Question: I know that terminologies can be used differently, but could you explain the difference between consciousness and awareness. Can the Truth be said to be Supreme Consciousness or Supreme Awareness?
Actually, there is no difference between consciousness and awareness. Different teachers may try to give their own opinions. No alphabet, no word, no sentence, no language can actually describe the Truth as it is. It is impossible. You just try to use a particular word which is more familiar to people to try to make them understand a little bit of a clue, so they can get it. It is like you become conscious of, you become aware of.
The peculiarity is that you cannot become conscious or aware of the Ultimate Truth, until and unless the mind becomes one with the Self. As long as the mind is away from the Self with its own imaginations and is trying to become aware of consciousness, it is simply trying to imagine. The more it imagines, the more it is trying to limit the Truth. It can become conscious or aware only when it becomes one with it. When the mind becomes one with the Self, the purpose of becoming conscious or becoming aware of is lost, because now the Self is already there and the Self was already aware of itSelf, was conscious of itSelf. Now who is going to become conscious of whom? You simply become aware of your Real Self. You simply become conscious of your Real Self, that you are one with it. You are no more that individual self that you had earlier imagined.
So, like this, consciousness and awareness have been used by different people at different places. Some might try to insist that you become aware before you become conscious of it. How can this be possible? You cannot become conscious of That. Just like, for example, you can not become conscious of the space because you can never see the space as it is unless you become the space. Becoming conscious means you become aware that it is all pervading, you become conscious that it is all pervading, but if you have to become actually aware, actually become consciousness, you have to become one with the space. You have become the space itself. So then, where is the question of becoming aware? You become aware of yourself, you become conscious of yourself. Both the words have the same meaning, whatever some people might try to use, this way or that way.
That is why a Yogi does not try to explain the Truth, because it is impossible. A real Yogi often, again and again, repeatedly would try to give the clues only on how to proceed towards the Self, what really has happened. Whenever I am teaching, for most of the time, instead of trying to explain that Truth, "It is like this, it is like this, it is like that," simply, we try to teach that you have to lose imaginations, then you go. You experience the Truth for yourself and then you will know. No need to try to listen to what others say. This is what my Guru also taught.
Even as a child, I remember Ramakrishna Paramahansa told this story also. There were two sons of a scholar, so the scholar sent the two sons to a Realized Soul to learn about the Ultimate Truth and to practice the sadhana, and everything. After long years they both came back home, the father asked the elder son, "What have you learned about the Ultimate Truth?" The elder son started discoursing about the Ultimate Truth. "It is like this, it is like that, it is like this." So then the father dismissed the elder son, saying, "You don't know anything about the Ultimate Truth." When he asked the second son, he became quiet and was silent. Then the father said, "Okay, you have become aware a little bit of that." This is the fun about the Ultimate Truth. So this is why the Yogi only gives a clue and tries to inspire people to go towards that, not actually try to explain what the Truth is.