If Nirguna Nirakara Brahman is avyakta (unmanifested and formless) and cannot be seen or percieved by the mind or senses, then how does the Advaitin realize IT in deep meditation / samadhi / jivan mukta state, and how does he know for sure that its Brahman he's realizing and not something else?

We are often given the example that when the salt doll went to measure the ocean, the doll itself became the ocean. In other words, when we use our mind (as a tool) to look inwards in deep meditation, to realize the original Self (Brahman/Atman) we lose our individuality and become One with IT and remain silent. And after this experience, when we come down to dualistic reality, we fail to explain our experience, because the knower vanishes and becomes one with the known during Self-realization.

But then, if i fail to explain my experience, how am i to know for sure that the thing i experienced during Self-realization is actually Brahman and not something else. And most importantly how do i experience THAT which is avyakta?

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    I'm telling my understanding. Experiencing Brahman is a manner of speaking. What happens is basically your Anandamaya Kosha opens up and Karana shareera gets destroyed. The Lingasharira experiences infinitude and bliss and knowledge. What you are is the pure witness behind all this simply watching, and the false ego of Linga Sharira gets destroyed. Now this Linga Shareera which has no Karana Shareera is called Jeeevan Muktha. It cannot communicate the experience with other Linga Shareeras just like the taste of sugar cannot be explained.
    – user22253
    Dec 19, 2021 at 10:57
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    How does one know if one's realized or just hallucinating. That's why you need a Guru. Moreover a realised person will just know it and there will be no doubt. If there is doubt then he or she is not realised, IMHO
    – user22253
    Dec 19, 2021 at 10:59
  • Also your question itself is reverse. You don't experience that. You are that, experiencing the world. Right now your identity is mixed with the world. You think your body is you, your mind is you. What happens on realisation is you'll know that you are not the mind or body or any thing that can be described. Neti Neti. You experience everything other than Brahman as other than you. Whatever is left is Brahman.
    – user22253
    Dec 19, 2021 at 11:03
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    Read the books I have given link to, it is not written by ordinary authors, it is written by self realised Jnanis, it has a very detailed modern explanation.
    – user22253
    Dec 19, 2021 at 16:26
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    if you are not sure it is Brahman, it is not Brahman. If you still experience the 'I', it is not Brahman. If you can explain it, it is not Brahman..When you experience It, there will be no doubt. Dec 20, 2021 at 5:18

1 Answer 1


It is a very difficult question to answer. There is some description of what a person feels after the supreme experience in Vivekcudamani.

Concentrating the mind for some time on the Supreme Brahman, he rose, and out of supreme bliss spoke as follows.

Vivekacudamani 480

My mind has vanished, and all its activities have melted, by realizing the identity of the Self and Brahman; I do not know either this or not-this; nor what or how much the boundless Bliss (of Samadhi) is!

Vivekacudamani 481

The majesty of the ocean of Supreme Brahman, replete with the swell of the nectar-like Bliss of the Self, is verily impossible to express in speech, nor can it be conceived by the mind - in an infinitesimal fraction of which my mind melted like a hailstone getting merged in the ocean, and is now satisfied with that Essence of Bliss.

Vivekacudamani 482

Where is the universe gone, by whom is it removed, and where is it merged? It was just now seen by me, and has it ceased to exist? It is passing strange!

Vivekacudamani 483

In the ocean of Brahman filled with the nectar of Absolute Bliss, what is to be shunned and what accepted, what is other (than oneself) and what different?

Vivekacudamani 484

I neither see nor hear nor know anything in this. I simply exist as the Self, the Eternal Bliss, distinct from everything else.

Vivekacudamani 485

I am unattached, I am disembodied, I am free from the subtle body, and undecaying. I am serene, I am infinite, I am taintless, and eternal.

Vivekacudamani 489

I am not the doer, I am not the experiencer, I am changeless and beyond activity; I am the Essence of Pure Knowledge, I am Absolute and identified with Eternal Good.

Vivekacudamani 490

In me, the ocean of Infinite Bliss, the waves of the universe are created and destroyed by the playing of the wind of Maya.

Vivekacudamani 496

  • After going through your Vivekachudamani posts, it seems to me that the thought waves (vrittis) of the mind stops arising and the mind probably goes still. Like how our minds stops projecting images and thoughts in deep sleep state and remains blank. But even this blank-ness of the mind can't be taken as Brahman realization. There must be some higher experience than this blank-ness. Ofcourse there's no way to know this by discussing here. Do you think advaitins practice kriya-kundalini yoga to attain this Brahman realization or is it Raja yoga? Dec 19, 2021 at 14:00
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    @TheCrimsonUniverse Advaitins actually practice Jnana Yoga. See you have 5 koshas, out of which Anandamaya Kosha cannot be worked on. So we can work on different koshas specially and achieve enlightenment. If we work on Annamaya kosha predominantly its Karma Yoga. If we use Manomaya kosha it's Bhakti Yoga. If we use Pranamaya Kosha its Raja Yoga or Kriya Yoga or Kundalini Yoga
    – user22253
    Dec 19, 2021 at 15:48
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    @TheCrimsonUniverse if we use our Vijnanamaya kosha it's called Jnana Yoga, this is what Advaitins use. We can use anyone yoga or do a cocktail, its upto us. And if we use one and achieve enlightenment the others also get activated. Like if a Jnanai Yogi attains realisation, the Kundalini is automatically activated. And the reverse is also true if one does Kriya yoga and achieves realisation he simultaneously attains Jnana also. But Advaitins mainly of Shri Adi Shankaracharya follow Jnana yoga through Shravana, Manana and Nidhi Dyasana along with Shad Sampat
    – user22253
    Dec 19, 2021 at 15:59
  • From Google i came to know that nididhyasana is meditating on the mahavakyas (like Tat Tvam Asi). Is it really meditation or simply contemplation? Dec 19, 2021 at 18:50
  • @TheCrimsonUniverse Advaitins do Jnana yoga. However, it is possible to reach nirvana with other yogas also. There are basically 2 approaches (1) neti neti and (2) Who am I? popularized by Ramana Maharshi. Dec 20, 2021 at 13:08

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