Vedanta is not just about philosophy. It has its practical applications in our daily life. We keep cleaning our surroundings at home and in the office. Sri Adi Sankaracharya in the Vivekachoodamani gives a beautiful cleaning tip for our surroundings and the mind too.
The teacher says as long as an individual is worshipping the body, the form of which is Shavakaram—the form of death—there will be impurity of thoughts, as there is the sense of the other and the impurities of ignorance, arrogance, likes, dislikes and fear of death. If we look for true cleanliness, then pay attention to the auspicious formless form of life within Shivakaram. In that case all fear of getting into the transmigration of birth, death and disease will go away. Even the Vedas say that when this worship of all auspiciousness begins, the individual becomes free from death and birth.
When the superimpositions on the Self of the body, mind and the intellect are removed, the reflecting consciousness is no more experienced and one discovers the supreme, big, complete and non-dual Self which is free from all action.
When the movements of the memory thoughts are stilled and the mind is established firmly in the supreme reality, there are no mental modifications. In that situation even the phenomenal world of names, forms and qualities are not seen. Everything else after the rise of this true knowledge is mere empty talk, of no value. Even all talk of Vedantic philosophy becomes mere prattling after the truth is realised.
The Acharya directly goes to the crux of Advaita to assert that this whole world we see around us is just an imagination with temporary existence. The world exists not outside in reality, but seems to exist in our mind only. In that non-changing, formless, speciality-less Self, where is the question of duality?
There is only one reality. In that there is a difference of the seer, seen and the seeing. In the changeless, formless and simple reality, where is the difference?
This reality is like an ocean all around. It is complete and one consciousness. It is formless, changeless and has nothing special about it. How can it entertain differences?
When all ignorant perceptions of reality dissolve into the light of consciousness, the cause for delusion is gone. In that non-dual supreme essence, where is the sense of difference?
In that one Self which pervades all, how can there even be a word that speaks of difference? Has anyone ever seen a difference in the joy enjoyed by the individuals who are in deep sleep? The joy experienced in sleep is the same for all, rich or poor, successful or a failure, educated and illiterate alike. For all of them, a deep sleep state is a similar condition of seamless non-apprehension of thoughts.
The writer is Sevika, Chinmaya Mission, Coimbatore (www.chinmayamission.com); email: firstname.lastname@example.org