Why? Why do things exist?

Can anyone provide an answer to the following "Why" question.

Why? Why do things exist? Plants, animals, people, planets, stars… everything. Why do they exist? I do not think physics or science can answer this question. Science may be able to explain how things work and what causes what. But the Why questions, I am not sure Science can ever answer. But the various religions have a similar shortcoming. They say – if you do this you go to heaven or if you do something else you go to hell? Or they say if you do this you will be happy and if you do something else you will be unhappy. But I have not seen a decent explanation as to why everything was created. Just to see if we the creations behave properly? That’s like saying we have kids so that we can give them treats/punishments based on whether the kids behave well/bad.

Om Shanti

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  • Well, Gentlemen...

    in the days of highly advance science, the loop seems to come to a closing "end" without a beginning nor 'n end!

    The scientist Brian Greene came up, in his book "The Elegant Universe" with this wonderful stuff:

    "What's in an apple (or anything else for that matter)? Well, if you go down far enough in scale, string theorists say, you'll find tiny, vibrating loops of string.

    String theory proclaims, for instance, that the observed particle properties—that is, the different masses and other properties of both the fundamental particles and the force particles associated with the four forces of nature (the strong and weak nuclear forces, electromagnetism, and gravity)—are a reflection of the various ways in which a string can vibrate. Just as the strings on a violin or on a piano have resonant frequencies at which they prefer to vibrate—patterns that our ears sense as various musical notes and their higher harmonics—the same holds true for the loops of string theory. But rather than producing musical notes, each of the preferred mass and force charges are determined by the string's oscillatory pattern. The electron is a string vibrating one way, the up-quark is a string vibrating another way, and so on.

    Far from being a collection of chaotic experimental facts, particle properties in string theory are the manifestation of one and the same physical feature: the resonant patterns of vibration—the music, so to speak—of fundamental loops of string. The same idea applies to the forces of nature as well. Force particles are also associated with particular patterns of string vibration and hence everything, all matter and all forces, is unified under the same rubric of microscopic string oscillations—the "notes" that strings can play."

    He and other scientists rediscoverd what ancient Seers, the Rishis, had laid down thousands of years ago in the Upanishads and Vedas....

    "It's all ONE - Everything is Brahman" - name it, feel free!

    One giant-mega vibration.... everything else is idle talk, mind entertaining specualtion or trying to explain a blind the painting in the Sistine Chapel...

    The very most exciting of their findings is the fact that it looks as if the strings are reacting as if they "know" when someone is searching for them!
    - OM -
  • Dear Ajithji,


    I respect your views.

    Thank you.

    As per my conviction derived from deeper self-search:-

    Why does Consciousness exist?".

    Only in Ajnana or ignorance such question arises. For one who is aware of the fact that, the self is not physical but the self is formless and he is able to view and judge the three states on the standpoint of the formless self, such question will not arise. It is same like wave asking the sea, why it exists. Consciousness is the cause of everything that exists, and it itself is uncaused.
    Until one is in the realm of duality he is in the grip of intellectuality based on the form. And he views and judges the worldview on base of ego, which is false self. In the realm of duality one is always in confusion and he is trying to assimilate without being aware of the fact that, the self exists prior to the experience of birth, life, death and universe.

    Things exist because of ignorance of the true self. When there is no ignorance then there is no second thing exit other than the consciousness. Consciousness is the basis of the mirage [three states. The ultimate truth is indescribable by word. The words are mere indicators in duality. Though the universe or mind appears different from the soul or consciousness in essence they are one.

    Even in the midst of waking experience, a Gnani do not find any duality for he knows everything is consciousness.

    Scriptures are of value only when dealing with persons who are incapable of understanding truth. They have no value as authority for those who use reason.

    The scriptures are for ignorant masses, who wholly accept the material world as it presents itself. Non-dual wisdom is for those who have begun to realize that things are not what they seem.

    Intuition revelation is not always correct. Although they reveal without any process of thought to mark the intervening stages, still they are ideas, mental phenomena in their full nature. Until it revels from subject point [soul] of view, the object [universe] will prevail as reality.

