brahman & maya
a vedanta construct
There is only one reality, Brahman, is a pure universal consciousness. What we see as matter is merely Brahman perceived through our faulty senses. Everything that makes us think we are individuals in a world filled which physical things, is maya, or illusion,
As we experience the world and ourselves through our physical bodies and minds, we perceive ourselves as separate from Brahman, when in reality, we are Brahman. The practice of yoga reminds us of our unity with universal consciousness the connection and we see through the illusion of maya, leaving only the reality of the pure Self, or Atman.
There is an ancient chant often recited before eating that links the food, the eater of the food, the consciousness of the eater of the food as Brahman (cosmic consciousness). In this way the food is imbued with consciousness, and when we eat it we become one with this consciousness through the process of ingesting the food.s
- View the chant on YouTube here with the words.
- Listen to the chant here:
Brahmārpañam Brahma Havir
Brahmaiva Tena Gantavyam
Aham Vaishvānaro Bhutvā
The whole creation being the gross projection of Brahman, the Cosmic Consciousness itself; the food too is Brahman, the process of offering it is Brahman; it is being offered in the fire of Brahman. He who thus sees that Brahman is action reaches Brahman alone.
I, the Supreme Spirit, abiding in the body of living beings as the Fire (Vaiswanara) in their stomach I am associated with their Prana and Apana, digest the four type of foods (solids, fluids, semi-fluid and liquid) which they eat.
There is a fascinating story from the Sathya Sai Organization where this translation originated that talks about about Kirlian photos being taken of food before and after the Brahmarpanam chant was recited over it. Before there is not light aura, but after, all the food was surrounded by a blue light aura.