The concluding verses of the Atma Bodha glorify the one who has realised the Supreme Reality. Sri Adi Sankaracharya paints a beautiful and poetic picture of the mind of such a master so that we may be inspired to take up that path of seeking the truth.Whatever one may see, hear, taste, smell and touch—it can be anything from the most mundane to the most sublime to the most ridiculous of things. It is that truth alone.
Repetition is always for the sake of memory retention and recall. The mind grasps something when it comes from a source, the book or the person. In course of time, it forgets the source from which the idea came and holds on to the idea to give its own interpretation. This is the reason why the masters keep repeating the ideas, never forgetting to quote the source, the shastras or the books of knowledge. Nothing that is perceived in this world is different from the Brahman. This statement means, everything that is experienced is the Brahman alone.
What we cannot see with our own eyes or even know from looking into a mirror or seeing other people is the presence of life. It cannot be tasted, smelt, touched, heard or seen. Even in the mirror, you can only see the manifestation of life as movements of the chest caused by breathing, the constant dancing of the eyes and other major bodily movements. Only the outward expressions are visible and not the life.
When this truth is known, then that great master’s vision is completely changed. He sees the Brahman alone—i.e, the life alone manifesting as consciousness that is present in everything, being and person To know the presence of this life everywhere, one should move from the vishaya jnana to tattva jnana, the knowledge of the essence, the very source of life and all existence.
While in the case of knowing an object such as a football or television, it does not amount to being that. In the Tamil film Monster, the hero is troubled by the presence of a rat in his house. Over months on end he is obsessed with the rat. Finally, at one point of time his facial features, his physical actions and his thought process seem to resemble that of a rat.
Such is the power of the mind. In the same way, one who contemplates on the Brahman very easily transforms or rather experiences the existence of the Brahman itself.If this whole universe can be described by the three qualities of ‘is’ness, knowledge of that being and the joy of simply being, this person who has contemplated on and realised the Brahman becomes just that—Existence, Knowledge and Bliss.