Prabhu Shri Rama uvācha, “O Lord! If your form is the embodiment of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss, indivisible, non-dual, actionless, peaceful and unattached,
If You are devoid of any qualities and attributes, beyond the reach of mind and speech, abiding everywhere and by virtue of being all-pervasive, You know Yourself,
If You are the source of self-knowledge and austerity, if You are that Brahman, the Supreme Secret Truth, formless and yet the form all the beings and the cause of all causes,
If You are that which is said to be imperceptible and ungraspable, how can IT be grasped at all? Not knowing the way to understand and comprehend, I am stricken, O Lord Shankara.”
Shri Shiva uvācha, “O Rama with mighty arms! Listen. I will tell you the way in this matter. By meditating on the saguna and getting one-pointedness of mind, one should engage the mind in that according to the premise of sthula saurāmbhikā nyāya.
For the embodied soul, there is the unshakeable notion of the sense of I due to egoity in that lump made of food which is the abode of birth, disease, old age and death and that notion does not weaken at any time.
The Self is not born; IT is eternal; IT does not die by any means.
There are six states for a physical body namely born, is, changes, grows, declines and perishes.
For the Self, there is no change just as the ether in the pot has no change. The Self is bodiless. This is what the intelligent person should reflect on.
The next sheath – prānamayakosha is made of vital airs which is comparable to the mould wherein molten gold is poured. This sheath is affected by hunger and thirst. It is not the Self because of its inertness.
The Self is of the nature of intelligence and therefore, remains as a Witness to its own embodiment. The Self is indeed the Supreme Brahman, untainted and an ocean of bliss.
Moreover the Brahman does not consume anything, nor does anything consume Brahman.
Subtler than the sheath of the vital airs – prānamayakosha, there is indeed, the sheath of the mind – manomayakosha. Its nature is to reflect on the alternative possibilities of a matter. It is associated with the intellect and the senses.
The characteristics of the mind are kāma, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and mātsarya collectively known as the six enemies and again the sense of I and mine and others manifest in the mind.
That buddhi whose field is action determined by the meaning of the Vedas and the allied scriptures is called the sheath of the intellect – vijnānamayakosha along with the senses of knowledge.
It is the jeeva with the false identification with the intellect that has the notion of action and the doer. The journey to the earth and heaven is only for it. It is called as the individual jeeva – vyāvahārik.
The jnāna indriyas are born of the sattvik aspects of ether and others. From the tejas aspect of ether are born the ears, from the earth the sense of smell, from water taste, from fire eyes and from air the sense of touch. Hence, their physicality.
From all the sattvika aspects of ether and others, intellect and mind are born. Intellect has the function of analysing and deciding.
From the rajas aspect of ether, air, fire, water and earth, the karma indriyas of speech, hands, feet, organ of evacuation and organ of procreation are created.
From the rajas aspect of the five elements, the five vital airs are produced. All these seventeen factors form the subtle body.
This subtle body by a process of mutual confusion becomes associated with the Witness Consciousness as in the case of red-hot iron.
The sheath of ānandamayakosha becomes the enjoyer. The jeeva in this sheath is known as the experiencer of the fruits of meditation, ritual, action and others here and in the other world.
When the superimposition of the subtle body is abandoned and the Self stands in its own nature with the undifferentiated mass of ignorance alone manifested by IT, then the Witness appears.
The Witness is the seer of the internal organs, of the experiences and also memories. Therefore, the Supreme Consciousness is called Witness when it is conditioned by the faculties of the internal organs namely mind, memory, egoity and intellect and is assigned as the enjoyer, the jeeva when it is qualified by the internal organs and others. This is accurate.
The shadow of the burning sun is manifested by that sun itself. Similarly, the Self is the provider and the other self eats the fruits of its own deeds.
Know the owner of this chariot as the knower of the body/field; the body as the chariot, the intellect as the charioteer and the mind the reins.
Know the senses to be the horses; the sense objects to be the roads and know the person as the enjoyer united with the mind and senses.
The dwija who meditates constantly and with tranquillity on the Self transcending the sheaths one layer after another like the layers of the banana trunk,
Just as the tender stem of the banana tree is got by peeling off the layers one after the other, similarly, the mind transcending the five sheaths moving inwards finds the Self, the very essence of one’s being in the core.
The dwija keeping the mind under control should turn it towards the Supreme Self, the formless.
Thereafter, the mind, indeed, grasps the Supreme Self which is understood by the declarations in the Upanishads like, “It is unseen, ungraspable, not gross and others.”
Prabhu Shri Rama uvācha, “O Lord! How is it that people do not indulge in listening and following the scriptural learning about the five sheaths and the transcendental Self even if they are possessed with the meaning and knowledge of the Vedas and sacred texts, perform sacrifices, charitable acts and give discourses on the Supreme Truth?
Even after listening to the scriptures, people do not realize the Self at all. Even knowing that they think it to be an illusion. What is this? Is it Your maya?”
Shri Shiva uvācha, “O Rama with mighty arms! Even for this no enquiry need be made. It is My divine maya. My divine power and difficult to cross.
Those who surrender to Me alone get over this maya. O mighty-armed! Those who are not devoted and devoid of faith yearning for enjoyments and delights of this world and the next; the fruits of their acts are perishable.
The depraved ones who perform acts without understanding the Self enter the jaws of death and repeatedly enter the mother’s womb.
Of those embodied jeevas born in a variety of wombs, there arises in one devotion towards Me by the impression of the merit earned in millions of births.
Only he, My devotee endowed with faith attains true knowledge, not attending to anything else, even in million of births.
Therefore, surrender to Me leaving everything aside. Be devoted to Me.
Surrender to Me alone and forsake the origin of all other obligations. I will liberate you from all sins; do not grieve.
O Rama! Whatever you do, offer that to Me; whatever you give or observe as penance, offer it to Me. There is nothing higher than devotion towards Me. O, the most excellent of the Raghus!”
[Siva Gita – Chapter 14 – Instruction on Surrender and Self – Slokas 1 – Slokas 44, Uttara Khanda, Padma Purana]