The Ultimate Reality is infinite. An enlightened person may not have experienced the whole of this Reality. The partial experience of the Reality leads to apparent contradictions.
Let me give here the experience of Totapuri, the Advaita Vedanta Guru of Sri Ramakrishna. Sri Puri has had the Advaita moksha experience after 40 years of effort. He did not accept the reality of Hindu Devatas.
From Sri Ramakrishna Totapuri had to learn the significance of Kali,
the Great Fact of the relative world, and of maya, Her indescribable
One day, when guru and disciple were engaged in an animated discussion
about Vedanta, a servant of the temple garden came there and took a
coal from the sacred fire that had been lighted by the great ascetic.
He wanted it to light his tobacco. Totapuri flew into a rage and was
about to beat the man. Sri Ramakrishna rocked with laughter. "What a
shame!" he cried. "You are explaining to me the reality of Brahman and
the illusoriness of the world; yet now you have so far forgotten
yourself as to be about to beat a man in a fit of passion. The power
of maya is indeed inscrutable!" Totapuri was embarrassed.
About this time Totapuri was suddenly laid up with a severe attack of
dysentery. On account of this miserable illness he found it impossible
to meditate. One night the pain became excruciating. He could no
longer concentrate on Brahman. The body stood in the way. He became
incensed with its demands. A free soul, he did not at all care for the
body. So he determined to drown it in the Ganges. Thereupon he walked
into the river. But, lo! He walks to the other bank." (This version of
the incident is taken from the biography of Sri Ramakrishna by Swami
Saradananda, one of the Master's direct disciples.) Is there not
enough water in the Ganges? Standing dumbfounded on the other bank he
looks back across the water. The trees, the temples, the houses, are
silhouetted against the sky. Suddenly, in one dazzling moment, he sees
on all sides the presence of the Divine Mother. She is in everything;
She is everything. She is in the water; She is on land. She is the
body; She is the mind. She is pain; She is comfort. She is knowledge;
She is ignorance. She is life; She is death. She is everything that
one sees, hears, or imagines. She turns "yea" into "nay", and "nay"
into "yea". Without Her grace no embodied being can go beyond Her
realm. Man has no free will. He is not even free to die. Yet, again,
beyond the body and mind She resides in Her Transcendental, Absolute
aspect. She is the Brahman that Totapuri had been worshipping all his
Totapuri returned to Dakshineswar and spent the remaining hours of the
night meditating on the Divine Mother. In the morning he went to the
Kali temple with Sri Ramakrishna and prostrated himself before the
image of the Mother. He now realized why he had spent eleven months at
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Introduction, Tota Puri by Swami Nikhilananda