Without understanding “what is mind?” and “what is the substance of the mind?” the self –realization is impossible. Without self-realization the non-dual peace, which is the nature of the true self is impossible.
Man can live his life either as entangled with the illusory world or being open to the spiritual realities. The human life does not consist in being caught up in the physical existence, but rather in a depth living, in which, one must experience the source of the universe within oneself.
The task of human life is not to search for one’s ultimate destiny externally, but to move into himself and discover the ultimate truth of his own existence. It is not a new knowledge, but a realization of what one really is. It is a self-realization, in which one realizes consciousness as one's indwelling spirit (soul).
The goal of self-realization is consciousness, the ultimate universal spirit behind the mind, which is in the form of the universe and soul, which is in the form of consciousness, the ultimate principle within the three states. Only when one has true knowledge about both mind and soul can one begin to experience the oneness between the two. The seeker of truth has to clarify these two notions in preparation for the analysis of the nature of mind and the self.
The mind, which is in the form of the universe, is created out of consciousness. Consciousness is principle substance and the cause of the illusion, which is in the form of the universe. Consciousness is the unitary and supreme reality, which is hidden within the illusion but remains the same and resists change, thereby the knowledge of which frees one from experiencing the illusion, which is in the form of universe as reality.
There is only mind which is present in the form of the universe. Thus the seeker has to investigate the world that confronts him.
The soul the innermost self is present in the form of consciousness. The soul is that which knows everything, that which sees. The soul, which is present in the form of consciousness alone remains after one gets rid of all thoughts and ideas by identification with self.
The soul or consciousness is only the seer; it is not Brahman that is an error. It becomes Brahman only after realization of truth.
Firstly, one has to realize the mind is not within the body but the body and world are within the mind. Therefore all our practical life within the practical world is within the mind, which is in the form of the universe. The universe appears as waking or dream (duality or mind) and disappears as deep sleep (nonduality or no mind). Thus the waking entity is not the self. The self is that which witnesses the coming and going of the three states. The self is not an individual because it pervades in everything and everywhere in all the three states. Therefore our practical life within the practical world, which is based on individuality, is nothing to do with the self, which is ever formless
One becomes aware of the fact that, the universe or mind, which appears and disappears, is only the form and the shape created out of consciousness and nothing else. The consciousness alone is positive proof and on the standpoint of the consciousness or soul as self, one becomes aware of the falsity of this universe or mind, which is mere appearance. The one which appears as mind (universe) and disappears as no mind (soul) is consciousness alone. Therefore, the mind and soul are one in essence. Without consciousness, which is the innermost self, the universe ceases to exist.
Mental analysis shows that, the existences of the formless witness, which witnesses the three states coming and going without a break. This, on closer analysis, is found to be that changeless, soul or consciousness itself.
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.
The beliefs of god, religion, yoga are based on the false self, is nothing to do with the mental (inner) journey. The religious, rituals, worships, prayers god and guru glorification may be useful in the worldly life, for those ignorant who believes their experience of birth, life, death and the world as reality, but they are not the useful tool in realizing the ultimate truth or Brahman. On the base of consciousness (soul) as self, everything other than the consciousness is mere mirage. Thus, man and his experience of the world and his belief of God and religion are part and parcel of the mirage created out of consciousness.
Arguing with believers is fruitless. Belief in tradition and scripture as if they were true or factual quite clearly is the delusion, but the payoff for holding such delusions is, for those who hold them, extremely compelling--the avoidance of the "wrath of God," the hope of heaven or salvation, or the imagined "end of suffering."
When Sage Sri, Sankara says the world is the illusion, it includes birth, life and death, which happens within the world. Thus seekers main aim is to mentally trace the formless substance of the illusion, which is also the witness of the illusion. The formless substance and witness of the illusion (world) is the Ataman, and this Ataman itself is Brahman.
Consciousness is the cause of the illusion, which is in the form of the universe and it itself is uncaused. Consciousness signifies the absolute and unlimited reality, which forms the substratum and the foundation of the illusion, which is in the form of the mind or the universe, and on which everything depends for its existence.
Consciousness is self-sufficient and does not depend on anything else for its existence. Hence, it must be a spiritual entity since matter is dependent, limited and subject to change.
