Shri Shankara Acharya’s Vakyavritti Verse 16
‘The same argument shows that I, who am the witness of the senses, am not the senses. Thus I am not the mind, intellect or vital force; this you must understand”.
The same argument leads to the conclusion that the Self is different from the senses and the mind. That which says ‘my mind’, ’my eyes’, ’my speech’, is different from the mind, the eyes, and speech.
Our whole life and happiness depend on what we think ourselves to be. If the Self is something which is subject to change or momentary sensations, as one school of Buddhists think, then we can never find rest and peace in the world.
Change and action are in the mind and the body. If they were natural to the Self of man, he would have no desire for rest or peace and a holiday.
Pundit Bhajnath used to say: “The real rest of the soul is in actionlessness; but action will continue to exist in the mind and the body, and to expect them to be without action is to expect the impossible”.
When it is said in the Gita: “O Arjuna, be established in the Self”, the meaning is that the Self should be detached from the mind and the body by study and contemplation, and then the Self can rest in itself. Consciousness is a property neither of the mind nor of the Self.
That the Self is the receptacle of consciousness is the Nyaya and not the Advaita doctrine.
The highest and ideal endeavour of man is to realize the Self as pure consciousness, free from all attributes and action.
Such a Mahatma does not live like a stone. He works all the time to set an example of goodness to Others, but he knows in his own consciousness that he is actionless and attributeless. The highest meditation and truest affirmation is: ” I am Shiva”.
If man is not the spirit which is pure consciousness and nothing else, then there can be no such thing as release or even respite from the agonies of the mind and the senses.