The word ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ used in the past to indicate the wordless existence but it is a great error because until the sense of ‘I’ or I AM is there the mind is there. The mind ceases to exist without the ‘I’ or I AM’. The universe ceases to exist without the mind. The duality ceases to exist without the universe. The duality ceases only when the ignorance ceases. The ignorance ceases when the wisdom dawns. And wisdom dawns only when the wordless existence is grasped mentally by language without the words.
The innermost self is ultimate truth. The self is consciousness. Consciousness is ultimate truth. Consciousness is formless and nondual in its nature. The consciousness is the source of the mind. The mind rises and subsides from and into consciousness. The mind is in the form of universe. The mind is present only when the universe is present. The duality is present only when the universe is present. The mind appears as waking or dream and disappears as deep sleep. Thus the mind, universe, duality are one and the same thing. Without this understanding through deeper self-search the nondual truth will never be revealed. Without understanding ‘what is what’, it is difficult to assimilate nondual truth.
The orthodox claim that, in order to understand the non- dualistic truth properly they bring in god and indulge in rituals to the belief of conceptual god.
Orthodox translation and explanation of the great Upanishadic Statement: - Tat Tvam Asi, and one which orthodox use is, ‘I AM’ Ishvara’, or ‘I AM the Whole’. If we say this, then we have brought in and included duality in the equation.
Deeper self-search reveals the fact that ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ is not the self. Thus whatever is self is god or self is whole. The ‘self’ is not limited to physical entity. ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ itself is illusion. The Self is beyond ‘I’ or ‘I AM’. The ‘Self ‘is not an individual, because it pervades in everything and everywhere in all the three states whereas the ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ is present only in waking or dream. The self cannot be approached or named; it has to be grasped mentally because it is wordless existence beyond form, time and space. Thus holding ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ as self is erroneous.
That is why Sri,Sankara says:-
59. The study of the Scriptures is useless so long as the highest Truth is unknown, and it is equally useless when the highest Truth has already been known.
60. The Scriptures consisting of many words are a dense forest which merely causes the mind to ramble. Hence men of wisdom should earnestly set about knowing the true nature of the Self.
61. For one who has been bitten by the serpent of Ignorance, the only remedy is the knowledge of Brahman. Of what avail are the Vedas and (other) Scriptures, Mantras (sacred formulae) and medicines to such a one?
62. A disease does not leave off if one simply utter the name of the medicine, without taking it; (similarly) without direct realisation one cannot be liberated by the mere utterance of the word Brahman.
63. Without causing the objective universe to vanish and without knowing the truth of the Self, how is one to achieve Liberation by the mere utterance of the word Brahman ? — It would result merely in an effort of speech.
64. Without killing one’s enemies, and possessing oneself of the splendour of the entire surrounding region, one cannot claim to be an emperor by merely saying, ‘I am an emperor’.
65. As a treasure hidden underground requires (for its extraction) competent instruction, excavation, the removal of stones and other such things lying above it and (finally) grasping, but never comes out by being (merely) called out by name, so the transparent Truth of the self, which is hidden by Maya and its effects, is to be attained through the instructions of a knower of Brahman, followed by reflection, meditation and so forth, but not through perverted arguments.
66. Therefore the wise should, as in the case of disease and the like, personally strive by all the means in their power to be free from the bondage of repeated births and deaths.
Sri, Sankara goes on to say:-
A sickness of not cured by saying the word “medicine.” You must take the medicine. Liberation does not come by merely saying the word “Brahman.” Brahman must be experienced. Until you allow this apparent universe to dissolve from your consciousness, until you have experienced Brahman, how can you find liberation just by saying the word Brahman? The result is merely a noise. Until a man has destroyed his enemies and taken possession of the splendour and wealth of the kingdom, he cannot become a king by simply saying “I am a king.”
A buried treasure is not uncovered by merely uttering the words: “Come forth.” You must follow the right directions, dig, remove the stones and earth from above it, and then make it your own. In the same way, the pure truth of the Atman, which is buried under Maya and the effects of Maya, can be reached by meditation, contemplation, and other spiritual disciplines but never by subtle arguments.
Sri, Sankara founded his Advaita Vedanta either on reason independent of sruti or on sruti confirmed by reason." Sri, Sankara's commentary on the Mandukya Upanishad, II, 1: This [the unreality of duality] is borne out by the Srutis ... But it is possible also to show the unreality of the object world even from pure reasoning, and this second chapter is undertaken for that purpose.
