In our day today life, in usages like ‘I do this’, ‘I like this’ etc, we identify the ‘I’, that is, the self with the body. But is the self the body? Here, in this pair of verses, Acharya clearly explains that the Self is not the body, the sense organs or the vital air.
All living creatures in this world experience taste, smell, form, touch, sound and many other objects. Who in truth actually has these experiences? Is it the body? If it is said so, then in the case of a dead man, the body exists very much. But there is no experience of these objects of senses in him. So, can it be said that it is the sense organs that have these experiences. That too is not true. Just as in the earlier case, all sense organs like the eyes, ears, nose, skin, tongue etc are available in the corpse of a person. But even when his body is being burnt at the time of cremation, he does not have any kind of sensation. When such a painful burning sensation is not experienced by the senses in a dead body, there can be no claim that it is the sense organs that experience the world.
Now from the above, we may tend to consider that it is the vital air (prana) that has this variety of experiences. In a dead person, as this prana leaves the body, there is no experience. This too is not true. In the case of a sleeping man, this prana exists very much. But there is no cognition of the damage caused by a thief when a person is fast asleep.
Hence, the knowledge of diverse experiences does not arise in the body, sense organs or the vital air. So these can never be The Self. Can the mind be The Self? This is answered in the following verse.