Om! Brahman or Siva or the Impersonal Absolute is the Source and Substratum for the world of phenomena. He is the Source of the Vedas. From Him this world proceeds. In Him it lives. In Him it gets dissolved. He is Eternal, Self-existent, Self-luminous and Self-contained. He is all-Full. He is beyond Time, Space and Causation. He is birthless, deathless and decayless.
He moves and moves not. He moves in His manifested or Saguna aspect. He moves not in His transcendental aspect. He is smaller than the smallest and greater than the greatest. He is smaller than the smallest because He is the Soul of even the ant, the mustard and the atom, and He is extremely subtle. He is greater than the greatest because He is the Soul of this entire universe and extends beyond this universe, also and He is Infinite. He is nearer than the nearest and farther than the farthest. He is nearer to the thirsty aspirants, but He is farther to those who are worldly-minded. He is nearer than the nearest because He is the Inner Soul of everything. He is farther than the farthest because He is Infinite. He is beyond the reach of the mind and the senses (Avangmanogochara). He cannot be reached by people of gross mind and outgoing senses. But He can be attained by that aspirant who is endowed with a subtle, sharp, one-pointed intellect (Manasaivaanudrashtavyam), and who is equipped with four means, and the grace and the instructions of a Brahma-Srotri, Brahma-Nishtha Guru, in Tat-Tvam-Asi Mahavakya.
Vision of a Sage and of a Worldly Man
Brahman is the only Reality. He is the only living Truth. The Liberated Sage or Jivanmukta beholds Brahman only everywhere. There is no world for him in the three periods of time. But the ignorant man sees only the five elements and the forms. The world of names and forms only is real for him. He denies Brahman altogether.
The man who moves in a desert in the noon sees the mirage at some distance and mistakes it for water. He runs there to drink water but is disappointed. The rays of the sun fall on the bed of sand and generate the mirage. The mirage appears as a sheet of water and deludes man. Even so the worldly man beholds the five elements and their combination, i.e., names and forms, on account of Avidya. Avidya hides the real and makes the unreal appear as real. In the twilight a man mistakes a rope for a snake, gets frightened and cries. When a friend brings a light his fear vanishes. He sees a rope only. Even so a worldly man mistakes the impure, perishable body for the Pure, Imperishable Atman and suffers in diverse ways on account of this erroneous notion or superimposition (Adhyasa) caused by Avidya. When the Avidya is destroyed through Brahma-Jnana or Knowledge of the Eternal through initiation into the significance of Tat-Tvam-Asi Mahavakya by the Preceptor or Brahma-Vidya Guru, he becomes identical with the Supreme Soul. The world of names and forms vanishes in toto. He sees Brahman only. All his fears terminate.
Happiness in the Atman Only
The feeling of pleasure is an internal feeling. There is no pleasure in physical objects, though they excite pleasure in man. Sensual pleasure is only a reflection of the Bliss of the Atman. When a desire is gratified the mind moves towards the Atman and rests in the Atman for a very short time, and the man experiences pleasure. Atman or Brahman only is the embodiment of Bliss (Ananda Svarupa). Atman is full of Bliss (Anandamaya). Atman is a Mass of Bliss (Ananda-Ghana).
Brahmna is Both Material and Efficient Cause
Brahman is both the material and the efficient cause of this universe (Abhinna-Nimitta-Upadana-Karana). He is the fictitious material cause (Vivarta-Upadana). He somehow appears as this universe through Maya, without Himself being affected in the least, by names and forms. This is a mystery. This is indescribable.
Brahmna is Unattached
Just as the crystal is not affected by the coloured objects, though it reflects them, just as the sun is not affected by the defects of the eye and other objects, just as ether is not affected, by reason of its subtlety, so, seated everywhere in the body, this Atman is not affected.
Qualifications of an Aspirant
He who is equipped with the four means, who has purified his heart through selfless service (Nishkama Karma Yoga); service of Guru, Japa, Kirtan and Upasana, who is calm, dispassionate, reflective, discriminative, fearless, straightforward, humble, large-hearted, compassionate, generous, truthful, pure and who is free from pride, egoism, arrogance, will realise this Mysterious, Indescribable, Unthinkable Brahman or the Imperishable.
Kaivalya-Mukti or final emancipation can be attained through knowledge of Brahman. Krama-Mukti is attained through Bhakti.
Mukti is not a thing to be achieved or attained. It is already there. You will have to know that you are free, by removing the veil of ignorance.
Methos of Meditation
I am All-blissful Siva OM! I am Immortal Brahman OM! I am Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute (Satchidananda Svarupoham) OM! I am Infinite (Ananta) OM! I am Eternal (Nitya) OM! I am ever pure (Suddha) OM! I am perfect (Siddha) OM! I am ever free (Mukta) OM! I am unattached (Asanga) OM! I am witness (Sakshi) OM! I am non-doer (Akarta) OM! I am non-enjoyer (Abhokta) OM! I am not this body OM! I am not this Prana OM! Satchidananda-Svarupoham OM! This is the Quintessence of Kevala-Advaita Vedanta or Absolute Monism. Thus ends the glorious Siva Vidya! OM!