This universe, though an object of our daily experience and serving all practical purposes, is, like the dream world, of the nature of non-existence, inasmuch as it is contradicted the next moment.
The dream (experience) is unreal in waking, whereas the waking (experience) is absent in dream. Both, however, are non-existent in deep sleep which, again, is not experienced in either.
Thus all the three states are unreal inasmuch as they are mere mirage; but their witness (the reality behind them) is, eternal, one, and is Consciousness itself.
When the nondual wisdom dawns one is no more deluded to see a jar in earth or silver in the nacre, so does one no more see duality in Consciousness when the latter is realized (as one’s own self).
Just as mud is described as a jar, gold as an ornament, and water as ice, so is Consciousness described as ego. Just as blueness in the sky, water in the mirage are but illusory, so is the universe in Consciousness.
Just as it is copper that appears under the name of a vessel, or it is threads that appear under the name of a cloth, so it is Consciousness that appears under the name of the universe. This Consciousness is to be known by negating the forms and names.
People perform all their actions in and through Consciousness, but on account of ignorance they are not aware of that, just as through ignorance persons do not know that, their body with the name and their experience of the universe are nothing but consciousness.
Just as there ever exist the relation of cause and effect between water and ice , so does the same relation exist between Consciousness and the phenomenal universe; this has been established here on the strength of deeper reasoning.
Just as a jar is all earth, so also the three states are all consciousness. The division, therefore, into the Self and non-Self is made by the ignorant to no purpose.