The world has risen from ignorance. There is not even an iota of truth in it. There exists nothing different from consciousness. This world is like a dream.
[Yoga Vasistha Sara Sangrahah – Swami Tejomayananda]
Let us analyse the statement, “The moon is out there in front of me whethere I look at it or not.”
The light from the moon reaches eyes, and the signal from the eyes goes to the brain and mind interprets the signal as moon. It is just the signal that is reaching the brain that the mind reads as moon. Even if the moon is not out there but the signal is there, mind still labels it as moon. In dream for example there is no moon out there but it still appears to be moon. So, actually what is interpreted depends solely on the signal. If moon is experienced, we cannot infer that physical moon is necessarily out there. Hence, the statement is not necessarily correct. Moon may appear to be out there, but what appears need not necessarily be real.
If we go a step ahead then where is the moon for the inert stone. It is only due to the body instruments (senses, brain etc.) does the moon exist for us. An ammeter shows the current, the brain shows the moon. There is no experience in the absence of a suitable measuring instrument or signal.
Since one can see the moon even by closing eyes, it is clear that it is mind that takes the shape of the moon. The logic that is applied to sight can be applied to sound, taste, smell, touch as well. Since it is mind that takes various forms, all we can say with certainty is that everything is mind only. Consciousness and still mind are synonemous. We Are THAT.
Q: Does, “Jagat Mithya” mean that the world is non-existent?
A: The word Jagat means manyness or plurality here. Jagat Mithya means that the the sense of otherness is an illusion. There is one absolute truth appearing as many. So, Jagat Mithya does not mean that the world is non-existent. The world does exist but just like water appears to get divided by a partition while water remaining the same, manyness is only apparent. Everything is consciousness whether it remains undifferentiated or appears as many.
A: If you ask a frog in the well about creation what can it say? When we want to know about the purpose and cause of creation, we need to see this from the perspective of the creator and not from the perspective of someone who is part of the creation. Since absolute truth is consciousness and there is nothing else but it from its perspective, actually there is no creation (please refer to this). But since answer is to be given to somebody living within the creation asking this question, various attempts are made to come out with the most sensible answer applicable at that particular point of time.
Consider an ornament made of pure gold for example sake. To a person, it is indeed a real ornament. However, gold ornament is made of gold atoms. From the perspective of gold, it is only gold, there is no shape called ornament.
Likewise, from the perspective of Jiva, there is creation and hence there are various theories of creation. However, from the perspective of pure consciousness, there is nothing else but it, so there is no creation at all.