“He Will Struggle”
Number of Sessions: 17
(61 – 77)
Number of Lessons: 16
(35 – 50)
On completion of this unit, the student will be able to
(a) Perceive the joy of Joyful Living
(b) List the benefits of Joyful Living
(c) Understand the impact of Joyful Living on the rest of the world
Notes to the teacher: (Ref 7.223 and 7.298 of the original text)
This is the final unit of this module. The joy of joyful living should be the theme of this unit. In every session, the teacher should highlight the benefit of joyful living. Students, who are not yet there, should be motivated to reach there before completion of this unit.
1. What are the two meanings of the word ‘struggle’? Lesson 35
2. List the types of diseases that affect our three bodies. Lesson 36
3. What are the differences in the nature of suffering in 3 bodies? Lesson 37
4. What is the cause of physical suffering? Lesson 38
5. Is it possible to avoid the sufferings of the three bodies? Lesson 39
6. Why the suffering of the EGO is described as apparent? Lesson 40
7. What is the understanding gained from King-Prince example? Lesson 41
8. Describe the difference between a penance and Joyful Living Lesson 42
9. Explain why suffering continues after gaining knowledge? Lesson 44
10. Describe the life of an enlightened person
Lesson 35: Meaning of the words ‘will he struggle’
In the second part of the sentence the object (the world), subject (enjoyer) and the experience (that results due to the interaction of the subject and the object) are negated as illusion, based on the knowledge gained as described in the first part of the sentence.
The meaning of the words ‘will he struggle’ in the key statement ‘If a person knows himself to be this ONE, desiring what and for whose benefit will he struggle?’ is discussed here for negating the experience (that results due to the interaction of the subject and the object).
It is already shown that there is no object to desire and there is no subject. Similarly, in this section we will see that there is no experience because there is no one to identify with the experience.
The term “will he struggle” means the experience of the body does not affect the human being. The body consists of three layers and each will undergo various experiences because of the past actions. However, there is no one to identify with the body and feel that he is suffering (or enjoying).
The words “will he struggle” have another meaning. After getting the knowledge, he will not struggle for anything since he has already completed all his tasks in the world. He may continue his actions that are born out of the past Imprints without any desire to do so.
Statement 44: The words “will he struggle” signify that he will not struggle for anything in life.
Lesson 36: Struggle implies suffering of the bodies
Our body is classified into
Physical Body (morrow, bone, fat, flesh, blood and skin including physical parts of all the internal and external organs).
Subtle Body (Intelligence, Mind, Five Life Forces, Five sense organs and Five organs of actions).
Causal Body (impressions of the accumulated results of our past actions)
Sufferings in the three bodies:
All the three bodies will experience problems that are inherent to them as listed below:
Physical Body: Limitless number of diseases affects our physical body.
The physical body comprises of three basic elements namely air, water and fire in certain proportions. On a daily basis the proportion between them keep changing and they are adjusted to maintain the normal health. However, there is a possibility of these going out of balance resulting in ill health. There can be abnormality in physical body due to deformity or disability. Finally, the body will age resulting in reduction in the ability to perform any function/ action.
Subtle Body: Two types of diseases affect our subtle body.
Presence of Desire, Anger, greed, frustration, jealousy, confusion, attachment, hatred, arrogance, pride, pomp, malice, vanity, harshness, foolishness/ childishness, fear, anxiety, worry
Absence of peace, tranquility, steadfastness, kindness, reverence, patience, fortitude, humility
Causal Body: Two types of diseases affect our causal body.
When we live in Causal Body level, we appear to lose ourselves
It carries the seeds of future sufferings (to other two bodies)
Statement 45: Suffering pertains to the three bodies and not to the self.
Lesson 37: Nature of the suffering
It is not possible to avoid completely the problems pertaining to the three bodies. These struggles are caused due to the past actions of the individual. One should learn to accept these sufferings as an incidental addition.
Example: A new car will become old and create problems after few years. Wear and tear is the natural part of the usage. One should spend money, time and energy in maintaining all the tools and equipments that one uses. This logic applies to our body/ mind complex as well.
After certain stage, we replace the old car with the new one since it makes financial sense. Similarly, we replace the body through dying and being born again. It is a natural process.
Similar to the equipments, we can maintain the performance of the physical body through proper diet and exercises. However, well we maintain, a day will come we need to change the equipment. Similarly, our physical body will age and wither away one day. We cannot do much about it. We have to live with it.
The other two bodies are different.
The subtle body is not subject to wear and tear since there are no physical components in it. Its performance can be improved by appropriate practices. There are techniques like Pranayama, which will improve the performance of the Life Forces.
Through appropriate mental exercises, we can sharpen our intelligence, increase the capabilities of our memory and improve the quality of our mind.
Similarly, we can improve our skills in drawing, singing, painting, sports or any activity that is done using our hands, legs and mouth.
An important advantage is whatever improvements we do to our subtle body is permanent. Even after death, it will come with us. Therefore, we should attempt to improve our subtle body continuously.
The causal body holds the seeds of our future births. This is neither subjected to wear and tear like the physical body, nor amenable to positive improvements like the subtle body. However, by ensuring that we form good habits we can ensure that the quality of the seeds is changed for the better. In addition, if we are to gain the ultimate knowledge then the causal body can be cleaned up and all the past negative results of our actions can be erased.
Lesson 38: Reasons for the suffering
Statement 46: Our past actions are the reasons of our sufferings.
Thus, the status of the current body is the result of our past actions. If we are fat and unhealthy, it is entirely due to our past actions. In general, more money we pay for equipment, it will last longer and problem free. This is true, even for our bodies. Depending on the good deeds we have performed in the previous birth, we have acquired our current body. Having acquired the body we need to live with it.
The suffering the bodies need to undergo cannot be changed much. However, these sufferings do not affect our real self.
Example: The reflection of the sun is seen in the gutter. The gutter is full of waste materials, which are ugly, nasty and smelly. These however do not affect the reflection of the sun in anyway; much less, they can affect the real sun.
Similarly, the sufferings of the bodies will not affect the EGO, which is the reflection of ONE. Definitely, they cannot affect ONE. ONE has lent the qualities of Knower, Awareness and Bliss to the EGO and these factors cannot be affected by the sufferings of the body. If the EGO appears to get affected by the sufferings of the bodies, it is due to ignorance.
Lesson 39: Removal of the suffering
It should be understood that it is the nature of the body to suffer. There is no way the suffering and the body could be separated.
