|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - F
Unit - F04
Lesson F0440: Enquiry on reality of Self
By Raja Subramaniyan
Self is the only reality.
Everything that we experience in the world is impermanent. All inert objects were created at some point of time or other. Whatever came up in time will vanish after certain point of time. Our body came into existence when we are born and therefore it will wither away in due course of time. What arrives in time will depart in time. There is no exception to this.
This knowledge is not only available from the Scriptures but also experienced by us directly. Every human being is aware that death is inevitable. They also know, by experience, the uncertainty of the world.
However, the experiencer does not change.
That is our pure consciousness. It has never arrived in time and therefore does not come under the category of birth-death. Since there is nothing other than pure consciousness, it has to be present all the time.
The definition of truth is that which is present at all three times, past, present and future. Nothing other than Self can come under this definition.
When we dream, there are many dream objects in the dream world. Suppose in the dream if a person tells us that we are actually dreaming and none of the objects seen in the dream are real. We cannot declare everything including the self (dreamer) is unreal. It is not possible to dream if the dreamer does not exist. Similarly, when we find out that everything that is perceived around us is part of an illusion, we need to infer that there is a truth on which the illusion is projected.
That truth, which is the only reality, is our self. Since this self is part less and attributeless, it cannot be differentiated from any other self. There is only one self in all and that is referred as ONE.
Then why do we have two words as Self and ONE? It is just like the pot space and the outside space. Actually there is only one indivisible space but due to our ignorance we talk about two different space. Similarly, there is only one ONE but due to our ignorance we assume that the ONE which is functioning through us as Self is different. For ultimately arriving at the truth we accept the apparent distinction but at the end we say ONE = Self. It is like a mathematical equation.
There is no need to say 8 = 8 since they are apparently equal. We cannot say 8=9 since they are not equal. We can only say 9-1 = 5+3. Although apparently all the numbers are different we write the numbers in two different sides and put the = sign in-between to indicate their equality. Similarly, You Are That, although from perception you are different from God, in essence both sides equal to ONE.