Monday, April 18, 2011

Adyatmic Discussions-2

Direct realization of the ultimate truth is possible without

By : Santthoshkumaar Kumaar on Feb 10, 2011 | Views (120) | Responses (7)

Uttara mImamsa, also called Vedanta, does not consider the Upanishads and brahmanas as arthavada subservient to vidhis. Instead, they are seen to be sources of Brahman knowledge, addressed solely to those who seek moksha or freedom. The rituals enjoined in the Vedas are applicable to the realm of dharma, but the one who seeks liberation does not merely desire a place in heaven; he is in search of ultimate Reality itself. The Upanishads are viewed as those portions of the Sruti that address philosophical questions about Reality, here called Brahman. This tradition of exegesis follows the brahma sutras of badarayana. Within Vedanta, there is considerable difference of opinion on whether the Upanishads enjoin anything at all.

According to Advaita Vedanta, the Veda addresses itself to two kinds of audiences - the ordinary ones who desire the transitory heaven and other pleasures obtained as a result of ritual sacrifices, and the more advanced seeker who seeks to know Brahman. Thus, the purva, with its emphasis on the karma kanda of the Vedas, is meant for the first audience, to help lead its followers along the way. However, the Vedanta, with its emphasis on the jnana kanda, is meant for those who wish to go beyond such transient pleasures.

An essential identity between Atman and Brahman is upheld in Advaita Vedanta. The personality of  Sage Sri, Sankara and the force of Advaita teaching is so strong that most post-Sankaran schools of Vedanta consciously define their doctrines against Advaita thought.

When Advaita declares:- Atman is Brahman then direct realization of the ultimate truth is possible without the scriptures. Know the soul to be the true self. And true self is in the form of consciousness and realize consciousness as ultimate truth or Brahman.
Self-Knowledge is the aim of every human being, because everyone thinks the physical body is the self, their aim is misdirected and they focus their attention on materiality, which makes them feel the duality [waking] as reality.
Nisagadutta said: Millions are in search of the ultimate truth, and only one in million will be able to grasp and realize it. By focusing more attention on Atman by talking, reading , writing, reflecting discussing only of Atman, the conviction grows and becomes firmer and the duality will fade away as reality. Atman or consciousness which is one’s true identity will prevail as birth-less and deathless, eternal substance and witness of the mirage called duality.
Therefore, there is no need to study scriptures, or indulge in god and guru glorification or performing religious rituals. Since, they are not the means to acquire non-dual wisdom. It is only waste of time and effort to indulge in those things.

The individual self is not real, is not accepted by many. The non-dual wisdom is based not on the individual self (ego). Until people hold the ego or waking entity as witness, they will not reach the ultimate understanding.

When Upanishad itself declares:- sarvam khalvidam brahma - all this (universe) is verily Brahman. By following back all of the relative appearances in the world, we eventually return to that from which it is all manifest – the non-dual reality [ Chandogya Upanishad].

Then it is no use going roundabout way. One has to trace the consciousness or
Brahman which is the formless substance and witness of the universe, which is in the form of mind. By tracing the source of the mind or universe one will be able to realize the Brahman.

The true Self is not perceptible to the senses. It is perceived by Reason. It is not perceptible as a thing with form and attributes. To those whose attention is fixed on the body and the world, it is very difficult to attain Self-knowledge. It is also very difficult for them to see the consciousness as self. The attention towards the universe [mind] should be lessened by realizing the self is not the body. The attention has to be focused on the formless substance and witness of the universe [mind] should be increased. So long as the attention is directed towards the universe, the experience of birth, life and death will prevail as reality. But when the attention is directed towards the formless witness, the ignorance vanishes and sense of duality will disappear. Then there is unity in diversity.

What is the state of the ego or physical self when it has realized that the self is not the body? Such souls have attained their pristine condition. “Self” is not visible to the physical eyes. “Self” is not to be found in the world as a thing, entity or an object. Self is above these, has neither beginning nor ending.

A visible object has a beginning and an ending. Since Atman, which is in the form of consciousness is invisible to the physical eye; Atman or consciousness is without beginning and ending. Atman is always constant. Just as space is homogeneous everywhere, so is the Atman the same everywhere.

