Reality 44 – 49
Regarding the great aphorism, “Thou art That (Tatvamasi)” wise Sages declare that the primary meaning of That is the Absolute, Brahman, & the primary meaning of Thou is the Knower, or “I”. The essential meaning of That is the true Self. The essential meaning of Thou is only pure Being, pure Consciousness. The meaning of both is thus the same, & this is what “Art” expresses. “Art” is an expression of complete Identity. “Art” is realized by the relinquishment of other ideas regarding That &, most importantly, by Self-Inquiry into Thou. The deeper the inquiry into Thou, the more That is known as it is, for Thou Art That. No repetition of the idea, “I am That” “l am the Self,” or “I am Brahman” is intended, for such implies difference between the instructed & the instruction, between the meditator, the meditation, & the meditated upon, between the one desiring Liberation & the Liberation itself, between the self who would know & that Self to be known, & between the realizer & the realized. The Non-Dual Teaching of Identity with the Absolute Self, Brahman, is to be practiced by Self-Inquiry, full of clear Discrimination, that frees one of the false notion of Doer–ship, of being a sensing entity, of being an experiencer, of being a thinker, & such, & that Self-Inquiry discerns fully that the one Self is not the Body, Mind, or Ego, or anything connected with these. Then, one knows one’s own true Self to truly be Brahman.
The Knowledge of the Self becomes possible only when the Ego vanishes. What remains is the Self-evident, the Self-Knowable, the eternally existing, the forever liberated that has never been bound. The Freedom & Happiness of this Realization have no cause or reason. They are self-existing, as Being itself is. Only unhappiness & Bondage seem to have reasons, which, with Self-Inquiry, are found to be merely Ignorance.
When the Knowledge that one is the Self, Brahman, is not veiled by the false notions that Reality is something other than the Non-Dual Self, that oneself is other than the Formless, motionless, immutable Self, that Happiness is other than the blissful Self, when not so veiled, the Knowledge is firm. Then, the mis-identification of the Self with the Body or any other form becomes impossible.
The direct path of Knowledge is that in which one discriminates as described here, renounces the actions of the Body & Mind, frees himself from the ideas of being a Performer, experiencer, thinker, ete., abides free of outer sensing & inner conceiving activities, & thus knows the Self to be That. The practice of the Teaching of “Thou art That” is the Self-Inquiry: “Who am I ?” When the Knowledge of the Self which is the Absolute, is not contradicted by the false notions that one lacks Bliss & has desires, that one is not Consciousness & does [is the Performer of Action], & that one is not Being but is a bound entity, without such contradictions, the Knowledge is firm.
Though the Body is not the Self, the Self is not the Performer of Action, & Action is unrelated to Self-Knowledge & can in no way bring about the Liberation that this Knowledge alone yields, the holy sage who thus knows will always be manifesting what is True, Good, & Beautiful [“acting” as if in contradiction, but always rightly, if the real of appearance]. With Love for all beings, knowing all to be himself, endowed with equanimity & imperturbable peace, with no self-interest, he is ever engaged in the highest good, whether he appears active or still. His honesty derives from Truth itself, his Love from the indivisible Nature of Being, his Peace from the immovable Absolute, & his kindness & care from the perfect Fullness. How would it be possible for one who knows about Liberation & the Non-Dual Teaching of Identity with the divine Absolute Self to engage in conduct that would be otherwise ?
Nonetheless, it is never possible to determine the state of a realized Sage from the outer appearances of the body with which he has no identity whatsoever. The Sage has gone beyond the Illusions of Life & death, never to return to that which never really was. He [or she] is serene in & as the Absolute, & abides as the Eternal. Whatever is done, he does nothing. Whatever is said, he remains Silent. Whatever is thought, he remains unmodified. For he has known himself, & he himself is what he knows. You Are That. Realize the Truth of this by Self-Inquiry.
Supreme Knowledge, Consciousness, is Brahman [prajnanam brahma]. Attain Liberation by Knowledge & realize that true Knowledge is the Eternal, Supreme Consciousness itself. This Self is Brahman [ayam atma brahma]. Inquire “Who am I ?” & realize pure Being as the One–without–a–2nd [advaita]. I am Brahman. Abide in the natural state of the real Self, in the state of Identity with no other “I”.
Abide as That, which, when known, leaves no other thing to be known. Abide as That, the Happiness of which leaves nothing else to be desired. Abide as That, which, when realized, leaves no other Reality but itself. Abide as that which is the Self which alone exists Eternally, for it is That which alone is.
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“There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth.”
– the “no creation” school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome – Ajata Vada
for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see: www.ajatavada.com