Example: The patient tells the doctor, “Please ensure that I do not get any problems in my right hand”. The doctor replies, “The only way I can do that is to remove your right hand”.
However, we need not suffer due to these natural changes in the bodies, if we analyze our true nature.
There are three truths, which constitute the meaning of the word “I”. They are,
ONE, which is pure existence
EGO, which is the reflection of ONE
Three bodies, which is inherently prone to suffering
The subtle body is the reflecting medium, which reflects ONE and the reflection is called EGO. This reflection enlivens the body and gives it the semblance of life.
Without knowing this truth, the EGO assumes that the body is pure and problem free just like the ONE.
Example: The sun light is reflected in the gutter. An onlooker ignorantly assumes that the brightness that is coming from the gutter belongs to the dirty objects floating in the gutter.
EGO does the similar mistake.
Suffering is naturally associated with our bodies and the only way to remove them is to become immune to them by applying knowledge.
Lesson 40: Apparent suffering of EGO
Nevertheless, in practical life it looks impossible that we are not affected by the sufferings of our bodies.
Example: A child comes back home with the progress report. The child has obtained 1st rank. However, the child does not care much about the rank. Nevertheless, the parents are very happy.
The happiness of the parents is due to the sense of belonging, “my child”.
The sense of belonging is abstract information, which has no reality. However, we give too much importance to it causing us pain.
Example: A mother receives news that her child met with an accident.
The mental trauma of the mother has nothing to do with her physical status. Her sense of belonging to the child causes the misery.
Similarly, the EGO has a sense of belonging with the physical body. This has resulted in the suffering.
To continue the previous example: If the mother comes to know that it is not her child who is involved in the accident, instantly she is relived of all the pain and suffering.
Similarly, if the EGO realizes that it is not related to the bodies, the sufferings of the body will not affect the EGO. EGO will be a casual observer to the sufferings of the body.
Example: The wall developed a crack after a heavy rain. A passerby notices the crack but not affected by it in anyway. The owner of the house, however, is shattered.
As long as there is no attachment, the pain and suffering does not come about.
Since the real self cannot be touched, the suffering of the EGO is apparent just as the dream can hurt only a dream body.
Lesson 41: Removal of apparent suffering
The sufferings of the body do not belong to the EGO. The EGO itself does not have a reality. It is just a reflection of ONE. ONE is pure and changeless. There is no cause for the EGO to suffer if this truth is understood. Instead, the EGO takes itself very seriously and suffers. Once the truth is realized, it will be a matter of shame to look back our behavior during the days of ignorance.
Example: A person runs away from a rope thinking it is a snake. When the truth about the snake is known, he will feel ashamed.
It is not possible to kill the snake, which does not have absolute reality. One can act as if the snake is killed by stamping the rope. Similarly, the suffering of the bodies belongs to the world of illusion. It is only possible to use the various medical facilities that are available in the illusory world so that the illusory pain is reduced or eliminated.
Effect of the Removal of apparent suffering:
Since for a long time the EGO has attached itself with the bodies it cannot be relived of the sufferings from the body soon after realizing that it is attached to the ONE.
Example: A master wrongly concludes that, his servant is a thief and hands him over to police. However, later he comes to know the truth that the servant is innocent and honest. The master says, ‘sorry’ and takes him back as servant. However, the feeling of guilt will continue for sometime.
It is not possible to be relived of the mistake committed, instantly. In fact if the master took long time to realize the truth, the feeling of guilt will last long. If he was to realize his mistake within few hours, he will feel relived very soon.
The EGO has committed the mistake of identifying itself with the bodies for a long time. Therefore, it will take a while for it to be relieved from the bodily afflictions. It has to do meditation on the truth (that it is but a reflection of ONE) for a long time to erase the earlier misidentification.
Practice after realization:
It is important for us to behave like ONE when we realize that we are not the body but ONE.
Example: The king names his first son to be his next successor. The prince might have behaved irresponsibly upto that point. However once he has been named as the successor to the throne, he has to start functioning like a king. He has to meet the high standards in all the essential qualities of a king. If he does not show the maturity to be the next king, his father might change his mind and nominate someone else to become the king.
Similarly, once we realize that we are ONE, we should stop being irresponsible. We can no longer identify ourselves with the body and suffer its afflictions. We should consciously change our life style to be worthy of a realized person.
This conscious practice will slowly relive us from the clutches of the earlier bondage. Our identification with the bodies will be dissolved in due course of time, if we are to be firm in our conviction of our new position.
Once the knowledge becomes steady, we will lead a Joyful Living.
Lesson 42: Joyful Living is not a penance
Once we gain the knowledge that we are the only reality and the world is false, it is possible that we slip from this knowledge.
Example: Someone says, “You are a fool”
We may feel hurt. This happens if we forget our eternal nature. Everyone and everything in the life is ONE. We are aware of this. Still we are hurt when someone calls us a fool.
It is perfectly all right if it happens infrequently. Since we were attaching ourselves with the body for a long time, we might have slipped from the right knowledge. We should correct ourselves and recover from the incident quickly.
Such incidents where we get hurt cannot be frequent. We should not be getting hurt deeply whenever it happens. If it is happing frequently and we are getting hurt deeply, it only means that we do not yet have the right knowledge.
After getting the knowledge, our mind should be in a relaxed state. If we are worried that we might slip from our knowledge, it is another form of suffering.
Joyful Living is a factual status and not a penance one is taking it upon him.
Example: I take a vow I will not talk for one week. It is a penance
Penance is abnormal and it gives benefit only when completed properly and completely. There should not be any slip/ mistake during the penance. There is a fear that we should do the penance properly since if not done properly, it will give negative results. We will get affected by improper penance. Joyful Living is not a penance. It is the normal state and the ignorance is the abnormal state. Since we were doing this mistake for a long time, and since majority of the people are ignorant, it appears to be normal. There is nothing to be done to live joyfully. In penance mind should be alert. In joyful living, the mind is relaxed.
Due to the relaxed state, it is possible that we stray into falsehood briefly. This occasional slip can be removed through appropriate practice of meditation.
Example: After the completion of a month of fasting during Ramadan month, Muslims rejoice for two reasons. One, they have not slipped from the self-imposed restrictions. Two, the self-imposed restrictions are finally removed and they are free again.
Incase if there was a slip during the penance, it will cause guilty consciousness in the mind of the practitioner. However, in the case of the enlightened person such slips and mistakes will not cause any guilty consciousness
Penance is the means to an end. Joyful living is the end in itself and not a means to anything. It is not a cause to worry if one gives reality to the world and suffers after gaining the knowledge.