But he who is truly wise Always sees the absolute Self. Celebrated, he is not delighted. Spurned, he is not angry. Pure of heart, He watches his own actions As if they were another's. How can praise or blame disturb him?
- Ashtavakra Gita 3:9-10

They live in freedom who have gone beyond the dualities of life. Competing with no one, they are alike in success and failure and content with whatever comes to them. They are free, without selfish attachments; their minds are fixed in knowledge. They perform all work in the spirit of service, and their karma is dissolved.
- Bhagavad Gita 4:22-23

An intense desire for truth -realization is itself the way to it. The Lord is the Self in Advaita. Therefore, one need not accept anything other than the self, which is consciousness. Thus consciousness alone is ultimate truth or Brahman that is free from falsehood.
Advaita[non-duality] and dwita[duality] is state of the self. It is not some intellectual theory. Religious based Adviatins believe the Atman [soul] is Brahman; and the world is illusion. Religious dwitins believes the body as self, and they believe world is reality, and they believe in creator and creation theory. In India Advaita and Dwaita is mere a religious tradition, which they inherited from their ancestors. No one questions their validity, because it is considered blasphemy to question any guru and god-men or pundits.

People who are attached to their religious code of conduct and trying to preach Advaita , that is mixing the individual life, and concept of god, and all mixed up hotchpotch religious doctrine and feed the seeking minds are themselves not aware of the fact that, the individuality and the worldly life is part of the illusion.

Buddha must have verified religion, Vedas and concept of god and found them inadequate and useless in pursuit of truth and rejected them and he got enlightened without the aid of religion, Vedas and concept of god.

After studying and going through all the rigorous training from the religious scholars in Theosophical Society, J.K was confused about all these, and when he started verifying with deeper introspection, he found everything was priest-crafted hotchpotch ideologies. Thus, he refused to become the world guru, rejected it, and walked out and condemned the priest craft.

In Advaita they accept karma theory. If they accept the karma theory, one will not be able to reach the non-dual destination. If one accepts karma theory then it is impossible to treat the world as illusion. All the pundits’ explanation of karma theory carries no weight on realm of truth because if karma is accepted they are accepting the false self (ego or body) as true self and false experience (universe or waking) as reality.

The birth, life and death are part of the waking experience, which is mere illusion on the standpoint of the true self. It is no use of saying that, we are not born, we do not die because, because we all were born and we all are going to die. However, the birth, life and death are part of the illusion, which comes and goes as waking experience. The formless witness of the three states is real, which is our identity has no birth and death. That is why self-knowledge is nothing to do with the religious based Advaita, which is based on Vedas.

A Gnani will never say we are not born; we are not going to die. Only to the mediocre who nod their head, he will say this to inspire them to think of the formless true identity, which is birth less, deathless. Thus, it is wrong to say we are not born and we do not die by limiting the self to the physical entity. If one limits the self to the physical entity alone, one gets only half-truth. The consciousness, which is the true self, pervades all the three states, as their formless substance and witness. The formless substance and witness, which is our true self [true identity]. Without knowing the true self-mere saying, we are not born, we do not die is not the knowledge, which has come from depth, it is mere bookish knowledge.

When Sri,Sankara says: world is unreal . He never said body is unreal. He would have said only birth and death is unreal but he did not say that, he said the world is unreal. He meant the world including the body, because the body and world appear together and disappear together [waking/dream]. Then we have to think, what remain without the body and the world as reality. How can the birth, life, death, rebirth, and reincarnation, which take place in unreal world [waking/dream], can be true. The one, which is aware of the birth, life death, rebirth and reincarnation [illusion/unreal], is formless reality, which is the true self/true identity. The formless self is your true identity, which is birthless and deathless but it is the witness of the birth, life and death and rebirth [illusion/unreal].

On the standpoint of identity the birth, life, death, rebirth and reincarnation theory is part of the illusion/unreal. The body cannot reincarnate, the body and the world are created out of the same formless stuff. Until one views and judges on the base of flesh, bone and blood [five elements], he will not be able to grasp the non-dual truth. Thus, one must know on what standpoint we are not born and we do not die thoroughly, just by hearsay views, it will not lead anyone to the non-dual destination.

Seeker has to learn to view and judge on the standpoint of formless witness (FW/soul). Then he will be never having any confusion. When one thinks deeply then only the inner revelation starts and start burning the dross (confusion/doubts). One has enough material stored in one’s subconscious by reading this massages in FP blogs; all will start yielding fruits and start revealing, when he starts thinking very deeply. This is the inner process every serious seeker experiences. The inner dialog will start and one will start getting answers from inner core of his existence.

