Self-Experience

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When this assemblage of body, senses, etc acts of its own accord, there arises an idea ‘I am this'. This is the Jiva stained by the dirt of ignorance.

From the vibration in the Infinite Consciousness, the Jiva becomes manifest. The mind becomes manifest from the Jiva as the Jiva thinks. The mind itself entertains the notions of the five elements and it transforms itself into those elements. Whatever the mind thinks of, it sees. Thereafter, the Jiva acquires the sense organs one after the other. In this there is no causal connection between the mind and the senses, but there is the coincidence of the thought and of the manifestation of the sense organs. This is how the cosmic Jiva comes into being. The intelligence that identifies itself with certain movements of life force in the Self is thus known as the Jiva or the living soul.
Consciousness, which is surrounded by all these, is thus the Jiva.

When the conviction that everything is the all-pervasive Consciousness becomes firm, the Jiva comes to an end like a lamp without oil.

The Jiva is only a name. There is neither one nor many, nor a conglomerate of Jiva. What exists is only the Brahman. Because the Brahman is omnipotent, Its thought-forms materialize and appear as many. The Brahman alone is the cosmic soul - Mahajiva and the trillions of Jiva.
Like a misguided Brahmin who abandons his own nobility and adopts the life of a sudra, the Lord assumes the role of the Jiva.

The Jiva is an extremely subtle body of Pure Consciousness. When it identifies itself with grossness, it becomes gross. The Jiva reflects the external objects and activities and begins to think that they are all within it and that it is the doer of the actions and the experiencer of the experiences. It is like a mountain reflected in a mirror and is seen as if it were in the mirror.

Just as a child sees an apparition created by its own fancy, so also the stupid Jiva creates, on account of delusion, this unreal body and sees it as separate from it.
How does the Jiva perceive the objects outside? On account of the notion of ‘I am,' consciousness abides as Jiva in the body. When its senses descend upon similar bodies outside itself, there is contact between the two and there is a desire to know and to become one with them. When there is this contact, the object is reflected within itself and the Jiva perceives this reflection, though it believes that the reflection is outside. The Jiva knows only this reflection, which means it knows itself. This contact is the cause of the perception of the external objects.

When the Jiva wishes to see, eyes are formed in the gross body. Similarly, the skin (tactile sense), ears, tongue, nose and the organs of action are formed resulting from the desires arising in the Jiva. Thus in the body abides the Jiva, imagining various external physical experiences and internal psychological experiences. The Jiva imagines itself to be this or that finite being and so binds itself to the world-appearance, which is an optical illusion like the blueness of the sky. Thus, the Brahman - the Pure Consciousness appears to be the Jiva.

A child super-imposes an elephant on a clay elephant and plays with it; even so, an ignorant man super-imposes the body, etc on the Self and carries on his activities.
The Jiva experiences its own wishes. It fancies that it experiences what it had experienced before. Some experiences are considered new. All these experiences, though essentially unreal, appear to be real. All this activity is the product of the reflection in Consciousness.
The picture of a snake does not cause fear of a snake when it is realized to be only a picture. Similarly, when the Jiva-snake is clearly understood, there is neither misery nor the cause of misery.

Every Jiva turns its own state by its own deeds. Whatever form the energy of the living being takes within itself, that alone comes to fruition in course of time. The consciousness that dwells in the understanding of every person bestows upon that person that which he seeks. Whatever it be that a person seeks of the Infinite Consciousness is bestowed on him. Each individual Jiva is the individualized cosmic consciousness, part of the Infinite Consciousness.

The snake super-imposed on a garland merges in it; so also the sense of separateness rising from the Self merges in the Self.

The Self is empty like space; but IT is not nothingness, since IT is consciousness. IT is; yet IT is not as IT cannot be experienced by the mind and the senses. IT being the Self of all, IT is not experienced by anyone as an object. Though one, IT is reflected in the infinite atoms of existence and hence appears to be many. This appearance is unreal even as a bracelet is an appearance of gold, which alone is real. Self-knowledge merges the sense of separateness rising from the Self, into the Self.
Although bracelets appear to be many, as gold they are one. Similarly, although the adjuncts are many, the Self is truly One.

As long as one sees the bracelet as a bracelet, it is not seen as gold. When it is seen that ‘bracelet' is just a word and not the reality, then gold is seen. Similarly, when the world is assumed to be real, the Self is not seen. When this assumption is discarded, Consciousness is realized. The Self is experienced in the atman (soul). IT is the All and One.

