This article explains our spiritual journey from the perspective of the ancient spiritual science called Vedanta

The word ‘journey’ implies a starting point and a destination. As spiritual beings having a human experience, we are journeying back to our Source.

To understand the journey, this first article explains in rather broad brushstrokes, the nature of our source, spirit, matter and creation.

In the second part of this article, I will be taking the discussion closer to home by sharing the spirit and matter aspects within each of us.  Read it here.

So, what is our Source? It is far bigger than we can ever imagine….

The nature of Source

There exists an eternal, changeless, conscious, blissful presence called, Brahman.

Brahman means “The Big” or “vast” in the ancient language of Sanskrit.

Brahman is “The Big” because it encompasses and supports…

  • all that ever existed in the past
  • all that exists now
  • and all that will ever exist in the future, for evermore.

All of creation emerges from It, exists in It and merges back into It at the end of the cycle of creation.

There is no thing or being in all of creation that is outside of Brahman. It is said to be One-without-a-Second.

Once, a ray of Brahman emerged and assumed two aspects—Spirit and Matter.

Characteristics of Spirit and Matter

Spirit is…

  • Identical to Brahman and shares all its qualities.
  • Conscious, changeless and eternal.
  • Intrinsically real because It exists unchanged in the past, present and future
  • Said to be the ‘real’ because it is permanent and changeless.

Matter is…

  • An aspect of Brahman that does not seem to share its qualities.
  • Inert (has no consciousness), ever-changing in form and perishable
  • Apparent, because it is subject to constant change at every second. It can be deconstructed and re-formed into new matter
  • Said to be “unreal” and illusory because it appears to exist only in the present moment.

The idea of the illusion of matter is also accepted by quantum physicists today.

Like every illusion, matter requires an unchanging substratum on which to exist and play about.

For example, when we watch a movie in the cinema, the ever-changing images are superimposed on an unchanging blank screen. The screen is said to be the substratum (underlying support) that sustains the illusion of the characters and drama unfolding in front of our eyes. Without the unchanging screen, the movie would have no where to play out.

So, coming back to spirit and matter, the two aspects that emerged from Brahman….

With spirit as the one unchanging substratum, the illusion of matter was superimposed on it. The coming together of spirit and matter resulted in the manifestation of creation.

The innumerable planets, moons, strs, entire solar systems, galaxies, universe—all things and beings came into existed.

big bang in space

The entire Creation of the infinite variety of names and forms comes from one ultimate or supreme cause. And that one cause is Brahman.

In a nutshell

Brahman—The ultimate or supreme cause
Spirit—The unchanging, eternal, real aspect of Brahman expression in creation.
Matter—The ever-changing, illusory aspect of Brahman expressing in creation.
Creation—The manifestation of the play of spirit and matter.

To apply these concepts to us as spiritual beings on a journey back to our Source, please continue reading the second part of this article, Our Spiritual Journey—Spirit, Matter and You,

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Manisha Melwani

Manisha Melwani is a teacher and the author of, "Your Spiritual Journey" She offers spiritual and wellness solutions for life and stress management. She teaches classes in personal growth, stress management and meditation. Contact her for more information or to have her speak to your group or organization. She also offers private counseling sessions on-line.
Manisha Melwani

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