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Chapter XI: The Vision of Non-Duality: Knowledge Yoga.

Knowledge & Ignorance

Relative Knowledge, Absolute Knowledge, Seeking Stops When the Knowledge Is Firm, Self-inquiry , The Real and the Apparently Real,Limitless Does Not Mean Big, It Is Ordinary Awareness, They Exist but They Are Not Real, Non-Duality Does Not Mean Sameness, The Key to Liberation: Understanding Awareness, Jiva and Isvara, Freedom from or Freedom for Jiva?, Limitless Bliss , The Five Sheaths, The Three StatesThe Waker, The Dreamer, The Sleeper, The Opposite Thought, The Three Gunas.

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Knowledge & Ignorance

Postby Arlindo Nagar » Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:59 am

KNOWLEDGE OF IGNORANCE REVEALS THE SELF - Self-knowledge is the most bizarre knowledge there is. It is so because it is the knowledge of the non-dual nature of reality and of course, of the Jiva seeking Liberation. For all seeking and finding of knowledge to occur, we need two factors; The subject and the object of knowledge. But how can we get knowledge of something which cannot be objectified, cannot be split into two parts so that one part can observe and know the other? The Self cannot be analyzed and much less proved by dualistic thinking, and all thinking is dualistic! Even in the Upanishads, all descriptions of the Self fall short because dualistic knowledge only serves the purpose of knowing Mithya. That explains why most of Janna Yoga teachings pointing to Self alone very rarely is of help in revealing the non-dual nature of the Self to the Jiva.

Moreover, we cannot know the Self because the Self is ever knowing. It is pure knowingness, pure knowledge… It is ‘Satchitananda’ ever existent/present, ever conscious/luminous and ever whole/limitless. How can you illumine and see the light, once you know that the light is self-luminous? We would need another mean other than light to reveal the luminosity of ‘that’ which is the source of all light. We only need to understand! And that is the case with Self-knowledge, it cannot be known because it is the “knower”, therefore any effort to lolicaly know it by a direct approach is an exercise of futility. If we cannot know it directly, how to get to know the Self? Indirectly?

Vedanta scriptures is a methodology which objectifies and analyses Jiva’s unexamined experiences to expose, by dualistic logic, Jiva’s ignorance mascaraed by knowledge. And what do we mean by Ignorance? Reality is duality. Once, upon examination, Jiva’s knowledge is rather proved to be ignorance, and by knowing so the Jiva enjoys what we call moksha which is but freedom from ignorance. The freedom from ignorance has allowed the Jiva to appreciate his ever free non-dual nature, which was always ever present.

The traditional Vedanta metaphor of the robe and the cobra brilliantly illustrates this fact. The non-apprehension of the robe as a robe (ignorance) produces a certain distortion of perception and therefore the misapprehension of the robe as a cobra. Only by the mean of sattva (knowledge) the apprehension of the robe as a robe takes place and the cobra ‘puffs’ out of existence because in truth it was never there in the first place. It was but an appearance produced by the influence of the two qualities of Maya (rajas and tamas).

True spiritual work lies in getting to know one’s ignorance, over, and over again… looking at it from all possible angles… until we know exactly what it is. Not that we are obsessed by it, but because our ignorance of the nature of reality is the only factor apparently concealing the truth. And as we have heard Ramji saying; Ignorance is hardwired, it is hard to die because it is contra intuitive.

The Self is ever Self-realized, ever-present, ever-luminous and we cannot do anything about it. If we think you can get it, find it… let’s get over it, because we are already IT. We cannot look for IT because Self is the one apparently doing the looking for… But instead, we can analyze and look for our ignorance which is a product of Maya and extensively available to be found in our moment to moment experiences of life.
Even to say that the Self can be revealed by the scriptures is not accurate because in truth only ignorance can be objectified and revealed by dualistic logic. The Self is ever revealed as everything… within Its attributeless nature lies the potential for all apparent attributes of Mithya.

