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The Snake Appears, but No Longer Has a Hiss
Inquirer: In Panchadasi it is said that seeing the rope the first time is quite a shock. Then the fear reappears for some time, you check again and again if it is really a rope until the snake image doesn’t appear anymore. Can you confirm this?
Daniel: The snake – superimposition – will always appear. But it will be known as just that, a mere appearance (mithya) and not as reality (satya). Likewise, the play of duality (maya) continues, but it discontinues to fool a mind that is clear (sattvic) and established in self-knowledge.
Moksa is not the disappearance of duality, but only the disappearance of the notion that duality is real. In other words, the projection of mithya continues, but without the dependence on it or attachment to it.
I do not depend on it, because I am the subject – the free awareness – that knows of it. Both the world and the inquirer (jiva) are objects known to me. I am always free from objects and remain totally unconcerned about their coming and going.
Enlightenment is not a visual experience whereby the appearance of duality suddenly vanishes. Enlightenment is the vigilant and firm discrimination between me, the subject (satya), and the objects (mithya) that appear to/in/as me.
Standing firm in awareness as awareness whilst not getting fooled by the belief in limitation is moksa.
The snake appears but no longer has a hiss (threat).
Inquirer: And why does inquiry burn up my energy? Hopefully, these tensions will die out. I know I have only got prarabdha karma to deal with, which is not a problem. I am the Self even if I die in the worst possible circumstances. But I hope you get my point.
Daniel: It’s not uncommon for Isvara to turn down the jiva’s power (rajas) during a particular phase, as it allows the mind to turn inward. It’s a great tool for self-inquiry. Try not to concern yourself too much about it. It will pass. Take it as a gift (prasad) and let Isvara deal with the jiva stuff.
Besides, as you’ve rightfully said, it’s not a problem, because I am the deathless, energy-less, inexhaustible, unconcerned, timeless Self.
Inquirer:Yes. The main difference is that sorrow pain and ugliness are effortlessly accepted, as well as the pleasant and sattvic states.
For me it does not matter since I am simply witness to whatever happens. Jiva can worry but also can be happy. I witness jiva while it still believes it is a doer, so to speak. Its amazing when you see this whole apparent life is a zero sum game. Actually that life is a zero sum game is a fact because realisation is possible.
And when realisation is firm, the notion which was questioned during inquiry, turns out to be true. When self knowledge is firm, the knowledge never changes (panchadasi)
Thank you guruji, pranams.