The supreme Self, Atman is the core of your personality. The Atman enlivens the body to perceive and act; enlivens the mind to feel; the intellect to think and contemplate. However the type of perception and action, feeling and thought emanating from the body, mind and intellect will all depend upon one’s inherent nature called Vasanas. The Atma functioning through the organs of perception becomes the perceiver. The Atma functioning through the mind creates the feeler. The Atma expresses through the gross intellect as the thinker and the subtle intellect as the contemplator. The Atma is said to be a homogeneous mass of pure Consciousness. It is the same in all beings. It is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent like the sun. The sun is singular and unconditioned. But its reflections are many-fold in the numerous reflecting media. So also, the Atma, the Self appears tainted, restrained by the limitations of the equipments through which it functions. And becomes the limited, restricted human being. So it is with everyone. You are the supreme Self, Atman, God. You are pure consciousness. Like water passing through coloured glasses appear coloured, the Atma is reflected, by the body depending on the Sarirathrayam and avasthathrayam. The nature of Atma is Sat – Chit – Ananda. The consciousness continues to survive after the death of the body and is immortal. It is not limited by time and hence is called Sat. Consciousness is called Atma in the scriptures and is Cit in Sanskrit. It is also known As chaitanyam. It is not limited by time or space and hence is limitless – Ananta. Hence it is known as Ananda which means a sense of completeness, a sense of fulfillment. So thus having seen that the Atma pervades in and through all bodies, every individual is a mixture of Consciousness - Atma Matter - Anatma. Generally, whenever we use the word “ I”, we refer to the reflecting medium (Atma) and the matter-part Anatma. There are two fundamental principles to be understood. The first principle is “I”, the experiencer of life, am a conscious being who is different from whatever I experience. This is the fundamental Law of Vedanta. The subject is always different from the object. For example, our eye is capable of seeing all objects in the world, but the eye cannot see itself ! So subject is never subject to objectification. Subject is ever the subject; so also the object. Subject can never become object. So, whatever I experience, I am not. The second principle is I am different from the body I experience. I, who am the experiencer of the world is different from everything that I experience. There is plurality only from the stand point of physical bodies, not from the stand point of Atma. There is only one Atma, not subject to time and without form and attributes. When we are told Atma is eternal, we think of Atma having a long, long life. But Gita – 2.12 says Na thvaevaaham jaathu naasam na thvam naemae janaadhipaa Na chaiva na bhavishyaama: sarvae vatamatha: param There was never a time that I did not exist, nor you, nor these kings. Nor will any of us cease to exist in the future. Since you cannot cry for the timeless, Atma is not a cause for sorrow. So, we have to learn to look upon the body-mind complex (Anatma) also as an object, though it is intimately close to the subject (Atma). Thus we disriminate between the experience and the experienced; the observer and the observed. By adopting this pattern of thinking, we learn to identify ourselves with Atma, the experiencer, the witness Conscious principle. Love, Chithra.