It is an irony that the right vision arising from a proper understanding of the dichotomy between the body and the atma evades the grasp of many, though this forms the essence of all Vedantic teaching, pointed out Swami Paramasukananda in a discourse.
Spiritual sadana is to know the truth about an individual’s standing in the external world with which he has to interact constantly. An individual who sees himself as a male or a female, a father or son, wife or husband, employee or employer, ruler and a subject etc. has no doubt about the fact that he/she is a human being. But when it comes to the matter of the identity of the self, except for a few realised souls, the prevailing tendency is to see the self as the body rather than the atma.
All beings are compelled to interact with the external world with the help of the body through the senses, mind and intellect. Even sanyasis who have renounced worldly life have to deal with the world in one form or another.
But a realised person has no doubt that his real self is the atma and not the body. He knows the atma as the subtle presence in the body and of its nature as the essence of sat-chit-ananda. He sees the relationship between the body and the atma clearly — the body as a mere instrument that is able to function because of the atma and the atma as independent of the body.
He does not hold any ownership over the body and knows that whatever selfhood is derived from the body mind complex is insubstantial. He is always aligned to the atma which is free and pure. He is never perturbed by the vicissitudes he may have to face in his lifetime.