The body, sense-organs, Pranas, mind and ego etc. and all their modifications; the sense-objects and their pleasures etc; the gross elements such as ether, in fact the whole universe upto the Unmanifest—all these are the non-Self. [Vivekachudamani, Translated by Acharya Pranipata Chaitanya]
Comment: When we say, “I” it is not the real, “I”. The real, “I” is the substratum on which false, “I” lives.
Being deluded by ignorance, one mistakes a thing for what it is not. In the absence of discrimination, the snake is mistaken for a rope, and great danger befalls one who seizes it through this false notion. So listen, my friend, it is mistaking the not-Self for the Self (the unreal for the Real) that creates bondage. [Vivekachudamani, Translated by Acharya Pranipata Chaitanya]
Meaning: That which knows everything that happens in the waking, dream, and deep-sleep states, That which is aware of the presence or absence of the mind and its functions, That which is the essence behind the ego, is the Self.
Comments: Self is, “Impersonal Awareness”. If you find it difficult to understand, it is because your mind has the wrong notion that you are body etc. So, your mind wonders how can somebody be awareness and finds it difficult to digest. The process of Self Inquiry makes the mind rethink and eventually Self is recognised directly.