While for the Greeks physical reality was a major concern, for the Indians conscious reality was the major concern. While the Greeks tried to find what the unifying basis of all physical reality was as such, the Indians wanted to find what the unifying basis of all conscious reality was as such. The Greeks began from physics and proceeded on to metaphysics. The Indians began from the self, from consciousness, and proceeded on to metaphysics. The Greeks tried to analyze the known in order to understand the known. The Indian analyzed the knower in order to understand the known. Thus, the Indian quest for ultimate reality can be described as a search for a psychological basis of the universe.
This has several implications:
- In the search for the external, one begins with the attempt to first understand the internal, viz. consciousness.
- Before knowing what is out there, one begins with the attempt to first understand why knowing even exists.
- If consciousness as one experiences it is false, then all quest no matter how scientific it appears will be wrong headed. But if consciousness as one experiences it is true, then the quest can end up in truth.
- The problem is not why something exists, but why something such as consciousness exists. The knower is thus the starting point.
- Liberation, thus, becomes noetic; knowledge of the Truth brings salvation.
- No wonder, then, in advaita the Brahman is called Sat-chit-ananda, meaning Being-Consciousness-Bliss, with pure consciousness as the essence of being and bliss; bliss being that condition of being as consciousness in which no distraction or strife by virtue of duality exists.
From Epistemics of Divine Reality, 2nd Edn. (2010) by Domenic Marbaniang, pp.92,93