Just as fire is the direct cause of cooking, without genuine understanding, there can be no liberation. In comparison to all other kinds of discipline, awareness of the Self is the only path to freedom that is direct.
Action cannot eradicate ignorance since it is neither in opposition to or in battle with ignorance. Knowledge really does annihilate ignorance, just as light annihilates profound darkness.
Because of ignorance, the Self seems to be finite. When ignorance is eradicated, the Self, which is incapable of multiplication, really shows Itself by Itself, much as the sun does when the clouds pass.
Constant awareness practice cleanses the Self of ignorance and then vanishes – just as the powder of the “kataka-nut” settles after cleansing the murky water.
The universe of attachments, aversions, and so on is like a dream. It seems to be genuine while it lasts but appears unreal when one is awake [i.e., when actual knowledge dawns].
The world seems to be true as long as Brahman, the ultimate Reality, is not seen as the substratum, the source of all this creation. It’s similar to the appearance of silver in mother-of-pearl.
Like bubbles in water, the worlds arise, exist, and disintegrate inside the Supreme Self, who is the material source and support of all things.
Just as the many decorations are all fashioned of the same gold, the manifested universe of things and beings is projected by imagination onto the substratum that is the Eternal all-pervading Reality, whose nature is existence-intelligence.
The all-pervading Void or Emptiness seems to be varied due to its connection with a variety of distinct conditionings [upadhis]. On the annihilation of these restricting adjuncts, space becomes one. Similarly, the ubiquitous Truth seems to be varied due to its connection with the many upadhis but unifies upon their annihilation.
As a result of its connection with various conditionings, concepts such as caste, color, and position are superimposed on the Self in the same way as flavor, color, and position are superimposed on water.
Determined by the individual’s previous deeds and composed of the five components – which have through a process of “fivefold self-division and mutual combination” [pancheekarana] – the gross-body, the medium through which pleasure and pain are experienced, the tent-of-experiences, is created.
The five vital forces [pranas], the ten organs, and the mind and intellect, which were created from the basic pure components prior to their “five-fold division and mutual combination,” constitute the subtle body, the individual’s instruments of experience.
The causal body is incomprehensible and limitless ignorance [avidya]. Recognize without a doubt that the Self is not comprised of these three conditioning bodies.
In identifying with the five-sheaths, the immaculate Self seems to have absorbed their characteristics, as a crystal does when it appears to absorb the color of its surroundings [blue fabric, for example].
Using discriminative self-analysis and logical reasoning, one should disentangle the pure Self inside from the sheaths, just as one would disentangle rice from the husk, bran, and so on that surround it.
Despite its all-pervading nature, the Self does not shine through everything. It is manifested only in the internal organ, the intellect: exactly as a clean mirror’s image is.
It is necessary to realize that the Self is always different from the body, senses, mind, and intellect, which together comprise the causal substance, and is the witness to their activities.
When the clouds in the sky move, the moon seems to be racing. Similar to the non-discriminating individual, the Self seems to be active when viewed via the sense organs’ functioning.
The body, senses, mind, and intellect all function in accordance with the energy of vitality of awareness, just as men labor in accordance with the light of the sun.
Fools, lacking in discernment abilities, superimposed on the Self, the absolute-existence-knowledge, all the various functions of the body and senses, just as they do with the sky’s blue color.
The tremblings of the rivers are erroneously ascribed to the reflected moon dancing on them; similarly, the agency of action, pleasure, and other limits [which really pertain to the intellect] is erroneously interpreted as the Self’s essence.
As long as buddhi or mind works, attachment, desire, pleasure, and suffering are believed to exist. They are not experienced during profound sleep when the mind is no longer present. As a result, they are exclusively associated with the intellect and not with the Self.
Just as the sun’s nature is brightness, water is cold, and fire is hot, the Self’s nature is Eternity, Purity, Reality, awareness, and joy.
Through the indiscriminate mixing of the two – the Self’s existence-knowledge-aspect and the intellect’s thought-waves – the concept of “I know” emerges.
The self never acts, and the mind lacks the ability to perceive “I know” on its own. However, the personality inside us deludes itself into believing that it is the seer and the knower.
Just as someone who views a rope as a snake is overwhelmed by terror, so does someone who views oneself as the ego. Our egocentric personality reclaims its fearlessness when it recognizes that It is not ego but is the Supreme Self.
As light illuminates a jar or a pot, the Self illuminates the intellect and sense organs, among other things. These material things, being lifeless, are incapable of illuminating themselves.
A lit lamp does not need an additional bulb to illuminate its light. Similarly, Self, which is knowledge in and of itself, needs no other information to be known.
The oneness of the individual soul and the Supreme Self, as revealed by the great Mahavakyas, must be realized via a process of negation of conditionings with the aid of the scriptural phrase “It is not this, It is not this.”
The body, and all things experienced through it, up to and including the causal body – ignorance – are as perishable as bubbles. Recognize via discriminating that I am the pure Reality that exists independently of all these.
Because I am not a part of the body, I am immune to changes such as birth, wrinkles, senility, and death. I am unrelated to sense things such as sound and taste since I lack sense organs.
Because I am not a mind, I am devoid of grief, attachment, hatred, and fear, as the ancient book, the Upanishads, commands, “He is without breath and without thought, pure, etc.”
I am without characteristics and deeds; I am eternal, devoid of desire and thinking, devoid of filth, devoid of change, devoid of shape, eternally free, eternally pure.
Like the area I occupy, I include everything both inside and outside. I am changeless and constant in everything that I do; I am pure, unattached, stainless, and unmoving at all times.
I am really that Supreme Reality that is Eternal, pure, and free, One, indivisible, and non-dual, and of the character of changelessness-knowledge-Infinite.
Consistent practice of the idea “I am Reality” eliminates ignorance and the agitation it causes, just as medicine kills illness.
In a secluded location, with the mind devoid of cravings and the senses under control, concentrate with an undivided concentration on the Self that is One without a second.
The enlightened person will intellectually incorporate the whole universe of things into the Self alone and will continuously see the Self as polluted by something as simple as the sky.
He who has realized the Supreme disassociates himself from all things of names and forms. He then lives as a manifestation of Infinite Consciousness and Bliss. He transforms into the Self.
In the Supreme Self, there are no distinctions such as Knower, Knowledge, and Object of Knowledge. Due to Its nature as unending Bliss, It does not permit such differences inside Itself. It alone shines in its own right.
When these two parts of the Self are thoroughly churned together, the fire of knowledge is created, which in its tremendous blaze will consume all the fuel of ignorance in us.
When the light rises, the Lord of the early morning [Aruna] has already plundered the dense darkness. When the correct understanding has already extinguished the darkness in the bosom, the divine awareness of the Self arises.
The Self is a pervasive reality. Nevertheless, it is not realized due to ignorance. Self-realization occurs with the annihilation of ignorance. It’s as though one’s neck is lacking an adornment.
Because of ignorance, reality seems to be an individual ego, just as a post looks to be a ghost. When the true essence of the ego is realized as the Self, the ego-centric individuality is dissolved.
The ignorance included in the concepts “I” and “mine” is eliminated by the knowledge generated by the realization of the actual nature of the Self, just as correct information eliminates incorrect perceptions of directions.
The Yogi who has attained full awareness and enlightenment views the whole world through the lens of his knowledge and considers everything else as his own Self and nothing else.
Nothing exists apart from the Self: the physical world is, in fact, the Self. As pots and jars are unmistakably composed of clay and cannot be described as anything other than clay, the enlightened soul perceives the Self.
A freed being endowed with Self-knowledge relinquishes the characteristics of his previously described equipment [upadhis] and, as a result of his nature of Sat-chit-ananda, he truly becomes Brahman-like [the worm that develops into] a wasp.
Having crossed the ocean of illusion and vanquished the monsters of likes and dislikes, the Yogi who is at peace lives in the splendor of his own realized Self – as an Atmaram.
The Self-abiding realized being, having abandoned all attachments to false outward pleasure and being content with the bliss received from the Self, glows internally like a light enclosed in a jar.
Though he lives inside the conditionings, he, the thoughtful one, is perpetually uninterested with anything or may move about like the wind, completely detached.
When the upadhis are destroyed, the contemplative one is completely absorbed into Reality, the all-pervading Spirit, as water is absorbed into the water, space is absorbed into space, and light is absorbed into the light.
Recognize That to be Reality, the achievement of which leaves no other goal unachieved, the blessing of which leaves no other blessing to seek, and the knowledge of which leaves no other knowledge undiscovered.
Recognize that to be Reality is to perceive that which leaves nothing else to see, to become that which is not born again in this world, and to know that which leaves nothing else to know.
Recognize that Reality is Existence-knowledge-bliss Absolute, that it is non-dual, infinite, eternal, and one, and that it encompasses all four quadrants – above, below, and all in between.
Recognize it to be Reality, which is non-dual, indivisible, One, and joyful, and which is referred to in Vedanta as the unchanging substratum, which is realized after the negation of all physical things.
Deities such as Brahma and others taste just a fraction of the infinite pleasure of Reality and enjoy their portion proportionately.
Reality pervades all things. Because all acts are conceivable as a result of Reality, Reality pervades everything as butter pervades milk.
Recognize that there is a Reality that is neither subtle nor gross; that is neither short nor long; that is neither born nor changes; that is Reality that is devoid of shape, characteristics, color, and name.
That which is lighted by the light of luminous orbs such as the sun and moon, but which is not enlightened by their light, realizes that to be Reality.
Pervading the whole world both externally and internally, the Supreme Reality shines from inside, much like the fire that pervades and illuminates a red hot iron ball.
The reality, the cosmos, is not this. Nothing exists that is not Reality. If anything other than Reality seems to exist, it, like the mirage, is unreal.
Everything that is seen or heard is Reality alone. After acquiring knowledge of Reality, one perceives the world as a non-dual Reality comprised of Existence-knowledge-bliss Absolute.
Though the Self is pure awareness and pervades all space and time, it is seen only by the eye of knowledge; but one whose eyesight is clouded by ignorance does not see It, just as the blind do not see the radiant sun.
The pure jiva, heated by the fire of knowledge ignited by hearing and so on, glows like gold in and of itself.
The Self, the light of knowledge that rises in the sky of the heart, dispels ignorance’s darkness, permeates and supports everything, and shines and causes everything to shine.
He who renounces all activities, who is liberated from all temporal, spatial, and directional constraints, worships his own Self, which is everywhere, which is the destroyer of heat and cold, which is bliss-Eternal and stainless, becomes all-knowing and all-pervading, and thus attains Immortality.