Bhad upanishd- 8-p- -211 : - This Self is dearer than a son, dearer than wealth, dearer than everything else, because It is innermost. If one holds the Self dear were to say to a person who speaks of anything other than the Self as deer, that he, the latter, will lose what he holds dear—and the former is certainly competent to do so—it will indeed come true. One should meditate upon the Self alone as dear. He who meditates upon the Self alone as dear—what he holds dear will not perish.
From the ultimate standpoint there is neither unwisdom nor ignorance; neither bondage, nor liberation. There is but only consciousness, which pervades in everything and everywhere in the illusory universe.
The soul, the innermost self has to be free from experiencing the duality as reality. To overcome the duality, the waking entity has to know it itself is not the self but the self is the soul, which witnesses coming and going of the three states. Thus self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana is necessary to realize ‘what is truth’ and ‘what is untruth’ to reject the untruth by accepting the truth.
Lust, anger, greed are part of the duality. From the ultimate standpoint the duality is mere illusion. If duality is mere illusion than the form, time and space are mere illusion. If form, time and space are mere illusion than the universe is mere illusion. If the universe is mere illusion, than the three states are mere illusion. If the three states are mere illusion than the experience of birth, life, death and the world are mere illusion. If birth, life, death and the world are mere illusion than the individualized god, heaven, hell, sin, and karma are part of the illusion. Therefore it is necessary to realize ‘what is illusion’ and ‘what is reality’ in order to get freedom from falsehood.
By inquiring WHO AM I? it unfolds the fallacy of the forum thus only half the truth is revealed. The ignorant who fail to apprehend the ‘self’ are caught in the web of illusion experience, the birth, life, death and world as reality. The people who think the ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ as self are caught up in the web of duality experiences the pain and pleasure as reality.
As the waking entity or ego becomes more and more inward turned, it becomes gradually free from experiencing the duality as reality. When the soul, the innermost self becomes freed from all the obstruction by fully eliminating the ignorance it remains in its own awareness. When the soul, remains in its own awareness in the midst of duality then the duality is mere illusion created out of the soul, which is present in the form of consciousness.
When the soul, the innermost self gives up identification with the waking entity than and recognizes its true nature is as undifferentiated awareness, unaffected by form, time and space and enter into its own awareness of its formless nondual true nature.
The seeker directs his attention resolutely towards the source of the three states and looking for the three states as a matter of indifference seeker has to release the mind, which is present in the form of the universe and the soul, which is present in the form of consciousness are one in essence.
The seeker should become aware of the fact that, the self is neither the waking entity nor the self is dream entity but the self is the formless soul. On the standpoint of the soul, the innermost self the three states are non-existent as reality.
The seeker has to realize the fact that, it is not the waking entity (you) which witnesses the three states. The formless soul is the witness of the coming and going of the three states. The soul is immutable. The soul is unaffected by the happening within the three states because the three states are mere mirage created out of the formless soul, which is present in the form of consciousness. The soul or consciousness is the innermost self.
When the Upanishad says: the human goal is to acquire Self-Knowledge or Bramha Gnana or Atma Gnana and they indicate the personal gods, scriptures, worship and rituals are not the means to Self –Knowledge or Bramha Gnana or Atma Gnana, then why anyone should indulge in it. The religion, concept of individualized god and the scriptures are the greatest obstacle to realize non-dual truth or self-realization, because they are based on false self. The seeker of truth has to search the ultimate truth without losing himself in the labyrinths of philosophy, through deeper, inquiry, analysis and reasoning and assimilate and realize it.
That is why Sage Sri Sankara, indicated in Bhaja Govindam says: - [Jnana Viheena Sarva Mathena Bajathi na Muktim janma Shatena] - one without knowledge does not obtain liberation even in a hundred births, no matter which religious faith he follows.
Then it is no use going roundabout way, trace the Brahman which is the formless substance and the 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.