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  CLASSICS
 

Self-Enquiry
By Ramana Maharshi

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QUESTION 16


Disciple:
How do egoity, soul, self, and Brahman come to be identified?

Master:


The example The exemplified
1. The iron ball Egoity 
2. The heated iron ball The soul which appears as a superimposition on the Self
3. The fire that is in the heated iron ball The light of consciousness, i.e. the immutable Brahman, which shines in the soul in everybody
4. The flame of fire which remains as one The all-pervading Brahman which remains as one


From the examples given above, it will be clear how egoity, soul, witness, and All-witness come to be identified.

Just as in the wax-lump that is with the smith numerous and varied metal particles lie included and all of them appear to be one wax-lump, so also in deep sleep the gross and subtle bodies of all the individual souls are included in the cosmic maya which is nescience, of the nature of sheer darkness, and since the souls are resolved in the Self becoming one with it, they see everywhere darkness alone. From the darkness of sleep, the subtle body, viz. egoity, and from that (egoity) the gross body arise respectively. Even as the egoity arises, it appears superimposed on the nature of the Self, like the heated iron ball. Thus, without the soul (jiva) which is the mind or egoity that is conjoined with the Consciousness-light, there is no witness of the soul, viz. the Self, and without the Self there is no Brahman that is the All-witness. Just as when the iron ball is beaten into various shapes by the smith, the fire that is in it does not change thereby in any manner, even so the soul may be involved in ever so many experiences and undergo pleasures and pains, and yet the Self-light that is in it does not change in the least thereby, and like the ether it is the all-pervasive pure knowledge that is one, and it shines in the heart as Brahman.


Copyright Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, India.

 

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This page was published on Realization.org on June 9, 2000.


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