Lesson 43: Reasons for the continuation of suffering even after gaining self-knowledge.
The effect of the prolonged state of ignorance lasts for a while even after its removal through obtaining knowledge.
Example: Even after realizing that the there is no real snake; the shivering caused by the imaginary snake lasts for a while.
When the pedaling of the cycle is completely stopped, the cycle will continue running for while due to inertia. Similarly, the effect of the ignorance will continue even after obtaining knowledge.
Knowledge gained is permanent but it could slip occasionally.
It is a paradigm shift when one moves from ignorance to wisdom. The world which, appeared to be real for the ignorant, has suddenly become an illusion. Nevertheless, this knowledge may slip occasionally.
This is due to the insufficient control over the mind. If the mind is not trained to be steady, it will oscillate. Even after knowing the truth that the world is an illusion, the mind might get distracted if it is not trained adequately.
Example: Even after returning to peace in a country where war was going on for a while, simple crackers will be construed as resumption of gunshots. Although it is known that the war has ended, one will become anxious on hearing the cracker sound.
The sound of the cracker will not change the situation from peace to war. Nevertheless, it might create the effect of the war on the weak-minded people. Similarly, an event of the world might affect a week-minded person, even if he knows that the world is an illusion.
Therefore, in order to enjoy the Joyful Living fully, one has to practice sufficient meditation. One should meditate on the truth that the world is an illusion and does not have capability to hurt his real self.
Ignorance goes but suffering to the three bodies continues until the end of the current lifetime.
Normally when we remove the cause, the effect will go. The cause for suffering is the ignorance. Once we gain the knowledge, the ignorance goes. However, the effect of the ignorance, namely, the suffering to the three bodies continues until the end of the current lifetime. This is due to the results of the past actions done prior to gaining the knowledge.
Example: One hits himself on the tree and cries over the misfortune of losing the tenth man. When he realizes the truth, he stops crying and start rejoicing. Nevertheless, the suffering caused by the wound on the head will continue to hurt for a while.
Similarly, the knowledge removes all the accumulated results of the past actions except those that have taken the effect.
Example: The arrow already released from the bow cannot be stopped.
Similarly, the effects of the past action that has started to take effect will continue to affect.
However, such suffering will be ignored since the ultimate knowledge is gained.
Example: If the valet is lost with lots of cash, we will be very happy to recover the cash, even if the valet is not regained.
Lesson 44: Joyful Living
The life will continue to unfurl into experiences even to a person who has gained the absolute knowledge. He is no different from others in this respect. His past actions have already determined his future experiences and he has no choice but to go through them. However, unlike the ignorant, he will not be affected by the unfavorable experiences.
Example: An expert surfer does not classify the waves as favorable or unfavorable. Whatever be the type of the waves, he will be able to surf well. And he may also get tossed by a giant wave occasionally.
Whatever happens in the world is happening the way it should happen. Whatever experience I go through is exactly the way I wanted it to be. This knowledge is the by-product of the true knowledge.
Example: A boxer after defeating a difficult opponent wins the title. He will be very happy even if there is a severe pain all over the body. He may not even be aware of the pain. If the pain is pointed out, he will recall the fight and feel happy thinking about the way he recovered in the fight after that punch.
Similarly, after enlightenment, any sufferings or unfavorable experiences will appear to be a cause of celebration.
After gaining the true knowledge, one is not bound by any rules and restrictions. One is on top of the world all the time.
Example: Lion does not envy any other animal. It does not think it is very lean compared to the rhinoceros. It does not feel that it is small compared to the elephant. The male lion does not even have to hunt. The food is served by the lionesses. The life is joyful for the king of the forest.
Similarly, the enlightenment will lead the person to the top of the world. All his requirements will be met automatically by his past actions. His only duty is to enjoy life all the time.
Lesson 45: Perfect Satisfaction
After gaining the absolute knowledge and becoming steady on it, one will have perfect satisfaction. Everyone has enjoyed such satisfaction occasionally in his life.
Example: A couple, who got married ten years earlier, will be very happy to know about the conception of their first baby. They will enjoy the perfect satisfaction for few moments. Soon it will be replaced by the anxiety that everything should go on smoothly until delivery. When the child finally arrives, again they will have perfect satisfaction for few moments.
The perfect satisfaction in the mind of the enlightened person is identical to such happiness. However, his satisfaction is not dependent on any object, event, person or place. It is independent. In the example above, the happiness of the couple will be lost if the child becomes ill. Thus, the happiness of the ignorant people always depends on the environment. Happiness of the enlightened does not depend on any factor. It is absolute and eternal, hence the name ‘perfect satisfaction’. He will always be happy inspite of living among the ever-changing environment. The events in life will continue to oscillate between the pairs of the opposites but the perfect satisfaction will not change.
There are two reasons for this perfect satisfaction. The first reason is that there is nothing more to do. The second reason is that there is nothing more to gain. Until one reaches this stage, they will either be a doer, engaging in some sort of action or an enjoyer, enjoying pleasures and suffering the pains of the world.
A person who has not gained the ultimate knowledge will always have a sense of guilt and sense of hurt. Guilt is due to the feeling of inadequacy of the action. After completing an action, everyone will always feel it could have been done in a better manner or differently. Hurt is due to the feeling of inadequacy of the result. Whatever benefit comes as the result of the action is viewed as insufficient. Therefore, until the ultimate knowledge is gained one will be seeking fulfillment.
Statement 47: This feeling of inadequacy is not there in an enlightened person and therefore, he has perfect satisfaction.
Lesson 46: The enlightened has no duties
Normally people are involved in three types of action.
People act to succeed in this world. This will be in the form of getting educated, working in a job or doing business, and raising a family.
People act to perform different religious rituals. This will be in the form of going to temple, giving alms, serving the poor and observing penances.
People act to gain ultimate knowledge. This will be in the form of serving a teacher, Inquire, Introspect and do meditation for Inner-Transformation. This is more time consuming and more difficult than the first two.
Since the enlightened person has realized the ultimate, he does not have any such duties.
He does not have to do anything to succeed in the world since he is aware that the world is an illusion. He is also aware that the results of his past actions will take care of his survival until death. Therefore, he does not have to do anything.
He does not have to follow any religious rituals since he has gained the required mental maturity. (The main purpose of rituals is to develop mental maturity that is required for gaining the ultimate knowledge). Since he has already gained knowledge he does not have to follow any rituals.
He does not have to study under a teacher since he has already gained the ultimate knowledge.
Thus, the enlightened has no duties at all.
