I bow down to the lotus feet of my teacher Shankarananda, whose only function is to consume the mighty shark of delusion

and its retinue.

This book „Self knowledge‟ is presented to those who have become pure through austerities, peaceful by disposition, free from cravings, and desirous of liberation.

Without Knowledge there is no liberation. Compared to all other practices, Knowledge of the Self alone is the one direct means for liberation, just as fire is the direct cause for cooking.

Action cannot destroy ignorance, for it is not opposed to ignorance. Knowledge (on the other hand) verily destroys ignorance, like light destroys deep darkness.

The Self appears to be finite because of ignorance. When ignorance is destroyed, the one Self truly shines by itself, like the sun when the clouds have gone.

Constant practice of knowledge purifies the individual sullied by ignorance. Knowledge then relegates itself like the Kataka-nut powder (that removes itself) after cleansing muddy water.

The world, filled with likes and dislikes, is like a dream. It appears to be real within its own realm, but is falsified when one awakens to reality.

The universe appears to be real as long as Brahman, substratum of all creation, is not known. This appearance is similar to silver appearing on the shell.

Like bubbles in the water, the worlds rise, exist and dissolve in the Supreme Self, which is the material cause and the support of everything.

All differing entities are projected on the substratum, just as different ornaments appearing on gold. The eternal and allpervading substratum is existent and conscious by nature.

Like space, the all pervading Lord associates with various conditions (Upadhis). Their differening conditions appears as if belonging to the Self, but when they disappear it is just one.

By Its association with different conditions (Upadhis) attributes such as status and stages in life are super-imposed on the Self in the same way as water becomes flavoured, or.coloured, by things added to it.

The physical body, made up of the (five) compounded elements, is born through actions (of one‟s previous lifetimes). It is a physical medium for (experiencing) feelings like pleasure and pain.

The five vital breaths, ten organs mind and agency - all these originate from the (five) primal elements. Together they

constitute the subtle body and are instrumental in gathering (different kinds of) experiences.

Ignorance has no beginning, defies categorization, and is spoken of as the causal body. Know for certain, that the Self is different from these three conditions (physical, subtle, and casual bodies).

A colourless crystal acquires a bluish tinge in association with objects like blue cloth. In the same way, the pure Self, Identified with the five coverings, appears as non different from them.

Just as one threshes grain to separate the husk and bran from rice, one should one should sort out the pure Self from its (apparent) coverings through reason and discriminative enquiry.

Although all-pervading, the (conscious) Self does not shine uniformly everywhere. It manifests only in the (presence of) mind, like a reflection manifests in a polished surface.

Know the Self as distinct from association with matter – i.e. body, senses, mind and agency. It is the eternal witness of their activities, like a king (who witnesses all activity in the kingdom).

The moon appears as if moving when clouds float around in the sky. Likewise, ignorant people associate activity of the sense organs with the (changeless) Self.

The body, senses, mind, and agency, depend on the conscious Self for carrying on their individual activities, just like people (engaging in activity) who depend on sunlight.

Just as the ignorant ones attribute blue colour to the sky, people superimpose physical and sensory activities/qualities on the pure, existent, and conscious Self.

The moon reflected in water appears to move when the water is disturbed. Likewise agency and other mental attributes are mistakenly superimposed the Self.

Attachment, desire, pleasure, pain, etc., are perceived to exist only when the mind is active. They are not perceived in deep sleep when the mind ceases. Therefore all these attributes belong to the mind alone and not to the Atman.

The sun is by nature bright, water is cool, and fire is hot. Similarly the ever pure Self is by nature existent, conscious and full.

When the Self‟s existent and conscious nature is identified indiscriminately with the mind‟s nature of thinking, there arises the notion - “I know”.

The Self has no modification, and the mind is not independently conscious. But the individual, with limited understanding , (mixes up Self and mind, and) mistakes himself as knower, seer, etc..

Just like a person mistaking a rope for a snake, one mistakes oneself for an individual and is filled with fear. On recognizing “I am the Absolute Self and not the individual self”, one attains freedom from fear.

Just as a lamp illuminates objects like pots, so too the Self illumines mind, sense organs, etc. The Self is never lighted up by those objects as they are inert (and incapable of knowing)

A lighted-lamp does not need another lamp to illumine itself. Similarly, the Self, which is the nature of consciousness, needs nothing other (than itself) to cognize itself.

Negating all the (apparently limiting) conditions with the help of the statement like „It is not this, It is not this‟, may one recognize the oneness of the Self – both individual and Absolute, as revealed by (Vedanta) statements.

All perceptible entities from body upto ignorance are perishable like bubbles. May one recognize that - “I am the Absolute Self, distinct from them (by nature).”

Being distinct from mind, I am free from birth, old age, weakness and death. Being distinct from the senses, I am unassociated with objects like sounds, (sights,) etc.

Being distinct from mind, I am free from sorrow, attachment, hate, and fear. According to the scriptural declaration, the Self is “pure, distinct from breath, mind, etc.”

I am eternal, free from attributes, actions, thoughts, and blemish. I am ever liberated, free from changes, forms, and impurities.

