I am That,
That unchanging eternal Consciousness,
That which is intrinsically different to and untouched by the myriad phenomena of body-mind-and-world,
That which does nothing, but in whose presence all is done,
That which is beyond the grasp of the fickle mind,
That which is beyond all experiences of bliss and suffering,
That which can never be known,
But always IS.
Yet all this is Me,
The all-pervading Vishnu,
Radiant with Blissful Love,
Loving all and everything,
One with all phenomena,
The nature of Love,
Worthy of Ceaseless Devotion and Gratitude,
Bright and ever-whole,
Ever-pristine and peaceful,
Always intuitively known by simply BEING,
Effortlessly present and ever-free.
Om Tat Sat
You are innate divine power. You are naturally free. You are self-fulfilled: You need nothing to complete You.
Nothing can harm You. You, the essence, ever remain the same, unacting, unmoving, whole, unscathed and untouched.
You, pure consciousness, are one with everything and all-pervading, yet no individual object is You, the divine essence.
Discerning self from non-self, knowing this, realised your true nature as you. Then rest here, as the unacting, all-pervading, untouchable, self-fulfilled Self.
When this knowledge is firm, letting go of all thoughts, even thoughts of ‘I am That’, etc, simply be still and abide as the Self (ie. that which is denoted by ‘You’ above).
In the above lines, the first 3 paragraphs are when the teaching is verbally explained and listened to by the seeker (Sravana, which means listening in Sanskrit). This is the first step of the teachings in which the concepts of the teachings are delivered and explained by a teacher and thereafter retained by the seeker.
In the 4th paragraph the verbal teachings are contemplated (Manana in Sanskrit) by the seeker. This is the second step of the teaching and this eventually culminates in an experiential realisation or understanding of what the teachings are pointing towards. The conceptual understanding that occurs through Sravana has now been transformed into a direct experiential understanding through examining ones direct experience in light of the conceptual teachings.
In the last paragraph the verbal teachings themselves are transcended once the ‘I am the body-mind’ concept is no longer present, and the instruction is simply to remain as That (Nididhyasana or meditation in Sanskrit).
It is this last stage that leads to lasting fulfilment and the end of suffering through (1) destruction of the habitual tendency (Vasana in Sanskrit) to identify as a limited entity (ie. ignorance or avidya in Sanskrit) ie.the body-mind) and (2) destruction of the egoic tendencies to seek pleasure and fulfilment through objects (Vishaya Vasanas in Sanskrit), including subtle objects such as experiences and knowledge /understanding /insights /intuitions, all of which are transient and so never lead to lasting satisfaction or lasting peace.
When suffering is no more, this is also known as ‘understanding’ or ‘knowledge’ or wisdom (Jnana), and it is also the culmination of devotional love (Bhakti) and the culmination of the path of meditation or yoga. It is also known as Self-realisation or liberation (Moksha).
In Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi’s Upadesa Saram (The Essence of Instruction), we have in concise form all we need to know in order to attain liberation in this life. The teaching is densely packed in, making the teaching all the sweeter for the ripe seeker of Truth.
Here you will find universal teachings for enlightenment, the true Vedanta.
I have made some comments to hopefully make the teachings clearer. but have attempted to keep them to a minimum. They are in italicised red.
1. कर्तुराज्ञया प्राप्यते फलम् ।
कर्म किं परं कर्म तज्जडम् ॥ १॥
kartur ājñyayā prāpyate phalaṃ
karma kiṃ paraṃ karma tajjaḍam
Cause and effect (action and fruit, karma) is essentially a mechanical process, insentient, subject to change, and not at all the Divine.
2. कृतिमहोदधौ पतनकारणम् ।
फलमशाश्वतं गतिनिरोधकम् ॥ २॥
2. The fruit of action passes.
But action leaves behind
Seed of further action
Leading to an endless ocean of action;
Not at all to moksha.
This here is a very important verse. All actions are limited, and therefore give rise to limited effects. These effects then in turn become the cause for another limited effect, and so on. Limited actions cannot give rise to That, in which there are no limits, so no limited actions can lead to Moksha. The unstated implication is THAT which we are looking for -The Absolute, Brahman, call IT what you will – THAT is already fully and completely here – no action is required to attain the Self, as we are already THAT.
3. ईश्वरार्पितं नेच्छया कृतम् ।
चित्तशोधकं मुक्तिसाधकम् ॥ ३॥
īśvarārpitaṃ necchayā kṛtam
3. Disinterested action
Surrendered to the Lord
Purifies the mind and points
The way to moksha.