Whatever exists is in the illusion or the universe is created out of the single substance, and this one universal substance is consciousness. Consciousness is absolutely homogeneous in nature. It is pure. It is absolutely destitute of qualities, and whatever qualities or attributes are conceivable can only be denied of it. Thus, consciousness is without qualities and beyond the order of one’s empirical and worldly experience; so one cannot grasp consciousness with his empirical experience. In other words, consciousness is a priori and cannot be grasped by a posteriori or limited experience.
Though consciousness is the ultimate reality that underlies the multiplicity of the phenomenal universe cannot be strictly expressed in terms of empirical language.
The consciousness is the true self. When the seeker realizes the fact that, the self is not physical but self is the formless consciousness then he also realizes the fact that, the universe in, which he exists is a mere mirage created out of consciousness. Thus there is no second thing exists other than consciousness. When one realizes the fact that his body and universe also consciousness, then he realizes the fact that, there is no second thing exists other than the consciousness, which is the true self. Thus the consciousness, which is the true self, pervades all the three states as their formless substance and witness.
Consciousness is eternal; is not bound by time; imperishable, deathless and changeless; and immaculate and not affected by any limiting adjuncts. Just as electricity works through different equipment, yet remains unaffected, so also consciousness, though it functions through everything visible, is unaffected by it. Consciousness is liberated, i.e., it is not affected by the burden and bondage of the illusion or the universe and always free. Thus knowing the consciousness as self is important for getting freedom from experiencing the illusion or duality as reality.
Consciousness is One. Though due to superimposition, the illusory universe is projected on consciousness it remains untouched by them. Just as a dream is superimposed on consciousness, so also the waking experience is superimposed on consciousness. Only by realizing the fact that, the self is not physical but self is consciousness one become aware of the fact that the three states are mere mirage created out of consciousness. When the self- knowledge dawns, the illusory reality or the universe becomes unreal and only consciousness exists.
Consciousness is unbroken existence. Unlike the passing joys derived from material things, the unbroken tranquillity of Self-realization is absolute and eternal. Therefore, the consciousness is unbroken and everlasting. Consciousness is non-dual. The consciousness is all pervading. It alone exists, and it exists everywhere. If it were not so, there would be a place where consciousness has no access and it would limit consciousness. So it is limitless and all pervading.
Consciousness is formless. Since it is all pervading and existing everywhere, it is beyond form. Having a form limits a being. So, limitless consciousness is the formless. The consciousness is ultimate truth, because it is that which remains the same at all times -- in the past, the present and the future. The soul which is present in the form of consciousness as truth is ever the same and unchanging. Consciousness as, wisdom, is absolute knowledge.
One cannot have knowledge of consciousness, as he has knowledge of sound, smell, taste, pain and pleasure; but consciousness is unconditional knowledge. Knowing consciousness as self is self-realization. Consciousness is endless and infinite.
Waves have temporary existence, but the sea is permanent. In the same way, the three states are passing and consciousness, The infinite and the endless is the substratum upon which the mind or the universe appears.
Because of one’s inability to grasp the true nature of consciousness, only with the help of deeper inquiry, analysis and reasoning, whatever positive descriptions one develops about consciousness in the light of the discrimination will remain in the level of physical experience. As consciousness is beyond the physical experience, so is it beyond physical based knowledge.
At the same time the word existence' cannot be attributed to consciousness and to the empirical world in the same way, for consciousness’s existence is of a different nature. The existence of consciousness is opposed to all empirical existence, so that in comparison with this it can just as well be considered as non-existence.
The Consciousness is the formless substance and witness of all the three states. The nature of consciousness is so transcendent that it cannot be compared with anything in the world one knows. At the same time, consciousness is present in all its manifestations, for without the consciousness nothing can exist. Yet the empirical experience of consciousness is not possible. Thus, consciousness is that unalterable and absolute Being, which remains identical with itself in all its manifestations. It is the basis and the ground of all experience, and is different from the space-time-cause world. Consciousness has nothing similar to it, nothing different from it, and no internal differentiation, for all these are objective distinctions. It is non-, non-objective and wholly other, but it is not non-being.