Sri, Sankara himself had often said that his philosophy was based on Sruti, or revealed scripture. This may be because Sri, Sankara addressed the ordinary man, who finds security in the idea of causality and thus in the idea of God—and Revelation is indispensable to prove the latter. He believed that those of superior intelligence, have no need of this idea of divine causality, and can therefore dispense with Sruti and arrive at the truth of Non-Dualism by pure reason.
Thus one has to drop all accumulated baggage and indulge in self-search search independently without scripters to realize the nondual truth in lesser time and effort.
The nondual wisdom swallows ignorance and then it gives it back ultimate truth. And when the truth is reveals, the duality will never remain as reality. In the midst of duality one is fully aware of the fact that, his body, ego and universe as consciousness. Thus the three states are mere mirage created out of consciousness. Thus consciousness alone is real and eternal.
The practical life within the practical world is reality within the illusion. Thus the birth, life and death which are happening within the practical world are mere illusion.
Thus, from the individual level, the pain and pleasures and experiences of the practical life within the practical world are reality within the illusion. The individuality is mere illusion from ultimate standpoint. One has to understand the fact that, the mind, which is in the form of universe, appears as waking or dream and disappears as deep sleep is created out of single stuff, which is consciousness. The consciousness is the true self and source of the mind, from where it rises and subsides. Consciousness alone is real and all the three states are mere mirage created out of consciousness. The formless substance and witness of the mirage are one is essence. The essence is consciousness. There is no second thing exists other than consciousness, which is ultimate truth or Brahman.
The ultimate truth is very vast and deep subject because one has to mentally drop all accumulated knowledge based on the ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ as self. Everyone has inborn conditioning [samskara], which is cause of the ignorance. Without getting rid of that conditioning [samskara] it is impossible to get rid of the ignorance. The inborn conditioning [samskara] is ‘I ‘or ‘I AM’. The truth will reveal only after one is able to mentally drop the idea of ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ as self. Only after dropping the inborn conditioning [Samskara] mentally, the crystal clear understanding and assimilation happens. Dropping the ‘inborn conditioning is prerequisites for deeper self-search.
Experience belongs the inborn conditioning [samskara], which is in the form of ‘I’ or ‘I AM’. Holding the ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ as self is cause of ignorance. Considering the ‘I’ or ‘I’ AM as Self, and hold the rest as illusion will lead to hallucination. The ultimate truth cannot be experienced as person within the world because the person and his experience of the world are mere illusion. Thus holding the ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ keeps one in the grip of individuality. Individuality is intellectuality. Intellectuality is limited to physicality. Physicality is the cause of experiencing the duality as reality.
Experience belongs to individuality. And individuality is falsehood. There is neither individual nor his experience in reality. Man and his experience of the world cannot exist without waking experience.
Whatever we are discussing, we are discussing within the waking experience. One has to know: whether physical body and the world are within the mind or the mind is within the physical body? The mind, physical body, ego and the world are present only, when the whole experience of the waking or dream is present. And mind is absent, when the waking/dream experience is absent. Thus one has to conclude the mind as the whole waking or dream experience. Thus the mind appears and disappears as waking or dream experience. All your arguments are truth only on the base of the ego, which is the false self, within the false experience [waking]. The individual experiences within the waking are as real as dream.
Suppose the same subject, if we are discussing in the dream and one asks me the same questions in the dream, then whatever he said in dream becomes unreal, when the waking takes place. Whatever one saying now, he is saying within the waking experience. The waking is unreal on the base of the formless witness, which is Atman. Atman is in the form consciousness.
How does one see various objects, scenes and persons during dreams? If the dream is experienced without the physical body, then what is it that experiences the dream? Therefore, there must be a formless witness of the dream world. This formless witness is the same witness that is witnessed this Waking experience also. Therefore the Waking experience and dream both are witnessed by one and only formless witness of which the seeker is not aware of. Since he considers the physical body [I] as the self or witness and views and judges the world-view on the standpoint of false self, within the false experience. The formless witness can exist with or without the waking or dream. But waking /dream cease to exist, without the formless witness.
