Chandokya Upanishad of Sama Veda contains this Maha Vakya – Tat Twam Asi indicating the unity of Jeeva and Brahma. Tat referring to the Cosmic unifying intelligence the Paramathma, and Twam referring to You the individual Jeeva.,
Jeva is nothing but the reflection of the Brahman. However the reflection gets distorted based on the reflecting mediums. A concave mirror distorts the image in one way and the convex the other way. The original is however undistorted. The reflection and the original are seemingly different but are actually one and the same.
Similarly the Brahman reflect through the body the micro matter medium called Sareera thrayam and also through the macro matter medium called the Prapancha thrayam. By reflecting in the Sareera thrayam distorted version of athma known as inferior Jeevathma. The athma manifesting through the macro medium is endowed with superior attributes known as Paramathma. Even though the athma is same, the attributes vary based on the reflecting medium.
As the reflections are not the reality the focus should be on the original. However by the very nature, Jeeva focuses on the superficial differences. This is infact a mis-conception which is the cause of the miseries. Solution to the miseries are in refocusing on the ultimate reality and in understanding that the distortions are the nature of the reflection called Samsara. Problem is with me and hence the solution should also be me. In religious perspective, no distance should be maintained with GOD. More the distance, more the samsara. Maintaining no distance is the Ikyam of Jeeva and Brahman.
By saying Jeeva and Brahman are one and the same, it is understood that Jeeva is not Brahman itself but is a part of the Brahman. We are not GOD ourselves but are part of the GOD. The consciousness within oneself is nothing but the Athma. As Athma is not a divisible principle, the consciousness is also not divisible. This implies that Consciousness is not part of the Athma but Athma itself. This can be understood as similar to the light which cannot be divided. The differentiating factors however are the body, mind etc., barring which the oneness can be seen. The Mahavakya is valid at the level of the consciousness and not at the level of the Body & Mind. This discriminating capability is called the Viveka and the state of realisation is called Samadhi.
With this understanding of the Maha Vakya, let us review how the Karma Cycle works.