4. Become perfect and the same, whether in pleasure or pain, hope or disappointment, life or death. Undertake the dissolution of consciousness in this manner.
This is the final stage of extinction of consciousness where the fullness of non-duality of Brahman or Atman is attained. This is associated with Supreme Bliss. This stage is also stressed in the Gita.
In the Bhagavadgita we have the statement that the yogi who beholds the Self through the Self, rejoices in the Self and experiences transcendent bliss beyond the reach of the senses.
The Bhagavadgita calls it atma-yoga or the yoga of the higher Self. The laya (dissolution) is definitely mentioned in the Gita by the injunction that the yogi establishing the mind in the Self by the intellect (buddhi) regulated by concentration should not think of any thing whatsoever (VI, 25). As in the Gita, so in Ashtavakra the vacation of consciousness is, therefore, not emptying it, but completely filling it with the Self, Brahman or Sadashiva as the abiding Witness of the fluctuations of the body, consciousness and the phenomenal world.
Like Ashtavakra, Gaudapada who follows the great master commends in his Mandukya Karika the practice of laya and complete withdrawal of the mind from the objects of the senses through the contemplative procedure in almost similar phrases (III, 4-46). Sankara's Aparoksanubhuti similarly depicts three stages of laya by means of contemplation, viz. First, dissociation from the body and the world; second, the identification with the fullness of Brahman or Atman; and third the forgetting even of the knowledge of Brahman or Atman in transcendence (124). Elsewhere he says,
“Once the mind of the yogi merges in cidatman, let not the mind be moved again, rather abide in the still and complete fullness of knowledge, resembling the full and still ocean” (Pancikaranam, 52).