Becoming increasingly disinterested in things that happen in the world, carrying out your social and ethical duties whilst surrendering all to Him, this is conducive to Liberation.
4. कायवाङ्मनः कार्यमुत्तमम् ।
पूजनं जपश्चिन्तनं क्रमात् ॥ ४॥
pūjanaṃ japa-ścintanaṃ kramāt
4. This is certain:
Worship, praise and meditation,
Being work of body, speech and mind,
Are steps for orderly ascent.
Bhagavan gives us a hierarchy of practice, starting with worship (which utilises the body), then going to use praise (which utilises speech), and the to the higher practice of meditation (which utilises the mind). We are not to greedily jump straight to meditation as it is the higher practice, unless we are naturally ripe for this, but to start where we are for ‘orderly ascent’.
In the next few verses Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi will explain these practices to us in greater detail:
5. जगत ईशधी युक्तसेवनम् ।
अष्टमूर्तिभृद्देवपूजनम् ॥ ५॥
jagata īśadhī yukta sevanaṃ
aśṭa-mūrti bhṛd deva-pūjanam
5. Ether, fire, air, water, earth,
Sun, moon and living beings
Worship of these,
Regarded all as forms of His,
Is perfect worship of the Lord.
Worship of God can be worship of Him in any form, as long as we realised that the object itself is not Him, but just a divine expression of Him.
6. उत्तमस्तवादुच्चमन्दतः ।
चित्तजं जपध्यानमुत्तमम् ॥ ६॥
cittajaṃ japa dhyānam uttamam
6. Better than hymns of praise
Is repetition of the Name;
Better low-voiced than loud,
But best of all
Is meditation in the mind.
The practice becomes, in time, increasingly subtle, starting from coarser practices involving the body and then speech, to subtler practices of the mind, as per verse 4.
7. आज्यधारया स्रोतसा समम् ।
सरलचिन्तनं विरलतः परम् ॥ ७॥
ajya-dhāraya srotasā samam
sarala cintanaṃ viralataḥ param
7. Better than spells of meditation
Is one continuous current,
Steady as a stream,
Or downward flow of oil.
Over time, meditation should move from the sporadic to the continuous. A wonderful traditional metaphor of a continuous current of a stream of oil is used so there is no mistake as to what this means. What what exactly is this meditation, and how can it be done? Worry not! Bhagavan will explain all to us in later verses. How lucky we are to have these beautiful teachings of His!
8. भेदभावनात् सोऽहमित्यसौ ।
भावनाऽभिदा पावनी मता ॥ ८॥
bhavana’bhidā pāvanī matā
8. Better than viewing Him as Other,
Indeed the noblest attitude of all,
Is to hold Him as the ‘I’ within,
The very ‘I’.
A key part of the teachings is this – to realise that all is non-separate from Him. Furthermore, He is none other that the essence of You, the ‘I’ within. You are not praising a divine entity that is separate from your Being. All this is implied in verses 20 and 23, and more clearly stated in verse 26.
The next verse also states the same:
9. भावशून्यसद्भावसुस्थितिः ।
भावनाबलाद्भक्तिरुत्तमा ॥ ९॥
bhāva śūnyasad bhāva susthitiḥ
9. Abidance in pure being
Transcending thought through love intense
Is the very essence
Of supreme devotion.
10. हृत्स्थले मनः स्वस्थता क्रिया ।
भक्तियोगबोधाश्च निश्चितम् ॥ १०॥
hṛtsthale manaḥ svasthatā kriyā
bhakti yoga bodhaśca niścitam
10. Absorption in the heart of being,
Whence we sprang,
Is the path of action, of devotion,
Of union and of knowledge.
For the more intellectually inclined, this verse can be illuminating. Bhagavan is stating here, in line with the Upanishads (eg. Amritabindu Upanishad verses 2-5) and Bhagavad Gita (eg Chapter 5 verse 4), that all the main yogas are, at this stage in the practice, all essentially the same. Abiding as the Self IS the path of action, abiding as the Self IS Devotion, abiding as the Self IS Yoga (‘union’), abiding as the Self IS Knowledge.
Amritabindu Upanishad, verse 5: ‘The mind should be prevented from functioning, until it dissolves itself in the heart. This is Jnana, this is Dhyana, the rest is all mere concoction of untruth.’