If self has no relation with the three states then the self prevails in its formless non-dual true nature. When wisdom dawns then one becomes aware of the fact that, the self is not physical but the self is consciousness and he becomes fully aware of the fact that, the physical body, ego and universe [mind] and its contents are mere mirage created out of consciousness. Thus, seeker has to first know body, ego, universe are mind. When the mind is present they are present and when the mind is absent they are absent.

Everyone is aware of the three states. There is a need to analyze the three states and realize the fact that, the mind is not limited to the physical body but mind appears as whole waking or dream experience and disappears as deep sleep. Therefore there is a need to understand “what is mind? And what is the substance of the mind in order to unfold the truth hidden within the three states. Therefore, anyone who sleeps dreams and wakes up can sit and examine this process logically, without any prior exposure to any scriptures or teachings. Such an independent analysis will lead seeker of truth towards perfect understanding, assimilation of non-dual truth.

It is absolutely not possible to examine the three states logically if one is not aware of the existence of formless witness. The formless witness is within the three states, but it is without this three states. Formless witness is nothing to do with three states, because it is not an entity or identity within the three states. It pervades everywhere and in everything as formless substance and witness of the three states. The three states are an object to the formless witness, which is in the form of consciousness. Thus consciousness is the subject and the mind, which is in the form of universe, is an object. Therefore mind is an object to the subject, which is consciousness.

The waking, dream and the deep sleep states do not have a sequence as one really thinks and believe. Since everyone is habituated to view and judge the three states on the base of the waking entity, which is not the self. Thus viewing and judging the three states on the base of the false witness( “ego or waking entity”) is erroneous. Therefore perfect understanding is necessary in order understand and assimilate the existence of the formless witness, which exists apart and beyond the three states.

In all the three states, the formless witness remains unchanged. One who has not analyzed the three states deeply will never be able to grasp the existence of the formless witness, which is the soul or consciousness. He will just wake up, dreams and goes to deep sleep without this analysis. Everyone thinks the three states are their physical experience whereas the physical experience is limited to the waking or dream. In deep sleep there is no experience of any sort.

In the deep sleep state the formless witness prevails in its formless non-dual true nature. It is without the waking or dream experience. Consciously becoming aware of the formless non-dual true nature of the witness, which is soul or consciousness in the midst of the waking experience, is realization of the self or truth.

The soul, which is in the form of consciousness, is the source of the mind which in the form of universe. The universe appears as waking or dream [duality] and disappears as deep sleep non-duality. The source, which is consciousness is the true self and the on the standpoint of consciousness as self the three states are mere mirage thus there is nothing exists other than consciousness. Therefore, there is no forth state because the three states are itself is mere mirage created out of consciousness.

Only an independent analysis without the scriptures will lead one to deeper understanding assimilation of the ultimate reality.

An ignorant person may identify the cotton with the cloth and gold with an ornament, forgetting that the cloth and the ornament are not cotton and gold, respectively; rather, they are only manifestations of cotton and gold. Similarly, one may identify the empirical ego with Self or Soul, ignorantly without knowing the real nature of Self or Soul.

A person walking in a desert may perceive water in a mirage by wrong perception. Likewise, in semi-darkness one can perceive a human figure in a post. All such perceptions are illusory. So also the perception of Self or soul as identical with the elements of this universe is illusory. Just as perceptions of a castle in the air and a second moon in the sky are illusory, so also the perception of Soul or Self as identical with the universe is unreal.

All these illustrations point to the basic and absolute nature of Self or Soul. The Self is that which is imperishable, the unseen witness, the unheard hearer, the unthought thinker, the ununderstood understander. Other than it, there is naught that hears; other than it, there is naught that thinks; other than it, there is naught that understands." Thus, Self is the absolute consciousness, the source of all experience and knowledge.

The ignorant thinks his body is the self. And all is accumulated knowledge is based on the body as self. The more learned thinks, "Self is his personality and all his knowledge is theories based on his intellectual speculations. But the Gnani knows the true Self is consciousness." He is fully aware of the fact that his body and his experience of the world also as consciousness. He has dissolved the "mind or universe” in the Self, which is in the form of Consciousness.

When non-dual truth is deeply assimilated, a permanent weakening of illusory experience follows, and one finds freedom from experiencing duality as reality. The ego ceases to be prey to compulsions. And one becomes capable - How to be in the illusion, which is in the form of universe but not of it? One has to adopt the formless Witness point of view i.e. to dis-identify with the three states mentally in the midst of waking experience and remain consciously as the formless witness of the illusory three states which comes and goes.