    Scriptures are self-contradictory. Many scholars even give conflicting interpretations of them. Common-sense says that the final authority therefore is using our own reason. This does not mean one need to give up the scriptures, but he should apply his reason to them. Reason is common to all, whereas religions are separatist.

    Without knowing the nature of the universe, it is impossible to know truth. What is the use of trying to find our inner self before we understand the universe? The consciousness pervades the whole universe, thus the self is not limited to the individual but to the whole universe which confronts us.

    We cannot live without the physical universe; it is the basis of our life, so it must be the starting point of our self-search.

    One has to go beyond Vedas means go beyond religion. Go beyond religion means, go beyond concept of god. Thus, going beyond Veda, religion and conceptual god means going beyond illusion. That is end of Vedas [ Veda –antha]

    When one goes into the annals of the history it looks like the true Advith expounded by Sri Sankara and his param guru Goudpada was lost or mutilated by the orthodox, because the preaching and practice does not match.

    It is necessary for the seeker to do his homework, and verify the validity of all the claims, rather than blindly believe, what others expound as knowledge, till, the un-contradicted truth is obtained.

    The seeker must have the courage of Buddha to accept the truth and reject the untruth. Buddha rejected religion, idea of god and scriptures, therefore, it is evident that, he has gone through every aspect and verified and found them to be inadequate and useless for the pursuit of truth.
  • Namaste Santthoshji,

    I wish to thank you for such a detailed explanation. The manner in which you have detailed about formless consciousness is indeed very enlightening. I know about advaita and i am aware about formlesss consciousness.

    I follow the method of intuitive wisdom. Scriptures are just like the signposts, they only direct you to the truth. You still have to make the journey to arrive at the truth.

    I would like to rephrase the question that the questioner has asked. The questioner had asked "Why do things exist?" and i would ask "Why does Consciousness exist?". I feel that both the questions are pretty much the same.

    I will be happy to know about what you think about this.

    Om Shantih.
  • The Self of all makes the senses flow outward,
    Therefore one seeks outside of oneself.
    Only the wise, seeking the immortal amidst mortality,
    Turn their gaze away from the world
    And look inward – to find the Self.

    - Katha Upanishad

    Dear Deepa,
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I admire your deep understanding of the philosophy. I respect your views based on individuality.

    You said :- My existance depends on this Reality. But as long as I am in this existence, acting my unique role, I perceive the reality around me in my own ideosycratic way as if it were real and from that perspective it is real. But whoes reflection is it? Of course the reflection of the Reality behind my existance. So for me my perception is true as I perceive it in life although it may not be true cosmicly.

    Suppose you were holding the same view in the dream, all your experiences and views are reality within the dream. The dream becomes unreal when waking takes place. Similarly the waking becomes unreal when you become aware the fact that, the self is not an individual. Thus whatever individual experiences experienced within the waking is as unreal as dream.

    Until one thinks body as body and world as world it is impossible to grasp non-dual truth, because his views and judgments are bases on physical self with the physical existence. The individuality is reality with the waking experience but the waking experience itself is false hood. Thus holding the view as an individual within the false experience is erroneous on the ultimate point of view. The waking is parallel dream and dream is parallel waking experience.

    In waking the universe comes: in deep sleep the waking goes. In waking is one born; in waking one dies.

    In waking one lives, in Waking one suffers. In Waking one earns, in Waking one enjoys. In Waking is one truthful or lies like a liar. In Waking one reflects on Virtue and Sin. In Waking do one lands in Heaven and Hell. In Waking is one happy, in Waking in sorrow. In Waking does one lose the distinctions of caste and creed. In Waking is one wise; in Waking is one unwise.

    In Waking one has an urge to know the truth. In Waking one is in the illusion; in Waking is one shadowed by Doubts and confusion, in waking one thinks of reincarnation and rebirth. In waking one thinks that he is born in this world and world existed prior to him. In waking one is in ignorance of the true self, which is consciousness. If one spots out the true self within the three states, one realizes the way to freedom.

    One is in action in Waking. In Waking one is bound by form, time and space. Waking is in the form of mind. Mind appears and disappears as waking or dream. If there is no mind then there is no waking or dream. Waking or dream is born out of ignorance of the true self. Getting rid of the ignorance through wisdom is the way to the release. In Waking or dream, one follows the Writ of habit. Waking or dream is a chronic malady; but within it also is its remedy.