Like the organs of the body and modifications (vessels) of clay, non-duality appears as duality and multiplicity in the form of the moving and unmoving objects.
The Creator is the Intelligence (Consciousness) that supports the entire universe. Every thought that arises in that Intelligence gives rise to a form. Though all these forms are of the nature of pure Intelligence, on account of self-forgetfulness of this nature and of the thought of physical forms, they freeze into physical forms. This is similar to ghosts, though formless, seen to have forms on account of the perceiver's delusion.

The materiality of the creation is like the castle in the air, an illusory projection of one's mind - imaginary.
Cosmic Consciousness alone exists ever. That Consciousness reflected in Itself appears to be creation. Even as the unreal nightmare produces real results, this world-creation seems to give rise to a sense of reality in a state of ignorance.

Just as a single face is reflected as many in a crystal, in water, in ghee or in a mirror, so also the Self is reflected in many intellects (minds).
The Self, though only One, is reflected in the infinite atoms of existence and hence appears to be many. This appearance is neither real nor unreal.

Just as the sky appears to be stained by dust, smoke and clouds, so also the pure Self, in contact with Maya, appears to be soiled.

As long as one sees dust, smoke and clouds in the sky, one does not see the non-relation of the sky to the objects floating in perception. When one sees the finitude of the perceived objects and the infinitude of space, one sees the distinction between the objects and the sky. So is it with the Self. As long as one sees the infinitude of the true Self, does one not take cognizance of the adjuncts of Maya.
Just as metal in contact with fire acquires the quality of fire, namely heat, so also the senses, etc in contact with the Self acquire the quality of the Self.

The only way to cross the formidable ocean of world-appearance is the successful mastery of the senses. When one is equipped with the wisdom gained by the study of the scriptures and the company of the sages and has his senses under control, one realizes the utter non-existence of all objects of perception. In the state of liberation, the senses dissolve into the Self.

Just as the invisible Rahu becomes visible when it is seized by the moon, even so the Self is known by experiencing the objects of perception.
The objects of perception bring into focus the illusory nature of their existence, and the true nature of the Self being infinite and all-pervasive.

When water and fire come together, they acquire the qualities of each other. Similarly, when the Self and the inert body come together, the Self looks like the non-self.
The Self and the body of an individual are ever different. The mud never spoils a coin of gold fallen into it. Similarly, the Self is untainted by the body. Even as the sky is not affected by the dust particles floating in it, the Self is unaffected by the body. The Self is one thing and the body is another, even as the water and the lotus. But in ignorance, one is liable to equate the Self with the body.

Just as fire thrown into a large sheet of water loses its quality, so also Consciousness in contact with the unreal and the inert seems to lose its real nature and becomes inert.

The Infinite Consciousness being omnipotent, Its infinite potencies appear as this visible universe. All the diverse categories such as reality, unreality, unity, diversity, beginning, end, perceived objects, etc exist in the Infinite Consciousness. The ocean is tranquil in some places and agitated in other places though it is one. Similarly, the Infinite Consciousness seems to embrace diversity in some places though IT is Itself non-dual. It is natural for the omnipotent Infinite Consciousness to manifest in all Its infinite glory. Its manifestation enters into an alliance with time, space and causation, which are indispensable to such manifestation. As a result arise infinite names and forms but all these apparent manifestations are in reality not different from the Infinite Consciousness.

The Self is realized in the body only with effort like sugar from sugarcane, oil from sesame seeds, fire from wood, butter from a cow, and iron from ore.
One should never yield to laziness, but strive to attain liberation, realizing that life is ebbing away every moment. One should not revel in the filth known as sense-pleasure, as a worm revels in pus. One is to acquire wisdom by self-effort and then realize that the end of self-effort is the direct realization of Truth. There is no power greater than right action in the present. As is the effort, so is the fruit.

Like the sky seen in an unbroken crystal, the Supreme Lord - Supreme Consciousness exists in all objects.
The Infinite Consciousness is one, omnipresent, pure, tranquil and omnipotent. Though one, IT is reflected in the infinite atoms of existence and hence appears to be many. IT is all-pervasive as IT is omnipresent. IT is like the sky reflecting in all directions in an unbroken crystal.
Just as a big lamp kept inside a vessel made of precious stones illumines by its light both outside and inside, so also the one Self illumines everything.

