Ajah, the one thing
“There is one God,
his name is Truth,
He is the creator,
He is without fear and without hate,
beyond time, immortal,
His spirit pervades the universe,
Neither is he born,
Nor does he die to be born again,
For he is self existent,
You shall worship him,
through Guru’s grace.”
-Sihk morning prayer
Ajah is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe, Ajah is the unity of all opposites. Ajah is referred to as the Absolute or God which is the Divine Ground of all matter, energy, time,space, being, and everything in and beyond this universe. Ajah is the unconditional reality which transcends limited, conditional, everyday existence. And it is sometimes used as an alternate term for “God”. Although there are many ways of describing Ajah, this one word communicates an entire philosophy, an outlook on the fundamental nature of life and the universe. As Ajah literally means unborn in Sanskrit.
The Ajah is nothing less than an expression of the profound unity of the universe and of the path human beings must take to join, rather than disturb, that unity.
What is this path, and how do we find it? The path begins with an understanding of the origin of the universe.
“Knowing the ancient beginning is the essence of the way,” -Lao Tzu
Ajah is the Supreme God and has five important works: creator, preserver, destroyer, concealer, and revealer (to bless). Ajah is conceived as aspersonal (“with qualities”), impersonal(“without qualities”) as well as supreme. the variety of existing things in the universe are reducible to one substance or reality and therefore that the fundamental character of the universe is unity of Ajah.
Ajah teaches that God and the world are one. The idea of God is identical with that of nature or substance. This is a pantheistic view, in pantheism God, as an intramundane being, is everywhere identical with nature itself, and is operative within the world as a “force” or “energy”. The latter view alone is compatible with our supreme law – the law of substance.
Who dares to equal him
Who falls into neither being nor non-being!
Ajah is known as the Monad, Brahman, and Weheguru. Essentially Ajah is everything. Ajah is not a ‘name’ for a ‘thing’ but the underlying natural order of the universe whose ultimate essence is difficult to circumscribe. Ajah is thus “eternally nameless” and is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists. Ajah is the high source of the region of light. The various emanations of The One are called deities.
The Isha Upanishad says:
“Aum – That supreme Brahman is infinite, and this conditioned Brahman is infinite. The infinite proceeds from infinite. If you subtract the infinite from the infinite, the infinite remains alone.”
The sages of the Upanishads teach that Brahman is the ultimate essence of material phenomena (including the original identity of the human self) that cannot be seen or heard but whose nature can be known through the development of self-knowledge (atma-jnana). A liberated human being has realised Ajah as his or her own true self.
The universe does not simply possess consciousness, it is consciousness, and this consciousness is Ajah. According to Adi Shankara, knowledge of Brahman(Ajah) springs from inquiry into the words of the Upanishads, and the knowledge of brahman that shruti provides cannot be obtained in any other way.
In Advaita Vedanta, Brahman is without attributes and strictly impersonal. It can be best described as infinite Being, infinite Consciousness, and infinite Bliss. It is pure knowing itself, similar to a source of infinite radiance. Since the Advaitins regard Brahman to be the Ultimate Truth, so in comparison to Brahman, every other thing, including the material world, its distinctness, the individuality of the living creatures are all untrue. Brahman is the effulgent cause of everything that exists and can possibly exist. Since it is beyond human comprehension, it is without any attributes, for assigning attributes to it would be distorting the true nature of Brahman. Advaitins believe in the existence of both Saguna (with qualities, attributes) Brahman and Nirguna (without qualities, or attributes) Brahman, however they consider Nirguna Brahman to be the Absolute Truth. When man tries to know the attributeless Brahman with his mind, under the influence of an illusionary power of Brahman called Maya, Brahman becomes (Ishvara), which is the reflection of the Brahman in the environment of illusion (Maya). Just like reflection of moon, in a pool of water. The material world also appears as such due to Maya. (Ishvara) is Saguna Brahman, or Brahman with attributes. He (gender neutral; “He” only for explanatory purposes) is Omniscient, Omnipresent, Incorporeal, Independent, Creator of the world, its ruler and also destroyer. He is eternal and unchangeable. He is both immanent and transcedent, as well as full of love and justice. He may be even regarded to have a personality. He is the subject of worship. He is the basis of morality and giver of the fruits of one’s Karma. He rules the world with his Maya. However, while God is the Lord of Maya and she (i.e. Maya) is always under his control, living beings (jīva, in the sense of humans) are the servants of Maya (in the form of ignorance). This ignorance is the cause of all material experiences in the mortal world. While God is Infinite Bliss, humans, under the influence of Maya consider themselves limited by the body and the material, observable world. This misperception of Brahman as the observed Universe results in human emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger and fear. The ultimate reality remains Brahman and nothing else. The Advaita equation is simple. It is due to Maya that the one single Atman (the individual soul) appears to the people as many Atmans, each in a single body. Once the curtain of maya is lifted, the Atm Thus, due to true knowledge, an individual loses the sense of ego (Ahamkara) and achieves liberation, or Moksha.
Relevant verses from Bhagavad-Gita which establish the Advaita position:
The indestructible, transcendental living entity is called Brahman, and its eternal nature is called adhyatma, the self.
(Bhagavad Gita 8.3)
Similar to a person who is not attached to external pleasures but enjoys happiness in the Atman (soul), the person who perceives Brahman (all-pervading consciousness) in everybody feels everlasting joy.
(Bhagavad Gita 5.21)