Bhagavad Gita 5.4: ‘Only the ignorant say that the yoga of knowledge and the yoga of devotional action are different, wise people do not. One who is perfectly established in one, obtains the result of both.’
11. वायुरोधनाल्लीयते मनः ।
जालपक्षिवद्रोधसाधनम् ॥ ११॥
vayu-rodhanāl līyate manaḥ
11. Holding the breath controls the mind,
A bird caught in a net.
Absorption in the heart.
A key teaching that regulation of the breath is a useful aid to Abiding as Self. The invitation is to take up this advice an incorporate it into your practice.
12. चित्तवायवश्चित्क्रियायुताः ।
शाखयोर्द्वयी शक्तिमूलका ॥ १२॥
śā khayor-dvayi śakti-mūlakā
12. Mind and breath (as thought and action)
Fork out like two branches.
But both spring
From a single root.
Both the mind and breath or actions, in fact all phenomena, arise from a single Source. The implication is that finding the source of the mind can also be done by finding the source of the breath.
13. लयविनाशने उभयरोधने ।
लयगतं पुनर्भवति नो मृतम् ॥ १३॥
laya vinaśane ubhaya-rodhane
laya-gataṃ punar bhavati no mṛtam
13. Absorption is of two sorts;
Submergence and destruction.
Mind submerged rises again;
Dead, it revives no more.
The implication is that death of mind is the goal, rather than just a mere temporary quiescence of mind.
Next the method by which the mind can be killed is given:
14. प्राणबन्धनाल्लीनमानसम् ।
एकचिन्तनान्नाशमेत्यदः ॥ १४॥
14. Breath controlled and thought restrained,
The mind turned one-way inward
Fades and dies.
Why kill the mind? It is through killing the mind that one abides as the Self and returns to one’s own ‘natural being’, which is without action:
15. नष्टमानसोत्कृष्टयोगिनः ।
कृत्यमस्ति किं स्वस्थितिं यतः ॥ १५॥
kṛtyam asti kiṃ svasthitiṃ yataḥ
15. Mind extinct, the mighty seer
Returns to his own natural being
And has no action to perform.
Yoga Vasishta, one of Ramana’s favourite traditional texts, says: ‘Supreme Bliss cannot be experienced through contact of the senses with their objects. The supreme state is that in which the mind is annihilated through one-pointed enquiry.’ and elsewhere it also states: ‘Every moving or unmoving thing whatsoever is only an object visualised by the mind. When the mind is annihilated duality (i.e. multiplicity) is not perceived.’
Now we are half-way through the text. The essential teaching has already been given. In the second half further elucidation and clarification will be lovingly dispensed:
16. दृश्यवारितं चित्तमात्मनः ।
चित्त्वदर्शनं तत्त्वदर्शनम् ॥ १६॥
citva-darśanaṃ tattva darśanam
16. It is true wisdom
For the mind to turn away
From outer objects and behold
Its own effulgent form.
What is true wisdom? It is for the mind to turn away from all objects and phenomena and abide as the Self.
Some confusion may arise as to how the mind, the nature of which is thought (verse 18), can behold it’s ‘own effulgent form’. When the mind is turn outward, occupied with objects such as thoughts, feelings, the body and the outer world of objects, it is called the mind. When the mind is no longer occupied with these things, it is none other than the Self.
Yoga Vasishta states: ‘Consciousness which is undivided imagines to itself desirable objects and runs after them. It is then known as the mind.’ and also elsewhere states: ‘After knowing that by which you know this (world) turn the mind inward and then you will see clearly (i.e. realize) the effulgence of the Self.’ and elsewhere states: ‘O Rama, the mind has, by its own activity, bound itself; when it is calm it is free.’
17. मानसं तु किं मार्गणे कृते ।
नैव मानसं मार्ग आर्जवात् ॥ १७॥
mānasaṃ tu kiṃ mārgaṇe kṛte
naiva mānasaṃ mārge ārjavāt
17. When unceasingly the mind
Scans its own form
There is nothing of the kind.
For every one
This path direct is open.
Another key verse here. The insight here is that the mind is not a real entity, just an imagined one. When searched for, it cannot be found as a distinct entity. What a wonderful and essential teaching is presented here! It is further expounded on in the next two verses:
18. वृत्तयस्त्वहं वृत्तिमाश्रिताः ।
वृत्तयो मनो विद्ध्यहं मनः ॥ १८॥
vṛttayo mano viddhayahaṃ manaḥ
18. Thoughts alone make up the mind;
And of all thoughts the ‘I’ thought is the root.
