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Are these three the characteristics or qualities of the Atma? Or are they its essence, its nature? A doubt of this type may arise. Redness, heat and splendour are the nature of Fire, not its attributes. Atma, too, in the same manner, has Sath, Chith and Ananda as its very nature. Agni is one and Atma too is one, though both may appear as different. Liquidity, coldness and taste are of the very nature of Water; yet, water everywhere is the same, not diverse.
Atma is one; it subsumes all, and by knowing it, all is known. The Atma is the witness of the five kosas of the individual; the Annamaya, the Pranamaya, the Manomaya, the Vijnanamaya and the Anandamaya. How can it be all knowing, it may be asked? Atma is Chith and all else is jada. Atma alone can know, nothing else is capable of knowing; and Atma knows that all else is Atma. Can the pot know the Akasa inside it? Though it does not know, the Akasa is there all the same. But the Atma in man knows even the inert that is of the senses. Thus, the body, the house, the field, the village, the country, are all "known"; so too, the unseen items like heaven etc., are 'understood'.
Though the multiplicity of the body, country etc., is non-existent, they appear so because, they are formed by the tendencies of the mind; they simply appear on the screen as different and varied. In dream, though one experiences multiplicity, one knows that they are unreal creations of one's own mind; this is clear to the witness of the dream. Similarly, the experience of the waking stage also is a mental picture, at the most. People also talk of heaven etc., though they have no experience. Investigation of the Truth and Unity behind all this is the duty of the Jnani, his real characteristic.
Some people declare that they have had Realisation! How can it be taken
as true? When according to the statement, "Aham Brahmaasmi", one understands
that "I am Brahmam", the Jivi who is the 'I' is a mutable entity, a Vikari.
How can he possibly grasp it? A destitute cannot realise that he is a
monarch; so too, a mutable entity like man cannot grasp the immutable
Brahmam, or posit that he is Brahmam.