Illuminating the Self: Unveiling the Bliss Within

Illuminating the Self: Unveiling the Bliss Within

In the serene realm of self-discovery, the luminosity of 'I' unfolds as the epitome of knowledge, transcending the dualities of understanding and ignorance.

Sri Ramana Maharishi, in the twelfth verse of 'Forty Verses on Reality' (Ulladu Narpadu), accentuates the supremacy of Self-knowledge. Emphasizing that self-knowledge alone is genuine, the sage propounds the essence—knowledge devoid of both awareness and unawareness.

Distinguishing between aparavidya and paravidya, the Upanishads delineate knowledge within the objective universe (apara prakriti) and the consciousness sustaining it (para prakriti). Bhagavad Gita (7.4 and 7.5) expounds on the dual aspects of prakriti, the lower and higher, echoing the profound connection between the material and spiritual.

In the realm of worldly knowledge, Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha echoes that any mental acquisition is confined, a mere interplay of thoughts, projections, and memories. True knowledge, the sage emphasizes, transcends these limitations, residing in the self-effulgent consciousness of 'I'. This self-luminous experience doesn't rely on the mind or senses but radiates as knowledge in its fullness.

The intricate dance of knowledge and ignorance finds its resolution when the mind—their causal force—is transcended. In this state, the absolute substratum shines forth independently. Gaudapada's Mandukya Karika reinforces the impermanence of appearances, asserting that the Self, the eternal principle, remains untouched.

Sri Ramana Maharishi, addressing the Lord as 'self-luminous beingness' in Arunachala Ashtakam, extols true knowledge as the pratyabhijna, an instantaneous recognition of the Self. This recognition occurs in the unchanging existence—Brahman—that manifests as 'I-I' across time and states of consciousness.

Dispelling misconceptions of void, Sri Maharishi contends that the existence behind the world is of the divine, and the very 'existence' is Brahman. Embracing the query 'Who am I?' dismantles the perceived emptiness and restlessness, leading seekers toward self-realization.

The Taittiriya Upanishad's declaration—asad va idamagra asit tato vai sadajayata—resonates, affirming that the void (sunyata) is the veiling, and visions (darsanas) are the projections. Yoga, in its truest essence, lies in stillness as jnapti, while samadhi is found in abiding in one's real nature without visions or the sense of nothingness.

In the radiant clarity of 'I', the Self stands as absolute Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, dispelling the illusions that veil the profound truth within.

Nochur Sri Venkataram
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