Nonduality Street Interview with (Advaita) Vedanta Student and Educator Dhanya

Interview with Vedanta student and educator Dhanya on Nonduality Street:

Download link:

The following is from Dhanya’s blog at

You are the Material of the Dream

Some might ask, if who I really am is ever-present, my natural state, and the truth my very being, why have I not recognized this before? Is it because I was looking for it?

No, that’s not the reason. If one is looking for the Self as an object, one will never find it.

The cognition of objects is all that we initially are familiar with. It is the way, as individual entities, we navigate through this vast 3D appearance which is known as duality.

An analogy: For a dream character to recognize that he or she is the very material, the stuff of the dream isn’t all that easy.

We take the all pervasive dream material, upon which is our very existence depends, and assume that it is unique to this one individual body mind alone, and that other body minds are different.

We superimpose our individuality onto the material of the dream, and the material of the dream onto our individuality, taking them to be one entity alone. This process is called mutual superimposition.

Thus I take That, which is the most real thing about me—my very being—to be different from your being, different from the being of everyone else, and different from the being of all objects.

This process is the hallmark of self-ignorance. Everyone is born with self-ignorance, and thus everyone makes the mistake of mutual superimposition, until the person gains self-knowledge.

Another analogy that is used is the red hot iron ball. If one has never seen an iron ball that wasn’t red hot, one would think that red hot and iron ball are one and the same thing.

As human beings, with the types of minds we have, we have the possibility of making the distinction between the unchanging baseline reality upon which our existence depends, and the changing objects (i.e. the body/mind) that we previously thought our existence depended upon.

We also have the ability to recognize that all changing objects have this same baseline reality for their baseline reality.

But it isn’t all that easy. and it takes time and teaching, which is done through some very clear pointing out.

Also, one has to initially accept that I am that One unchanging reality, the being of the entire world of experience, prior to having recognized the truth of the statement, in order to be willing to undertake the investigation.

So again that’s a big step.

Here is another analogy which is used. Say there is a giant clay tableau, and there is nothing else, it has no edges or sides. It’s total. And in that giant clay tableau there are trees and rivers and rocks and animals and human beings. And then say some of the clay objects can move around, and some of them have minds.

For the clay figure to recognize that ‘I am the clay, and so too is everything else,’ isn’t all that easy, and yet it is the truth of the whole thing.

3 thoughts on “Nonduality Street Interview with (Advaita) Vedanta Student and Educator Dhanya

  1. Philip Knight

    Interesting interview and surprised I listened to almost the entire thing (I tend to glaze over stuff due to my liking things really simple). But I can relate to the essence of what Dhanya’s journey and where she is in all of this.

    Due to my own “stuck” places, I tend to shy away from traditional and/or ancient how-to processes – I’ve somehow projected “severity” on the word Vedanta ever since I heard of it decades ago.

    This even though I am reasonably intellectually as well as instinctively aware of most traditions on my own rather long-and-winding road of seeming Awakening/Etc.

    I wouldn’t say I am spiritual dilettante or that I cut corners, but due to a high rev, at times mullti-level awareness (much like three 3D Star Trek chess games between Spock and Kirk),

    I have an aversion to long verses, archaic language. I like–no, need almost a childlike Zen simplicity.

    Yet I “got” what Dyanya is saying about how Vedanta’s how-to is effective for her and others and I respect that. In fact, I got a hit of an “Aha…” moment during this interview of sensing the non-temporal “I” that is always there (my wording).

    This points to one last point IMO:

    The “when the student is ready, the teacher appears” can show up in a million different ways — not necessarily a guru/teacher but as synchronicities, from the more spiritually academic to an advertising billboard selling burgers with a tag line that can actually oddly “point” to a deeper reality.

    Or it could be a homeless schizophrenic on crack at a 7-11 that causes a shift in a more compassionate Metta-like perspective on the what-is as one story puts it, “He could be Lord Krishna in disguise”.

    That is, I would gently suggest to widen the perspective on how we meet our “teachers” or pointers..Each one of us has different soul-wiring on how we can and do let in the pointing. There is no one way.

    What matters is how open we are to the pointing IMO.
    It’s what is pointed to that matters most.

    And IMO it all comes down the blossoming of certain very practical human character or dharma traits which tend to show up as or through our individual “stories” within the larger non-Story, so to speak–and that to me are signs of a genuine teaching or teaching also.

    Whether one goes the Vedanta–even nondual — or not.
    One of these being…

    “In the end, only kindness matters.” ~ Jewel

    One way to put this is by adding a little twist to the “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water” classic:

    Perhaps one sees a neighbor laboring hours chopping his or her wood and you feel moved to buy them an (eco-friendly) chainsaw to lighten and shorten their work load. Hell, one can even buy one for oneself too – lol.

    And, sure, the whole scene is just one more “story.

    But how we walk within our stories matters just as much as how are allowing or moving towards moving “beyond” it.

    Kindness is walking the talk of A/awakening.

    And kindness is also part of the walk or a pointer to said A/awakening.

    Both of these elements can be one more example of how there are many ways to be- pointed as well as being somewhat of a chicken-and-egg paradox too:

    Does kindness point or lead to awakening — or does Awakening point to or lead to kindness?

    Yes, no, maybe, both.

    Sure, such perceptual koan-ish pretzels can be just more pointless monkey-mind contortions. On the other hand, who knows… they can be fun pointers too :o)


    OK, ‘nuf pontificatin’.
    I’m outta here.


    … who is the “I” who is outta-ing of here?

    Maybe I’ve always been here and will forever be so.
    (Hey, don’t blame me, I’m just mirroring what Dhanya said about our true Nature being infinite).

    BUT one thing Jerry doesn’t need is more longwinded, unsolicited verbal diarrhea on an infinitely perpetual basis from some met’fizzical wizeguy.

    Alright, alright, I’m really outta here this time.
    (Well, at least the finite part of me is.)

    ~ Philip


  2. Pingback: Nonduality Street Interview with Advaita Student and Educator … | Cais de Abrigo

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