The gross Waking experience is merged into the mental experience in the sense that, when it is analysed, it is found to exist inseparably in and as the mind alone. All "spiritual" planes are really mental: those who regard them as different or higher are deceiving themselves. The dream becomes unreal when the waking takes place; similarly the waking becomes unreal when the wisdom dawns. Therefore everything has to be grasped mentally, not argued on the intellectual point of view, which is limited to the false physical entity within the false experience.
The unreal is created out of real, and when one views and judges on the standpoint unreal [ego] then there is duality. When one is able to view and judge on the standpoint of real [Atman/true self] then there is only non -duality. Therefore, when the wisdom dawns then there is neither duality, nor non duality, only reality. This is my views and conviction.
All these confusion will go on, until man thinks, he is an individual and apart from the world, and the world existed prior to him and he is born in it afterwards. Therefore, it is necessary to know the fact the true self is not ego, but the true self is the soul, and stop viewing and judging the world-view on the standpoint of the physical self [ego], and one has to view and judge on the true self [soul/Atman] to realize the fact that, the world along with man is illusion. The formless substance from which the illusion is created is Atman. Thus Atman is Brahman/ultimate reality. Thus no second thing exists on the standpoint of Atman or consciousness as self. Thus there is neither experience nor the experiencer in non-dual reality but only self-awareness.
The ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ is physical prison.
v If ‘I’ is not the physical body, what is it?
Since the sense of ‘I’ is present only when the mind is present and it disappears along with mind. The seeker will come to conclusion after thoroughly verifying this fact through inquiry, analysis and reasoning and then come to firm conviction that ‘I’ is mind.
If ‘I’ is mind and mind is universe and universe appears as waking or dream are one and the same thing.
It is wrong to identify the self as he or she because it refers to physicality. The self is genderless because it is formless. Identifying “Self” as he or she, leads to all sorts’ of doubts and confusion. When the self is identified as he or she it becomes physical self /ego.
When the ego is not the self, it is erroneous to judge the truth on the base of ego/physical self and come to some conclusion of finality on the physical base is erroneous because the truth is prior appearance of the physical existence. Thus, the truth has to be judged on the ultimate point of view, not on the base of what appeared later on.
Man has been conditioned to think and be and behave and believe and live as an individual separate from the world. Therefore, the self has been identified with physical body with the name within the waking experience.
The ‘mind’ is the Waking or dream experience. The Waking or dream is not the experience of the physical body but of the Soul/Self. The man and his world are within the mind; therefore mind is not within the brain. This has to be understood to assimilate the self-knowledge. Without understanding this fact the assimilation is impossibility.
The nature of the Self is formless non-dual. The nature of the mind is duality or diversity. The self is the formless substance of the mind /duality /diversity. Therefore, the whole experience of the diversity created out of single stuff. Therefore, there is no division in ultimate standpoint is the self, which in the form of consciousness. Viewing the worldview on the base of the physical self is the cause of division and separation.
When the seekers become aware of the fact that the true self is not physical but the soul, he becomes aware of the fact that the mind is mere illusion. The one who is ignorant of the true self experiences the duality as reality.
A person perceives the world within the mind. Absent of mind is absent of waking or dream. Thus waking or dream is mind.
One thinks he is an individual separate from the world within the mind. He is unaware of the fact that the mind is not within his brain, but he and his experience of the world are within the mind. Thus, he thinks he is born in this world and world existed prior to him. Thus this conviction makes him believe the birth, life and death as reality. Until this conviction is thee he will views and judges the worldview on the physical base, which is the cause of ignorance of the fact that, the true self is the soul.
This ignorance of the true self is the main hurdle in pursuit of truth. Therefore, it is very much necessary to rectify the seeking base from physical [form] to spirit [formless] before proceeding further in pursuit of truth.
If the seeking base is not rectified it will lead one towards hallucination. When the mind itself is myth then the man and his experience of the world is bound to be myth. Therefore perfect understanding of the mind will help one to unfold the mystery of the mind. It is impossible to unfold the truth on the base of false self within the false experience, because the truth is prior to the appearance of the falsehood. And falsehood creates ignorance.
Seeker has to burn down the ignorance by rectifying the base of reasoning by realizing the fact that self is not physical but it is the formless consciousness.
The ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ is cause of the ignorance. Thus one has to get rid of the ignorance by overcoming the intoxication of ‘I’ or ‘I AM’. ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ is intoxicating stuff has to be got rid of, if he is seeking truth nothing but truth.