Shree Maa was reading from a Bengali book and explaining the teachings of Shankaracharya and Sri Ramakrishna about the nature of Supreme Divinity:
Acharya Shankaracharya realized and lived with Supreme Divinity. When he was eight years old, he mastered all the scriptures and renounced the comforts of home and adopted a life of sannyas. He did intense spiritual practices for three years after that and obtained the highest wisdom and knowledge.
Shankaracharya realized that pure consciousness is the supreme truth. The perceivable world is not the highest reality. For example, when we are sleeping, we watch a dream. When we wake up, we know that there is no truth in the dream. There are times in our sleep when we are able to see a dream. However, when we awaken we can say with certainty that what we saw is the dream is not our present reality. In a similar way, we understand that Brahman (Supreme Divinity) alone is true.
Prior to obtaining Supreme Wisdom, we feel that this perceivable world alone is true reality. However, when the grace of God and Guru removes our ignorance, we realize the nature of true existence.
Shankaracharya does not accept that the energy of Supreme Divinity is different from Supreme Divinity. His teachings say that they are not different and they are both truth. When Supreme Divinity and the energy of Supreme Divinity is combined together and they are one, the energy of Supreme Divinity is not illuminated.
We can understand how the energy of Supreme Divinity is illuminated by considering the following example. A snake is lying silently on the ground. It is silent, but when you look at it, you know it is a snake. When it moves, it is a snake. When it is quiet also, it is a snake. We cannot say that because a snake is quiet, it has no energy to move. The Supreme Divinity and the energy of the Supreme Divinity are therefore not different. The snake was alive, even though the energy which empowers it to move was not manifest. The snake was still present when it chose to manifest its capacity to move.
Some other examples which serve to illustrate this difference are that of fire (the object) and its heat (energy), a jeweled-stone (the object) and its light (energy). When we think of a jeweled-stone we remember its light in our mind. Similarly, when we remember the light of the stone, we remember the jewel. Without the jewel, we cannot think of the stone and vice versa. This is the same with Supreme Divinity and the energy (shakti) of Supreme Divinity.
That which is called Brahma (Supreme Divinity) in the Vedas, is called Kali in the Tantras and Sri Krishna in the Puranas.
Sri Ramakrishna says that before we realize Supreme Wisdom, we learn or have an intellectual understanding that the perceivable world is not the highest truth. However, once we are enlightened, we see that the world is verily truth. It is so beautiful and completely infused with divinity. Shree Maa says, “How will you reach Supreme Divinity, without seeing the beauty in all of creation?”
In our everyday life we see and interact in the perceivable world, regarding it as real and true. However, the way a man of wisdom perceives and interacts is different. How is it different? A man of wisdom sees pure consciousness in everything and everywhere. God fills each aspect of creation at every moment. God is everywhere and in everything.
Shree Maa smiles gently and explains, “Satyam (Truth), Shivam (Infinite Consciouness), Sundaram (Beauty). When we see beauty everywhere and live with truth, we live with pure consciousness, we live with God.”
Another example to illustrate this point is walking to the roof of a multi-storied building. If we just reach the top of the building, we don’t have a complete understanding. But when we take the staircase and walk step by step, we realize that the steps and the roof are all made from the same material (example, bricks, cement). Similarly, before we obtain true wisdom, we don’t have a good idea about the nature of Supreme Divinity, the individual soul and this perceivable world. To obtain this highest understanding, we have no choice but to do spiritual practices, have faith in God and Guru and move forward.
When we have true wisdom, we see that all is Supreme Divinity. Shree Maa says, “All is beautiful. Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram.” In every object of creation, what we can see and what we can’t see, what is here now today and what was there yesterday and what will be tomorrow — everywhere in everything at every moment — there is God. There is Infinite consciousness.
Shree Maa whispers sweetly, “Shivam, Shivam, Shivam.”