What is called mind is but the notion ‘I’.
The mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts, and it is founded upon the I-concept. The concept of a separate ‘me’ or ‘I’ is the mind.
19. अहमयं कुतो भवति चिन्वतः ।
अयि पतत्यहं निजविचारणम् ॥ १९॥
ahamayaṃ kuto bhavati cinvataḥ
ayi patatyahaṃ nijavicāraṇam
19. When one turns within and searches
Whence this ‘I’ thought arises,
The shamed ‘I’ vanishes –
And wisdom’s quest begins.
The above verse states this is but the beginning of self-enquiry, ‘the quest’. How do we proceed after we have searched for the source of the I-concept and found it to be non-existent? Let us see:
20. अहमि नाशभाज्यहमहंतया ।
स्फुरति हृत्स्वयं परमपूर्णसत् ॥ २०॥
sphurati hṛt-svayaṃ parama-pūrṇa-sat
20. Where this ‘I’ notion faded
Now there as I–I, arises
The One, the very Self,
The Self is defined as that in which there is no I-concept. This can only be realised non-verbally through practice and direct experience.
21. इदमहं पदाऽभिख्यमन्वहम् ।
अहमिलीनकेऽप्यलयसत्तया ॥ २१॥
21. Of the term, ‘I’, the permanent import
Is That. For even in deep sleep
Where we have no sense of ‘I’
We do not cease to be.
A pointer here that what is known as ‘I’ is actually none other than THAT, ie. God or the Absolute, the Infinite. Even in deep sleep, whilst there is no I-concept, our BEINGNESS persists, BEINGNESS being the true I, or true Self, as per verse 23.
22. विग्रहेन्द्रियप्राणधीतमः ।
नाहमेकसत्तज्जडं ह्यसत् ॥ २२॥
nāhameka-sat tajjaḍam hyasat
22. Body, senses, mind, breath, sleep –
All insentient and unreal –
Cannot be ‘I’,
‘I’ who am the Real.
Rather late on in the text Ramana introduces to us the teaching of discerning the Self from the non-Self (Viveka, or Atma-anatma-viveka). The essence of what we are, which does not change, which is ever-present and ‘Real’, cannot be that which changes and that which has no consciousness of its own (ie. ‘insentient’). The real is that which illuminates the unreal, ie. is consciousness or sentient.
23. सत्त्वभासिका चित्क्ववेतरा ।
सत्तया हि चिच्चित्तया ह्यहम् ॥ २३॥
sattva-bhāsika citkva vetarā
sattyā hi cit cittayā hyaham
23. For knowing That which is
There is no other knower.
Hence Being is Awareness;
And we all are Awareness.
Awareness needs no second light to illuminate it. We may need a light source to illuminate a common everyday object in darkness, but the sun needs no secondary light source to be seen. It is self-shining, self-aware. To know the Self, THAT, is not really a knowing in that there is no second object to be known (hence non-duality), but knowing the Self really just being BEING the Self, or BEING AWARENESS.
24. ईशजीवयोर्वेषधीभिदा ।
सत्स्वभावतो वस्तु केवलम् ॥ २४॥
sat-svabhāvato vastu kevalam
24. In the nature of their being
Creature and creator are in substance one.
They differ only
In adjuncts and awareness.
Ramana makes some clarifications here so we are clear on what is being said. He is stating that the nature of the individual or jiva (ie. ‘creature’ which is actually a translation of jiva) is the same as the essential nature of God or Ishvara (‘creator’, which is a translation of Isa or Isvara, ie. the Lord). The difference is only in the phenomenal appearance, but both are in essence BEING-AWARENESS. This reasoning is taken further in the next verse:
25. वेषहानतः स्वात्मदर्शनम् ।
ईशदर्शनं स्वात्मरूपतः ॥ २५॥
25. Seeing oneself free of all attributes
Is to see the Lord,
For He shines ever as the pure Self.
Therefore, if you ‘see’ yourself devoid of all phenomena and ‘attributes’, which means to be aware but to be devoid of thoughts, feelings, body and worldly objects, then you are seeing your essential nature, which is to see God (Isa or Ishvara). Your essential nature is Him. Remember, the word seeing doesn’t mean you are seeing something, for there is no duality here. Ramana, out of his love and compassion for us, tells us as follows:
26. आत्मसंस्थितिः स्वात्मदर्शनम् ।
आत्मनिर्द्वयादात्मनिष्ठता ॥ २६॥
26. To know the Self is but to be the Self,
For it is non-dual.