However, the enlightened one may keep himself busy with some action or other. Such action comes because of his preferences and not for fulfilling any selfish desires.
When it is said that the enlightened does not have any duties it just means that he has the option to act or not to act. In either way, he cannot be questioned.
The nature of action will also vary from person to person and will depend on his personal preferences. There are no set rules that an enlightened person will behave in a particular way.
Lesson 47: The enlightened does not have anything to gain
People are looking forward to gain something or other all the time. This is because they assume that the happiness lies out there and they are supposed to get it by gaining wealth, power, position etc. However, the enlightened knows that he is Ever Witnessing Joy and does not have to gain any worldly object (since there is no happiness in them and he does not need any)
There is subtle difference in the way enlightened person enjoys life. In general, the happiness from the worldly objects is sense pleasure. An enlightened person will also enjoy the sense pleasure but his happiness comes from his wisdom.
When the world provides positive environment he enjoys them. When it provides negative environment, he is aware that his real self is not affected by it. Therefore, he continues to be happy.
Example: When someone insults an enlightened person, he will not be upset. He is aware that person is not capable of behaving in any other way.
Thus, the enlightened people have a shock absorber in the form of right knowledge so that the unfavorable events of the world do not lead to suffering.
He will always be thinking that there is nothing more to be done or nothing more to gain. He will always keep referring that how one was bound in the past and feel relieved that he is no longer bound.
Example: If our flight is being hijacked in the dream, when we wake up, we are very happy that it is not real. We may even think back about the dream and thank god that it was a dream.
In the similar way, the enlightened person enjoys every moment of his life. It is like being in the dream, knowing that it is a dream. He can enjoy all positive events and ignore the negative events as dream.
Whatever be the environment, one accepts it as the result of his actions in the past. There is nothing to complain about and there is nothing to look forward. Whatever one has sowed will be reaped. The advantage is one is no longer affected by the unfavorable environment and enjoy the life all the time.
Lesson 48: The enlightened does not attempt to change others
The world will continue to be a mixture of people of different types. The mental maturity and the knowledge of the enlightened one is a very rare type. Therefore, the enlightened one has to live among others who are somewhere down in the spiritual ladder. Since he is aware of the difficulties of climbing the ladder and reaching the top, he understands and appreciates the position of the others around him.
Example: There is no happiness from watching TV. Although the enlightened one may or may not watch TV, he will understand why others spend hours watching a substandard show.
Everyone will function according to his level of understanding of the truth. Therefore, the enlightened one will not criticize them.
He knows that he is complete. Everyone else is involved in some action or other for getting fulfillment. Although they are ignorant and will not get fulfillment from their action, he will not prevent them from action.
Example: A one-year-old child attempts to reach the chocolate box kept on a table. We know that the box is empty. If the child succeeds in reaching the box, it will be disappointed. Still we may not prevent the child from making the attempt since we are aware the attempt of the child is not wasted. It has given it motivation to perform better. The effort will help the child to stand up and walk.
Similarly, although the ignorant may not get what they want from their action, they will gain the mental maturity from their experience, which is an essential requirement for gaining the ultimate knowledge.
Example: Looking at the child, attempting to take the chocolate box, we can feel so happy that we are much stronger and capable than the child. We do not have to struggle like the child since we are physically better off.
In addition, we have the knowledge that the box is empty. Therefore, even if we are capable, we will not reach for the box.
Similarly, looking at the ignorant people chasing material gains, the enlightened will feel the happiness that he does not have to struggle like them. In addition, since he knows that the world does not offer any happiness, it does not attract him anymore.
Lesson 49: Nature of the action by the enlightened
There are no duties for the enlightened person. Nevertheless, he cannot totally avoid action as long as he lives. Actions are performed by him because of his preferences and not out of any selfish desires. Therefore, it does not matter to him whether his actions bring about any results or not. He does not perform any action under the false notion that he is a body/mind complex.
Whatever action we do, the results are bound to come. We cannot nullify the effect of one action by performing some other (opposite) action.
Example: One beats another in a fit of anger and then apologizes; he will be punished for beating and will be rewarded for apologizing. The crime and the Good Samaritan action will yield independent results and cannot nullify each other.
Because of this rule, the enlightened will have to live the life and experience the result of all his past actions. However, such experiences will not be converted as pleasure and pain. It depends on the mental maturity of the person. Experiences will come but an enlightened person will not be affected by it unlike an ignorant person. An ignorant person will give reality to such experiences and suffer but an enlightened person will ignore them as a part of a dream.
Example: Even after all the vital organs have failed, some people will live for few days. Doctors may call it as medical wonder. The truth is that person will live as long as the results of the past action last.
The enlightened one does not have any enemies. Since everyone in the world is powered by the same ONE, life is a mono act play for him. His ‘enemy’ is behaving as such because his role dictates him to do so.
For the enlightened, right and wrong, truth and false, war and peace, are all belong to the relative world, which is a dream. It does no matter if one praises or blames in a dream.
For the ignorant, life is oscillating between happiness and sorrow because he is expecting the action and result to be directly and perfectly correlated. The truth is different.
One can set out on foot to a strange land without any money. Whether he will suffer or gain depends on the result of his past actions. When he is hungry, he will get food from some source. Such experiences will teach one the truth regarding the relationship between the past actions and current experiences.
Lesson 50: Enlightened and Ignorant can work together
Although the enlightened is not bound to do any action, he may lead an active life due to his preferences. Such action will also happen to facilitate the world to function and to yield the appropriate results to others. In a world where all types of people are living, there will be many joint actions or actions with inter-relationships which will bring the enlightened and the ignorant to work together.
Such association will not bring about any personality clash. Since the objective of both of them are very different, there will not be any issue. While the enlightened performs the action without any selfish goal, the ignorant do it for the sake of expanding the business. Therefore, there is nothing, which is common and attracts the attention of both.
For the enlightened, it does not matter how the work is carried out in the world. He may work perfectly but does not expect others to work perfectly.
For the ignorant, it is important to follow the rules and rituals and the enlightened will not care for them. Nevertheless, he will follow them for the sake of others since it does not matter to him either way.
Example: If two deaf men are shouting at each other, knowing that both of them are deaf, there is no point for a third person to get into it.
Similarly, the worldly people clash with each other without having the ultimate knowledge. In any case, the enlightened knows it does not matter either way since everything is an illusion. There is no point in participating in an argument since the absolute knowledge will come only when someone surrenders to a competent teacher. Knowledge can never be transferred through an argument or discussion.
The focus of the materialist is to gain worldly possessions. The enlightened person does not have anything to gain.