    The true Self is not perceptible to the senses. It is perceived by Reason. It is not perceptible as a thing with form and attributes. To those whose attention is fixed on the body and the world, it is very difficult to attain Self-knowledge. It is also very difficult for them to see the consciousness as self. The attention towards the universe [mind] should be lessened by realizing the self is not the body. The attention has to be focused on the formless substance and witness of the universe [mind] should be increased. So long as the attention is directed towards the universe, the experience of birth, life and death will prevail as reality. But when the attention is directed towards the formless substance and witness of the mind, the ignorance vanishes and the sense of reality of the duality will disappear. Then there is unity in diversity.

    This subject is vast and it has to be grasped only through deeper self-search.

    Upanishad say:
    This Atman cannot be attained by the study of the Vedas, or by intelligence, or by much hearing of sacred books. It is attained by him alone whom It chooses. To such a one Ataman reveals Its own form. [Katha Upanishad Ch-II -23-P-20]

    Mundaka Upanishad :-
    This Atman cannot be attained through study of the Vedas, nor through intelligence, nor through much learning. He who chooses Atman—by him alone is Ataman attained. It is Atman that reveals to the seeker Its true nature. [ 3 –page-70 Mundaka Upanishad Upanishads by Nikilanada]

    When the Upanishads say:-

    It is attained by him alone whom It chooses. To such a one Atman reveals its own form. Then what is the use of indulging through our intelligence or our accumulated knowledge, when one is not chosen by the self, which is the soul, which is in the form of consciousness.

    There is no need for any philosophy in pursuit of truth because they take the seeker nearer to truth but they create more doubts and confusions.

    The scriptures and theories and teaching based on the ego are not the yardstick. Using them as yardstick to understand and assimilate the truth will lead one towards pursuit of arguments. Seeker of truth has to discover on his own, the truth of his true existence by inquiring “what is mind?” and “what is substance of the mind?” and move forward.

    The ultimate truth is one without the second, the one is not in the sense half or two, but the one that remain forever One, without the second. The consciousness is all pervading. There is no place where consciousness is not.

    Consciousness is in everyone, consciousness is in everything .consciousness is one behind many. Consciousness alone is. It means the universe and its contents are the visible form of consciousness. And consciousness in turn invisible form of the universe, which appears as mind .
    Since people all are not aware of the fact that, they are an experience within another experience [waking/dream]. The mind is an experience, which contains everyone and everything and the universe. Since one limits the mind to the physical entity, he forgets the fact that, his body and the universe is an experience, within waking or dream experience. It is impossible to unfold the mystery of his true existence without realizing the fact that, the self is not physical but the self is consciousness. If the self is not physical then it is erroneous to judge and conclude the truth on the base of the physical self or ego. Thus the truth has to be judges on the base of the true self, which is consciousness which is not an individual but it pervades all the three states as their formless substance and witness.

    Until and unless one rectifies the reasoning base from form to formless, the ultimate truth [Brahman] will not be revealed.
    On the standpoint of the formless soul/consciousness
    "There is nothing to accept,
    Nothing to reject,
    Nothing to hold on to,
    Nothing to let go of,
    Nothing to grasp,
    Nothing to spurn,
    Nothing to embrace,
    Nothing to relinquish,
    Nothing to dissolve.

    This is the truth.

    ~ From Ashtavakra-Gita
  • Hari om Ajith ji,

    "The world exists because we exist" only refers to the thought that the existence of the world is experienced by us because we see it. If we did not see it, it would not be there for us. However, our perception is limited because we our mind needs a form in oder to comprehen anything. We also need the form-giving quality of language to express what we see and think. And what we see depends on what we know or how our mind and our thought patterns have been conditioned. We cannot see that which is formless. We always need form to grasp anything. And form is always that which comes into existance and goes out of existance. It has a limited existance just as our body does. We may individually see different aspects of the same. It is just like the relativity theory of Albert Einstein. For example if you ask a person how far it is to get to a certain destination, he/she may just say "oh it is 10 minutes from here". But you did not ask about how long it takes but how far it is and you were actually acking about a distance in space. But the person told you the distance in space in the mode of time. It is all realitive. Similarly, we may see the world differently according to how we are conditioned to think.

