Self / True Self

09/07/2011 Comments Off on Self / True Self

True Self:  Definition of “Self”

  1. The ego; that which knows, remembers, desires, suffers, etc., as contrasted
    with that known, remembered, etc.
  2. The uniting principle, as a soul, underlying all subjective experience.
  3. a person or thing referred to with respect to complete individuality

He who is aware of the thought: ‘Let me smell this,’ he is the Self; the nose is the instrument of smelling. He who is aware of the thought: ‘Let me speak,’ he is the Self; the tongue is the instrument of speaking. He who is aware of the thought: ‘Let me hear,’ he is the Self; the ear is the instrument of hearing.He who is aware of the thought: ‘Let me think this,’ he is the Self; the mind is his divine eye. He, the Self sees all these desires in the World of Brahman through the divine eye, the mind and rejoices. Chhandogya Upanishad 8.12.4-5

‘I am the body’ is the opinion of the fool. ‘I am body and soul’ is the view of the scholar, while for the great-souled, discriminating man, his inner knowledge is ‘I am God’. – Vivek Chudamani 160

“The wise who knows the Self as bodiless within the bodies, as unchanging among changing things, as great and omnipresent, does never grieve”. “That self cannot be gained by the Veda, nor by understanding, nor by much learning. He whom the Self chooses, by him the Self can be gained. The Self chooses him (his body) as his own”. But he who has not first turned away from his wickedness, who is not tranquil, and subdued, or whose mind is not at rest, he can never obtain the Self (even) by knowledge. Katha Upanishad 1.2.22-24

I am boundless space.
The world is a clay pot.
This is the truth.
There is nothing to accept,
Nothing to reject,
Nothing to dissolve. – Ashtavakra Gita 6:1

As oil in seeds, as butter in cream, as water in (dry) river-beds, as fire in wood, so is the Self seized within the self, if man looks for him by truthfulness and penance; (If he looks) for the Self that pervades everything, as butter is contained in milk, and the roots whereof are self-knowledge and penance. That is the Brahman taught by the Upanishad.  Shwetasvatara Upanishad – 1.15-16

Everything made of clay, such as pot, is always to be seen as purely clay. In the same way, everything deriving from this supreme Self must be simply recognised as pure Reality. Since there is no reality beyond that, it is truly one’s very self, and you are that still, unblemished, non-dual, supreme Reality of God.  Vivek Chudamani, Verse 251 Chaitanyamatma Universal Consciousness is one’s own nature Siva Sutras of Vasugupta


As a wave,
Seething and foaming,
Is only water
So all creation,
Streaming out of the Self,
Is only the Self.

Consider a piece of cloth.
It is only threads!
So all creation,
When you look closely,
Is only the Self. – Ashtavakra Gita 2:4-5

Unitarian Universalist
We believe that each human being contains a reservoir of Deep Integrity or Profound Beauty, and that our religious lives begin when we encounter that Invoilable Profundity within our hearts and souls. But this is something that has to be done as an individual.  The idea of individuality is complicated and confusing.  There is no such thing as an individual apart from a community.  Yet we act as individuals and we think and feel and emote in a kind of isolation from each other.  No one can think my thoughts; no one can feel my emotions or sensations; no one could experience my birth or death.  It is in this sense that we experience the Holy alone in the pristine and profound integrity of our individual hearts.  This, we maintain, is the beginning of religion.

This experience is often a non-verbal experience, and because each of us is unique, each of us comes from the experience with a unique understanding of what the experience was and what its object was, what it moves us to do and how we understand it.  Each of us articulates the experience differently.  Ours is a religious movement in which we treasure and cultivate these differences.  It is less important to us that we reach agreement with each other on theological matters than that we stimulate each other to deeper thinking and understanding.  The result is that we do not have a single theology.  We have a whole spectrum of theologies, some of which are a little difficult to understand as theology. (Source – Our Seven Principles in Story and Verse – A Collection for Children and Adults by Kenneth W Collier)

[1] nainam chindanti shastrani nainam dahati pavakah na cainam kledayanty apo na sosayati marutah Bhagavad Gita 2.23

“The self (soul) can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.”
[2] acchedyo ’yam adahyo ’yam akledyo ’sosya eva ca nityah sarva-gatah sthanur acalo ’yam sanatanah Bhagavad Gita 2.24

“This individual self (soul) is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.”
[3] avyakto ’yam acintyo ’yam avikaryo ’yam ucyate tasmad evam viditvainam nanusocitum arhasi Bhagavad Gita 2.25

“It is said that the self (soul) is invisible, inconceivable and immutable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body.”

O Rama, living like this, constantly inquiring into the nature of the self, attain peace. This state of consciousness can be attained by the cultivation of dispassion, the study of scriptures, the instructions of a guru and by the persistent practice of inquiry. But if the awakened intelligence is keen and sharp, you will attain it even without the other aids.
Source: The Concise Yoga Vasistha, ed. Swami Venkatesananda

And he who beholds all beings in the Self, and the Self in all beings, he never turns away from it. Isha Upanishad 6


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