As the motivating force behind every birth or product, there should be a purpose, either existence (sat) or nonexistence. Exactly what transformation takes place? The cause (karana) undergoes change (vikara) and gets transformed into the effect (karya). Well, existence has no change, so no birth is possible from it. Nonexistence is void, so nothing can emanate from it. Existence and nonexistence are inconceivable together. Therefore, logically, nothing can be born or produced; cause cannot become effect.
When you remember fire, you don’t feel the heat. Only when you hold fire in your hand do you experience the heat. So too, all objects are different from knowledge (jnana) about them. Knowledge is one thing, actual experience is another. Moreover, the search for the first cause is an endless adventure. Even in the complete absence of the snake, one sees it in the rope. It is all a figment of the imagination. In dreams, with nothing concrete, all the joy and sorrow of manifoldness are undergone. For the machinations and inferences of the mind, no basis or explanation is needed. Irresponsible inferences about the unreal world will pester the mind as long as the illumination of truth is absent. The clasping of delusion is the fate of those who are steeped in ignorance (a-vidya or a-jnana).
The Mandukya Upanishad declares in unambiguous terms that existence (sat) can never be the cause for the effect (karya) viz. nonexistence. The external world is created by our own subconscious mind (chittha), like smoke emanating from a burning incense stick. Everything is appearance, a superimposition, an apparition —something mistaken to be there but really nonexistent. The atmosphere of ignorance (a-jnana) is the fertile field for their birth and multiplication. Worldly illusion, which has the dual characteristic of evolution, of origin and ruin, is the fruit of this mistake.