    By the way our body is part of this world because it made of the five elements. But our spirit is formless so to say. But as long as we are in this body, we need to create images or forms to make comprehention possible.

    I am convinced that the world exists so that there is a cosmic evolution that moves step by step towards divinity or the Absolute formless Reality. The whole of nature can teach us about higher principles that are explained in the scriptures as well. The divine signature is everywhere.

    ommm shanti omm,

  • Dear Ajithji,


    “You” here is the ego with the name, which is the false self, within the false experience [waking]. The universe exists as reality on the base of false self. You including the universe are reality within the waking experience, but the waking experience itself is unreal.

    The dream becomes unreal when waking takes place. Similarly the waking experience which contains you and the universe becomes unreal; when one becomes aware of the fact that, the self is neither the dream entity nor the waking entity but the self is the formless substance and witness of the mind or universe, which appears as waking or dream and disappears as deep sleep. The formless substance and witness of the mind or universe is consciousness. Thus the subject [soul or consciousness] and object [mind or universe] are one in essence.

    The waking entity is false self. Thus judging and concluding the truth on the false self is erroneous. Thus your judgment has to be based on the true self, which is formless self.

    Thus on the stand point of the true self, which is formless consciousness noting exist other than itself. All diversity [you and the universe] is mere mirage created out of consciousness.

    When one realizes the true self is formless consciousness then:-

    Where is the body, where is mind, where is the world; the void; or despair in the true self, which the taintless soul or consciousness. They are or have becomes consciousness.

    One thinks there is mind when he has thoughts, but when thoughts are not considered different from the consciousness, which is the true self, then where is the division into, waking, dream and deep sleep etc

    As you go deeper in self-search you will able to realize “what is truth” and “what is untruth”.
    For More information on this subject read please read my blogs.
  • Hari om Omsri ji,

    The world exists because we exist. We experience it and declare its existance. The world itself cannot do that. It needs the one who experiences it. The existance of the world will not change even if we change. I mean even if we attain self realization, the world would still exist as it is. It may not be important to us when we are self realized because our focus would be directed towards the Absolute. This does not mean that we will ignore or neglect the world. On the contrary, it would be revered as divine or as God. So the world as we normally see it would be seen as a representation of divinity and not as a dog, cat, house, person. The world represent all the features of God.

    The world is there because we see it. it does not see itself.

    Why are there cat, dogs, rivers, trees, houses and people?

    The answer to this lies in the fact that evolution has led to their creation.

    om shanti om,
    • Dear Deepaji,

      Thank you,

      I respect your views. All your views and understanding are true on the base of false self, within the false experience [universe]. The universe in which one exists is reality only when he thinks he is an individual separate from the universe and the universe existed prior to him and he is born in it afterward. Until such conviction is there, it is impossible to assimilate non-dual truth.

      Deeper self-search reveals the fact that, the self is not physical [body or ego] but self is consciousness [formless]. Thus on the standpoint of the true self [consciousness], the universe which is in the form of mind is mere mirage. Until and unless we rectify our base of judgment from form to formless, it is difficult to understand, “what is reality” and “what is unreality”. This is vast subject therefore it needs time to sink in what I am saying.

      The scientists now concluded that you are not the brain [body]. Consciousness requires the joint operation of brain, body and world. "You are not your brain. The brain, rather, is part of what you are.

      “The Biology of Consciousness by Alva Noë. Hill and Wang, 2009

      Alva Noe, a University of California, Berkeley, philosopher and cognitive scientist, argues that after decades of concerted effort on the part of neuro-scientists, psychologists and philosophers "only one proposition about how the brain makes us conscious ... has emerged unchallenged: we don't have a clue." The reason we have been unable to explain the neural basis of consciousness, he says, is that it does not take place in the brain. Consciousness is not something that happens inside us but something we achieve it is more like dancing than it is like the digestive process. To understand consciousness the fact that we think and feel and that a world shows up for us we need to look at a larger system of which the brain is only one element. Consciousness requires the joint operation of brain, body and world. "You are not your brain. The brain, rather, is part of what you are."

