सिध्येत् पृथक् सत्य चितो न भिन्ना ।
भूषा विकाराः किमु सन्ति सत्यम्
विना सुवर्णम् पृथगत्र लोके ॥ – १५
sidhyet pRithak satya chitaH na bhinnA
bhUShA vikArAh kimu santi satyam
vinA suvarNam pRithagatra loke —15
सत्यश्चिदात्मा = consciousness (chidAtmA) is satyam; विविधाकृतिश्चित् = various cognitions; न सिध्येत् पृथक् सत्य चितो भिन्ना = are not possible without consciousness nor are they different from consciousness; भूषा विकाराः = various ornaments; किमु सन्ति सत्यम् = do they exist; विना सुवर्णम् पृथगत्र लोके = without gold separately here in the world.
Consciousness (chidAtmA) is the truth (satyam).The various cognitions are not possible without consciousness nor are they different from consciousness. Here, in the world, do the various gold ornaments exist without gold.
All cognitions we experience are but possible only due to the backing of the consciousness. The mind by itself is inert. The consciousness enlivens it. The mind when comes in contact with the object through the sense organs has a modification. The object is enveloped as it were by the mind which is the modification it undergoes. The consciousness of its own accord illumines this vRRitti (modification in the mind) and a specific cognition takes place.
For eg; pot vRRitti + the consciousness = pot cognition.
The consciousness always is. Hence, in the very first line of the verse it has been called as satya (that which is eternal). The specific cognitions ( e.g. pot cognition) that we have, are particularized due to the consciousness reflecting in the particular thoughts in the mind (e.g. pot thought). The general awareness is changeless, while the particularized knowledge is dependent on the thought, objects etc. It may appear that consciousness is divided or there are multiple consciousnesses. What is multiple here is the thoughts not the indivisible consciousness.
Consciousness is the basis for the objective/specific knowledge to take place. Without the consciousness, particularized cognition is impossible. Also, the cognition is not separate from consciousness. Nothing is apart from consciousness as it is the infinite, the non dual and whole. The basis of the mind is Atma, the basis of cognition is Atma, the basis of the whole creation is Atma. There is nothing but the Atma. The seeming names and forms are transactional. To explain this, Bhagavan Ramana takes the example of gold and ornaments.
The ornaments made of gold have no existence apart from gold. They arise from gold, exist in gold and resolve into gold. Gold is the upAdAna kAraNam for these ornaments. Hence, gold alone is the satyam (w.r.t this example). What exists in the three periods of time is gold and hence that alone is the truth. Anything that was not there earlier, exists for some time and later resolves, is not the truth. It is seemingly real i.e mithyA. The bangles, chain, ring, bracelet etc are all ornaments that are generated at a point of time, stay for some time and resolve back to gold when melted.
Hence, the bangle, chain and ring are not the truth, since they do not stay forever. What stays is the gold alone. The names and forms are mithyA; they are merely transactional and have no absolute existence. Bangle name is associated with a particular form. The form is a shape of the gold itself. The whole weight of the ornament is the weight of gold alone.
Hence, a goldsmith is happy if you give him a 2 pound gold biscuit or a 2 pound idol of Lord Rama. What he sees is not the form but the material, the truth.
So also, consciousness alone is the truth of all cognitions.