Conquering one desire is better than fulfillment of thousand desires. The enlightened has accomplished the difficult task and the ignorant will learn the truth when is attempting to satisfy his never-ending desires.
Getting involved in worldly actions will not be a risk to the knowledge of the enlightened. Knowledge can be erased or replaced only when knowledge from a stronger source is obtained. Since the knowledge from the scripture is the ultimate, the enlightened will not risk his knowledge by performing worldly action.
Example: Even a live rat cannot kill a cat. If that is so, there is a no possibility of a dead rat threatening to kill the cat.
The world is an illusion and it will have no impact on the reality.
Essence of Self
Understanding EGO and SELF
Number of Sessions: 7
(01 – 07)
Number of Lessons: 7
On completion of this unit, the student will be able to
(o) Understand distinctly the role of EGO and SELF.
(p) Learn to shift the attention from EGO to SELF in daily life.
Notes to the teacher: (Ref 8.01 and 8.76 of the original text)
1. What is the implication of not trusting the declaration ‘You Are That’?
2. What is the relationship between SELF and ONE?
3. Define External and Internal Thoughts.
4. What is the similarity between External and Internal Thoughts?
5. What are the differences between External and Internal Thoughts?
6. What are the four distinct roles played by EGO and SELF with respect to External Thoughts?
7. Discuss the role of EGO and SELF with respect to Internal Thoughts.
8. What is the purpose of discussing the nature of God, Creation and the Living beings in the Holy Scriptures?
9. SELF is a witness to which four events?
10. What is the nature of SELF?
Lesson 1: Understanding ‘YOU ARE THAT’
Joyful Living is possible only when we understand the essence of the Holy Scriptures, namely, ‘YOU ARE THAT’. Due to ignorance people do not have clarity on the meaning of the word, ‘YOU’. Since the word ‘THAT’ refers to God, who is relatively unknown, it will be easier to learn that part. With respect to the question, 'who am I?’ confusing and often contradicting knowledge exists in our mind. We need to gain clarity on the meaning of the word ‘YOU’ so that it is possible for us to comprehend the meaning of the statement, ‘YOU ARE THAT’.
Conflicting questions will arise in our mind if we attempt to understand this statement, ‘YOU ARE THAT’ with our wrong knowledge. How can I, a limited, mortal human being be an all-powerful God? Such contradictions will force us to either one of the following options.
Option 1: Disregard the Holy Scriptures or conclude that the Holy Scriptures DO NOT declare ‘YOU ARE THAT’. People who are not fully qualified for Joyful Living will choose this option. They may have to spend many more lifetimes to understand that this option will not lead to Joyful Living.
Option 2: Accept and have faith in the declaration of the Holy Scriptures and start doubting our understanding of the meaning of the word YOU. People, who choose this option will embark on the process of enquiry and find out the right meaning of the word ‘YOU’. They will reach the destination of Joyful Living soon.
Inquiry about the meaning of the word ‘YOU’
Prior to commencing the inquiry of the meaning of the word YOU, we should be clear that this word does not mean our body/mind complex. Our physical body is an incidental addition and not an integral part, as detailed in earlier modules.
The word ‘YOU’ is wrongly assumed to mean two distinct entities. One is EGO and the other is SELF/ ONE. Our body/ mind complex exists and is enlivened by these two distinct entities.
ONE is the changeless consciousness, which lends existence to the whole universe. In the context of our body/mind complex, the very same ONE is referred to as SELF.
EGO is different from Ego. Our mind has four modes: one of which is Ego (the thoughts of ‘I’ and ‘mine’). Our mind also reflects the consciousness or SELF/ONE. EGO is this reflection.
In this module, the original consciousness is referred as SELF or ONE and the reflected consciousness is referred as EGO.
Lesson 2: EGO and SELF
The difference between EGO and SELF is explained with an example.
Example: Children are playing with mirrors, reflecting sunlight on the wall.
In this example we can equate,
Wall with The universe
Mirror with Our mind
Sunlight with SELF
Reflected light with EGO
Illumined wall with Our physical body
1. The wall is illumined by two distinct lights. The sunlight illumines the whole wall and the reflected light from the mirrors creates many circles of illumined spaces on the wall.
The universe is supported by two distinct entities. SELF lends existence to the entire creation and the EGO, which is the reflection of SELF, creates many living beings in the world.
2. The illumined circles of spaces move about on the surface of the wall representing each child on the wall. Children identify themselves with these circles of illusion and play with each other.
Our physical body is part of the creation. It appears to be alive due to the presence of the EGO. We identify ourselves with the EGO and assume that our body exists independent of the creation.
3. The sunlight is the only source of light. The reflected light from the mirrors do not have independent existence. Therefore, strictly speaking we should not call them as two different entities. However, since there is a distinct difference seen on the wall, with many circles of bright light moving about, we need to talk about two different lights.
SELF is the only real entity. EGO is a mere reflection of SELF and it does not have independent existence. Therefore, the meaning of the word, ‘YOU’, refers to only one entity. However, since there appears to be multiple human beings on the earth, we need to talk about two different entities until we understand that the true and only meaning of the word YOU is SELF.
4. Sun is only one. However, there are multiple reflections of the sun on the wall. Children assume that each one of them is controlling a distinct circle of light on the wall and that circle of light belongs to each one of them exclusively.
Although SELF is one, each human being assumes that they are independent because they perceive multiple physical bodies. Each assumes independent ownership and claim exclusive possession of the ego.
5. Sunlight on the wall appears to be dim compared to the reflected light.
Presence of SELF is overshadowed by our EGO.
6. The reflected light from the mirror attracts the attention of everyone, while the existence of the sunlight on the wall is not ordinarily noticed by anyone.
People are aware of the presence of the EGO and they are ignorant of the presence of SELF. The word ‘I’ is assumed to mean the ‘EGO’ and not the ‘SELF’.
7. Reflected light provides entertainment to the children and they do not care much about the sunlight since they do not perceive its usefulness or necessity.
Without EGO the body is dead and therefore people value EGO more than the SELF. This is similar to saying that the moon is more important than the sun, since it gives light during the night, when it is most needed.
8. Sunlight is a necessity but the reflected light is a luxury.
It is not possible for people to exist without SELF. They do exist without EGO during deep sleep. Even during the moments of happiness they forget who they are (ie the Ego merges with SELF).
Enlightened people do not need anything to be happy and since they know that they are the SELF. They have a body/mind complex which is a luxury for them. Until enlightenment people think that they are EGO which is a basic necessity and they look for fulfillment in the external world. (Just as a child moving ‘his’ light fast to reach a specific target on the wall. The target on the wall is already illumined by the sunlight.)
