"The very first step in understanding what this is all about is giving up the concept of an active, volitional 'I' as a separate entity and accepting the passive role of perceiving and functioning as a process." - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Sunday, January 29, 2017

No 'Avidya' (Ignorance)

Sri Ramana Maharshi

One of them asked about reincarnation. 

M.: Reincarnation can only be so long as there is ignorance. There is no incarnation either now, nor was there before, nor will be hereafter. This is the truth. 

D.: What is the ego-self? 

M.: The ego-self appears and disappears and is transitory, whereas the real Self always abides permanent. Though you are actually the true Self yet you wrongly identify the real Self with the ego-self. 

D.: How does the mistake come about? 

M.: See if it has come about.

D.: One has to sublimate the ego-self into the true Self. 

M.: The ego-self does not exist at all. 

D.: Why does it give us trouble? 

M.: To whom is the trouble? The trouble also is imagined. Trouble and pleasure are only for the ego. 

D.: Why is the world so wrapped up in ignorance? 

M.: Take care of yourself. Let the world take care of itself. See  your Self. If you are the body there is the gross world also. If you are spirit all is spirit alone. 

D.: It will hold good for the individual, but what of the rest? 

M.: Do it first and then see if the question arises afterwards. 

D.: Is there avidya? 

M.: For whom is it? 

D.: For the ego-self. 

M.: Yes, for the ego. Remove the ego; avidya is gone. Look for it, the ego vanishes. The real Self alone remains. The ego professing avidya is not to be seen. There is no avidya in reality. All sastras are meant to disprove the existence of avidya. 

D.: How did the ego arise? 

M.: Ego is not. Otherwise do you admit of two selves? How can there be avidya in the absence of the ego? If you begin to enquire, the avidya which is already non-existent, will be found not to be or you will say it has fled away. Ignorance pertains to the ego. Why do you think of the ego and also suffer? What is ignorance again? It is that which is non-existent. However the worldly life requires the hypothesis of avidya. Avidya is only our ignorance and nothing more. It is ignorance or forgetfulness of the Self. Can there be darkness before the Sun? Similarly, can there be ignorance before the Self-evident and Selfluminous Self? If you know the Self there will be no darkness, no ignorance and no misery. It is the mind which feels the trouble, misery, etc. Darkness never comes nor goes. See the Sun and there is no darkness. Similarly, see the Self and avidya will be found not to exist

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That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings,
who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being:
I AM THAT. -- Amritabindu Upanishad