

Yes. For an ant next to the bamboo stick it does. But is its perception anywhere close to reality? It is not. Consider that we as human beings are also stuck with many such perceptions which are nowhere close to reality. This article deals with how we are limited by such perceptions when it comes to understanding our real nature and gives a technique to inquire into it.

Test of Perception

Perception lives when it is not questioned too much. If you question it, it will melt down like a dream. The so-called falling in love, the moment you question it, ‘Is it authentic?’, straightaway you will see, it lands on just the skin, and skin colour. It is not even skin deep. Perception, the moment you question, dissolves, disappears.

Test of Fact

Fact will stand the scrutiny of logic, but not larger life logic. For example, if somebody makes a statement, ‘Earth is flat’, yes, it will stand the scrutiny of your simple, straightforward logic. ‘Yes, it looks flat. So it is flat.’ But it won’t stand the larger logic which you can understand with various equipment, not just with your eyes.

Test of Truth

Truth will stand anything which you can grasp, like logic, larger logic, instruments, scientific discovery, research etc. Truth will stand for anything. But, still, it is not reality. It won’t stand the scrutiny of Consciousness.

Test of Reality

Reality is the one and only one which can stand the scrutiny of the Consciousness.

All confusion in the world is the fight between Perception, Fact, Truth, and Reality. Whether it is in the field of religion, science, spirituality, logic, law, mathematics, any field, it is just the fight between Perception, Fact, Truth, and Reality.

Experiencing Reality

Reality is not based upon what a large number of people in society say nor can it be understood by one’s simple logic which can help only in day to day transactions. Only by the strength of a) declaration of scriptures and b) experience of Guru, experience of reality happens in an individual.

Declaration of Upanishads

Upanishads declare that who you are is Consciousness and that ‘Consciousness is beyond classifications of moving, unmoving, far, near, inner, outer’ .

The Veil of Ignorance

It is ignorance which reminds you, which makes you feel something is “inside” and “outside”, something is “far off” and “near”. It is like, in the Ganga, say a bamboo stick is floating. Because the bamboo is there, you can say “Right side Ganga” and “Left side Ganga”. Did Ganga ever get divided? No. If you just remove that bamboo stick, did Ganga get united? No. Neither division nor uniting happened in reality.

• Ganga is “divided” is Perception.
• “Right Side Ganga”, “Left Side Ganga” is Fact.
• ‘No, it is not divided’ is Truth.
• ‘It was never divided or united’ is Reality.

A single bamboo stick can give you Perception, Fact, Truth, which does not exist. You can go on be arguing but it is nowhere close to reality.

Thought Exercise

Any powerlessness we have is similar to the bamboo stick on the Ganga. Think through how when the cognition moves from perception, to fact, truth and reality what the bamboo stick does to Ganga alters (described above), how when the cognition regarding powerlessness alters, what that does to our Being.

Be established on realization of Reality.


Based on satsangs delivered by rare Living Incarnation Paramahamsa Sri Nithyananda

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