I and You

Question:

With every episode, this knowledge is going in circles. Everything feeds off of the other. Ego dissolves in Love, now Ashtavakra says move from love to knowledge and then drop knowledge to move to love in which you dissolve.

The example, that sometimes ignorance (where there is no mind or in other words no knowledge) can be helpful in overcoming the duality, is contradictory with the above.

If I try to understand it with my logical mind, it all seems contradictory but somehow I can understand it. I understand that enlightenment/ moment of realization can happen in any way and any time (either through knowledge or through ignorance but 100% love). Am I right?

Answer:

Explaining the 1st part of your question:

Ashtavakra is very contradictory and it is important to understand that the deep meaning is in between lines ūüôā Ashtavakra is explaining (in between lines) that¬†Devotional love¬†has many stages:

  1. First¬†is the stage where one feels the duality “I am devoted to” implying I am separate from you. This is the stage where one has just started ‘Swadhyay’. He has¬†just stepped into this knowledge¬†and has made a Guru, Master, God, etc. We can call this stage as the stage of¬†‘FAITH’. Lord Krishna calls this person as a ‘Bhakt‘.
  2. Second¬†is the stage where one goes¬†deeper into knowledge¬†and meditation. One slowly starts getting established in the non-existence of duality. This starts happening on account of one‚Äôs meditation going deeper and one starts experiencing glimpses of the ‘SELF’. I am same as you. We can call this the stage of¬†‘Love’. This person is a sincere Seeker.
  3. Third¬†is the stage where the small mind and the Big Mind have realized there is no TWO. There is only¬†‘ONE’.¬†There is no ‚ÄėI‚Äô and no ‚ÄėYou‚Äô. Then one does not see the difference between the God, Guru and the Self.¬†This is the final stage of Devotion where it turns into¬†Divine Love – the Final stage.¬†Lord Krishna calls this person as a¬†‘Gyaani’. Remember, throughout these stages,¬†KNOWLEDGE¬†is¬†indispensable. You need to understand that the process of moving from a Bhakt to Gyaani happens only on account of Knowledge. That is why Guruji says “Knowledge is one step higher. When devotion¬†fulfills¬†its goal, knowledge dawns.”

Ashtavakra is saying all this in ONE sentence and that’s why it seems contradictory. Remember precis writing in school in which we make the sentence as concise and terse as possible to convey the meaning. Ashtavakra Gita sutras are similar, they assume that you have some background knowledge regarding the same. That’s why Guruji says in Ashtavakra 1 that somebody who has never meditated should not even touch this Gita as it will create wrong concepts in his mind.

Explaining the second part of your question:

In the example where the boys were more comfortable walking at the edge of the cliff during the night but were afraid during the day, Guruji says that ignorance is useful sometimes¬†in jest. Just to add a touch of¬†humor. The essential lesson we learn from the story is that “Bondage is only in the mind“. The mind could not perceive the frightening valley in the night so it was comfortable but during the day it started resisting what it had done in the night. Thus Ashtavakra says that the bondage is created by the mind.

Your conclusion that Enlightenment can happen at any time is correct but let me refine the other part. Enlightenment can happen only through the shedding off of the ignorance which may happen through the path of Knowledge or through the path of Karma Yoga [purifying your karmas] or through the path of Divine Love. {Again, the path of Divine Love is not devoid of Knowledge}

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