The term “arivu” (consciousness) has been used in the Vachanas in at least two senses. When used in the sense of individual self, consciousness is that substance by virtue of which I become subject and become aware of the external objects and internal states. Only by virtue of their relationship with consciousness, senses, mind, intellect, and ego function. In the absence of consciousness the body becomes dead. Consciousness also means Parashiva, the infinite consciousness. Though the individual self (anga)[ಅಂಗ] and the universal self, Parashiva, are both substantially identical, the difference between the two would be similar to that between space in a pot and the space at large. Just as if the pot is broken, the space in it simultaneously merges in the infinite space, so also once the individual self shreds off its limitations like karma, ignorance, etc. by means of spiritual discipline, it becomes united with Parashiva indistinguishably. However, the infinite consciousness, Parashiva, unlike that conceived by Shankara, is characterised by Shakti, which is the material cause of the world.