The Self is the reality in all, and infinite. The reality in fire is the Self or Consciousness. IT is the eternal light that shines in the sun, the moon and the fire, but independent of them all. IT illumines all from within. IT is self-luminous like the sun, but without its activity. IT is like the ocean, but without its movement.

The Self, which is Pure Consciousness, exists as the supreme self of all, everywhere, in all bodies at all times.

Just as the sun's reflection in a mirror illumines other things, so also the reflection of the Self in pure intellects illumines.

The Infinite, which is without beginning and end, exists as pure experiencing Consciousness. That alone is this expanded universe, which is its body, as it were. There is no other substance known as the intellect, nor is there an outside or void. The essence of existence is pure experiencing, which is, therefore, the essence of Consciousness. Just as liquidity exists inseparable from water or any other liquid, Consciousness and unconsciousness exist together. Since there is neither a contradiction nor a division in Consciousness, it is self-evident. It is, therefore, inappropriate to associate the created universe with the Brahman, and to associate the inert with the Infinite Consciousness. The creation, which is of infinite form, is the self-reflection of the Brahman - the Self. It is the Brahman, which knows Itself as the universe and appears to be such.

That in which this wonderful universe appears like a snake in a rope is the eternal luminous Self.
The universe exists in the luminous Self as the sprout exists in the seed, liquidity in water, sweetness in sugar, etc. But in ignorance, it appears to be different from and independent of the Self, as a snake in a rope. There is no cause for the world's existence. When there is a notion of creation, the creation seems to be. When, through self-effort, there is an understanding of non-creation, there is no world.

The Self is without beginning or end. IT is immutable Existence and Consciousness. IT manifests space; IT is the source of the Jiva and higher than the highest.
The Self is subtler even than space. Neither the mind nor the senses can comprehend IT. IT is Pure Consciousness. The entire universe exists in the Consciousness that is omnipresent and eternal. That the Consciousness exists is the experience of all, and IT alone is the Self of all. Since IT is, all else is.

In a golden bracelet there are gold and bracelet, the gold being the reality and the bracelet being the appearance. Similarly, in the Self there are both Consciousness and the notion of material (inert) substantiality such as the Jiva. Since Consciousness is omnipresent, it is ever present in the mind in which the notion of substantiality in the nature of universe arises.

The Self is Pure Consciousness, eternal, omnipresent, immutable and self-effulgent like the light of the sun.
In the Infinite Self, there is no creator, no creation, no worlds, no heaven, no humans, no demons, no bodies, no elements, no time, no existence, no destruction, no falsehood, no truth, no ‘you', no ‘I', no notion of diversity, no contemplation and no enjoyment. Whatever is is that supreme peace. There is no beginning, no middle and no end. All is all at all times, beyond the comprehension of thought and word. The Infinite is ever infinite. IT is like the ocean, but without its movement. IT is self-luminous like the sun, but without its activity. In ignorance, the Infinite Self is viewed as the universe. But in truth, the universe is the Brahman existing in the Brahman as the Brahman, as the space exists in space and is one with the space.

The omnipresent Self, the substratum of all, is non-different from the effulgent Consciousness like heat from fire. IT can only be experienced.
To an ignorant person who is confirmed in his conviction that this world is real, it continues to be real. He who sees the objective world does not see the Infinite Consciousness, which alone is true. The ego-sense and the fancy of the objects of the world are as real as the dream objects. The sole reality is the Infinite Consciousness, which is omnipresent, pure, tranquil and omnipotent whose being is the Absolute Consciousness, which is not an object and, therefore, not knowable. IT can only be experienced. Wherever this Consciousness manifests in whatever manner IT chooses, IT is ‘That‘. The Infinite Consciousness is the substratum that is real; all that is based on IT acquires reality, though the reality is of the substratum alone. As for the perceived objects, the reality is relative. This relative reality is like the reality of the dream objects.
Pure Consciousness without intellect, the Supreme Self, the illuminator of all, the indivisible, the all pervading within and without is the firm support of All That Exists.
The Infinite, which is without beginning and end, exists as pure experiencing Consciousness. That alone is this expanded universe, which is its body, as it were. There is no other substance known as the intellect, nor is there an outside or void. The essence of existence is pure experiencing, which is, therefore, the essence of Consciousness. As there is neither a contradiction nor division in Consciousness, IT is self-evident. As IT is all-pervasive, IT is self-luminous. The universe which is of infinite form is the self-reflection of the Infinite Consciousness.

