yo ’vasthānam anugrahaḥ
The Māyāvādī philosophers’ position is that at the ultimate issue the individual is lost, everything becomes one, and there is no distinction between the knower, the knowable and knowledge. But by minute analysis we can see that this is not correct. Individuality is never lost, even when one thinks that the three different principles, namely the knower, the knowable and knowledge, are amalgamated or merged into one. The very concept that the three merge into one is another form of knowledge, and since the perceiver of the knowledge still exists, how can one say that the knower, knowledge and knowable have become one? The individual soul who is perceiving this knowledge still remains an individual. Both in material existence and in spiritual existence the individuality continues; the only difference is in the quality of the identity. In the material identity, the false ego acts, and because of false identification, one takes things to be different from what they actually are. That is the basic principle of conditional life. Similarly, when the false ego is purified, one takes everything in the right perspective. That is the state of liberation.
It is stated in the Īśopaniṣad that everything belongs to the Lord. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam. Everything exists on the energy of the Supreme Lord. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā. Because everything is produced of His energy and exists on His energy, the energy is not different from Him — but still the Lord declares, “I am not there.” When one clearly understands one’s constitutional position, everything becomes manifest. False egoistic acceptance of things conditions one, whereas acceptance of things as they are makes one liberated. The example given in the previous verse is applicable here: due to absorption of one’s identity in his money, when the money is lost he thinks that he is also lost. But actually he is not identical with the money, nor does the money belong to him. When the actual situation is revealed, we understand that the money does not belong to any individual person or living entity, nor is it produced by man. Ultimately the money is the property of the Supreme Lord, and there is no question of its being lost. But as long as one falsely thinks, “I am the enjoyer,” or “I am the Lord,” this concept of life continues, and one remains conditioned. As soon as this false ego is eliminated, one is liberated. As confirmed in the Bhāgavatam, situation in one’s real constitutional position is called mukti, or liberation.