THE SELF OR SOUL – EASTERN DEFINITIONS
The supreme self is the internal reality
of Truth and Bliss,
eternally indivisible and pure consciousness, the witness of the intellect
and the other faculties, distinct from being or not-being,
the reality implied by the word “I”.
Manjusri asked, What is the self?
Sariputra replied: The Self is only a name, and the appearance of a name is empty.
Indeed! Indeed! Just as self is only a name,
so too Buddha is only a name.
Realizing the emptiness of a name is bodhi (awakening). One should seek bodhi without using names. The appearance of bodhi is free from words. Why? Because words and bodhi are both empty.
The Yoga Vashista
The soul is devoid of all organs of action, and with all its activity remains motionless and without action, as anything
that is inactive and immovable.
Although the soul is the source of all actions, yet it remains
as if it was not its agent at all, being unconnected
with its actions like a lamp with its light.
The soul to be as unsullied by its outer covering of the body, as the sky is unsoiled by the clouds of dust hiding its face, like the petals of the lotus remain unsullied by the dew drops forming upon them.
That self is empty like space, but it is not nothingness, since it is consciousness it is: yet because it cannot be experienced by the mind and senses, it is not.
It being the self of all, it is not experienced (as the object of experience) by anyone. Though one, it is reflected in the infinite atoms of existence and hence appears to be many.
This appearance is however unreal… But the self
is not unreal. It is not a void or nothingness:
for it is the self of all…
The Avadhut Ghita
Know the Self to be infinite consciousness, self-evident, beyond
destruction, enlightening all bodies equally, ever shining.
In It is neither day nor night.
The Ashtavarka Ghita:
To attempt to think of the Self which is beyond the range of thought
is only to create a new thought. Abandoning
such a thought, I abide in peace.
The Supreme Self who is Pure Consciousness perceived Himself by Selfhood.
He became endowed with the name “I”. From that arose
the basis of differentiation.
The entire universe is truly the Self.
There exists nothing at all other than the Self. The enlightened person sees everything as his own Self, just as one views earthenware
jars and pots as nothing but clay.
Do you see everything as your own Self?
How can the Universe be the Self?
The Song of the Avadhut:
Like the sky the Self is said to be.
Indeed, like the sky It is;
pure Consciousness, without any stain.
It is truly the all-embracing Whole.
Although It takes the form of earth,
air, water and fire unaffected remains.
Though It takes all these forms
always the same remains.
All infinite space is pervaded by the Self,
but nothing else pervades it.
It is simultaneously within and without;
it cannot be limited or divided in parts.
To some, the Self appears
To me, the Self is I.
Like undivided space,
One alone exists.
How, then, could the subject and
object of meditation be two?
The Self is not something known
by the mind;
The Self is the very one who
How, then, could you think to
know the Self?
The pure Self
Does not even admit the name “Self!”
How could ignorance expect to find room there?
How can there be ignorance in the Self
Where there is not even room
For calling it “the Self”?
The Self may be revealed or not revealed;
He does not become greater or lesser.
He always remains as He is.
Whether He is the seer or the seen,
It doesn’t matter;
There is only the Self
The light of the Self
Is Itself the cause
Of the appearance of His beauty
Which He Himself is enjoying.
We see the waves raised by the wind, the dry leaves it blows around but not the wind. We see the effects of electricity, but not electricity itself.
We hear the sound, but do not see it frequencies.
Similarly we see what the Self perceives, even feel it,
but cannot see the Self itself as it does not abide
in the world of names and forms.
The Soul does not love; It is Love Itself.
It does not exist; It is Existence Itself.
It does not know; It is Knowledge Itself.
As long as there is a “self” there are “others”; as long
as there are “others” there is a “self”.
As soon as there is no longer a “self” there are no longer any “others”, and as soon as there are no longer any “others” there is no longer a “self”-
The self is like a pearl. To find it you must dive deep down into silence,
deeper and even deeper until it is reached.
Deeply enmeshed in the concept of one’s self,
one can never know one’s self.
One can only know what
one takes one’s self to be.
To really know oneself
one must stand outside and look within
There is no second, or higher self
to search for.
Searching is movement
and therefore can never find
stillness, the source of all
There is no second or higher self to search for. You are the highest self, only give up the false idea you have about your self.
The self is nothing else but the knowledge that “you are.
You are the highest self,only give upthe false
ideas you have about yourself.
The abode of the Self has been supposed to be in:
– The seat of the soul is between and behind the eyebrows. This at least is accepted by all yogas. Kirpal Singh
– Abides within the heart, and smaller than a mustard seed. greater than the earth, the sky, the heaven, and all worlds. Chandogya Upanishad
– In its manifestation as what we appear to be, the self is essentially an electrical field.
The soul (Jiva) resides in the Sushumna nadi. The Gorakhnath
– Smaller than the small, greater than the great, is hidden in the hearts of all living creatures. Katha Upanishad
– Is between and behind the eyebrows. This at least is accepted by all yogas.
– Is beyond thought and the senses but reveals itself to the one longing for it.
– Is beyond all attributes is the eternal witness, ever pure, indivisible, far beyond the senses and the ego, omnipresent, beyond all thought, detached both in the external and the inner.
– Abides in the secret chamber of the heart. Prasna Upanishad
Mooji has the last word:
The Self is like light…it has no color…
the Being-ness and the body is like a prism…
and when the light hits this prism,
all the colors come out…
these colors are what you call your mind
and the world…
the substratum of this colorful
existence is always here…
this unimaginable light..