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Mukesh Singh
Feb 10, 2011 at 10:50 am
Ashtavakra Gita expresses the naked Truth
Santthoshkumaar Kumaar
Feb 10, 2011 at 03:33 pm
Dear Mukesh Singaji,
Pranams ,
thank you for your response.

Yes, Ashtavakra Gita expresses the naked Truth, but to understand and digest it is possible only to the highly advance seekers.

If one becomes aware of the fact that, the self is not physical then it becomes easier to assimilate the ultimate truth without any scriptures.

I agree with Osho saying: It is one of the strangest things in this country that on every book written by any prominent mystic there have been hundreds of commentaries, but nobody has commented before me on Ashtavakra.

Osho – The inner is tremendously powerful, the outer is very weak. The inner is eternal, the outer is very temporary. How many years do you remain young? And as youth fades away you start feeling that you are becoming ugly, unless your inner being is also growing with your age.

Then even in your old age you will have a beauty that the youth may feel jealous of. Remember, from the inner the change to the outer happens, but I am not making it inevitable. Most often it happens, but sometimes the outer is in such a rotten state that even the inner radiation cannot change it.

There have been cases on record: one very great mystic of India – I have spoken on him for almost half a year continuously. His name was Ashtavakra. And what he has written is tremendously important; each sentence has so many dimensions to be explored, but the man himself was in a very difficult situation.

Ashtavakra – the name was given to him, because he was almost like a camel. In eight places he was distorted in the body – one leg was longer, one arm was shorter, his back was bent – in eight places he was distorted. That’s how he was born, with a crippled, distorted body. But even in a crippled and distorted body the soul is as beautiful as in the most beautiful body.

He became enlightened, but his body was too rigid to change with his inner change. His eyes started showing something of the beauty, but the whole body was in such a mess. The story is that the emperor of India in those days was Janak and he was very much interested in philosophical discussions. Each year he used to call a big conference of all the scholars, philosophers, theologians or whoever wanted to participate.

It was a championship competition. One very famous philosopher, Yagnavalkya came a little late. The conference had started and he saw standing outside one thousand beautiful cows. Their horns were covered with gold and diamonds. This was going to be the prize for the champion. It was a hot day and the cows were perspiring.

He told his disciples, ”You take these cows. As far as winning the competition is concerned, I am certain. Why should the cows suffer here? You take them to our place.” They had their own place in the forest. Even Janak could not prevent him, because he knew that he had been the champion continuously for five years, and he would be the champion this time, because there was nobody else who could defeat him.

It is not right to take the reward before you have won, but his victory was so certain to everybody that nobody objected. And his disciples took away all the cows. While Yagnavalkya was discussing, a very unknown scholar was also present in the conference. Ashtavakra was this unknown philosopher’s son.

His mother was waiting for her husband to come home. It was getting late and the meal was getting cold. So she sent Ashtavakra to bring his father home, because he could not win the competition. Why should he unnecessarily waste his time? He was a poor scholar and there were great scholars there. Ashtavakra went. There were at least one thousand people in the conference, the highly cultured and sophisticated scholars of the country.

As Ashtavakra entered, looking at his distorted body they all started laughing. But Ashtavakra was a man of tremendous integrity. As they started laughing, he laughed even louder. Because of his loud laugh they stopped. They could not believe that he was laughing. Janak asked him, ”I can understand why they are laughing – because of your body; but I cannot understand why you are laughing.

And you stopped all their laughing with your laughter.” A single man stopped one thousand people’s laughter.
Ashtavakra said to Janak, ”I thought this conference was for scholars and philosophers, but these are all shoemakers. They can understand only the skin. They cannot see the inner, they can only see the outer.”

There was a great silence. What he was saying had a great truth in it. Janak dissolved the conference and said, ”Now I would like to inquire of Ashtavakra only. He has defeated you all just by his laughter and his statement that, ‘You can’t see the inner, you can only see the outer; you are all shoemakers.’

Shoemakers work with the skin of different animals. I dissolve the conference and Yagnavalka, return those one thousand cows, because you also laughed. And when Ashtavakra laughed, you also stopped!”

It was a very strange situation; it had never happened before. And then began the long inquiry of Janak, the emperor. He asked questions and Ashtavakra answered them. Each answer in itself carried so much meaning and significance.

Because his body was in such a bad shape he could not get identified with it. Sometimes blessings come in such disguise. He could not go out, because wherever he went people would laugh, ”Look at that man! Have you seen anything uglier than this?”

