Scriptures state that the only knowledge worth knowing is the nature of the Self because it is by this knowledge that one can attain salvation — reaching that state from where there is no further return to this world of joy and sorrow. This knowledge confers the state of enlightenment.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna refers to the unenlightened person as one who is yet to transcended the effects of the sense of I and Mine, said Sri N. Veezhinathan in a lecture. A majority of individuals belong to this category and go through the cycle of birth to fulfil the effects of their individual Karma. They fail to perceive the difference between the Self (Atma) and the non-Self (Anatma). In contrast to these people, an enlightened person has perfected the yoga of union with God, that is, he is always steeped in thoughts of God and no worldly pulls attract him. Such a person beholds Him fully in all things and is thus not tainted by any trace of ego sense.

To attain this state of enlightenment, one has to seek refuge in the Supreme Brahman by means of the Higher Knowledge. This knowledge makes us behold the Supreme Brahman who is the Primordial Being and who is the cause of this entire universe with its process of birth, growth, decay and death. The Lord cannot be seen or seized, has no root or attributes, no eyes or ears, no hands or feet; and He is eternal and omnipresent. His effulgent abode is beyond the world of light or illumination caused by the sun, moon, fire or lightning. In fact it is by His power that these are able to illuminate the universe. To Him belongs all the glory in the world.

The Jivatma comprises the gross and the subtle — the body and the Self. At every birth, the Self, carrying along with it the senses and the mind from the previous birth, attains a new body until it reaches the state of enlightenment. Only the realised Self is eligible to reach this abode of the Supreme Brahman.

The Lord explains at length the need to understand the fundamental dichotomy between the body and the soul. Steady determination and striving to distinguish the ephemeral from the eternal are needed on the part of the seeker.