According to one of the doctrines propounded in the non-dual philosophy, there are three grades of reality. There is the real world of the spirit, transcendent and absolute. It alone can be called truly real. But within Maya there is the whole world of Sansara, which has a kind of borrowed reality of its own. It is what is called vyavaharika sat, the reality of everyday commerce—the sphere in which we occupy our time getting and spending, achieving and failing, gaining and losing. And then again, within that empirical world, there is the still less real world of dream and fantasy, in which the mind weaves an insubstantial pageant of fleeting images.
It is only in the realm of the spirit, the paramarthika sat or transcendent reality, of Brahman, that real achievement is possible. Indeed it cannot be called an achievement, because it is ever-achieved. It does not come and go; it is the bedrock on which the experience of the empirical and the dream-world are superimposed. It is the inexhaustible hoard of gold which is hidden within the personality, as the Upanishad teaches.
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