The true nature of Reality is to be known by a first-hand personal experience through the eye of clear understanding, and not through the report of learned men. The beauty of the moon is enjoyed through one‘s own eyes. Can one appreciate it through the description by others? Neither by Yoga, nor by Sankhya [rational philosophy], nor by action, nor by learning, is liberation possible. Only by the realization of the oneness of the Brahman (Absolute) and the Atman (Self) is liberation possible, and in no other way.
A disease is not cured by merely repeating the name of the medicine, without taking it. Similarly, without direct realization, none can be liberated by a mere utterance of the word “Brahman.”
“I am the body,” thus thinks an ignorant person. A person of mere book-knowledge considers oneself to be a combination of the body and the soul. But the realized sage possessed of discrimination, knows that “I am Brahman” and looks upon the Eternal Atman as his Self.
Due to ignorance, a person identifies the Self with not-Self. This is the bondage and brings in its wake the miseries of birth and death. Through this, one considers the unreal body as real, identifies with it and nourishes, bathes and preserves it with the help of sense-objects. Thereby, one becomes bound like the silkworm in its cocoon woven by its own threads.
Sri Sankara – Vivekachudamani