So most of the time he was in the house, meditating, figuring out, ”Who am I? Certainly I am not this body, because I can be aware of this body, I can observe this body from within. Certainly that awareness has to be different from the body.”

Because of his crippled body he experienced enlightenment. The only barrier is identification with the body. But he could not identify, the body was so ugly. He never looked in a mirror; it would have been such a shock.

But Yagnavalkya had to return those one thousand cows to Ashtavakra’s house. He was young and he defeated one thousand old philosophers, well-versed in the ancient scriptures. It is one of the strangest things in this country that on every book written by any prominent mystic there have been hundreds of commentaries, but nobody has commented before me on Ashtavakra.

And he must be at least five thousand years old. For five thousand years nobody has bothered to look into his statements, which are so significant. But his inner enlightenment, his inner understanding could not change his outer appearance. And yet for those who are going deeper into themselves, the outer does not matter. They would have seen even in Ashtavakra tremendous beauty, but it would not have been of the outer circumference, but of the center.
Sankara Bhagavatpada
Feb 10, 2011 at 04:01 pm
By the same measure, one can also say that, the sensory perceptions of this emperical body laughed at you but not my true self which is no different from you, nor are you any different from me.

A true scholar doesn't ridicule others, he observes himself in them too. If they could laugh, I too could laugh at myself because I too see just the same as they see. But how can one be sure that what I see, others are also seeing the same ?

Such nuances are to be ignored. None in this physical form with sense perceptions had escaped faultering, that includes Ashtavakra himself. In vyavaharica jeevan there is no absolute gaurantee that even a self-realized person may not behave idiotically.

Can you gaurantee or show one person who had not behaved differently from what he preached ?... That itself is what this creation is .. The very Para Brahman or Supreme Consciousness that we are all scampering for itself had to project this creation by ignorance and faultering. We had already faultered the balance with the help of came this universe by oscillating that membrane. And the oscillations of that membrance will die only naturally and at its own time. Nothing, not even our efforts to remove the doubt that we are that para brahman, by believing ourselves to be brahman can stop those oscillations. Nothing whatsoever can free someone beyond that realm and non-oscillatory state except the natural decay of those oscillations. No inward looking, no observation, no belief that we are brahman, no amount of knowledge for that matter.

If you ask why we are doing all this ? ..then i would say that all this is also a part of that natural decay of oscillations... you just have to continue and wait.
Santthoshkumaar Kumaar
Feb 10, 2011 at 05:00 pm
Dear Sankara Bhagavatpa,
Thank you for you wisdom. I respect your views. but -

Whatever takes form is false. Only the formless endures. When you understand The truth of this teaching, You will not be born again. For God is infinite, Within the body and without, Like a mirror, And the image in a mirror. As the air is everywhere, Flowing around a pot And filling it, So God is everywhere, Filling all things And flowing through them forever.
- Ashtavakra Gita 1: 18-20

The pursuit of truth is a mental journey. Deeper inquiry, analysis and reasoning makes one aware of what truth is and what is untruth and only then the subconscious will be able to reject the untruth after knowing, what is Truth. Whatever prevails after rejecting the untruth mentally is the ultimate truth.

The universe, individual experience of birth, life and death, thoughts, words, pain and pleasure are part and parcel of the illusion. One has to overcome illusion by knowing the self in truth. The birth, life, death and universe are nothing to with the self, which is in the form of consciousness. But egocentric orthodox scriptural knowledge will not allow accepting anything other than their egocentric knowledge.
The path of orthodoxy is not straight. Their conduct based practices and concepts based on imagination mixing dual and nondualistic ideologies and indulging in Non-Vedic activities are great obstacles in pursuit of truth. Thus, shunning all of them is necessary for those who want the ultimate truth or wisdom.

Illusion contains the truth but without any things, forms and names. If seeker aspires for self-knowledge he has to shun the three states mentally by realizing the three states are mere mirage and realize the self as the formless substance and witness, of these three states. The formless substance and witness is the soul, which is in the form of the consciousness. Thus, consciousness alone is real and eternal. Therefore, one has to know the three states as mere mirage.

The mirage contains his body and his experience of the world. And realize the mirage as consciousness because mirage is erupted out of consciousness to bring unity in diversity. The diversity is mere mirage created out of single stuff, which is consciousness. Thus everything is consciousness.

