Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana is the aim of every human being. Since everyone thinks the physical body is the self, their aim is misdirected and they focus their attention on materiality which makes one feel the duality (waking) as reality.
In path of wisdom the ultimate truth has to be proved, not assumed. The individual experience bliss is not Brahmic bliss or nondual Self-awareness.
Individual truth is not a universal truth. An individual cannot claim that he has experienced the whole. There is no proof he has seen it, because the Whole is not an individual experience. The man and the world are within the whole. Thus such claims of experiencing the self or Ataman is mere hallucination.
Sage Sri Sankara:- "The world, filled with attachments and avrsions, and the rest, is like a dream: it appears to be real as long as one is ignorant, but becomes unreal when one is awake.
Sage Sri Sankara:- "As fire is the direct cause of cooking, so knowledge, and not any other form of discipline, is the direct cause of Liberation; for Liberation cannot be attained without Knowledge." (Self-Knowledge).
Sage Sri Sankara:- As the moon appears to be moving when the clouds move in the sky, so also to the non-discriminating. Atman appears to be active when in reality the senses are active.
The snake has no independent existence. It exists because of the rope, and it ceases to exist as soon as a light is brought. The snake then dissolves into the rope. In the same way, when one knows the ultimate truth, the mind, which is present in the form of the universe, merges into it and he realizes that mind and the soul are one and the same because they are one in essence. To attain this knowledge is the goal of life. The mind then cannot taint one. One’s contact with it is merely like that of a piece of sandalwood, which has long been under water and has thereby come to acquire a bad odour.
For a while the fragrance of the sandalwood is suppressed and the bad odour prevails. But if the sandalwood is rubbed a little, the bad odour disappears and the natural fragrance of the sandalwood becomes predominant. Similarly, one’s attachment to the physical existence (universe) is temporary. It cannot be permanent.
One has to think the soul as his self, which is in the form of Pure Consciousness. The seeker has to think intensely and constantly in this way. The attachment one now have to the experience of birth, life, death and the world will then go.
One can attain the self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana by keep reminding himself that the world, with all its allurements, is not real that is, it is not real in the sense that it is transitory. Only the consciousness is real because it is imperishable.
One must mentally reject the three states and concentrate on the formless witness of the three states. Waking experience may be alluring, but it is transitory. One should never run after things within the waking experience because the waking experience is mere mirage. One should never covet someone else's wealth within the waking, and never becomes attached to his own wealth because waking experience is parallel dream and dream is a parallel waking experience. .
To one who knows that the three states are transitory, wealth is not wealth and any form of sense pleasure is repugnant. One must be concerned only with consciousness become steeped in consciousness and consciousness alone is real and the self is that consciousness. Nurture this consciousness and become oblivious to everything else.
By performing his duties as prescribed by the scriptures are not qualifications to acquire self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana. The duties perfumed within the illusory world bound to illusory. Therefore one has to realize ‘what is the truth?’ and ‘what is the illusion?’ is in order to realize ultimate truth or Brahman.
There is no point in running after the pleasures the world has to offer. These pleasures are momentary. If one runs after them he will experience the pleasure and pain as reality. Not everyone is in a position to acquire self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana. Most people want to enjoy life. The self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana is not for them.
By indulging in deeper self-search the hankering for sense pleasures will go, the spirit of discrimination will grow strong, and love for Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana will develop. When this happens they will no longer be attached to the happening within the experience of the birth, life, death and the world. One need not feel lost. He can take time the path of wisdom is the only means to get rid of ignorance.
The ignorant is enveloped in darkness, such as what the blind experience i.e., those devoid of Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana.
Ish Upanishads :- Those people who have neglected the attainment of Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana and have thus committed suicide. This is a condemnation of people who do not try to attain Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana. They are, in a real sense, committing suicide, for what can be worse than being a slave to sense enjoyment, completely oblivious of the real purpose of life, which is to be your own master? In order to be your own master, you have to realize that you are identical with Brahman, the Cosmic Self, that you are Pure Consciousness, ever free, without name and form, and unconditioned.
The soul the innermost self is not subject to any modification, without beginning and end, beyond thought and speech. The soul, the innermost self is existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute. When one realizes this he is free from experiencing the illusory duality as reality. He no longer swings between the experience of birth, life death and the world.
If one does not try to realize what the truth really is, he is indeed committing suicide. He experiences the illusory pain and pleasure of life as a reality of experiencing the birth, life, death and the world as reality.