      Thus it is for the seeker to investigate and realize the self is not the form but self is formless and base his judgment on the formless self [soul] to realize what is ultimate truth.

      All the conditioning belongs to false physical self, which has been named as Deepa. All experience of the pleasure and pain are experiences of the false self, within the false experience [universe]. Your true self has no form, no name, no conditioning and without experience of the universe. It is the formless witness of the universe. The universe /mind, is an object for the witness.

      The formless witness is like a metro station and the mind or universe is like train, which come and go. The metro station is unaffected of coming and going of the train. Similarly the witness /true self, is unaffected of coming or going of the three states in succession.

      When you realize the true self is formless consciousness then:-

      Where is the body, where is mind, where is the world; the void; or despair in the true self, which the taint-less soul or consciousness. They are or have becomes consciousness.

      One thinks there is mind when he has thoughts, but when thoughts are not considered different from the consciousness, which is the true self, then where is the division into, waking, dream and deep sleep etc.

      Void implies to duality: the universe may not exist but the thought of the second is there. If one knows there is Void [emptiness/nothingness], then there is something there to be known and know. They are or have become consciousness.

      What are scriptures, what is self-knowledge, what is mind without the objects, what is contentment, and where is desirelessness for the formless soul/true self, which is ever devoid of sense of duality.

      What is knowledge? What is ignorance? What is the ego? What is duality? What is mind? What is bondage? What is liberation? What is definableness to the formless self/soul, which is in the form of consciousness?

      All these appearances are mere mirage, which come and go; hence meaningless to the formless soul/true self.

      The ego based knowledge is not ultimate knowledge because ego based knowledge is dualistic knowledge based on the object [body] as subject. But in non-dualistic Knowledge whatever seems to exist also is consciousness; therefore there is no scope for the existence of the second thing.

      What is past karmas? What is liberation –in this life? and what is that liberation at death? for the birth- less soul, which is ever formless.

      Nearest state to understand the soul by itself is to eliminate mentally waking and dream as in deep sleep. Once this is grasped one has to understand everything is consciousness, which is the true self.

      What is the doer or the enjoyer? What is cessation of thoughts or rising of thoughts? What is immediate perception and its result to, the formless soul, which is ever impersonal. A Gnani is the one who is never afraid of thinking and knowing all his individual experience and the world to be consciousness.

      What is the world and what is meant by the aspirant for liberation; what is contemplative and what is man of knowledge; what the self is and what liberated self to the formless soul, which is the non-dual essence.

      When we analyze the dream experience we find the dream entity, dream world with all people in it appeared as a whole, and the dream reality lasted until waking experience appeared. When one tries to know the truth of his true existence in waking through inquiry, analysis and reasoning, one becomes aware of the fact that, the self is not physical but it is formless soul, which is in the form of consciousness which is the essence of the three states from which the three states are made. Thus the illusions of the three states are made of one single substance, which is consciousness. By realizing the formless substance, which is consciousness as self, the ignorance vanishes and one become aware of the fact that the three states are mere illusion on the standpoint of the formless substance ,which is also the witness of the three states.

      When one knows the soul as the true self:

      What are projection and retraction, what are end and means; what are failure and success to the formless soul, which is formless and non-dual in its nature. The mirage appears and merges back into its essence is not an appearance at all.

      What is the knower, the means of knowledge, the object of knowledge; what is anything or nothing to the soul which is ever formless. Knower, knowledge, object, thing, nothing or any word one may utter is after all they are the words and words have meaning only within the mirage. The consciousness is ever present in all the three states but as a person, one is unconscious of the consciousness because he thinks the body as his self.

      When all knowing, known and knower are simultaneously mental as in dream what else is there to trouble about understanding them. Because of considering the waking experience as reality one is incapable of understanding and assimilating the non-dual truth.

      What is the distraction? What is the concentration, dullness and delusion, happiness and sorrow to the formless soul, which is ever actionless.

      As a person one may be drawn to observe his body and the world, but the Gnani is not disturbed by because they all are consciousness to him.

      The physical attributes are nothing to do with the soul/self wrongly; all the attributes belong to the ego not the soul. Identifying the physical attribute to the soul is the cause of the ignorance.

