“Brahma satyam jagat mithya, jivo brahmaiva naparah”
“Brahman is the only truth, the world is unreal, and there is ultimately no difference between Brahman and individual self”.
This profound statement by Adi Sankara, conveys the essence of advaita vedanta.
Quantum Cloud by Antony Gormley
To me the “Quantum Cloud” sculpture by Anthony Gormley is a physical and an artistic expression of this statement. Here is how.
Brahma Satyam: Consciousness is the Truth
Consciousness (or Brahman) by its very nature cannot be described. But we tend to conceptualize it as being made of grey or black mass of uniformly random matter that is ever changing.The cloud (which was in fact created through random walk software) represents pure consciousness in the manner it was constructed to give a simultaneous feeling of form and formlessness.Truth here in this aphorism means that which is transcending time and is beyond past, present and future. Again if one were to attempt to represent truth in any man made material, steel with all its pristine glory would be the right material. Not just due its texture and strength but its durability and ability to last.
Jagat Mithya: The world is an illusion
Similarly the illusory nature of the world can again be seen in the haze of steel and the way there is no definiteness to the round shape of the world. The frayed edges together with the elliptical nature of the cloud as opposed to a spherical shape again gives a feeling of the changing (illusory) nature of the world.
Jivo brahmiaiva naparah: Man is not different from Consciousness
Lastly the human form that is emerging from within the cloud and from the same shapes that the cloud is made of signifies that Man and Consciousness are one and the same and there is no difference between the Individual self and pure consciousness. Non duality of man and pure consciousness finds expression in one’s inability to see where the human form is beginning or ending. It makes one wonder if the human figure is emanating from the cloud or cloud from the figure.
Logo of Advaita Academy:
Taking inspiration from the above, the first logo of Advaita Academy was designed.
Om Tat Sat