Sankaracharya and Maya
VlSHNUVARDHANA, the King of the Hoysalas, was a Vaishnavite and was greatly incensed at the doctrine taught by Sankaracharya that everything here below is an illusion. He wanted to teach the exponent of this doctrine a lesson. So he invited the then Sankaracharya to his palace. That holy man went there and stoutly maintained that everything in this world was illusion. The king had arranged to let loose an infuriated elephant against Sankaracharya. The beast rushed at Sankaracharya who took to a precipitate flight to save himself.
'Oh, Venerable Sir,' shouted the king, 'why do you run so fast seeing that the elephant is only an illusion?'

'Oh, king,' said Sankaracharya in his course of his flight, 'my running too is an illusion. Everything in this world is an illusion.’
Similarly, we all are searching truth within the illusion not being aware of the fact that, the illusion is created out of single stuff which is: Consciousness, Atman/soul/ Spirit/Self/Christ/Brahman/Emptiness.
Thus searching the truth in illusion with the illusory self, within the illusory experience, has to be illusion. The illusion is created, and sustained, and finally dissolves as Spirit, which is Soul/Self. Since, there is no second thing other than the Spirit or consciousness; the Spirit itself is God/ Brahman/Christ. This conviction can be derived only from deeper inquiry, analysis and reasoning.
When the material life itself is part of the illusion then there is no need to include the vyavahric life in pursuit of truth. The true seeker is interested in realizing ultimate truth and he will realize all his individual experiences are part of the mirage. Mixing up vyavahric jivaan in parmarthic search is biggest obstacle in pursuit of truth. Worldly life will go on its own it is nothing to do with the pursuit of truth. Thus, bringing the unreal vyavaharic world in Atmic discussion is of no use.

With respect and regards
Sankara Bhagavatpada
Feb 10, 2011 at 05:33 pm
Dear Santhosh kumar ji ... That was a great feedback from you. There is no doubt about the fact that one has to realise his own self as that universal consciousness. Liberation from this vvyavaharica jeevan or videhamukti takes place at its own time, that is what the dying down of oscillations mean. A self realized person truly lives as a jeevanmukta and has no identification with this false individualized ego. Despite that, it will not gaurantee one liberation from vyavaharica jeevan. You have read a lot on mimamsa and other scriptures too, without which you cannot put forth so many blogs and arguments. But what about all those people who haven't read this ? ...for them vyavaharica jeevan itself is supreme and knowledge of brahman or knowledge of beyond is unecessary to him.

So even in spiritual evolution there are many steps. One just cannot jump from zero and realize his true self. Even a jeevanmukta who had realized the truth had come to know about it after lot of evolution.

so my arguments have always been more academic in nature, for any discussion or expression belongs to academics. for one who is realized blogs, discussions, expressing views is mere waste. For he would have realized that no matter what you do, it will take its own time to sink into our consciousness. Maya manifesting itself as our logical brain is not easy... a person like you who is well versed with brahma sutras and mimamsa should have grasped this by now.

Thank you for your highly knowledgeable posts.
Vipin Tyagi
Feb 11, 2011 at 05:34 am
Dear Santosh Kumar Ji,
Your blog is very enlightening. Vedas and Upnishads enlighten you up to certain stage and then say,"Neti, Neti". The level of consciousness has been defined up to Brahmpada and they fall silent for Parbrahm stage (Nirguna level).

Like Buddhism, Jainism also talks about levels of consciouness but it also talks about level of Brahmpad. I would like to quote few lines as follows:

The term “Antaratma” has been applied to the soul or the conscious entity experienced inside us. Antaratma is in awakened or conscious state. It is inside us. In contrast, body, senses and everything of this outer world is matter (inertial state) or in unconscious state and the tendency to consider the outer world as conscious (soul) has been called as Bahiratma (illusion). Till our attention remains in objects of outer world and we remain absorbed in outer sensual pleasures, we cannot know or experience the Antaratma.

A very good definition of Antaratma has been given by Pandit Hiralal Jain (3):

जिसकी द्र्ष्टि बाहरी पदार्थो से हटकर अपने आत्मा की ओर रहती है, जिसे स्व-पर का (अपने और अपने से भिन्न दूसरों का) विवेक हो जाता है, जो लौकिक कार्यो में अनासक्त और आत्मिक कार्यो में सावधान रहता है, उसे अन्तरात्मा या सम्यग्द्र्ष्टि कहते हैं |

The knowledge of Antaratma cannot be done by outer senses as outer senses can give knowledge about outer world. They can never give reach the inner world. Thus knowledge of Antaratma can only be from inside. Though human being possess intuitive knowledge about existence of soul but the real knowledge about the fact that Antaratma is indestructible, infinite knowledge giver and extreme pleasure giver is never attained without real experience from inside.