In such knowledge
One abides as that.
He reminds us that this is not a dualistic knowing (of objects), but just BEING THAT. The word ‘know’ is just a dualistic phrase used, dualistic as it implies a knower and something that is known, whereas here there is no knower or know, just BEING-AWARENESS:
27. ज्ञानवर्जिताऽज्ञानहीनचित् ।
ज्ञानमस्ति किं ज्ञातुमन्तरम् ॥ २७॥
jñānam-asti kiṃ jñātum-antaram
27. That is true knowledge which transcends
Both knowledge and ignorance,
For in pure knowledge
Is no object to be known.
True Knowledge is simply a synonym for the Self, and there are no objects in the Self.
The Amritabindu Upanishad says, in verse 4: The mind severed from all connection with sensual objects, and prevented from functioning out, awakes into the light of the heart, and finds the highest condition.
28. किं स्वरूपमित्यात्मदर्शने ।
अव्ययाऽभवाऽऽपूर्णचित्सुखम् ॥ २८॥
kiṃ svarūpamit-yātma darśane
avyayābhavā” pūrṇa-cit sukham
28. Having known one’s nature one abides
As being with no beginning and no end
In unbroken consciousness and bliss.
Importantly, this state is to be ‘abided in’, for want of better wording, meaning that we are not to be attracted to sense-objects and become involved with thoughts and feelings and things and so give birth to the mind (see verse 16 and commentary), but to remain in Truth as Truth, as BEING-AWARENESS (sat-chit) devoid of any objects, which is known as BLISS (written as sukha here, which means happiness in Sanskrit, often called ananda, which also means happiness.)
29. बन्धमुक्त्यतीतं परं सुखम् ।
विन्दतीह जीवस्तु दैविकः ॥ २९॥
bandha muktyatītaṃ paraṃ sukham
vindatīhajī vastu daivikaḥ
29. Beyond bondage and release,
In service of the Lord.
Again, like in verse 28, verse 29 implies a continuance in remaining in this stateless state which is transcendent to both liberation and bondage, which are both to do with phenomenal existence. In verse 28 the language of knowledge is used, ‘Having known one’s nature…’. here in verse 29 the language of devotion is used. In verse 10 Ramana has already told us that true devotion and true knowledge are simply to abide as sat-chit-ananda devoid of adjuncts or phenomena, so this is written here poetically as ‘steadfast service of the Lord’. Continue to abide as the Self, that which is beyond dualities of liberation and bondage, that in which there is no change, that which is the nature of ‘unbroken consciousness and bliss’ (verse 28).
30. अहमपेतकं निजविभानकम् ।
महदिदंतपो रमनवागियम् ॥ ३०॥
mahadidaṃ tapo ramaṇa vāgiyam
30. All ego gone,
Living as that alone
Is penance good for growth,
Sings Ramana, the Self.
Remaining as the Self, that in which there is no ego, is the only way to Moksha. It is the culmination of the path of devotion, knowledge, yoga and action. It is the highest Knowledge and highest Devotion.
To abide as the self, that is devoid of objects, that is of the nature sat-chit-sukha, until the ego is destroyed never to arise again (cf. verses 13-15) is Moksha (liberation) itself.
So says Guru Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.
Q. Don’t you think surrender is the best way, as it is the essence of the 4 yogas?
Tom: It depends. It’s true that surrender is essential for most, and it becomes more prevalent, especially as spiritually matures. Surrender is a wonderful way. But surrender itself ends in stillness of mind.
However some cannot surrender, and need to do karma yoga first. Others need to do hatha yoga and meditation. Others are more intellectually inclined and do viveka, or discrimination between the changing and unchanging, as per Jnana yoga.
The best yoga is the one you actually do.
Q. Don’t all the yogas go together? It’s not like you can either chose Bhakti (devotion) or Karma (action) yoga, but you practice them both together. Is that correct?
Tom: Well for some it starts with a single yoga, for example bhakti yoga, and then as bhakti yoga progresses, all the yogas end up coming together. This is the same for all the yogas. Usually people start off with an affinity for one of the yogas, be it, raja yoga (meditation), bhakti yoga, karma yoga or jnana (knowledge) yoga.
