There is a light that shines within us. It is the light of knowing. It hides behind the energy in the space of the heart. The heart mentioned here is not the muscular organ, but the region where we feel love and many other emotions. Sri Adi Sankaracharya’s Vivekachoodamani says that the inner light, which is the witness of our feelings, is stable like an anvil. It is what we called I. Yet it seems like the doer and the enjoyer as it is steadily ensconced in the limiting adjuncts of the human being called the Upadhi or something that confines.
The Atman, in other words called I, is independent. Yet it delusively divides itself as self and the other, and identifies with the dissecting intellect out of the natural fault of superimposition with that which is supremely temporary and false. Though it is the self of all, it sees itself differently from individual to individual just as the pot which is made of mud considers itself different from the mud. The supreme self, on account of its association with the limiting adjuncts of the body, mind and intellect, shines with respect to its reflective medium. Just as a ball of iron getting heated in fire, seems to be modifying like the fire, when actually it is the fire that is changing, the self has only one form ie formless, yet it seems to assume many forms owing to the nature of those very forms.
The student now has a doubt. He asks the teacher, “The supreme self is thinking of itself as a limited individual due to delusion or due to some other cause. This is a superstitious thought, which has its origins in the endless past. Since its origins have no beginning, the modification, change and transmigration from birth to death to birth must also not have an end. Is liberation from this change possible at all, O Master?”
The Master is not one who shuts a student up when he asks an intelligent question. Conversely, he praises the student.
“You have indeed asked a good question, O learned one! Listen to my reply with patience and attention: Whatever seems true to an individual, but is in fact an illusion cannot be considered real,” he says. The teacher gives a beautiful simile to explain this. There is no blue colour in the sky. Yet it appears blue to our eyes. In the same way, the self is attached to nothing. It has no action and no form too. It can in no way be connected with the objects of the world that have action, form or quality.