Conquering Ignorance

Jai Maha Dev

The current affairs of the world, and the 'crisis in consciousness,' are brought on by Ignorance (Avidya). When this ignorance is removed at the root, only then will things improve for good. Until then, things will go up and things will go down, and the drama of self-deception will continue.

Now, at one level, ignorance is quite natural and is an impetus for both self-exploration and self-expression, which manifest through both culture and commerce. We are born ignorant, and our ignorance makes us curious, and our curiosity leads to creativity, ingenuity, and the 'expansion' and 'distribution' of arts, sciences, and commerce, which should ultimately benefit everyone.

However, this is only possible when the roots (and not just the branches) of Ignorance are removed. The roots of Ignorance lie in ignorance of the Self (Atman, and Paramatman). This core ignorance can only be removed if we stop ignoring our Real Nature and live our lives in accordance with our Dharma (the Law of our Being). Few people seem inclined to live this way during the present cycle; instead, like Duryodhana of Mahabharat lore, they deliberately choose to do the opposite of what is right. People who have made the wrong choices over and over, again and again, begin to believe their own lies and become entrenched in the cycle of violence (continually violating, or going against, their own true self).

When ignorance is removed at the root, human beings (whether singularly, or united as a whole nation), will nurture the spirit of generosity. In this case, arts, sciences, and commerce do indeed benefit everyone. Otherwise, this Drama (Lila) becomes a horror show. Eventually, people are horrified to the point that they can no longer stand it. They revolt and ultimately revert to their Real Self (Atman). They awaken from the nightmare and realize it was only a dream. But of course, they also realize they will likely dream again, so it is important to put the right impressions in the mind by doing the right actions now and tomorrow.

Right actions lead to right results. Wrong actions (actions contrary to our Real Nature) lead to wrong results (feelings, emotions, impulses, and memories which do not align with our Real Nature). The play of duality is NOT reality---it is unreality. Reality is changeless yet ever-new (Pranav, AUM). Unreality is reality in contradistinction. Unreality is unstable, always changing, but always the same old thing--stuck in images and misconceptions.

Misconceptions are born of misperception, and misperception is born of Ignorance, and Ignorance (Avidya) is born of the union of Purush and Prakriti (Energy and Matter), which are in reality ever-united and inseparable (the latter being ever-pervaded by the former; or, worded differently: the latter ever-existing in the former as potentiality). Hence, the union of Purush and Prakriti is the beginning or basis of Avidya, and non-duality (Advaita) is the basis or essence of Vidya.

The knowledge of this world and everything in it constitutes Avidya, and that which is beyond, and beyond the beyond, constitutes Vidya or Divine Wisdom.  To fully comprehend either, one must know both.  ‘Knowing is doing.’  It is only though doing good actions in this world without attachment that one can conquer death (temporal existence) and enjoy ecstasy (the nectar of immortality).  This is the ultimate aim of the Game of Life.  This is Moksha.  This is Salvation, Self-Realization, Nirvana, the Highest Heaven, the Supreme Abode, the Final Destination, and the essence and purpose of our existence.

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