All that we use or posses should be different from oneself. As we own a house, we know that we are not the house. Similarly all the anathmas are possessed by us and hence we are different from these anathmas (ie) the body, mind, intellect etc., Athma is in the form of Sath, Chit and Ananda.
Chit represents that Athma is in the form of Consciousness which makes the inert body alive and sentient. In this context it needs to be understood that:
- Consciousness is not a property/ quality of the body. It is also not a part or product (Eg: Enzymes generated in body, Thoughts generated in mind) of the body.
- Consciousness is an invisible and independent entity that pervades the body making it alive and sentient. The closest example is that of the electricity that makes the Fan move/ rotate. It is the invisible electricity which is not the property or part or product of the Fan but activates Fan. The electricity exists independently even before and after the manufacture of the fan.
- The consciousness is not limited by the boundaries of the body as the electricity is not confined to the Fan. This means consciousness is not limited by space.
- The consciousness will continue to exist even after the body perishes as the electricity continues to exist even after the Fan breaks down. This means consciousness is not limited by time.
In the absence of the body the consciousness is not recognisable even though it continues to exist. This Athma is called the chit roopa which continues even after the body ceases to exist.
The technique given by Krishna to claim the consciousness as oneself (instead of the body) is to exclude everything that we experience. In the process, the world will get excluded first followed by Body, Mind (experience of emotions) and Intellect (experience of knowledge and ignorance). Ignorance is also a form of knowledge of what we do not know.
The negation process lead to a blankness, which if understood correctly is also an experience of an experiencer. This experiencer should be understood as the Consciousness none other than the Self.
Sath represents eternality. As inferred above, consciousness remains before and after the body and hence eternal.
Ananda represents Anantha meaning all pervading or Poorna meaning completeness. Completeness is experienced as ananda. Sorrow is defined as limitation and happiness is limitlessness. Poornam is source like the sweetness in Mothagam.
Understanding the individual is also called the Jeeva Vichara or the understanding of the Microcosm.