As the yoga progresses, the body-mind becomes purer, more integrated, and naturally develops an affinity for one of more of the other yogas. Eventually all the yogas come together, merging in stillness of mind (samadhi).
The ultimate yoga is for the ego to simply be still, dormant, and in that dormancy, through the ‘grace of God’, it can collapse, at least that’s how it appears. It can be seen there is no ego, there is no doer/author of actions.
You see, in reality all of this is false. There never was any ignorance. There is no ignorance. Ignorance is of the ego. Ignorance is the ego. Ignorance, yoga and liberation are all the ego’s projections, and the ego itself is a fiction. Who is searching, and for what?
Visitor: Is renunciation necessary for Self-realisation?
Bhagavan: Renunciation and realisation are the same. They are different aspects of the same state. Giving up the non-self is renunciation. Inhering in the Self is jnana or Self-realisation. One is the negative and the other the positive aspect of the same, single truth.
Bhakti, jnana, yoga — are different names for Self-realisation or mukti which is our real nature. These appear as the means first. They eventually are the goal.
So long as there is conscious effort required on our part to keep up bhakti, yoga, dhyana, etc., they are the means. When they go on without any effort on our part, we have attained the goal.
There is no realisation to be achieved. The real is ever as it is. What we have done is, we have realised the unreal, i.e., taken for real the unreal. We have to give up that. That is all that is wanted.
Visitor: How has the unreal come? Can the unreal spring from the real?
Bhagavan: See if it has sprung. There is no such thing as the unreal, from another standpoint.
The Self alone exists. When you try to trace the ego, based on which alone the world and all exist, you find the ego does not exist at all and so also all this creation.
(The above excerpt is from Day by Day with Bhagavan, page 87)
Here in the above passage we find three central facets of Bhagavan Ramana’s teachings.
1. Firstly the non-self must be given up or let go of. By non-self, it is meant everything that is perceived. This includes the entire mental realm of thoughts, feelings and imaginings as well as the so-called physical world of the body and objects – i.e all experiences. This is the way the term is used in classical advaita vedanta. By given up it is meant do not be attached, or let go of all appearances. Allow all to come and go in your being.
Initially this renunciation or letting go is something you do, a practice, or as he states above, ‘the means’. Eventually this becomes natural as the habitual tendency (vasana) to identify with the non-self is dissolved through the practice (sadhana). At this point, when the vasanas have been removed, this is realisation.
2. Secondly Bhagavan then reminds us that realisation is not something to be attained. Realisation is who we are, it is our very nature, it is always and already here, so why do we need to attain that which we already are? (We don’t!). We just have to give up the wrong ideation we have, namely the fixation on the non-self and taking ourself to be the body-mind. When we give up everything, the only thing we lose is our illusions, that which is false. That which is real, the Self, can never be lost, and it is ever-realised.
3. Thirdly, when Bhagavan is asked about how the unreal can come from the real, bhagavan states in reality the unreal never was. The self alone is. Here he briefly describes his teaching of self-enquiry, namely that when you try to find the ego, you cannot find it. He then, in very concise form, states that the appearance of the world is dependent upon the false belief in ego. When the ego cannot be found and has been seen to be non-existent, you also realise that the world too is non-existent, that the entire thing is an illusion. This too is realisation! This too is renunciation of non-self! This too is jnana, bhakti and yoga!
Of note, the first point I mentioned above dealing with removal of vasanas is the purification part of the teaching, in which we let go of non-self or ‘the world’ (including the mind and body) through spiritual sadhana (practice), at least initially. Points two and three refer to what I call the insight aspect of the teachings in which the unreal is seen to be false or non-existent. These two aspects of the teachings go together beautifully, with insight naturally leading to renunciation (letting go of non-self/abiding as self) and sadhana enhancing insight and abiding as self and removing the vasanas (habitual tendencies) towards ignorance (of self) and taking hold of non-self.
In response to this post here about how Namaskaram can lead to moksha (liberation), I received the following question:
Q. How does namaskaram cleanse the energy? How will it lead to moksha?
Tom: regular practice of Namaskaram with heartfelt devotion and feeling purifies the mind, transforming rajas (passionate energy) and tamas (dull or negative energy) to sattva (peaceful energy).
Then it sacrifices the ego in the depth of silence so that all that remains is the pristine pure reality.
Om Tat Sat