The Upanishads state that having created the world,
Brahman entered into it. The entire creation is thus divine in
essence. This inherent divine potential is at the core of every
individual being, irrespective of one’s outward form.
Realising this is atma jnana. This atma swaroopa is ever
efulgent and there is no need for another light to reveal the
atma. It is of the nature of bliss and is ever existent. But
ajnana or ignorance prevents the jivatma from accessing this
blissful truth at the heart of all existence and instead leads
him into the cycle of birth.
The Chandogya Upanishad explains the jivatma’s dilemma
in samsara as akin to that of a blindfolded man led away and
left in a strange place, pointed out Sri Mani Dravid Sastrigal
in a discourse. The worldly attractions, the compulsions of
daily duties, the sway of the gunas in the life of a jivatma, the
paths of dharma or adharma, the scriptural teachings and
philosophies, etc, verily constitute a thick forest. The
confused jivatma turns in every direction and cries out for
someone to remove the bandage and show him the way
home. If by chance his cries are heard by somebody who
loosens the bandage and gives him some relief, there is the
likelihood that the jivatma can inquire and try to find the
right way out of the forest. He is then able to reach home at
last. The quest for Tatva Jnana is beset in a maze of delusion and doubt arising in the mind of a spiritual aspirant. Only an enlightened guru can guide one in this regard. Each
individual has then to engage in sravana, manana and
nidhidyasa to attain realisation.
That is the stage when he intuitively grasps the ultimate
truth that he is the self-effulgent atma. This knowledge leads
to liberation from bondage.