9. The reflected light is temporary and the sunlight is permanent.
EGO has birth and death. SELF is immortal.
10. Sunlight pervades infinite space while the reflected lights occupy a small and limited space on the wall.
EGO is limited. While some assume that they are limited to their body, many include their physical possessions like land, building and such assets in the definition of EGO. For example, if their car gets dented in an accident they suffer. Some monarchs or rulers assume that the entire country is included in their EGO. However big the EGO is, it is limited. SELF is infinite.
11. Sunlight illumines the entire wall whether the children direct the mirrors towards the wall or not. In addition, when the children are playing with many moving circles of reflected light on the wall, the space between any two circles are illumined by the sunlight only.
The universe consisting of both living and inert objects exists due to the grace of SELF. In addition, the living beings get life due to the presence of EGO. EGO is the reflection of the SELF in the mind, which is also an inert object.
12. Sunlight does three things. (a) It lights up the wall. (b) It lights up the mirror and (c) it creates multiple circles of lights on the wall through its reflections.
SELF does three things. (a) It illumines the physical body. (b) It illumines the subtle body and (c) it creates multiple living beings through its reflections.
13. Light means the sun light and not the reflected light.
I means SELF and not the EGO.
We have seen (a) The nature of EGO and SELF and (b) the difference between the EGO and SELF through the above example of reflected light on the wall. The EGO and SELF play distinct roles, which are detailed in the subsequent lessons.
Lesson 3: Definition of two types of thoughts
Thoughts are classified into External Thoughts and Internal Thoughts for the purpose of understanding the distinct roles played by EGO and SELF.
Description of External Thoughts and Internal Thoughts
External Thoughts include all thoughts for which the object of thought lies in the external world. For example, when we see a rose, a thought rose representing the physical rose is formed in our mind.
Internal Thoughts are those thoughts that constitute our emotions and feelings, which arise due to our responses to the External Thoughts. For example, on seeing a rose, we think ‘I like the rose’. The ‘rose’ is the subject of our External Thought. This External Thought is the subject of our Internal Thought. For Internal Thoughts there are no subjects outside our mind since the thought ‘I like’ or ‘I do not like’ concerns only with the thought-rose and not with the physical rose. All thoughts concerning ‘I’ and ‘mine’ are Internal Thoughts.
Similarity between External Thoughts and Internal Thoughts
There can be only one thought in the mind at any given moment. Between two thoughts there will always be a distinct interval, however small or big that interval may be. Since mind works at a very fast pace, it appears that we have multiple thoughts in our mind at the same time. This rule that the thoughts always come one after the other, holds good whether the thoughts are external or internal.
Difference between External Thoughts and Internal Thoughts
We may or may not know an object. However, with respect to Internal Thoughts, there is no chance of ignorance. For example we will always know whether we are angry or not.
The subjects of External Thoughts are made up of physical or conceptual substances that lie in the external world. The subject for Internal Thoughts is always another thought. Therefore, we are always aware of our Internal Thoughts.
All thoughts that arise during meditation are Internal Thoughts. When we commence meditation, we ensure that our sense organs are closed and the input from the external world is not entertained. In such a situation, whatever thoughts arise in our mind are Internal Thoughts.
Lesson 4: Role of EGO and SELF in External Thoughts
For gaining knowledge of the objects in the external world, we need the following three entities.
Knower, one who gains the knowledge
Object of knowledge
Source or instrument of knowledge
Knower gains the knowledge of the object through the instrument of knowledge.
Example: I see a pot
I (knower) send my thoughts through my eyes (instrument of knowledge) to the pot (object of knowledge) and the thoughts come back and form a thought pot in my mind, which is called knowledge.
Prior to seeing the pot, I did not know the pot. After seeing the pot, I know the pot.
Inert objects do not gain knowledge. Mind, eyes, thoughts and pot are all inert objects. No knowledge can be gained through the interaction among these inert objects.
SELF is the intelligent principle, which sustains the existence of all the inert objects in the universe including the mind, eyes, thoughts and the pot.
Mind reflects the SELF and the reflection is called EGO. Presence of the EGO makes the inert objects to appear as living beings capable of gaining knowledge.
When the thoughts leave the mind they are accompanied by the EGO.
Example: A sharp metal edge is attached to a wooden spear.
Without the sharp metal edge, the wooden spear is just a stick and it will not have any power to pierce anything. Similarly, EGO is attached to the thoughts so that when the inert thoughts reach the object, it gathers knowledge. Without the EGO both the thoughts and the object are inert objects. Therefore, no knowledge can come. With the EGO it becomes possible for the thoughts to gain the knowledge of the object. They bring the thought-object back and store it in the mind as knowledge.
Thus, both SELF and EGO enable the process of gaining the knowledge by playing distinct roles.
Role 1: Knowledge of the object Vs Knowledge of the knowledge
EGO enables us to gain the knowledge of the object. SELF enables us to be aware whether we have the knowledge or not.
The role of SELF is to highlight the presence or the absence of the knowledge. The role of EGO is to convert the absence of knowledge into presence of knowledge.
Role 2: Changing Vs Changeless
SELF cannot directly convert the absence of knowledge into presence of knowledge, because this process involves change. SELF is changeless. EGO undergoes change and enables accumulation of knowledge.
Example: A computer cannot work without electricity. The data in the computer will keep changing but the electricity remains changeless.
It makes no difference to the electricity whether the computer has 20 GB of data or 2 MB of data. The computer needs electricity to function and the electricity alone cannot process any data without the computer. Similarly, the changeless SELF enables the ever changing EGO to function.
Role 3: Temporary Vs Continuous
EGO cannot illumine the fact whether we have or do not have knowledge of an object because EGO is temporary and not continuous. SELF alone is real that is ever present and EGO is a reflection, which is momentary.
Example: The processing is done in RAM and the results are stored in the hard disk. Data in the RAM is temporary. Data in the hard disk is permanent. RAM is essential to interact with the input devices and capture data. Only after this stage the data can be stored in the hard disk.
Without RAM no data can be captured. Without hard disk no data can be stored.
Data is represented by 0s and 1s in the computer system. The status in the hard disk could be either 0 or 1 to signify the presence or absence of data. Hard disk cannot convert 0 into 1 without the assistance of RAM.
EGO is absent during deep sleep and during the period between death and birth. However, SELF is eternally present.
