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Robson: Mithya is still the Self but portrayed within the upadhi of Maya. Maya is the great upadhi of Creation, so I am trying to state the oneness of Self and the world. From a personal perspective, I understand that I am not Isvara, but I believe that Isvara is me (as jiva). Did I say that correctly, Arlindo?
Arlindo: I would say that, from jiva’s perspective, jiva and Isvara are different; jiva is the micro reflection, Isvara is the macro reflection. Isvara is all-knowing, omnipotent and omnipresent. Jiva is limited by knowledge, time, space and qualities. But from Isvara’s perspective, jiva does not exist separate from his own macrocosmic body of Creation.
The relationship between jiva and Isvara is essential to be understood because they are like two sides of the one coin; jiva exercises its free will and by doing so produces vasanas. Isvara uses all jiva’s vasanas to project and with its laws, govern mithya, the universe manifest in which jivas play out their karma.
So resolving jiva into Isvara is very liberating for the jiva/doer, but it does not release jiva from having to exercise its free will. The best exercise of free will is to conform one’s choices to Isvara’s natural laws (dharma). Jiva can be resolved into both Isvara and/or into awareness. The first produces punya karma and mental preparedness, the later produces moksa. To resolve jiva into awareness is simpler, but it is easier to do so with Isvara.
From awareness’s perspective, Isvara, jiva and jagata are only names and forms given to the one limitless, non-dual, conscious existence principle. The waves and the ocean, in their essential nature, are realized to be “water” and water alone. Waves and the ocean serve only as upadhis for water – water is the only reality.
The “oneness” between the Self and the world can only be determined by equating the sameness of their essential nature because one is real and the other is not real – how can they be the same? Sameness only means that the essential nature of all mithya is one and the same: satya. That is when Ramji likes to emphasize that “oneness” is not “sameness.”
Robson: That was clear and so beautifully said, thank you. Very clear! One question though: What do you mean by, “To resolve jiva into awareness is simpler, but it is easier to do so with Isvara”? Thank you again!
Arlindo: To understand Isvara allows the jiva to “resolve” its sense of ownership, authorship and doership by recognizing Isvara as the principle or the “Lord” of the manifest delivering our prarabdha karma on a moment-to-moment basis. Such a realization has a tremendous tranquilizing effect on jiva’s mind and greatly increases its ability to understand and conform to dharma, which means to become a karma yogi, which is easier than realizing one’s identity as awareness, but not simpler, because it involves many factors, such as Isvara, jiva, the field of experience, dharma, karma, the macrocosm, the microcosm, the five sheaths, the three bodies and all the rest that goes with mithya.
It is altogether simpler to discriminate consciousness from the mind, although not easy due to the subtlety involved in the discrimination between original consciousness and jiva, the reflected consciousness. Most people wish to bypass karma yoga and move directly to jnana yoga, but only until they understand that it does not work if not preceded by karma yoga.
Robson: Very rich satsang – I read the post and all comments twice – thank you.