Atma-Nirvriti – first three paragraphs (this work is copyrighted)

Sri Atmananda (Krishna Menon)


1. Atma


It is mind that has thoughts and feelings, not I. Birth, growth, decay and death pertain to the body and not to Me.


I am not body—I have no body. I am no mind—I have no mind. I am no doer, I am no enjoyer. I am pure consciousness which knows no dissolution.


That which shines just before and after every thought and feeling is the "I". That is objectless consciousness; that is Atma.


It is that Atma again that shines as bliss in deep sleep and also when a desired object is attained.


The world shines because of My light: without Me, nothing is. I am the light in the perception of the world.



2. A Fundamental Doubt about Consciousness Removed


He who says that consciousness is never experienced without its objects speaks from a superficial level.


If he is asked the question, "Are you a conscious being?" he will spontaneously give the answer "Yes". This answer springs from the deepmost level.


Here he doesn't even silently refer to anything as the object of that consciousness. This proves that the consciousness he refers to is objectless consciousness.


He who says, "I have consciousness," or "I am conscious," is separating consciousness from himself; this is surprising.


What is not consciousness comes under the category of the known. The "I" is always the knower and can never be the known. Therefore consciousness and the "I" are one and the same.


3. Seeing and Hearing


Unless there is seeing, there is no form. Form has no independent existence and is therefore the seeing itself.


If form is itself seeing, how can one see a form? Therefore what is seen is not form but something different.


Likewise objects of the other senses are also mere sense perceptions.


Because hearing is itself sound, no one hears a sound. This truth applies generally to all sense-objects.


If therefore a searching enquiry is made to know what it is that is really perceived, it will be found that it is the Absolute Reality itself.


If it is the Absolute Reality that is perceived, how can the illusion of the world exist thereafter?