The disciple asks his doubt to his Guru. “Guruji, I have a doubt. After having understood that the pañcakośa-s are unreal, what is there to see except the void (mahāśūnya, a term used by Buddhists)? What is there to realize as the Self when there exists nothing?”

Guru replies: “Listen! The absence of ego and its modifications is the Self. That by which everything is seen, but which itself is not seen is the Self (example – electricity is subtle and cannot be seen and by which, with the help of lights and lamps, everything is made visible). This Self can be understood with (spiritual) knowledge alone. One becomes a witness for what he sees. When there is nothing to be seen, where is the question of being a witness? The individual soul is a witness to the Supreme Self and know that individual soul and the Self are not different. Both are same. Paramātma and Jīvātama are the same; they are not two different entities. You have to realize the ever shining Self in your buddhi, which is part of your antaḥkaraṇa. How to realize That? Here are my tips for that.

“The Self shines in all three stages of consciousness (active, dream and deep sleep). Existing eternally and all alone, It witnesses all changes happening due to ego, mind and buddhi, by remaining within. That is saccidānanda (existence, consciousness and bliss). Understand this as your Self, within your heart. One can see the sun in water in a pot. The ignorant one thinks that this reflection of the sun is the real sun. Similarly, spiritual ignorant man considers the reflection of the Self in buddhi as the Self. In reality, buddhi is only a superimposition or sheath on the Self. The one with intelligence will able to understand that the pot, water and sun’s reflection in the water are not real and only the sun is real. Similarly, one should understand the ever shining Brahman within as the Self (and should not mistake buddhi, etc. which shine due to the shine of the Brahman within. If we keep a paper before a candle light, flame of the candle is hidden by the paper; Self is the candle flame and the sheet is buddhi, etc. Intelligent man removes the sheet and looks at the flame of the candle and ignorant man thinks that the reflection of light in the paper is the real light). Identifying ourselves as Brahman is Liberation, which gives relief from saṁsāra. This Brahman is one without a second (there is nothing called Brahman, Self, self, Soul, soul, etc.) and It is always in the state of Bliss (perpetual happiness is because of lack of desires and attachments; no-needs-at-all situation). If one realizes the Brahman within, he is freed from transmigration. Brahman cannot be divided; It is beyond dualities; It has no interior or exterior. It is extremely subtle. It alone exists (omnipresence) and witnesses everything else.

“The one who realized the Self remains in the state of bliss, omniscience. He will never be afraid of anything or anyone else. The only way to attain liberation is to realize the Brahman; there are no other ways. The one who has realized the Self, will not enter into material world again. It is important to know that the individual soul is nothing but Brahman or the Self. Brahman is always triumphant. It is omnipresent, omniscient and eternal. It is purest of all and is beyond everything else. Satyaṁ-jñānaṁ-anantaṁ is Brahman. Multiplicity of the universe is due ignorance and in reality everything is Brahman. It is absolutely free from all types of bondages and limitations. It is beyond mundane human thought. Take the case of clay jar. Jar is nothing but the modification of clay, but we call the jar as jar only and not as clay. How can you show the pot without clay? Without clay, the pot would not have existed. Similarly without Brahman, nothing exists, as everything originates from Him (and dissolve unto Him). The one who identifies the universe as a separate one from the Brahman is full of ignorance and he undergoes repeated transmigration. Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad (II.ii.11) says, “Blissful Brahman is in front of you, behind you, to your right, to your left, above you and below you.” Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad Gītā (IX. 4 & 5), “The whole universe is pervaded by Me in My unmanifest aspect.  All beings abide in Me, but I am not present in them. No! All these beings do not abide in Me.  They behold My divine power of yoga.  Though I am the Creator and the Sustainer of these beings, My Ātma do not dwell in them.  Just as the wind moves everywhere in ether (ākāś) still remains in ether, all the beings originated from Me and abide in Me.”  If Brahman and universe are considered as different, then the saying of these Scriptures will go wrong. {There is an apparent contradiction in what He says, possibly indicating the secrecy. On the face of these statements, one may notice the contradictory nature, but in reality this contradiction is harmonized.  The Brahman is the creator, the sustainer and the dissolver.  He does not perform these acts on His own.  All these acts are done by His power of yoga.  For example, clouds depend upon the sky for their existence, but clouds are not always present in the sky.  In the same way, beings depend upon Him for their existence but He is not present in them.  Sky is not in the clouds, but without the sky clouds cannot exist. Like sky giving support to the clouds, Brahman extends support to the universe.  The whole universe was created out of His yogic power and the Lord merely acts as the supporting power.  Though, the entire creation is within Him, yet, He is far beyond them. Still the entire creation does not have any other support other than Him. Therefore, it is logical to say that the entire creation abide in Him.  Whatever is visible is nothing but the Lord Himself, as without Him, objects cannot be seen.  Objects are nothing but His own reflection, but they are not the Lord. That is why Kṛṣṇa says that all beings originate from Him as He alone supports them, yet He is not in them as they are only His reflections.  Now it can be understood that there is no contradiction in what the Lord says. All the beings abide in His yogic power, His kinetic force.  He remains all alone, invisible to anyone, yet casting His power on everyone, eternally remaining without a form.}

“Suppose if the universe is true, it has to exist in deep sleep state also. But it is not visible during deep sleep. Hence universe is not real, just like dreams, which are not real. Though the universe appears as different from Brahman, in reality, they are one. Sky appears blue, but this does not mean that sky is blue in colour. The difference is due to illusion (like snake and the rope). How can an imagined thing have reality? Illusion is due to modifications of the mind (in understanding the unreal as real). If you do not have steady mind (faith), everything will appear as different. But in reality everything is Brahman. So, first have faith and realize that Brahman is all pervasive.”

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