Role 4: Action Vs Inaction
EGO is full of action and SELF is action less.
EGO is similar to RAM and SELF is similar to the hard disk. Both have independent and indispensable roles to play in capturing and retaining data.
Example: The hard disk collects data from the external sources by sending appropriate signals supported by RAM through the input devices and storing them.
Knowledge is defined as thoughts supported by EGO traveling through the sense organs, collecting data of the external object and forming thought-object in the mind.
Example: When we search for a file in the hard disk, it tells us whether the file is present or not. RAM helps the process of search but the file is not stored in RAM.
Information on the presence or absence of knowledge is known only from SELF and EGO is helpful only in conveying this information.
While both EGO and SELF play indispensable roles in acquisition of knowledge, the role of EGO appears to be more prominent than the role of SELF.
Example: A computer is considered to be useless without RAM. Even if all the required data is available in the hard disk, we cannot have access to it without RAM.
SELF is essential to know whether we know or do not know the objects. EGO is essential to know objects. The role of EGO is to convert the status from ‘I do not know’ to ‘I know’. In addition, EGO is essential to communicate this information to others and to ourselves.
To cognize, ‘This is a pot’, we need EGO. To cognize, ‘I know this pot’, we need SELF.
Note: The examples of comparing Hard Disk with SELF are given to highlight the distinct roles played by SELF and EGO. It should not be construed that our memory is the SELF since it stores the information. Mind like the objects and eyes is an inert object and incapable of gaining knowledge.
The knower is SELF not the mind. This is further explained in the next lessons.
Lesson 5: Role of EGO and SELF in Internal Thoughts
For the origination and sustenance of Internal Thoughts concerning our emotions and feelings, we need the support of EGO and SELF.
Just as the circle of light on the wall is brighter because two lights are illumining it, all our thoughts on our emotions like anger and desire are doubly clear because of the presence of these two entities. That is why no one says ‘I am not sure if I am angry or not’. The emotions and feelings in our mind are very clear to us.
In case of External Thoughts, it is possible that either we have or do not have knowledge of an object. For example, if there is an object which is covered with the gift wrapper we will not know what it is until we open the wrapper. In case of Internal Thoughts, there is no such possibility. If we are angry we will know it.
Anger (or any emotion) is a series of thoughts, which arise in our mind. At any point of time we can have only one thought. The moment we become angry we are aware of it since anger is made up of our thoughts unlike the object covered in the gift wrapper.
The gap or interval between two thoughts (or emotions) is highlighted by only one entity, namely, SELF. Therefore, such a gap or interval between two thoughts is not as prominent as our emotions, which is illumined by both EGO and SELF.
The EGO is totally absent when our mind is without thoughts. This happens during deep sleep and during trance achieved through meditation. We can only say we had a peaceful sleep and not give any more details because only SELF illumines our body and mind during deep sleep.
One of the purposes of meditation is to silence the EGO so that the prominence of SELF is felt. In our normal life, we do not have time to remain silent and observe our mind. Therefore, the EGO is very prominent and SELF is not noticed due to the constant chatter of thoughts in our mind.
Both our body and mind are inert objects. We can experience the inertness of our body when we are given local anesthesia. It is not possible for us to experience the inert mind. During deep sleep and trance, mind is totally absent. During waking time, we can observe the constant changes in our thoughts and thereby understand the changing nature of EGO. SELF is changeless.
During the waking stage, one has many problems like worry, anger etc. While in deep sleep all such problems disappear temporarily. One says that he had a good sleep getting relieved of all problems of life temporarily. SELF is the one which illumines the presence of the problem during the waking state and absence of the problems during the deep sleep state. Creation and dissolution of the problem is the work of EGO.
When we look at a mirror, we see the reflection of our face in the mirror. We cannot see our face directly. Only the reflected face is prominently seen. However, we do not forget our original face and start giving importance only to the reflected face. Unfortunately, most of us are doing this mistake with respect to SELF and EGO. SELF is our original self. EGO is the reflection of SELF in our mind.
Since the internal thoughts illumined by EGO (and the SELF) are more prominent, we are lost in the thoughts and assume the EGO to be our original self. This is the cause of our misery in life.
As fire engulfing an iron ball pervades all through it and illumines it, EGO pervades all our internal thoughts and makes them prominent. The hot iron ball is illumined but it does not illumine other objects. Similarly, the EGO illumines only our thoughts and do not have the capability of illumining others. As a result, we define a limited time and space as ourselves and suffer.
SELF illumines the entire universe and when we correctly identify ourselves with our original face we are relieved of all sufferings in the world.
ALL our thoughts come to an end at one point or the other and certainly during the deep sleep. When we wake up the thoughts starts coming one by one at a slow rate and the speed picks up as the day progress. EGO pervades these internal thoughts and keeps changing all the time. Some time we are happy and sometimes we are unhappy depending on the nature of change in the thoughts. This is due to wrong identification with the EGO.
SELF fills up the gap between the thoughts, sustains all the thoughts and illumine the absence of thoughts as well. Existence of mind is possible due to the presence of SELF and it appears sentient due to the presence of EGO. If we identify ourselves with the SELF, we will remain eternal without any change and we can enjoy the changes in the EGO.
It appears that we have a choice whether to identify ourselves with the SELF or with the EGO. In reality this is not true. EGO is the reflection of SELF in the mind. EGO is born when the subtle body gets involved in a physical body. On death of the physical body, the subtle body loses the ability to reflect SELF and therefore EGO is dead.
When a person gets enlightened and identifies himself with SELF, then also the EGO becomes as good as dead. Such a person is always situated in the SELF and does not have any trace of EGO. EGO continues to play the role but it is done with the awareness of its real source, SELF.
Lesson 6: Inquiry on SELF and EGO
SELF has the inherent power of illusion which creates the universe just as we create a dream world without any effort. SELF together with this power of illusion is called God. God creates this universe consisting of inert objects. SELF enters the creation and appears as EGO in some group of inert objects.
Example: Both a clay pot and a glass pot are made from the same set of raw materials. While the clay pot does not have the ability to reflect the sun light, the glass pot has this ability.
Similarly, among all the inert objects created by God, some are refined enough to reflect the SELF completely. These are called human beings. These human beings create the eternal cycle of suffering due to ignorance. They assume that the reflection is the original and play the role of doer and enjoyer. As a result they suffer.
Example: Cloud is created in space. Clouds cause rain. Presence of rain water is a blessing to the living beings on the earth and they suffer if there is no rain. However, space remains unaffected whether it rains or not.
