What is Reflected Awareness?

Q (Anu) : Advait Vedant is about non-duality. Then why there are two types of awareness one of them being pure and the other being reflected?

A: Just a few days after birth you do not have the name Anu. After a long sleep as a new-born witnessing smiling visitors, you are the pure awareness. Over a period of time people started calling you Anu and you took the identity of Anu. You behaved as body-mind complex when Anu was waking or dreaming. This Anu which is a role you are playing is reflected awareness. Because of you, Anu is able to be conscious of something just like because of Sun, moon shines. Pure awareness is the unchanging background of the mind causing reflected awareness to exist making Anu appear alive. Reflected awareness is basically the false I identification. So,

Observing/knowing/doing something without getting attached to Anu – Pure awareness. Example: When you have hearty laugh, there is no false I.

Observing/knowing/doing something with Anu identification – Reflected awareness. Example: When you say, “I am always successful”.

Since pure awareness (chaitanya) itself becomes reflected awareness (chidabhasa) due to ignorance, there is no duality.

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Manish Verma

Vedanta-Guide | Astrologer


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