“From the standpoint of the waking entity the universe is a reality from the standpoint of the soul, the innermost self, the universe is mere illusion created out of consciousness. When wisdom dawns then one realizes the whole universe is consciousness. The dualistic view is possible only in ignorance. At the dawn of Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana there is only non-dualistic view in the midst of duality because the whole universe is consciousness. Thus all the contents of the universe are also consciousness. Thus form, time and space are mere illusion created out of consciousness. If the form time and space are consciousness than the experience birth, life and death also consciousness.
The word Brahman means ultimate truth or reality which cannot be indicated by any word. The Brahman can be expressed through silence because it is beyond the experience form, time and space. . Therefore, the word Brahma in the clearly stands for the essence of the three states, which is consciousness only. The final use of pursuit of truth is to know that self is consciousness.
Sage Sri, Sankara opposed the Buddhists only, who misunderstood Buddha and became atheists. According to Sage Sri, Sankara meditation always means the critical analysis about the self to get salvation from the worldly tensions. Due to the eccentric ego of the then atheists, Sage Sri, Sankara did not go beyond this since the atheists will not accept God beyond themselves. This limitation is not due to limited knowledge of Sage Sri, Sankara, but is due to the then existing situation of the psychology of the surrounding society. Even Buddha kept silent about God because the society dealt by Him consisted of Purvamimamsakas, who were strong atheists. Buddha told that everything including the self is only relatively real (Sunya). This is correct because the self is a part of the universe, which is relatively real with respect to the absolute unimaginable God. Buddha stopped at this point because the atheists cannot realize the existence of unimaginable God indicated through His silence.
The point of Buddha is that if God is non-existent, the entire creation including self is non-existent. Sage Sri, Sankara wanted to establish the existence of the Brahman. For this purpose, He made the Atman as the Brahman. He brought out the identity of self with the consciousness and made The Atman the Brahman. Since one will not negate the existence of himself, he will accept the existence of the Brahman, which is the Atman or soul, the innermost self. Both Buddha and Sage Sri, Sankara kept silent about the absolute unimaginable God. The same philosophy was dealt by them in different angles in different situations.
The waking experience which is referred to as the witnessed and the formless soul, which is present in the form of consciousness is the innermost self, referred to as the witness of the witnessed are wrongly looked upon by everyone of us as equally real, though the waking experience has no Reality in the absolute sense.
Waking and dream emerge from consciousness. The emergence of the waking or dreams does not make any difference to the consciousness. The consciousness remains unchanged and unaffected by the waking or dream, even though both the waking or dream objects and the waking or dreams are aspects of the consciousness.
The dreamer would not realize that dream objects and the dreams are simply aspects of the consciousness unless he wakes up from the dream. Once the waking takes place the dream becomes unreal, same way when wisdom dawns the waking becomes unreal. The unchanging reality behind the waking or dream experience is the consciousness.
The waking or dream experiences are external manifestation of consciousness. As long as a person is caught up in the phenomenal existence, he does not see the unity behind the multiplicity. When one wakes up to the consciousness as it is in itself, not perceived or interpreted, or noumenal level he becomes aware of the one, non-dual consciousness, which was the cause of the three states.
Thus, consciousness is supreme. It is the reality. It has no beginning and end. It is eternal and beyond the reach of pain and pleasure. Consciousness is indivisible, immeasurable, without names and forms. It cannot be avoided, as it is present everywhere. Consciousness cannot be grasped, as it is transcendent. It cannot be contained in anything, as it contains everything. Consciousness is indefinable, for it is beyond the range of action and speech. Thus, consciousness is reality itself, pure and absolute consciousness.
Consciousness is ultimate reality is defined as that which persists. Consciousness exists in all periods of time and remains the same in the past, present and future.
Consciousness is ultimate reality exists both in the manifest and the unmanifested. The mind, which is in the form of universe arises out of the consciousness .The consciousness exists in all the three states. The mind rises from it and Merges back into consciousness.
Consciousness is the substratum and the three states. Consciousness is like the ocean and mind is like wave. Wave exists in ocean and Merges back into ocean. Similarly the mind or universe is nothing but consciousness. Everything is consciousness.
Therefore, consciousness is a principle of utter simplicity. There is no duality in consciousness for no qualities are found in the concept of consciousness. It is also simple in the sense that it is not subject to inner contradictions, which would make it changeable and transitory. To understand the nature of consciousness and to speak of it, consciousness in its reality, is not a metaphysical postulate that can be proved logically, but it must be grasped and realized mentally not through argument or logical conclusions but perfect reasoning. Thus, consciousness is one: It is not a `He or She ', a personal being; nor is it an `It', an impersonal concept. It is that state which comes about when all subject-object distinctions are obliterated.