This part contains the most precious teachings of Vivekacūḍāmaṇi.
“Even after you realize the Self, attachment does not leave you that easily. This affliction is known as vāsanā, which means residual impressions in your mind. Vāsanā can be defined as the impression of anything remaining unconsciously in the mind, the present consciousness of past perceptions, knowledge derived from memory, imagination, idea, notion, false notion, etc. The impressions of ‘I am the doer and I am the experiencer’ embed strongly in your mind. Unless you remove these vāsanā-s, your liberation is not guaranteed. These vāsanā-s can be removed only if you stay with the Self within. First understand that the Self alone is the witness to buddhi and its modifications such as mind, etc. Then you should realize that you are that Self. During spiritual realization, you have to detach yourself from everything that is not Brahman (meaning that one should not be attached to the material world). If you want to progress in your spiritual life, there are many things that you have to shed. Important among them are society in which you live, pampering your body, too much of Scriptural studies, following the dictums of śāstra-s, etc. though they are considered as good. This is because, you cannot have any vāsanā-s of the society, śāstra-s and your body. As long these vāsanā-s remain in you, your knowledge about the Self will never be complete and absolute. Saṁsāra is like imprisonment. As long as these three vāsanā-s prevail in you, you will remain bound only. Only if you are able to get rid of these vāsanā-s, you will be able to remain with the Brahman perpetually. Take for example a piece of sandalwood log. If this sandalwood log remains in drainage, it will not give fragrance. If you take this wood, wash it and rub it in a stone, you will realize the pleasant fragrance of sandalwood. Similarly, the Self is ever-fragrant. But its natural fragrance is hidden by the above vāsanā-s. If you remove these vāsanā-s, through knowledge and meditation, you will remain with the Self always. The more and more you look within (at the Self), you get rid of all your attachments towards the material world and vāsanā-s causing these attachments will go away. But you need to practice.
“Next nine verses end with “स्वाध्यासापनयं कुरु svādhyāsāpanayaṁ kuru” (sva adhyāsa apanayaṁ kuru), which means get rid of your superimpositions. A Yogi’s mind is completely dissolved (no-mind stage) when he perpetually remains with the Self within. When the mind is dissolved, there is no question of vāsanā-s. Therefore, get rid of your superimpositions. Tamo guṇa is destroyed by sattva and rajo guṇa-s; rajo guṇa is destroyed by sattva guṇa and finally even that sattva guṇa is destroyed by meditating on pure Brahman. Therefore, get rid of your superimpositions. Your karmic impressions will take care of your physical body. Have firm faith in this and get rid of your superimpositions. Remove all the dualities through meditation. You are not a body and you are Brahman, the eternal one. Have firm faith in this and mediate to remove all the vāsanā-s by getting rid of your superimpositions. Know the Self within, with the help of knowledge, practice and your own experience. Therefore, get rid of your superimpositions caused by vāsanā-s. A jñāni is beyond acceptance and rejection (devoid of dyads), hence he is beyond any actions (not accruing karmas). Therefore meditate deeply and get rid of your superimpositions. Know through mahāvākya-s such as “I am That” and “ahaṁbrahmāsmi”, that your soul is not different Brahman. Strengthen this knowledge by meditating and get rid of your superimpositions. You have to be extremely careful regarding attachment towards your body. There should be no traces of attachment towards the body and you have to keep a constant watch on this and with one-pointed mind, meditate on the Self and get rid of your superimpositions. O! Knowledgeable disciple, understand that body and the universe appear as dreams only and are illusionary in nature. You have to get rid of your superimpositions and realize this Truth.
“Sleep, afflictions of the material world such as sound, sight, etc. are the reasons for forgetting the Self. Do not give credence to these distractions as they hamper your spiritual pursuit. Always meditate on the Self within, without distracting your attention. This body has come from the impurities of our parents and your body too contains these impurities. Thus physical body is untouchable because of the impurities it contains. Hence ignore attachment towards your body and perpetually stay connected with the Self. O! Sage (Guru addresses his disciple as मुने mune, meaning a sage; an ordinary disciple, because of Guru’s teachings became a yogi first and now he has become a sage), the ākāśa in a pot merges with the vast ākāśa (the sky); similarly, you have to merge your individual self with the Supreme Self (we have seen in the previous chapters that there is no difference between the self and the Self). Remain in silence and remain without any actions (causing impressions). Ignore your body and even this universe as mala (dirt, filth, dust, impurity) and remain with self-illuminating Brahman. You become That. Shed that ego which produces “I” and remain only with ever blissful and ever shining Self by ignoring your subtle body (subtle body consists of mind, intellect and ego) and remain as impeccable Self. Brahman is like a mirror and this universe appears as an image in the mirror as a city. Know that you are That reflecting mirror. Once you have reached this stage, you are done with your life. (Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (XV.20), “Sinless Arjuna, I have imparted the most secret knowledge. Knowing this, a man transforms into a sage, with all his duties fully accomplished”. This Brahman is eternal Truth. This is the beginning of everything. This is in the form of knowledge, without form, without actions (only a witness). This Self superimposes false bodies (pañcakośa-s) and performs like an actor (once the character assumed by an actor is not there when the play/movie ends and the actor becomes his original self). Shed this falsified notion and ever remain with the Self. (Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (IV.iv7) says, “When all the desires that dwell in his mind are gone, he becomes immortal and attains Brahman in this very body.”)
Further reading: GURUJI SPEAKS