When a human being experiences the illumination of knowledge from inside, his perspective and attitude towards outer world drastically changes because he begins to really understand the transient and futility of this outer world. He not only illuminates himself with knowledge but also understands the other mysteries of world. Acharya Kunthusagar has explained this fact with the help of example as follows:

जिस प्रकार दीपक अन्य पदार्थों को प्रकाशित करता है और अपने स्वरुप को भी प्रकाशित करता है, जलते हुए दीपक को देखने के लिए किसी अन्य दीपक की आवश्यकता नहीं होती, वही जलता हुआ दीपक अपने स्वरुप को भी प्रकाशित कर देता है, इसी प्रकार यह ज्ञानमय आत्मा अपने ज्ञान से अन्य पदार्थों को भी प्रकाशित करती है और स्वानभूति के द्वारा अपने स्वरुप को भी प्रकाशित करती है |

Here example of deepak (earthen lamp) has been given to explain it the nature of soul being self luminescent shining itself and illuminating others, otherwise it is unique in itself and cannot be compared with anything in this world. Kanji Swami(4) explains it in this way:

अलौकिक चीज आत्मा है, उसके स्वभाव को अन्य कोई बाह्य पदार्थ की उपमा नहीं की जा सकती, अपने स्वभाव से ही वह जाना जाता है | ऐसे आत्मा को जब स्वानुभाव से जाने तभी सम्यग्दर्शन होता है |
Santthoshkumaar Kumaar
Feb 12, 2011 at 05:28 am
Dear Sankar Bhagavatpaji
Thank you for your comments and views.
Dear Vipin Tyagiji
Thank you for your comment and for the spiritual pearls and wisdom of the sages. I respect your views.
As per my conviction:-
The fact that the Vedas point to it only indirectly as 'not this - not this' shows that the knowledge can be imparted to others.
As per the scriptures the three "Ashrams" or stages in life were originally intended for three grades of intelligence thus:
 Religion: low intellects had to do 'karmas' works, ritual actions, chanting of mantras and indulging in bajans and prayers etc.
 Middle intellects: Yoga: taking yellow robes, going to caves, ashrams etc.
 High intellects: Philosophy: who wanted truth are concerned with no external rites or sanyas but depend solely on intelligent inquiry for their path.
As indicated in ISH Upanishads: - By worshipping gods and goddesses you will go after death to the world of gods and goddesses. But will that help you? The time you spend there is wasted, because if you were not there you could have spent that time moving forward towards Self-knowledge, which is your goal. In the world of gods and goddesses you cannot do that, and thus you go deeper and deeper into darkness.
It clearly indicates that:-If the human goal is to acquire Self-Knowledge then why one has to indulge in rituals and glorifying the conceptual gods, goddesses and gurus to go in to deeper darkness. Instead spend that time moving forward towards Self-knowledge, which is one’s prime goal.
Since it is eternal and infinite, it comprises the only truth. The goal of Vedic religion, through the various yogas, is to realize that the consciousness (Atman) is actually nothing but Brahman.
The Vedic pantheon of gods is said, in the Vedas and Upanishads, to be only higher manifestations of Brahman. For this reason, "ekam sat" (all is one), and all is Brahman.
Thus, the goal is to realize Ataman [consciousness]. If Atman [consciousness] is nothing but Brahman and by realizing Ataman [consciousness] as Brahman [ultimate truth] is truth realization or Self-Realization , then there is no need to follow religion, study scriptures or glorifying gods or gurus and follow the path of doubts and confusion by losing oneself in the present form of Hinduism, which contradicts the Vedic ideology.
As declared by Vedas and Upanishads: - the main aim of human life is to acquire Self-Knowledge. The time one spends in religious ritual, glorifying gods and gurus is wasted. One should utilize that same time to acquire Self-knowledge, which is his prime goal.
The Sruti itself says: "This Atma is NOT to be attained by a study of the Vedas. [Katha Upanishad I, 2, 23.]
Then why study of scriptures when Shruti itself declares,” This Atman is not to be attained by a study of the Vedas.” Thus the people who are after Vedic moksha will not attain it through religious orthodoxy. As Vedas declare it is beyond Vedas. Where Veda ends [VEDA- ANTH] then only there is moksha. Thus with all hotchpotch ideology, is not the means to the prime goal to acquire Self-Knowledge as declared by Vedas.
Self-knowledge cannot be attained by study of the Vedas and intellectual understanding or by bookish knowledge. Therefore there is no use of studying the Vedas and other scriptures in order to acquire the non-dual wisdom. That is why Buddha rejected the scriptures, and even Sri, Sankara indicated that, the ultimate truth lies beyond religion, concept of god and scriptures.
In Astavakara[commentaries on Astavakara Gita by Osho] it clearly mentioned that Vedas are not the means to acquire the self-knowledge. Thus it indicates that Advitic truth is nothing to do with the Vedas.
