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Purna and the Only Ticket
Daniel: A conversation from a Facebook post:
The Sanskrit word purna translates as “fullness,” and refers to your nature. There is only one thing in existence and that is you, whole and complete, non-dual, limitless awareness. You are never not full. Though fullness is not an experience but simply the nature of awareness, an experience of fullness comes when the person appreciates his/her limitless nature as awareness. This experience reflects in the subtle mind when self-knowledge is assimilated.
Ganesha, the fat, charming deity you see dancing above, is a symbol of fullness. His belly is “purna” and reflects you, whole and complete awareness.
Oli: Lack is an illusion apparently created to have a first-hand experience of gaining.
Daniel: Lack is an apparent illusion as a result of self-ignorance. Not knowing that you are already full = the experience of existential suffering.
That rat saluting to Ganesha symbolizes that desire (experience of gaining) has been neutralized by self-knowledge. When we lack self-knowledge, the rat of desire is in charge. Like you said, it’s “a first-hand experience of gaining.” This is a painful and futile pursuit, as objects/experiences cannot offer fullness/lasting happiness.
Oli: Is there purpose in self-ignorance?
Daniel: From the “absolute” point of view there is no agenda or purpose. But this is different when we talk about mithya, the apparent reality. We need to avoid confusing the “person’s” view with “awareness’s” view. Remember, liberation is not for awareness, as it is never not free. Liberation is for and from the individual. Ignorance and knowledge both take place within the apparent reality. In this apparent reality awareness plays hide-and-seek with itself. One could say that self-ignorance serves as an opportunity to gain moksa/freedom, the ultimate purpose of human birth. Also, because of the guna tamas, ignorance is unavoidable and serves to make up the “playing field” of the apparent reality.
Oli: It seems that as long as existential suffering is avoided then the experience of suffering is going to be held onto.
Daniel: As long as the person thinks that they’re the limited body-mind entity, and attempts to satisfy this sense of limitation through obtaining or avoiding experiences existential suffering will continue. This is the nature of samsara, a zero-sum game. There is no fast-forward. The only solution is self-knowledge.
Oli: Answering that question or at least intending to try will take one out from being stuck inside the awareness.
Daniel: One is not stuck in awareness, but rather stuck in a misled identity. Again, self-knowledge applied to a qualified mind is the only ticket out.