The Atman is to be realized as the pure consciousness. The Atman being infinite is All-pervading by its very nature. Atman is always distinct from the body, senses, mind, intellect, all of which constitute the matter and is the witness of their function’s, the life drama on this body and in the world outside and never a participant, is not the sharer of any of the experiences. The atman reveals as luminous consciousness beneath the layers of matter or bodies. The self, the life spark in us is the nourishing factor of all life. It gives the organs their capacities for manifestations like the steam in the engine supplies the power for the locomotive to pull the train of carriages. The steam has no attachment to compartments or travellers and their destinations.
Similarly the supreme Atman, when it expresses itself through the body, mind and intellect, the self-seems to act but actually the self-participates in none of the activities of the five layers of matter in the body gross. The Atman is self – effulgent and mind is inert matter, without the power of illumination in consciousness, the mind will be powerless to feel, awareness within, will not be conscious of our own thoughts. The theory of Vedanta is that the knowledge of things is gained only by the light of consciousness reflected in the mind, illumines the objects and gives the experience “I Know.” The nature of the Atman, in reality, is Sat Chit- Ananda, and this Eternal self-does do not undergo any change, when the individual experiences anger, pain, pleasure etc, in his mind. This Supreme Being is the Atman who stands ever unaffected by the changes caused in the arena of time, space and casualty.
All that you seek is already within you. In Hinduism, it is called the Atman, in Buddhism the pure Buddha-Mind. Christ said, ‘the kingdom of heaven is within you.’ Quakers call it the ‘still small voice within.’ This is the space of full awareness that is in harmony with all the universe, and thus is wisdom itself.
A meditator is neither a Hindu, nor Jain, nor Buddhist, nor a Christian, and nor Mohammedan but simply an inquirer into his subjectivity, the technique envisaged by spiritual masters, and maharishi’s “who am I? What is this life? The moment he comes to know this life he also comes to know all life because it is the same. Then he sees life in animals, he sees life in trees, he sees life all around. The whole existence is alive. All people have the same potential but are not aware of it, are too much engaged in the outside world. We are making karmas with every breath that we take, together with every action. Each deed is binding us down to this creation. The only way to get out of this creation is the realization of awareness, the source of all, and the inner voice. With meditation, we get that understanding, so much clarity about though, which gives us the vitality to carry out our duties to the best of our capability. The real religiousness is essentially meditation, mindfulness or awareness.
We are prompted to inquire about the faculty of knowledge that made us either knowledgeable or ignorant about things and beings around us. Such an entity residing in us must be all-knowing. Whether we are in waking dream or sleep state. Such entity must be beyond all our senses, self-effulgent and transcendental. Therefore to unravel the mysteries, we have to know the very nature and existence of this source. It is here that our ancient scriptures, in particular, the Upanishads indicate the path to know the source the self-Atman within us, the knower of all, the source of all, and the inner voice. Self is all-pervading. It is up to man to attain the spiritual experience of the existence of self within and outside himself.
The self-Atman is the reality. A soul is a reflection. If you stand in front of the mirror, the reflection in the mirror shows the same gestures which you make. If you laugh, the reflection appears to be laughing, if you weep, it appears to weep. The reflection is totally dependent on the reality even for existence. In other words, soul acts according to the will of the self and not vice versa. After death individual soul dwells in many planes of consciousness, and return to rebirth. This continues until one realizes the self.
“Stand upon the Atman, then only can we truly love the world. Take a very, absolutely high stand; knowing our universal nature, we must look with perfect calmness upon all the panorama of the world. “
The inner personality factors whether one is a Governor or Gatekeeper, Commissioner or Clerk are the same, only the profession is different. All are in the community of man but their description and address will differ. Similarly, life is the same everywhere but the expression of the manifested through each one of them differs. Whatever be the physical form, name, caste, emotional beauty or intellectual ability, the Atman is the same in all. No difference rich-poor, young-old, Hindu-Christian-Atman is the same one in all, everywhere.
In historic times as potential would now not come effortlessly till then until certain served a spiritual master or studied the scriptures. It was a tedious process because the masters had their own criteria to choose their students, those would now not without difficulty believe in anyone. Therefore, chance or luck performed an important function of moulding the religious life of an aspirant.
Nowadays world you can easily find so facts out of any scripture. Since people tend to devalue what comes easily, most of them pass by that knowledge, without even knowing its importance to their lives and spiritual destiny. Knowing that you are not the body and the mind is the first of all and supreme significant step in your spiritual life. Until you firmly establish that truth in your mind, you cannot understand your own the self-Atman to know who you really are.
“Self-awareness is our capacity to stand apart from ourselves and examine our thinking, our motives, our history, our scripts, our actions, and our habits and tendencies.”
“The good news is that humans are gifted by the potential for self-awareness and intelligent choice, and knowing our circumstance is a motivation to change.”
“The self [Atman] is an ever-present Reality. Yet, because of ignorance, it is not realized. On the destruction of ignorance, self is realized.”- Adi Sankaracharya