Gaudapada says that:- The merciful Veda teaches karma and Upaasana to people of lower and middling intellect, while Jnana is taught to those of higher intellect.
They alone in this world are endowed with the highest wisdom who are firm in their conviction of the sameness and birthlessness of Ataman. The ordinary man does not understand their way. [Chapter IV — Alatasanti Prakarana 95-P-188 in Upanishads by Nikilanada]
Therefore, if one is seeking truth he has to know his true self is not physical but it is the Ataman, which is in the form of consciousness.
Ramana Maharshi says: this self –inquiry is not the critical study of the scriptures. When the source is reached the ego gets merged into it. The result of self-inquiry is the cure for all the sorrows. It is the highest of all the results. There is nothing greater then it. It only indicates there is no necessity to study the scriptures to acquire self-knowledge. [Page-66-practicle guide to know yourself c/e by A.R.N].
Ramana Maharshi says:
Q by D:- Is not necessary to study the Vedas or at least the Prasthanatraya [the Bhagavad Gita,Dasopanishad and Brahma Sutras, all with commentaries]to ensure firm realization?
Ramana Maharshi:-No. Do you need all that to see yourself? All that is intellectual wealth, useful in explain doubts and difficulties if others rise them or if you yourself encounter them in the course of thinking. But to attain realization, all that is not necessary. You want fresh water to drink, but you do not require all the water of the river Ganges to quench your thirst. [Page 111/112 of Practical guide to know yourself c/e by A.R.N].
There is only one Reality to be known, the same for all seekers, but the ways to it, are hidden by the religion. Self-discovery is the only way, towards non-dual Absolute without any religious doctrines, which will help the seekers to unfold the mystery of the illusion in which we all are searching the truth of our true existence.
"Whatever one sees becomes known by the very consciousness, which is the true self.
One has to carefully analyse the underlying consciousness which, though abstract and apart from the mind, which is in the form of universe. The universe appears as waking or dream and disappears as deep sleep. The consciousness illumines the mind or universe. Thus one has to know it to be the truth. Thus the consciousness alone is ultimate truth, the mind, which is in the form of universe is mere mirage created out of consciousness.
The consciousness is self –luminous. What is not self-luminous can only fall within the orbit of mirage and cannot be consciousness itself. Consciousness is that by which objects are known; it cannot be what it is if it becomes the object of knowledge. Thus consciousness is the subject and the mind is an object to the formless subject.
Subject must always be different from object itself, or else it could not be made known by it. Consciousness in the abstract cannot admit of parts, which is the characteristic of objects. Therefore objects take on shapes. One has to mentally observe the consciousness after eliminating all else from it.
The formless knower can thus be made manifest by eliminating from it all that can be known. It cannot be known as such and such, for it is the supporter of one and all.
Consciousness being the true Self is not cognisable. One has to investigate what is mind and what is the substance of the mind in order to realize there is neither the inner nor outer in the realm of reality. There is no scope for duality in reality because the subject [soul or consciousness] and object [mind or universe] are one in essence.
There is no other agent to neither know the Self or consciousness nor light by which to know it.
The self is not the ego, which is in the form the body and it is not the mind, which in the form of the universe because they are all transient. When the whole universe with all its contents are made out of consciousness, so how can self be the ego?
If the ego is not the self than all scriptural knowledge based on ego becomes inadequate and useless in pursuit of truth.
There is no scope for debate and argument in pursuit of truth. Seeker has to verify the facts of any claim, if find them to be true then only accept them. It is not correct to impose idea on others when they are not ready to accept anything other than their accepted truth. There is no need to prove whether Buddha is right or Sri, Sankara is wrong. But seekers only mission is to know, how to realize the nondual truth, which is propounded by the Buddha and Sri,Sankara and Sri, Goudpada? Since present practices are based on conduct and action, so they are based on the false physical self [ego]. What are the fatter and obstacle in realize the nondual truth? How to overcome the obstacle on the path of nondual truth?