Five celebrated analogies from Vedanta

A salient analogy used in (Brihadaranyaka Upanisad) is that of Spider. God like spider creates world out of itself, maintains it and again takes whole creation inside of it. The immanence of the God is thus explained along with his creation (this God a step lower to the absolute Brahman).

This example puts the whole creation in ambit of God, it robs individual of his ‘I’ness. Thus, while the creation doesn’t lose on reality, individuality melts in the divine-cosmos.The two bird’s parable from the sees the world from the individual point of view. It speaks of two birds, one sitting on a higher branch and another one below. The one on top is calm, peaceful, immersed in self, another on the lower branch eating sweet and bitter fruits becoming happy and miserable by the taste of fruits.

As last disquieted by the repeated misery, he sees the one on the top branch calm, serene and immersed in self, getting nearer, he finds his individuality melting and realizes that he is a mere reflection of the bird sitting above, nay, he is that.

The third analogy is that of reflections in water pitcher. is the reflected in the (adjuncts) giving rise to the Jiva (reflection of the Chaitanya in Antahkarana or Buddhi, having three bodies, five sheaths and three awasthas) which is nothing but refection of the Brahman. The simile suggests the non-duality of the Brahman and Atman, as the various reflections in the water pitchers and the Sun are not different.

The fourth simile that can be taken is of adhyasa or superimposition, as a man taking the rope in darkness for a snake and getting afraid. The wrong perception is brought about by Avidya (ignorance) which is Anivachaniya and the root of all duality or multiplicity. Once the right knowledge dawns, the Jiva’s identity with the Upadhis fall and the true identity is realized.

The fifth analogy is that of the and the Mahakasha, the space within and without pitcher. As the space inside and outside of the pitcher is one and the same, so is the Brahman, which is Jiva owing to Maya sees limited by the Upadhis like body, senses etc. Once ignorance is dispelled by true knowledge, false distinction falls.

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