The Self is not an object1 min read

Shri Shankara Acharya’s Vakyavritti Verse  29

“That which is completely free from the limitations of the phenomenal world and known by such descriptions as ’neither dense nor subtle’, which never has the characteristics of an object and is untouched by the taint of nescience or limitations in any form – that is the Supreme Self”.


In this verse the holy Acharya compassionately explains the meaning of the word ’Thou’, which is to be meditated upon.

In the Upanishad it is said: “Not this, not this”. In a higher sense whatever positive statement you make about the Self is in the sphere of the phenomenal world and does not apply to the absolute Self. Our words are meant to express worldly existence and not the spiritual reality.

Sometimes the holy Shruti describes the Self negatively, but very often it is merely hinted at. It is the Guru, established in the divine consciousness, who transmits through his loving compassion what words cannot convey.

In the course of meditation let the Yogi eliminate all that applies to worldly objects in any form and any sense. Let it be remembered that the Self is not an object.

How can the subject be described? When pressed for a definition of Brahman by his beloved wife, the holy sage Yajnavalkya said: “O dear one, how can the knower be known?” Let the Yogi in meditation divest the Self of any limitation and meditate on it as ‘I, I, I’.

Then he will have the relish of peace and pass into the mental state of tranquillity in which glimpses of Atman are revealed by the grace of the Guru.

Shri Shankara Acharya’s Vakyavritti Verse  30