Just as waves arise from water, flames from fire, light from the sun -in the same way, the various forms of the universe have arisen from Me, God.Verse 110, Vigyan Bhairava Tantra
No Separate Existence
This is a beautiful verse. It teaches us so much, using such a simple example. A wave arises from water. It has no separate existence. It is nothing but water. If the wave only saw its form, it might get scared. It would think it has a beginning and an end, a birth and a death. Once the wave realizes it is only water, it will no longer be scared. Water has no birth or death. It is the same with every form of the universe. Each form of the universe has no separate existence. It has arisen from God. It is nothing but God, just as a wave is nothing but water. When you understand this, fear goes away from your life. You cannot be destroyed. You are a part of God, and have no birth or death. Your body may be destroyed, but you will not be. You will only change form. You are a part of God, and you will live forever. When you realize your life is eternal, you will live your life in a new way. You will find it easier to detach from the world, and from any problems you might face. How significant can any problem be, when you know that you live forever? You will also not cling onto experiences that you enjoy. You will realize that life goes on forever, and any experience that you miss will be possible to re-experience again in the future. More importantly, the joy you experience from any external event or relationship, is only a fraction of the joy you experience within. When you understand this, you are able to detach from the world. It then becomes easier to still the mind. That is when you realize your true nature.
There is another very important lesson this verse teaches us. A wave arises from water and is full of water. It is nothing but water. A flame arises from fire and is full of fire. It is nothing but fire. In the same way, we (and every form of the universe) arise from God, and are full of God. We are nothing but God. God is love and joy unbounded. God is an infinite amount of love and joy. Since we are full of God, and nothing but God, we are also limitless love and joy. Now, if you were to ask a wave to look for water, would a wave look outside itself? That would be ridiculous. A wave is full of water, it is nothing but water. It would only need to look within itself to find an abundant amount of water. The same is true of human beings. Human beings are nothing but love and joy infinite. Yet, isn’t it ridiculous that we look for joy outside ourselves, and not within? We only need to look within to find an abundant amount of joy, love or happiness. The joy or happiness we find outside, is nothing compared to the joy we find within. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad goes to the extent of saying that the joy we find within is 1 000 billion times more than any joy one can experience from the outside world. The outside world is important, make no mistake about that. Without the outside world, we would not be able to experience the joy within. If we only experienced the joy within, after a while our experience would be void, nothing . We need a relative field, a contextual field, to provide a contrast. The world does that. You cannot continuously have one experience, without having the opposite experience. You cannot know what total joy is unless you experience something less than total joy. In the absence of something less than joyful, you cannot experience total joy. The world is there so that you can have all kinds of experiences. It provides a contrast so that you can experience the joy within. But the idea is to find the ecstasy and joy of our true nature within. We will not find that in the external world. There are three things to learn and practice from this verse.
First, believe we are God, and everything else is God. We are nothing but God. We are not our ego or our body. Just as the essence of the wave is water, and not the form of the wave, in the same way our essence is God, and not our gross form. This belief will turn into reality. When you no longer identify with your ego or your body, your ego starts dissolving. Once your ego is gone, you will realize your true nature.
Second, once you understand that you are a part of God, you will realize that you live forever. This will help you detach from the world, and move towards God.
Third, look for joy within and not outside. There are enough techniques given, to show you how. When you look for joy within yourself, you take a giant leap forward in your evolution. The external world no longer affects you, because you are no longer looking at the external world as a source of happiness. Instead you find the source within you. You are the source of joy, love or happiness. There is one other very important lesson to learn for this verse – that only God exists. There is no reality other than God. Every form of the universe arises from God, is filled with God. This is the heart of the philosophy of non-dualism. This is a point that is touched upon directly, in some of the later verses.