Like space, I am present on the inside and outside of all things. I am immutable, eternal, uniform, (ever) attained, unconnected, pure and immovable.

I am verily that Supreme Brahman alone - eternal, pure, free, one, partless,full, and non-dual, – limitless, existent and conscious by nature..

Constantly repeated thus, the knowledge „I am indeed Brahman‟ becomes deeply ingrained, and removes ignorance and error in the same way as medicine eliminates disease.

Seated in an isolated place, free of desires, possessing controlled senses and focused mind, one should contemplate on the one infinite Self.

Through knowledge, the wise one should merge the entire worldof-objects in the self alone and constantly contemplate on the Self that is pure like space.

The knower of the Absolute discards all names and forms and remains as (the Self - ) limitless, existent and conscious by nature.

There are no distinctions such knower, knowing, or known, in the supreme Self, for it is purely conscious and full by nature. It is illumined solely by itself.

When the Self is deeply contemplated upon, (clarity of) knowledge results, burning down the fuel of ignorance, in the same way as wooden pieces (rubbed against one another creates fire that consumes the wood).

When the dawn of knowledge removes the darkness of ignorance, the self reveals itself in the same way as the sun (lights up itself).

Even though the Self is ever available (right here and now), it is missed, as it were, due to ignorance. When ignorance disappears, the self is as though found, just like an ornament on one‟s neck (that seems lost and then found).

The universal Self appears to be an individual through ignorance, in the same way that a lamp post appears to be a ghost. Agency disapears when one‟s real nature is realised to be the universal Self.

The ignorance represented by „I‟ and „My‟ notions is destroyed by the knowledge born of Self realization, just as providing right information dispels confusion (in the wayfarer) about directions.

The knower who is an adept, sees the entire universe as located in the Self, and sees one Self as all, through the eye of knowledge.

The entire universe is indeed the Self. Nothing other than the Self exists (in reality). Clay pots and jars are nothing but clay, so too the knower sees everything as one‟s own Self.

The liberated one, endowed with self knowledge, rejects the condition attributes previously superimposed on Self.. Being existent Conscious, and full by nature, he becomes Brahman like the larva of a bee (that transforms into a bee.)

After crossing the ocean of delusion and killing the monsters of likes and dislikes, (like Lord Ram who killed the Asuras) the spiritual adept is united with peace and shines, revelling in his own (true) self.

Free from dependence on external short lived pleasures, and established in the joy of Self, the knower shines from within like a lamp placed within a jar.

Even though the contemplative sage appears limited by conditions, he remains untainted like space (within a pot). The All knowing one appears like an (indifferent) fool ,and wanders around like the wind.

When the (apparent) conditions are resolved, the contemplative sage is totally absorbed in the all-pervading self, just like water merging with water, space with space, or light with light.

Realise Brahman to be the (ultimate) attainment beyond which there is no further attainment; fullness beyond which there is no higher fulfillment; and knowledge beyond which there is no better knowledge.

Realise that to be Brahman, the (ultimate) seeing beyond which there is nothing to be seen; attaining which one has no further birth; and knowing which there is nothing more to be known.

Realize that to be Brahman which is non-dual existent, conscious and fulln by nature; infinite, eternal, one; and limitless from in every direction – around, above, below.

Realize Brahman to be that which is non-dual, indivisible, full, one; as revealed through the Upanishads by implication by negating every thing else (other than oneself).

Entities, from Brahma onwards, depend on a mere fragment of the fullness of Brahman, enjoying it in different proportions according to their status (relative to each other).

Every object is invariably associated with Brahman. All actions are infused by Brahman; therefore Brahman is all pervading, as butter permeates all of milk.

Realise Brahman to be that which is neither subtle nor gross; neither short nor long; free from birth, change; forms, qualities, colour and name.

Realise Brahman to be that through whose light are illuminated entities like the Sun and the Moon, but which is never illuminated by them.

Pervading and illumining the whole universe from within and without, the universal Self shines by itself like (the fire in) a redhot iron-ball.

Brahman is different (in nature) from the universe. (But) there exists nothing that is separate from Brahman. Objects other than Brahman are mere appearances like a mirage in the desert.

Objects, perceived or heard, have no existence apart from Brahman. Attaining the knowledge of essential reality, one sees these as nothing but universal self - non-dual existent,.conscious and full by nature.

Just as the blind are unable to see the resplendent sun, the all pervading self - existent and conscious by nature, is unseen through ignorant eyes. It is (only) perceived through the eyes of knowledge.

Heated by the fire of knowledge, and kindled by study of scriptures, enquiry and contemplation, the individual becomes free of all impurities, and shines independently like gold.

The self is the sun of knowledge that rises in the space of the heart and destroys the darkness of the ignorance. It is omnipresent, supports all, shines (independently, and) lights up everything else.

Unconcerned about directions, space, and time etc., one makes a pilgrimage to his own self – is omnipresent, free from (opposites like heat and) cold etc., ever full, and unblemished. (Knowing thus,) one becomes all knowing, omnipresent, actionless and immortal.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful