In the Mahabharata King Yudhisthira (Arjuna’s eldest brother) shares his deep understanding of the truth by describing “5 Kinds of Ignorance” that every human experiences.
1. Accepting the body to be the self.
2. Making material sense gratification one’s standard of enjoyment.
3. Being anxious due to material identification.
- Thinking that there is anything beyond the absolute truth.
We we analyze Yudhisthira’s insight into material consciousness, we can easily understand that the body is separate from the soul, and that it is due to our identification with the temporary body that is the source of our anxiety. In the above verse, Lord Krishna who was one of King Yudhisthira’s gurus, points out that, even though there is some assemblance of intelligence when we are dreaming, and we are thinking, feeling and willing, in the same way that there is intelligence when we are awake and we are also thinking, feeling and willing. The difference being that when we are awake, the period of time is much longer, therefore we accept it as being permanent and as our actual reality. But according to the Lord Himself, both dreaming and our w waking state are temporary and are not to be accepted a reality. If one wants to understand reality, then he must wake up to his or her relationship with that which is eternal. Very little of what we experience in the material world is lasting and therefore cannot be accepted as truth. Reality is that which is associated with the eternal truth, and not that which we hanker for and lament over that his here today and gone tomorrow. Anything that we identify with that is based on our temporary material limited senses can be understood to be a creation of our own illusion.
“Those who are seers of the truth have concluded that of the nonexistent there is no endurance, and of the existent there is no cessation. This seers have concluded by studying the nature of both.” Bg. 2.16
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
“In this world, there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental knowledge. Such knowledge is the mature fruit of all mysticism. And one who has achieved this enjoys the self within himself in due course of time.” Bg. 4.38
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” Albert Einstein
“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.” Buddha
“By direct perception, logical deduction, scriptural testimony and personal realization, one should know that this world has a beginning and an end and so is not the ultimate reality. Thus one should live in this world without attachment.” ~ Srimad Bhagavatam 11.28.
“This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” Matthew 13:13