To show the importance of any statement, we make or quote from great masters and so does Sri Adi Sankaracharya quote from another great master Sri Krishna. Being one who has realised the truth, Bhagavan Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad—all the objects of the world are not in me and I am not in them.Ishwara is the one who knows the truth and such an Ishwara that Sri Krishna is, declares that nothing ever exists in the supreme reality called Brahman and it does not exist in any of the events, joys and sorrows of the world Having said that this world does not have any real and continuous existence, the Master said, if it was real, then the world should have been comprehended in the state of deep sleep. Since that is not happening even a wee bit, this world has got no permanent existence. It is like a dream and it is illusory.
Therefore, he concludes there is nothing in this world that is different from the self. If it appears to be different, like the qualities of intellectual clarity, dynamism and inertia, they are only a temporary appearance. It is a superimposition on the substratum like the images of a motion picture are superimposed on the white screen. Only the screen is real and not the film. If an Amitabh Bachchan or Rajinikanth appears on the film screen, they are not really there. It is only their image.
In the same way if the mountain we see in front of our eyes seems real, we are actually not seeing the mountain, but the image of the mountain reflected in our retina. That image is not reality. It is only an image. Only the substratum in the eyes is appearing like the mountain, river or tree because of our confused thinking.
While this whole world is nothing but consciousness, Brahman, we are interacting with it imagining that this is a tree, this a man, this a child or this a woman, this an animal. Whatever we see, hear, taste, smell and touch is the Brahman alone. It is out of delusion that we see many different objects, people and circumstances.
The illusion is similar to looking at the beach on a hot day and mistaking a shining shell for silver. What is seen is Brahman alone. It is not a tree, plant, grass or an animal. On the Brahman, the name and form have been superimposed. A cloud in the sky has a certain form and we call it cloud. It is actually condensed and cold vaporous water which appears to exist seen from a distance. When we are in the cloud, we really cannot see it as a cloud, but only experience the coolness of water!