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Article LXXIV: The Ocean, the Wave, and Water

The relationship between maya, Atman, Iswara, and Brahman can be represented by an analogy with the ocean. Maya is a superimposing power, which gives name (nama) and form (rupa), thus creating the manifold universe as we experience it. However, by removing the ignorance of maya, one may transcend the body and mind, and one may realize ultimate Truth. Consider the ocean made up of waves. Each wave has a name and a form just as the ocean has a name and a form. However, when all waves subside, there are no waves, and there is no ocean. There is simply water. The wave is analogous to Atman, the ocean is analogous to Iswara, and the water is analogous to Brahman. Ultimately, Atman and Iswara are one and the same as Brahman. One must simply transcend the ignorance of maya, which gives name and form. The realization of the Self within as Brahman is the essence of enlightenment, leading to ultimate bliss and peace.


Katha Upanishad

The context of this scripture is a dialogue between Naciketas, a spiritual aspirant, and Yama, the god of death:

III.15: Having realized that (Atman) which is soundless, touchless, formless, imperishable, and also without taste and smell, eternal, without beginning or end, even beyond the Mahat, immutable, -- one is released from the jaws of death.
III.16: The intelligent one, having heard and related this ancient story of Naciketas told by death is glorified in the world of Brahman.
III.17: He who repeats this supremely mysterious (story) with great devotion in the assembly of Brahmanas or at the time of Sraddha ceremony, obtains thereby infinite rewards.

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