“The self is not revealed either by the scriptures or by the instructions of a preceptor, and the self is not revealed without the instructions of a preceptor and without the help of the scripture. It is revealed only when all these come together. It is only when the scriptural knowledge, instructions of a preceptor and true discipleship come together that self-knowledge is attained.
That which is after all the senses have ceased to function and all notions of pleasure and pain have vanished, is the self or Siva, which is also indicated by expressions like 'that', 'truth' or ’reality'. However, that which is when all these cease to be, exists even when all these are present, like the limitless space. Out of their compassion for the ignorant deluded ones, in an effort to awaken them spiritually and to awaken in them a thirst for liberation, the redeemers of the universe (known as Brahma, Indra, Rudra and others) have composed scriptures like the veda and the purana (the legends). In these scriptures they have used words like 'consciousness’, 'Brahman’, 'Siva', 'self', ’Lord', 'supreme self', etc. These words may imply a diversity, but in truth there is no such diversity.
The truth indicated by words like 'Brahman', etc. is indeed pure consciousness. In relation to it even limitless space is as gross and substantial as a great mountain. That pure consciousness appears to be the knowable object and gives rise to the concept of intelligence or consciousness, though being the innermost self, it is not an object of knowledge. On account of a momentary conceptualization, this pure consciousness gives rise to the ego-sense ('I know’).
This ego-sense then gives rise to the notions of time and space. Endowed with the energy of the vital air, it then becomes jiva or the individual. The individual thence-forward follows the dictates of the notions and slips into dense ignorance. Thus is the mind born in conjunction with the ego-sense and the different forms of psychological energy. All these together are known as the 'ativahika' body, the subtle body which moves from one place to another.
After this, the substances (the objects of the world) corresponding to the subtle energies of the ativahika body were conceived of, and thus were the various senses (sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell), their corresponding objects and their connecting experiences brought into being. These together are known as the puryastaka, and in their subtle state they are also known as the ativahika body.
Thus were all these substances created; but nothing was created in fact. All these are but apparent modifications in the one infinite consciousness. Even as dream—objects are within oneself, all these are not different from infinite consciousness. Even as when one dreams those objects, they seem to become the objects of one’s perception, all these, too, appear to be objective realities.
When the truth concerning them is realized, all these shine as Lord. However, even that is untrue, for all these have never become material substances or objects. On account of one's own notions of their being substances which one experiences, they appear to have a substantiality. Thus conjuring up a substantiality, the consciousness sees the substantiality.
Conditioned by such notions, it seems to suffer. Conditioning is sorrow. But conditioning is based on thoughts and notions (or sensual and psychological experiences). However, the truth is beyond such experiences and the world is an appearance, like a mirage! In that case, what is psychological conditioning, who conditions what and who is conditioned by such conditioning? Who drinks the water of the mirage? Thus, when all these are rejected the reality alone remains in which there is no conditioning, nothing conditioned. It may be styled the being or the non-being, but it alone is.”