The question of the relationship between the ultimate reality of the universe, and its proximate reality as experienced by us, is apt to boggle the mind, given the vastness of the dimensions involved. The distinction between it and us is like the difference between an avalanche and a snowflake. Nevertheless, the Hindu school of philosophy, known as Advaita Vedanta, tries to render it comprehensible at the level of the individual by pressing everyday analogies into service. One such analogy is suggested by our experience in life when we momentarily mistake a piece of seashell for a piece of silver. Advaita Vedanta then proceeds to employ this pivotal analogy to explore the various dimensions of the relationship of the individual to the world, to the ultimate reality, and of the ultimate reality to the world.
This book uses this metaphor as a window which opens out into the world of Advaita Vedanta.