The crux of Advaita Tatva is realising that individual consciousness is not different from universal consciousness. One needs to meditate on this and revert to this thought as often as possible to gain Advaita Bhava, pointed out Sri B. Sundarkumar in a lecture. But how is one to gain this bhava which is more an intuitive experience?

Adi Sankara captures the way of life of realised souls who have this vision. He beseeches in his prayer to the Divine Mother: “May everything I do with the sense of self-dedication be items in thy service; let my prattle be the utterance of the mantra; the movements of my hand the gestures and poses of worship; my walking, the pradakshina namaskaram; my eating the sacrifice to you; my sleeping posture, the prostration at your feet; and all my enjoyments an offering to you.”

Such a frame of mind ensures that the Divine Mother is always the focus in one’s daily activities. Constant meditation on the (personal) form of a deity leads to awareness of the (impersonal) cosmic form of the Brahman, holds Narayana Bhattatiri. “To begin with, one needs to withdraw his mind from all external objects and concentrate on the Lord’s form. The focus that spreads on all parts of the Lord’s form now is shifted to one part, say the face. The mind should concentrate on the Lord as the essence of consciousness from which everything has been born and as sat-chit-ananda.” This vision is that of a seer who experiences his self in the Brahman. It is similar to the light of a lamp that gets submerged in a far greater brilliance.

It reaches a stage when there is no difference between the experiencer, the experience and what is experienced.

By understanding that the spark of consciousness that pervades everywhere is also in us, there rises a sympathetic reaction in us towards all creation. At this stage there is no question of different beings or separate distinguishable entities.

All beings are deluded at birth by the forces of likes and dislikes that cause anger, jealousy, greed etc. This delusion is overcome by knowledge of this inseparable quality of the created universe and its creator.