Scriptures cannot reveal the Self but only Jiva's own apparent ignorance and by doing so, the ever-revealed Self shines as a clear and obvious reflection in the sattvic mind of the apparent Jiva. Self-knowledge is direct knowledge because it is the Self appearing as a Jiva, knowing himself to be the only Self there is. But Vedanta’s vehicle of Knowledge is an indirect methodology that, by revealing self-ignorance to the Jiva, produces the proper mental condition (sattva) on which, for the first time, the Self as the apparent Jiva, entirely free from Maya’s projecting and concealing powers, shines Its glory. It is all a function of neutralization of ignorance brought about by pure logic and understanding.
Arlindo Nagar
 
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Re: Knowledge & Ignorance

Postby Mira » Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:02 pm

Hi Arlindo,
Thanks for posting this lovely essay. It's such a treat to have you post on the forum :D.
Arlindo wrote: True spiritual work lies in getting to know one’s ignorance, over, and over again… looking at it from all possible angles… until we know exactly what it is.

I've been thinking a lot about this. Even when the understanding of one's true nature is absolutely clear---this is where the hard work comes in! I've been doing this as much as I can these days and I think it may be paying off.

Just the other day, I was in a situation where I was confronted with my number 1 binding vasana. Ordinarily it would have been a struggle or I would have given in. However, the thought arose that "not giving in to the vasana would result in peace of mind/moksha/freedom/happiness and that would be a better feeling than giving in to the vasana and having to deal with the suffering later on". I remember seeing this thought as clearly as can be. I applied the teachings and did not give in and felt great happiness and peace of mind immediately and it has continued since then. I don't believe that I could have achieved this had I not been meditating on my ignorance and examining it from every possible angle (as you have so nicely written).

Even though I am a firm believer in knowledge (over experience), it occurs to me that the experiential aspect of moksha (feeling of freedom) is so wonderful, that it can be a very useful partner in helping remove some of the ignorance that can persist even after self-knowledge.

Which begs the question, is moksha a natural binding vasana after self-knowledge? ;).

Arlindo wrote: Scriptures cannot reveal the Self but only Jiva's own apparent ignorance and by doing so, the ever-revealed Self shines as a clear and obvious reflection in the sattvic mind of the apparent Jiva.

So well stated and so true. All that is needed is to remove the veil of ignorance. Everything that remains is the luminous and illuminating Self.

Thanks for this lovely piece.
Mira
 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:54 pm

Re: Knowledge & Ignorance

Postby Arlindo Nagar » Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:00 pm

Hello Mira, lovely to hear from you. Self-knowledge is definitely not an experience because an experience is always in reference to an object. A favorable experience is an indirect mean to obtain the sense of freedom you refer to. Experience does not translate in knowledge unless the Jiva exactly knows what he is seeking in the experience. But Self-knowledge radically changes the relationship between the Jiva and the world of experience.
The Jivamukta, once freed from the compulsive tendency to contact or avoid objects (rajas and tamas) will naturally experience a predominance of sattvaguna that will translate as a sense of freedom and satisfaction. It is a vicious circle; more sattva, more discriminating power, more sense of freedom, more sattva and so on. Self-knowledge is the greatest purifier and its power to neutralize one’s remaining of ignorance does not stop there. It carries on as one develops more and more confidence in the knowledge.

Is moksha a natural binding vasana after self-knowledge? I would not put it this way. Self-inquiry is a knowledge-based vasana with the power to neutralize ignorance-based vasanas. Moksha is the fruitification of self-knowledge. Self-inquiry on the other hand, once well established in one’s mind becomes effortless and mechanical… that is what James likes to refer to as a satya-mithya vasana. This vasana has the power to neutralize ignorance to produce moksha. But moksha is not a sort a vasana, but freedom from biding vasanas.

“All that is needed is to remove the veil of ignorance. Everything that remains is the luminous and illuminating Self.”
The light of the self is ever luminous and ignorance does not veil it, although I do understand the metaphor. Ignorance’s veiling and projecting powers (tamas and rajas) do not need to be removed because ignorance is a byproduct of the misapprehension of the nature of reality. All that is needed is a moment of clear apprehension (sattva) of the truth and that is only possible thru understanding and knowledge, not by removal. Understanding neutralizes ignorance. If it would just remove it we would be left with a big problem; where to keep or store all the ignorance we have removed? :)
Arlindo Nagar
 
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Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 11:14 am

Re: Knowledge & Ignorance

Postby Mira » Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:04 am

Ha! Ha! Thanks, Arlindo.
I was indeed being metaphorical. Although the sun (self) is luminous, it can be obscured by clouds. Knowledge will burn those clouds revealing the sun (which was shining the whole time).

Moksha is freedom from binding vasanas. And once that freedom is tasted, there is indeed no going back :).
Mira
 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:54 pm


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