Similarly, SELF remains unaffected with respect to the events that happen in the universe because it is unattached. Mental or physical association with the objects of the creation is the starting point of suffering. EGO is assuming the role of doer and enjoyer and develops attachment to the creation leading to suffering. Only when a human being realizes that he is the SELF, which is ever detached, liberation is attained.
Every action will bring appropriate results. The doer of the action is bound to enjoy the results of the action. A human being is born in this world to enjoy the results of the past birth. He will live and continue to do action until death. He will be born again for exhausting the accumulated results of his past action. This cycle will continue forever until he gains knowledge that he is not the EGO and his real nature is SELF. When this happens, he will live joyfully until death and he will not be born again.
God creates this world for providing appropriate experiences to the living beings in line with their past actions. He sustains the creation until it is time for dissolution. Thus the cycle of creation, sustenance and dissolution continues forever.
SELF remains unaffected either by the action of the individual living beings or by the action of God.
Realizing that our real nature is SELF is the only purpose of inquiry. We should not carry on the inquiry beyond this point. It will not serve any purpose to continue our inquiry. SELF is not the enjoyer since it is not connected to any events that happen in the creation. EGO is an illusion therefore it is not the enjoyer. Therefore, many will be tempted to continue the inquiry to find out the real enjoyer. This is a futile exercise. After realizing that the appearance of the snake is an illusion and the only object that exists is the rope, it is irrelevant to discuss the nature of the snake or whether it is poisonous.
There is nothing other than SELF.
If this is the truth why does the Holy Scriptures talk about God, Living beings and the world?
In order to explain the unknown, the Holy Scriptures talk about things that are known and then describe them as non-existing. It is like finding an unknown value, in a math problem, using an imaginary variable called x.
Holy Scriptures is for all the human beings. If it had revealed the absolute truth in one sentence saying that SELF alone is real and rest are all false, most people will not understand the message. Therefore, for catering to people with varying degree of intelligence, Holy Scriptures describes the reality in different ways.
There are many steps in the spiritual ladder leading to enlightenment. The final step is to know SELF alone is the reality. For those who are not yet qualified to learn the final step, it is necessary to provide multiple rungs below the final step. Therefore, it is necessary for the Holy Scriptures to have a lengthy description leading to the final truth.
Example: A doctor after knowing the seriousness of the illness lies to the patient to boost his hopes. If the doctor reveals the truth that the patient may not survive more than few days, the patient will die of heart attack immediately. Instead, if the doctor lies to him that there is nothing serious, he may respond to the treatment and recover completely.
Similarly, most human beings are not in a position to grasp the ultimate knowledge that the universe is an illusion. Therefore, it is necessary for the Holy Scriptures to describe the same truth differently in a way that will help the human beings to get librated from the artificial bondage.
Thus, we need to stop our inquiry after realizing our true nature and not question the methodology followed in the Holy Scriptures. It is similar to questioning the doctor on how he could tell a lie.
Lesson 7: Nature of SELF
SELF is the real meaning of the word ‘I’. Until we inquired into the meaning of the word ‘I’, we did not have clarity on this. Firstly, we analyzed the meaning of the words SELF and EGO and then we understood the difference between them. Then we understood the role of SELF and EGO with respect to our internal and external thoughts. Finally we made a thorough inquiry and it is now clear to us that our real nature is SELF.
We now need to study the nature of SELF to know about ourselves.
1. SELF is a witness
A person can be called a witness only when an event takes place in his presence and he is not involved in the event. For example, no one will be more knowledgeable about a murder than the person who committed the crime. However, he is not called a witness. Similarly, if a person motivates another to commit a crime and then simply observes the crime, he too cannot be called a witness.
In order to qualify for the position of ‘witness’, one has to be present at the scene of the crime and at the same time he should not have any role to play in the crime.
SELF is a witness. All that happens in our life happens in the presence of SELF. However, SELF is not the doer, enjoyer or the one who motivates any events. SELF is completely uninvolved and unconnected to every object, person and event in our life.
A witness to a crime may not be aware of all the facts concerning the crime. However, in the case of SELF, nothing happens without its awareness.
SELF is a witness to four events.
(a) Presence of thoughts (Knowledge)
(b) Absence of thoughts (Ignorance)
(c) Beginning of the thoughts (Process of learning)
(d) Non accumulation of thoughts (Observation without comprehension)
EGO is represented by thoughts that concern ‘I’ and ‘mine’. Therefore, SELF is aware of the birth of the EGO and its death.
Birth of EGO: When a mirror is shown in front of the sun, a reflection is born. EGO is born when the subtle body comes into existence. Since the subtle body has the capacity to reflect SELF, EGO is born when the subtle body enters a physical body.
Death of EGO: On death of the physical body, the subtle body is not destroyed. However, since the subtle body does not have a place to hold on, it stops reflecting SELF. At this stage it can be said that EGO is in a state of hibernation.
On death of the physical body of an enlightened person, the subtle body merges with the cosmic subtle body of God. Therefore, it does not take another physical body again. There is no further possibility of continuance of EGO. Thus, it ends.
SELF is a witness to EGO claiming that it is the doer of all the actions and the enjoyer of all the results of the action. SELF is aware of this ignorance of the EGO. After gaining sufficient mental maturity, EGO gains the knowledge that it is a mere reflection of SELF and incapable of any action. This is liberation from the self-imposed bondage. SELF is a witness to such enlightenment as well.
It does not matter how the EGO gains knowledge. It may start running away from the world assuming the world is the cause of all the problems. Alternatively, world may be perceived as God and worshipped. Ultimately, the EGO has to realize that it is a mere reflection of SELF.
SELF is the witness to this imaginary bondage and liberation of the EGO.
2. SELF is the truth
SELF is the foundation on which the entire creation is projected as an illusion.
3. SELF is the knower
Everything in the creation consists of inert objects. The conscious principle that is seen in living being is SELF. When I say ‘I know this pot’, the real knower is SELF because it is the consciousness and it alone can know. However, it should be noted that SELF is one. There is only one knower as detailed in Module A.
4. SELF is eternal
SELF remains changeless at all times. It is beyond birth and death. It is beyond creation and dissolution of the universe.
5. SELF is complete in itself
SELF is infinite and by nature it is complete and fulfilled with joy. There is nothing other than SELF and it does not have any components or parts. It is ONE and it does not have any constituent elements.
When we gain this true perspective of SELF which is the meaning of the word ‘YOU’ in the essence of Holy Scriptures, ‘YOU ARE THAT’, then there is nothing more to be done and nothing more to learn. Life is joyful all the time.