I am composing the Atma-Bodha, (Knowledge of the Absolute Self) for those who have purified themselves through training and are peaceful in heart and calm, who are free from cravings and are desirous of liberation. Just as the fire is the direct cause for cooking, so without Knowledge no freedom can be had. Compared with all other forms of discipline Knowledge of the Self is the one direct means for liberation.
Action cannot destroy ignorance, for it is not in conflict with or opposed to ignorance. Knowledge does verily destroy ignorance as light destroys deep darkness. Action cannot destroy ignorance, for it is not in conflict with or opposed to ignorance. Knowledge does verily destroy ignorance as light destroys deep darkness. The Soul appears to be finite because of ignorance. When ignorance is destroyed the Self which does not admit of any multiplicity truly reveals itself by itself: like the Sun when the clouds pass
The world which is full of attachments, aversions, etc., is like a dream. It appears to be real, as long as it continues but appears to be unreal when one is awake (i.e., when true wisdom dawns). The ego appears to be true so long as the Absolute Being; the substratum, the basis of all this creation, is not realised. It is like the illusion of silver in the mother-of pearl. Like bubbles in the water, the worlds rise, exist and dissolve in the Supreme Self, which is the material cause and the prop of everything.
All the manifested world of things and beings are projected by imagination upon the substratum which is the Eternal All-pervading Being, whose nature is Existence-Intelligence; just as the different ornaments are all made out of the sameAll-pervading Being appears to be diverse on account of its association with various relative conditionings which are different from each other.
Space becomes one on the destruction of these limiting adjuncts: So also the Omnipresent Truth appears to be diverse on account of Its association with the various relations. Because of Its association with different conditions such ideas as caste, colour and position are super-imposed upon the pure consciousness as flavour, colour, etc., are super-imposed on water.
Realise that to be Absolute Being which is Non-dual, Indivisible, One and Blissful and which is indicated in Vedanta as the Immutable Substratum, realised after the negation of all tangible objects. All objects are pervaded by Absolute Being. All actions are possible because of the Absolute: therefore It permeates everything as butter permeates milk.
Realise that the Absolute which is neither subtle nor gross: neither short nor long: without birth or change: without form, qualities, colour and name. That by the light of which the luminous, orbs like the Sun and the Moon are illuminated, but which is not illumined by their light, realise that to be Absolute Being. Pervading the entire universe outwardly and inwardly the Supreme Being shines of Itself like the fire that permeates a red-hot iron-ball and glows by itself.
The Absolute Being is none other than this, the universe. There exists nothing that is not Absolute Being. If any object other than the Absolute appears to exist, it is unreal like the mirage. All that is perceived, or heard, is Absolute Being and nothing else. Attaining the knowledge of the One Reality, one sees the Universe as the non-dual Being, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss-Absolute.
Pure Consciousness is ever present everywhere, yet It is perceived by the eye-of-wisdom alone: but one whose vision is obscured by ignorance he does not see It; as the blind do not see the resplendent Sun. The Meditator free from impurities, being heated in the fire of knowledge kindled by learning and so on, shines of itself like gold. Pure consciousness the Sun of Knowledge that rises in the sky of the heart, destroys the darkness of the ignorance, pervades and sustains all and shines and makes everything to shine.
He who renouncing all activities, who is free of all the limitations of time, space and direction, worships his own pure consciousness which is present everywhere, which is the destroyer of heat and cold, which is Bliss-Eternal and stainless, becomes All-knowing and All-pervading and attains thereafter Immortality.