02 October 2010

Chapter Nine - Exposition of the Self

When this assemblage of body, senses, etc. acts of its own accord there arises an idea 'I am this.' This is the jiva (ego) stained by the dirt of ignorance.

When the conviction that everything is the space-like (i.e. all pervasive) Consciousness becomes firm the jiva comes to an end like a lamp without oil.

Like a misguided Brahmin, who abandons his own nobility, and adopts the life of a Sudra, the Lord assumes the role of the jiva.

Just as a child sees an apparition (created by its own fancy), so also the stupid jiva creates, on account of delusion, this unreal body and sees it (as separate from him).

A child superimposes a (real) elephant on a clay elephant and plays with it; even so, an ignorant man superimposes the body, etc., on the Self and carries on his activities.

The picture of a snake does not cause fear of a snake when it is realised to be only a picture. Similarly when the jiva-snake is clearly understood there is neither misery nor the cause of misery.

The snake superimposed on a garland merges in it; so also the sense of separateness rising from the Self merges in the Self.

Although bracelets, etc. appear to be many, as gold they are one. Similarly although the adjuncts are many, the Self is really one.

Like the organs of the body and modifications of clay (i.e. vessels of clay) non-duality appears as duality (i.e. multiplicity) in the form of the moving and unmoving objects.

Just as a single face is reflected as many in a crystal, in water, or in ghee or in a mirror; so also the (one) Self is reflected in the (many) intellects (or minds).

Just as the sky is (i.e. appears to be) stained by dust, smoke and clouds, so also the pure Self in contact with the qualities of maya is (i.e. appears to be) soiled by them.

Just as metal in contact with fire acquires the quality of fire (namely heat), so also the senses, etc. in contact with the Self acquire the quality of the Self.

Just as the invisible Rahu becomes visible when it is seized by the moon (i.e., comes in contact with the moon), even so the Self is known by experiencing objects of perception.

When water and fire come together they acquire the qualities of each other. Even so when the Self and the inert body come together the Self looks like the non-Self and the non-Self looks like the Self.

Just as fire thrown into a large sheet of water loses its quality, so also Consciousness in contact with the unreal and the inert seems to lose its real nature and becomes inert.

The Self is realised in the body only with effort, like sugar from the sugarcane, oil from sesame seeds, fire from wood, butter from a cow and iron from stones (i.e. ore).

Like the sky seen in an unbroken crystal, the Supreme Lord of the nature of consciousness is seen (i.e. exists) in all objects.

Just as a big lamp kept inside a vessel made of precious stones illumines by its light both outside and inside, so also the one Self illumines (everything).

Just as the sun's reflection in a mirror illumines (other things), so also the reflection of the Self in pure intellects illumines (other things).

That in which this wonderful universe appears like a snake in a rope is the eternal luminous Self.

The Self is without beginning or end. It is immutable Existence and Consciousness. It manifests space, it is the source of the jiva and higher than the highest.

The Self is pure Consciousness, eternal, omnipresent, immutable and self-effulgent like the light of the sun.

The omnipresent Self, the substratum of all, is non-different from the effulgent Consciousness like heat from fire. It can only be experienced (not known).

Pure Consciousness without intellect, the Supreme Self, the illuminator of all, the indivisible, pervading (everything) within and without, is the firm support (of all).

The Self is absolute Consciousness. It is pure awareness, undecaying, free from all ideas of acceptance or rejection and not limited by space, time or genus.

Just as the air in the universe pervades everything, so also the Self, the Lord, abides bodiless (in everything).

The Consciousness which exists in the expanse of earth, in the ornaments, in the sky and in the sun, exists also inside the worms lying in their shells under the earth.

There is neither bondage nor liberation, neither duality nor non-duality. There is only Brahman always shining as Consciousness.

Awareness is Brahman; the world is Brahman; the various elements are Brahman; I am Brahman; my enemy is Brahman; my friends and relatives are Brahman.

The idea of a consciousness and an object of consciousness is bondage; freedom from it is liberation. Consciousness, the object of consciousness and everything else is the Self; this is the gist of all systems of philosophy.

There is only consciousness here; this universe is nothing but consciousness; you are consciousness; I am consciousness; the worlds are consciousness - that is the conclusion.

That which exists and that which shines (i.e. is known to exist) are all the Self; anything else which seems to shine does not (really) exist. Consciousness alone shines by itself. Ideas of knower and known are idle postulates.