predominant activity of consciousness is thinking or desiring. This thinking, desiring consciousness is called mind. Mind is a grosser manifestation of consciousness. When the mind is formed then the soul enters the mind and remains within it trapped. from one part of soul's consciousness then another small part of soul's consciousness gets involved in the mind and acts as the subjective experiencer of all the activities of the mind. This consciousness acting as the subjective experiencer is the ego in us and this is the ‘I' with which we are so familiar. This ego is the observer, enjoyer, experiencer of all the activities of the mind and the body. This ego consciousness is limited in its capacity. This identifies with the activities of the body and mind and thinks I am this body and the mind. This is our limited duplicate ‘I'. The soul beyond the mind is our real ‘I' about which we are not aware at this moment. When the ego consciousness is withdrawn from the mind by meditation it merges with the soul's consciousness. That time we nbecome aware of our soul and our real ‘I' the soul. This is called self-realisation.
Ego consciousness (Ahamkara)
The Soul is the conscious unit. A part of the consciousness of the Soul reflects in the mind and works in the mind as the subjective principle of awareness or knowing. This consciousness in the mind identifies with it and feels limited. This consciousness with its limited feeling is the Ego in us, our ‘I' of which we are aware. This "1" feels the pain and suffering, the joys and sorrows of life. Our real "I" is the Soul or the consciousness that is separate from the mind. Awareness of this "I" is called Self-Realization. When the Soul is released from the cage of the mind and merges itself with the ocean of consciousness that is called God- Realization or union with God. The Ego consciousness in man keeps the soul attached to the body by presenting a series of physical desires and reminding him of the limited physical relations of country, race, nation, family, possessions, individual characteristics, etc.
Instruments of Perception
The Soul in us, is the perceiving unit, the enjoyer, the cognizer of all our experiences. The Soul is experiencing reality with the help of certain instruments. These instruments are by nature limited and therefore create limitations in the perceptions of the Soul. The instruments mentioned below are placed in the order of their grossness.
The grosser the instruments, the more limited they are, and hence they put great limitation to what the Soul can perceive. In the order, in which the instruments are mentioned above, the lower instruments need the help of the higher ones for perception, the higher ones generally perceive with the help of the lower ones but they have the capacity to perceive directly without the help of the lower ones.