|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - F
Unit - F03
Lesson - F0312: The Root Cause of all the Miseries
By Raja Subramaniyan
The confusion in the meaning of the word 'I' is the root cause of all the miseries of the world. This Delusion has to be understood fully in order to remove it.
We have seen that there are two meaning for the word 'I'. One is the literal meaning and the second is the real meaning. Normally we should not have such confusion. The literal meaning should be same as the real meaning.
Example: Pen means pen
It is said that the reason for all our miseries is our Ignorance on the meaning of the word 'I'. Therefore, it is very important for us to understand the root cause of the confusion between these two meanings of the word 'I'.
There will not be any confusion if the meaning of the word is very different.
Example: Send the cattle inside the pen.
There is no confusion on the word pen in this sentence because the meaning is very different from the writing tool.
However, in case of the word 'I' we have a complication due to the similarities between the two meanings and therefore we have confusion.
Normally without any thinking, we assume that the word 'I' means our body and mind complex. However if we pass to think, we can negate this view. We can easily prove that since I am aware of the changes in my body and mind, I should be different from them.
Now we go to the next step.
We no longer think the meaning of the word 'I' is the body/ mind complex. However, we start thinking the meaning is ego, which resembles the real meaning.
This is the problem.
In case of the word PEN the two meanings of the word are very different from each other so that it is easier for us to take the correct meaning depending on the situation.
However, in case of the word 'I' the literal and the real meanings are very similar.
Example: The reflection of the space and the real space are different but very similar.
The literal meaning of the word 'I' is similar to looking into the pot and see the reflection of the space in the water and say 'I see the space'
The real meaning of the word 'I' is similar to looking at the pot and inferring the space inside the pot and saying 'I see the space'
The empty space within the pot is the real meaning of the word 'I', which is ONE
The reflected space is the literal meaning of the word 'I', which is EGO.
ONE and EGO appear to be very similar just like the space that is talked about in both these situations and therefore there is confusion.
Another reason for confusion is in both situations the space occupies the very same place. Similarly, the Self (ONE) and EGO function from the same place.
Because of the confusion, we transfer the quality of one to the other.
Example: X and Y are twins. If we expect X to behave like Y we will get disappointed.
This is the exact result of our confusion between EGO and ONE.
Statement 29: EGO and ONE are very similar and therefore the confusion between them is of very high order, called as Delusion.
The false is more attractive than the real. The real space within the pot is not attractive compared to the reflected space with all the stars, moon and clouds. Therefore, we mistake the reflected space as real space.
This Delusion between the EGO and ONE is the cause of all miseries because, if we know that our real nature is ONE, we will not worry about the illusory EGO.
However, from the point of view of EGO, the world is real and therefore, all the experiences of the world are also real.
Example: Dream-food is enough to satisfy our hunger in the dream since both of them belong to the same order of reality. Dream-food cannot satisfy our real hunger since they belong to different order of reality. Also the real food cannot satisfy our hunger in the dream. We might have eaten well before going to bed and still we might feel the hunger in the dream.
The reflected space and the real space belong to different order of realities. We need to ignore the reflected space and see the real space within the pot. If we search for the real space within the reflected space we will be disappointed. Instead of searching for ONE within me, we need to ignore the EGO.