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Dismiss the Little Person
Francis: Hello, Sundari.
It took a while to realize what you wrote to me. It must sink in and I must digest it before I realize the difficult simplicity of it. Reading the Vivekachudamani and hearing Ram explaining it makes sense. I understand it now as follows: I am the Self. In the Self there is an apparent hierarchy of Maya/Isvara and the jiva.
The problem is in the jiva. He makes a constellation of thoughts, which are all experiences that come from the past and thinks it is never-changing. It consists of likes and dislikes and is superimposed on that which is experienced now. From the things I like, I want more, from the things I dislike, I run away. The problem is that I think I can be happy to get as much of the things that I like. This keeps me bound to samsara, the unreal. The unreal is everything that is changing, is coming and going. This has become a habit and is programmed by Isvara. It is my conditioning and is hardwired.
But it is apparent. There is no jiva from the standpoint of awareness, as everything is awareness.
Sundari: Your thinking is clear and concise, well done. If you know the jiva is not you, how it is conditioned by Isvara does not affect you. However, for perfect satisfaction to be permanent, the last stage of self-inquiry, nididhyasana – which is the purification of the remaining effects of ignorance – must be completed.
Francis: So I am ever free and unbound, but I think I am that little man with all its problems and habits. This I know now, but it is still there and probably will last.
Sundari: Yes, the deluding power of Maya causes suffering, binding the mind to identification with the jiva; only Self-knowledge can remove ignorance; stick to your sadhana.
Francis: Is it about how seriously I take this part of me, by doing inquiry, discriminating the real from the unreal?
Sundari: Yes. Moksa is discriminating your Self from the objects that arise in you spontaneously, naturally and continuously, without having to think about it anymore. Dismissing the jiva does not mean it disappears. You just don’t identify with it.
Francis: Is there an end to the inquiry? Or has it to become a major vasana, continuously reminding myself of the unlimited awareness that I am? Because the things I used to do to gain satisfaction don’t last, the only thing lasts is the knowledge that I am awareness.
Sundari: Inquiry is the nature of the jiva. Seeking, however, is different from inquiry. Seeking ends with Self-knowledge because you have direct knowledge of your identity as the Self, you are a finder, but inquiry lasts till the day you die. Vedanta is the knowledge that ends the quest for knowledge, but as a means of knowledge, it becomes redundant once Self-knowledge is firm and unshakeable. It can take a long time for this to take place. Nididhyasana is the longest stage of self-inquiry; it can take decades, depending on qualifications.
However, even when Self-knowledge has obtained, because the jiva remains in the apparent reality even when it knows that it is not real, it continues to practise karma yoga and nididhyasana. But they are no longer practices as such; living the knowledge as the Self is a natural dharmic response to Isvara, the environment. As the jiva is no longer bound to its conditioning or bothered by it, it experiences perfect satisfaction.
And yes, keeping the mind on the scripture does become a major vasana. It is for us. In fact the more you do it the less anything else is even vaguely satisfying. Once Self-knowledge is firm and all ignorance has been rooted out, the mind longs to sip the nectar of the Self. Reading Vedanta scripture is reading about yourself.
~ Much love, Sundari