The complete consciousness

The Atma Bodha by Sri Adi Sankaracharya reiterates verse after verse about the experience of the self.

Published: 06th January 2019 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th January 2019 09:19 AM   |  A+A-

The Atma Bodha by Sri Adi Sankaracharya reiterates verse after verse about the experience of the self. Whatever we see in the world, we get the experience of viewing a form with colours, hearing them as sounds, feeling different tastes, fragrances and other smells, and touching different textures. The whole universe around us gives a multiplicity of experiences. It is impossible to bring them into a count. 

However many the experiences may be, the practice is to negate each and everything that we perceive as not this. For instance, you look out of your window wanting to experience the truth. You see the blue sky above. Not this? Then what it is? The one who is seeing the sky is the truth. You see the brown earth below, the trees, plants and grass, the people, your own self… not this.

Then what? The one who is seeing is the self. Who is seeing? I am seeing. Who am I? There you are! Your search has ended. Sit down with that question to meditate. It is not just anyone who can gain the experience of the self this way, but the person must have known something about the truth through the Upanishads and talks by realised masters.

At the end of this search, what is the experience? The one that is complete from all directions, the consciousness that is also blissful source of all joy within us. There is only one thing that is behind our actions, words and thoughts. It is consciousness expressing as life. If that life is not there, no thinking or contemplating is possible. With that chit or consciousness, we know that there is the one complete, blissful consciousness alone that is the fulcrum of all our experiences in the universe. 

Try as you may, you can never find another thing that is complete than consciousness. It is like the number 9 in mathematics. It is a complete and infinite number. How many ever times you may add nine, the resultant number will add up to nine only. The beauty of its completeness is that, it blesses other numbers with their own status quo. Add one to nine and the answer is 10. Add the numbers in that answer and the result is one, the number you added to nine. The beauty of paripurna is that it bestows its completeness on every individual. 

What is the use of knowing this completeness? The greatest experience of “I am complete” happens. Whether I fail, I am poor, I feel low, anything… never mind, that complete consciousness is me, just as it is in everyone else who may be rich, successful or high up there. This knowledge bestows peace as the one who contemplates immediately gets back to his true nature, coursing through all the imperfections that he may have imagined about himself. 

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