My background is in Vishistadvaita and I have always had a few challenges in understanding some of the concepts from Advaita and have wondered if later acharyas in the Advaita sampradaya have provided answers to some of these. I am wondering if anyone here is able to clarify and provide references to me for further reading. One such concept is the analogy of a dream to explain vyavahaarika sat (existential reality).
According to the Advaita, there is only one Brahman and whatever realities different living entities are going through are only like a dream which all come to an end the moment their egos are destroyed. In a dream, one person (the same consciousness) becomes life to many characters that all seem to interact with each other. From what I understand, just as the entire dream consisting of all these characters comes to an end the moment one wakes up and one realizes that all these characters do not exist except oneself, the moment a person awakens to knowledge/liberation, they realize they are the Brahman.
Taking this example, what is not clear to me is when a person wakes up from a dream, all characters end all at once. However, when one person is liberated (say, the Guru), there are still others who are living here who are in ignorance. How, then, can parts of Brahman be in knowledge while other parts are in ignorance? Is not Brahman supposed to have a unified conscious experience? How can other characters continue to exist when at least one person is liberated? Shouldn't at least one be equal to everyone's liberation at the same time? Also, to begin with, why does the Brahman that is "yah sarvajna sarvavit" impose avidya upon Itself and become many realities? In Adi Shankaracharya's commentary on the Gita for verse 13.2, he writes that "bondage and liberation cannot be simultaneous states of the Self as they both are mutually opposed". How then, can one Self simultaneously have parts of it that are in knowledge and parts that are in ignorance?