The Atma is the base of individuals. The pure consciousness becomes apparently limited in a variety of individuals. In deep sleep, the variety disappears, and each individual lapses back into this “is-ness”. Then, all the manifold activities and experiences, like, “I am Ranga,” “I am Ganga,” “I am father,” and “I am son,” are destroyed. The sweetness and fragrance of many owers are collected and fused into one uniformly sweet honey, where all the manifold individualities are destroyed.
The river names Ganga, Krishna, Indus are all lost when these rivers enter the sea. Thereafter, they are called “the sea”. The individual soul (jivi), who is eternal and immortal, is born again and again as a transitory mortal; the soul continues to accumulate activity, prompted by inherited impulses, and the activity produces consequences, which must be shouldered and suffered. The body decays and dies, not the individualised soul. The seed of the banyan tree will sprout even if it is trampled upon. The salt placed in water is recognisable by the taste, even though it cannot be grasped!
The individual soul, befogged by ignorance (a-jnana), is unable to recognise its reality.
Discrimination will reveal the truth. A millionaire is kidnapped and left alone in the jungle, but he discovers the way out and returns to his home. So also, the individual soul is restored to its millions! Once the individual reaches its real status, it is free from all the change and chance that is involved in the ow (samsara) of time and space, of name and form. If the individual doesn’t reach that status, then, like the happy sleeper who wakes into the confusion of the day, it will be born into the world of decay and death.