One of the Mahāvākyas, or “great statements” of the Upanishads, the nondual wisdom section of the Vedas, is tat tvam asi (तत् त्वम् असि ), “You are that.” This statement means not only that you are, in reality, limitless nondual awareness, but it also means you are the totality, the whole of the intelligent universe, comprising everything. Helping us see that we are not the limited, incomplete beings we usually think we are, but that we are both the source and the totality of the universe, is the goal of the teaching of Advaita Vedanta, a means of self-knowledge and liberation.
In the following talk, given on September 24, 2013, the tvam, or “you” section of the great statement is examined–the analysis of “Who am I?”
One way to recognize intrinsic awareness–the original wisdom we were born with–is to see if there is something that is always the same. The sameness that is being pointed to does not exclude difference or change. It is a nonconceptual awareness that transcends the opposites of permanence and impermanence, of difference and sameness. It is a sameness that is seen in difference, a permanence seen right within this world of impermanence, a stable presence that pervades all states of consciousness whether peaceful or disturbed, happy or sad.
Seeing this sameness is a doorway to the simple recognition of one’s own awareness as primordial wisdom.
In this short meditative talk (about 20 minutes long), Hal points to the possibility of recognizing innate nonconceptual sameness. This talk was given at Real Dharma Sangha on May 1, 2012. To listen, use the flashplayer, below: