The Lord said: Brahman is the Imperishable, the Supreme. Dwelling in each body, Brahman is called the individual soul. The offering of the oblation, which brings into existence all beings and supports them, is called action.
(Dwelling in each body-The Supreme Brahman alone exists in every individual body as the Pratyagātman, the Ego, the inmost Self, and is known as the Adhyātma. As the culmination of the spiritual discipline, this inmost Self is realized as one with Brahman.
Individual soul- The word used in the text is “Adhyātma”.)
-The Bhagavad Gita as Translated by Swami Nikhilananda with his notations
The first step to Moksha is understanding the concept of Brahman. To get an idea of how Hindus see the reality is to look at a polished gemstone. If you look at the gem, you can see the individual facets and the way the light shines in throughout or how the facets are cut into different shapes. The coloring may even vary. However, they are all sides to the same whole. Just as life is experienced in various facets, it is still part of one ultimate entity. This entity, is as Swami Nikhilananda calls it The Supreme Brahman, is the one truth of reality. I prefer the wording truth simply because I do not wish for you to confuse this as an anthropomorphic deity, or a human-like being. It is nonbeing. It is without physicality because physicality is just an illusion. So it is better to call this as a truth.
Everything you are, everything you experience, as well as all of the other experiences, all the other realities, of the world, are simply facets on this gem. There really is not a division between these supposed boundaries. They are just different sides of the same essence. We only appear to be individuals with individual experiences, but in truth, we are not we: we are one. Personal individuality is an illusion. Experience of reality is an illusion. Before someone achieves Moksha, or deliverance from rebirth, their lives exist in the boundaries of these facets. When you are reborn, you just begin again on a different side of the gem: learning new things, experiencing new things, and achieving new growth. For good or bad, these experiences are vital in leading you to turn away from rebirth and start preparing for Moksha.
As you grow in your life, you can realize the truth and experience connections with it through various disciplines, or yogas, under the guidance of a devoted teacher called a guru. Basically to continue the metaphor, you start to see the boundaries of your particular facet are not boundaries at all. You begin to experience the one truth. When your life ends and you obtain Moksha, you stop being a facet on a gem and are instead just a smooth marble. You are no longer you; there is only The Supreme Brahman.
I will be starting a series of classes on understanding Hindu concepts and Inter-faith discussions very soon in the local Little Rock, Conway, and Russellville areas. If you wish for me to speak to your particular group, feel free to contact me through my Facebook, Twitter, LiveJournal, or good old email of lrhinduismknotmove.com.