The Self is Absolute Consciousness. IT is pure awareness, undecaying, free from all ideas of acceptance or rejection and not limited by space, time or genus.
The Absolute Consciousness is not an object and, therefore, not knowable. IT is pure awareness and can only be experienced in the fourth (turiya) state of consciousness, the state that has transcended the ideas of acceptance or rejection, and time, space or genus.
Just as air (gaseous form) in the universe pervades everything, so also the Self, the Lord, abides in spirit (bodiless) in everything.

The Infinite Consciousness - the Self alone is the reality, ever awake and enlightened. That Infinite Consciousness alone is the unenlightened appearance of this universe. Even after creation of the universe, IT is the same as ever. When one realizes in the self by the self that the Infinite Consciousness is the Absolute Brahman - the Self, then one experiences IT as ALL, as the one energy - Spirit dwelling in all his limbs and all over the cosmos.
The Consciousness which exists in the expanse of the earth, in the ornaments, in the sky and in the sun exists also inside the worms lying in their shells under the earth.
The Self, being the self of all, is not experienced by anyone as an object. Though one, IT is reflected in the infinite atoms of existence and hence appears to be diverse. As IT is all-pervasive, IT exists everywhere in the physical materiality, may be the ornaments, the sky, the sun, the plants, the worms, etc.

There is neither bondage nor liberation, neither duality nor non-duality. There is only the Brahman always shining as Consciousness.
The homogenous mass of Cosmic Consciousness does not give rise to anything other than what it is its essence. Consciousness never becomes unconsciousness. Even if there is modification, that, too, is Consciousness. Hence, whatever there may be, wherever and in whatever form - all is the Brahman shining as Consciousness. Everything exists forever in the potential state in the mass of homogenous Consciousness.

Awareness is the Brahman; the world is the Brahman; the various elements are the Brahman; I am the Brahman; my enemy is the Brahman; and my friends and relatives are the Brahman.
The Brahman or the Self alone is the reality in all beings as clay is the real substance in thousands of pots. As wind and its movement are not different, Consciousness and its internal movement (energy) that causes all these manifestations are not different.

The ideas of ‘Consciousness' and an ‘object of consciousness' are bondage; freedom from such ideas is liberation. Consciousness, the object of consciousness and everything else is the Self; this is the sum and substance of all systems of philosophy.

The entire universe is forever the same as the Consciousness that dwells in every atom, as an ornament of gold is no different from gold. It is the mind that brings the material or physical body into existence. Experience alone is the mind. It is none other than the perceived. The perception of objectivity is what causes bondage. But as an ornament potentially exists in gold, the object exists in the subject. When the notion of the object is firmly rejected and removed from the subject, then Consciousness alone exists without even an apparent or potential objectivity. Even the tendency to objectify ceases. When this is realized, poles of opposites such as attraction and repulsion, love and hate, etc cease in one's heart, as do false notions of the world. This is true freedom or liberation. This is the sum and substance of all the Vedanta philosophies.

There is only Consciousness here. This universe is nothing but Consciousness; you are Consciousness; I am Consciousness; the worlds are Consciousness. This is the conclusion.
The power or energy of the Infinite Consciousness, ever in motion, is the reality of all creation related to space and time. That power is also known as Mahasatta - the great existence, Mahaciti - the great intelligence, Mahasakti - the great power, Mahadrsti - the great vision, Mahakriya - the great doer or doing, Mahabhava - the great becoming and Mahaspanda - the great vibration. It is this power that endows everything with its characteristic quality. The Infinite Consciousness alone appears as one thing in one place and another in another place. There is no division between that Consciousness and Its power, as there is no division between the water and the waves, and the body and the limbs. That power or energy is not different from or independent of the Brahman.

That which exists and which shines is the Self; anything else which seems to shine does not really exist. Consciousness alone shines by itself. Ideas of knower and known are idle postulates.

Infinite Consciousness is unmanifest, though omnipresent, even as space, though existing everywhere, is manifest. Just as the reflection of an object in crystal can be said to be neither real nor entirely unreal, one cannot say that the universe, which is reflected in the Infinite Consciousness, is real or unreal. Just as space is unaffected by the clouds that float in it, the Infinite Consciousness is unaffected and untouched by the universe that appears in IT. Just as light is seen through the refracting agent, the Infinite Consciousness is revealed only through the universe. IT is essentially without name and form but Its reflections are only known through names and forms. Consciousness reflecting in Consciousness shines as Consciousness and exists as Consciousness. Ideas of knower and known are idle postulates.

 

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