In this world of duality, of shape and form, of light and dark, of heat and cold, what is real, what is unreal? How do we discern the unreal from the real? What should we think and make reference to in our journey through life? Dharmam moolam jagat, the Universe rests on eternal order. How do we know this path of eternal order? How do you tell the snake from the rope?
vichar-roop siddhi: power of contemplation, of the nature of contemplation
Eswara: cf: Easwara, Ishwara: The Supreme Lord, the Cosmic Lord. Divinity
jagat: the Universe; that which is perpetually coming and going;
jiva: an individual, person, spark of the Divine Atma
māyā: Hin., San. f. magical or supernatural power; illusion, the deluding power of God, the ‘divine hypnosis’ that deludes us into forgetfulness of our true nature, so that we believe we are separate individuals with the power to act. This illusion of separateness is the raison d’etre of our identity with ego. Māyā works with two powers using the mind – one enables it to veil the truth, and the other to project an illusory image, whereby the unreal appears as the Real and unity appears as multiplicity; māyā creates forms in the formless. ‘Understand that to be māyā (illusion) which is devoid of any purpose, which is not to be found in the Self and which is unreal, like light and darkness.’
Question 40: Sir, what should a jiva think of?
Answer: Ramji, a jiva should always think of ‘What am I or who am I? What is universe? How did it originate and how does it meet with dissolution?’ One must think like this in a disciplined manner according to the instructions of the preceptor and scriptures and develop correct understanding of the real (Sat) and the unreal (asat), and abandoning the unreal be established in the Real.
Contemplating in this manner, one attains Atma. He who has acquired the power of contemplation (vichar-roop siddhi) gets the knowledge of everything.
Once the Jivi is on the way to the goal, he will derive contentment from himself and discover within himself the source of bliss. The cravings and ambitions, the delusions and falsehoods and the animal needs and antics which were worrying the Jivi till then, all vanish. Since the Atma pervades all equally and steadily, the Jivi also loses the ‘I-ness’ and gets immersed in its inherent Divine status. Such a person is the real Mahatma; he is the Jivanmuktha. Fullness is Ananda; Ananda is Santhi. Those who do not give up the Vichara Marga or Path of Discrimination, receive the Grace of the Lord; and they also realise this Atma. They will always be seeking the eternal Truth that lies behind the dreamlike illusions of this world.
Fevers originate because of your actions; they flourish on wrong modes of life and diet; they grow with the growth of such wrong conduct. The idea of the snake which is Maya, flourishes on the ignorance of the real nature of the rope; it grows and becomes deeper the more one forgets the rope which is the base. The ignorance which prevents and postpones the inquiry into the nature of the Atma makes Maya flourish. Maya fostered by this attitude becomes as thick as darkness. When the flame of Jnana illumines, the darkness is dispelled along with the illusion of Jiva, Jagath and Eswara.
Inquiry makes the snake disappear; the rope alone remains thereafter. So too, Maya and the blossoming of that Maya through the mind as Jiva, Jagath etc., will all disappear as soon as Vichara is done about the reality of appearance. One realises that there is nothing other than Brahmam. Brahmam alone subsists.