Oh Arjuna, I am the Self
indwelling in the hearts of all beings.
I am thus the beginning, the middle,
as also the end of all beings.
~ Sri Krishna ,Bhagavad Gita : X-20
According to Bhagavan Ramana,
this verse is the most important in the entire Bhagavad Gita.
In a dream, I may see several people and all of them are not only my creations (creations of my mind) but I constitute the material cause out of which all these people have been created (just as the mud is the material cause for a mud- pot).
In other words, all the dream figures are my mental imaginations. (mere thoughts.)
It is I who appear as having been born
as the various people in the dream,
I only run their lives in the dream as the Self in all those
bodies and I also appear as having died one day.
In the same way, it is the one Absolute Consciousness which appears as several beings in the world of the waking state (the
beginning) , runs the lives as individuals (the middle) and appears as subject to death (the end) one day.
In reality there is nothing but that one Consciousness
which is the absolute truth.
There is no world apart from that one Consciousness (Self).
“The Pure being is the Reality. -
The Pure Being cannot be otherwise than Consciousness. Otherwise you cannot say that you exist.
Therefore Consciousness is the reality.
When that consciousness is associated
with upadhis you speak of Self consciousness,
unconsciousness, human consciousness, dog consciousness,
tree consciousness and so on.
The unfaltering common factor in all of them is Consciousness.” (Talk no 591).
‘Consciousness’ means to be aware that ‘I exist’, book
(Commentary on the slokas of Bhagavad Gita selected
by Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi)
This awareness of our existence is consciousness.