      What is relative? What is absolute happiness and misery to the formless soul, which is ever devoid of thought and activity?

      If anything has a meaning it is only in duality. Happiness and sorrow are the nature of duality, which is mind, their differences therefore illusory on the standpoint of the formless soul, which is ultimate reality.

      What is illusion? What is ignorance? What are birth, life and death? What is world? What is attachment and what is detachment to the soul/self, which is ever formless.

      The mind and soul are one in essence ultimately. All argument about consciousness never touches it. The soul is not the ego in this particular body but principle which holds the whole physical existence [universe], which contains everyone and everything known and unknown. All words have no place and thoughts cannot reach. Even the thought of the soul or consciousness is just illusory and contradictory, because the thought and words belong to the world of duality.

      What is activity or inactivity, liberation and bondage to the formless soul/self, which is ever immutable and indivisible. There is no division into waking dream and deep sleep in wisdom. It is not enough to but one must always see the formless soul [consciousness] as self and the witness the witness of all the three states and always realize and practice it. Some people get glimpses of truth and lose it; so it must be established. Such fixidity is the goal.

      What is instruction and scriptural injunction? What is disciple and guru? What indeed is object of life for the formless soul, which is absolute and free from limitation?

      Life is within world. World is within the waking or dream, the illusory limitation. When there is no second other than consciousness, then what is there for the soul /self to attain? But when one thinks the self is physical, then there is various things he will want to get and so be trouble by their lack. Hence don’t wrongly imagine the self to be the body.

      What is existence, nonexistence, unity or duality? What need us there to say more? Noting from the soul because whatever seems to emanate from it, is non-different from itself. There is no second thing other than the soul, which is in the form of consciousness. One should not mistake self [soul] for the ego.

      Those who assert world is reality, are still in elementary stages of preliminary analysis. The world is reality within the waking experience but the waking experience is mere illusion. The same way the dream world was reality within the dream experience. The dream became unreal when waking took place same way waking becomes unreal when non-dual wisdom dawns.
      • Dear Santosh ji,

        thank you for your details comment.

        I am very much aware about advaita philoshopy. However, when the question was raised about why this world exists, I was refering to the finit world which come and goes out of existance and our finit perception of it. We cannot really perceive the infinite. We can only merge into the formless and what is left is silence. For me there is no so-called "false self" because that is in itself a dualistic thinking. There is only the Self or consciousness that is reflected everywhere. By the way in grammar there is no plural form of the word "consciousness". There is only one consciousness, there are no two consciousnesses. Therefore, for me there is only a true Self and my existence seems real because of the reality that is behind my limited existence. I am like an actress on a stage who appears real because behind my role is reality that makes me seem real. My existance depends on this Reality. But as long as I am in this existence, acting my unique role, I perceive the reality around me in my own ideosycratic way as if it were real and from that perspective it is real. But whoes reflection is it? Of course the reflection of the Reality behind my existance. So for me my perception is true as I perceive it in life although it may not be true cosmicly. It is the only way to perceive. We need duality to perceive the non-duality. Therefore, from my own temporary perspective it is true. It is true as long as I see it that way. It is of course a play of consciousness which gives me a feeling that my perception is actually real. Well that is the power of the reality governing all existance. I think we can say that the world does not exist from the perspective of the formless Absolute whoes reality is infinite. What does "formless" mean? We cannot estimate where the formless Absolute begins or ends. It is like a priceless diamond. There is no price for a priceless diamond because our limited perception cannot estimate its beginning or end price. Similarly the Absolute is formless because we cannot grasp that far. The moment we think or speak, our mind moves in a limited reality. Language margins every thought. We cannot ever express the formless through our faculties that need the form to grasp anything.

        Regardless of our real or unreal nature, I personally like to see the divinity in all, because it helps me to practice ethics in life. I believe we perceive a formed reality in oder to gain awareness of a formless reality. It would not be possible otherwise.

        ommm shanti omm,
    • Namaste Haripriyaji,

      I understand that the world includes us, we are part of this world. Hence if you say "The world exists because we exist" the question is not answered. The questioner could ask "Why does the world which includes us exist?" or "Why do things including us exist?"

      Om Shantih,
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