yadAlambo daraM hanti satAM pratyUhasambhavam |
tadAlambe dayalambaM lambodarapadAmbujam ||
The scriptures describe four ways to realize the absolute:
1. Non-attachment or asa~Nga
na te sa~Ngo.asti kenApi kiM shuddhastyaktumicChasi |
sa~NghAtivilayaM kurvan evameva layaM vraja ||
The Atman is without any contact or attachment. Only that can be renounced which one is attached to. As the self is pure and unattached by nature, there remains nothing to be really renounced. The Aggregate of the body, mind, senses, intellect etc., which seem to exist, solely because of the incorrect identification of Self with these, prevent the realization of the absolute. Once this identification ceases, laya is attained.
2. Viewing the universe as the same reality as the Atman.
udeti bhavato vishwaM vAridheriva budbudaH |
iti j~nAtvaikamAtmAnaM evameva layaM vraja ||
Like the bubbles rising out of the ocean, the universe rises from the Self. In other words, the reality of the world is really the Self and the affirmation that the Self alone exists negates this world. Thus, knowing the Atman to be the one, laya is attained.
3. Considering the phenomenal world as illusion.
pratyakShamapyavastutvAdvishwaM nAstyamale tvayi |
rajjusarpa iva vyaktaM evameva layaM vraja ||
One sees a rope and imagines it to be a snake. Similarly, the universe, manifested just like the snake in the rope, is non-existent. Even though it seems real to the sensory faculties, it is unreal and cannot affect the Atman. Thus, knowing the universe as surreal, laya is attained.
4. Remaining unaffected by internal or external phenomena.
samaduHkhasukhaH pUrNa AshAnairAshayoH samaH |
samajIvitamR^ityuH san evameva layaM vraja ||
A jIva is seemingly affected by happiness, misery, hope, despair, life, death etc., as one identifies himself with things other than the Atman, resulting in the notion of imperfectness of the Self. Once samatva is attained where these dvandvas are transcended by knowing the Atman, laya is attained.
yasminyato yarhi yena cha yasya yasmAd-
yasmai yathA yaduta yastvaparaH paro vA |
bhAvaH karoti vikaroti pR^ithak svabhAvaH
sa~nchoditastadakhilaM bhavataH svarUpam ||