Not in the three periods of time—past, present or future—could there be a snake in the place of a rope. At no point of time ever can there be even a drop of water to quench our thirst in a mirage. In the same way, says the Vivekachoodamani of Sri Adi Sankaracharya, can there be any world when the supreme truth is realised? Nothing else exists in that Self which alone is expansive and unchanging. Duality or myself and the other is a flawed perception caused by Maya. In the supreme state of existence, there is the non-dual reality alone. These words of the Vedas are directly experienced in the state of sleep when all differences vanish.
If my thoughts are deeply entrenched in the understanding that this world of plurality is real, then what should I do to shake myself out of the reverie? Contemplation is the way, says the Acharya. Even the wise person who is aware of the Self does have the experience of seeing a snake in the rope when there is little light and predominantly darkness. This imagination is caused by delusion. The reason is because the substratum is similar to the object imagined. The rope is somewhat similar in appearance to the snake. This similarity of the substratum and the object imagined on it is the cause of superimposition.
The teacher outlines the cause for delusion. Its root is the Chitta (Chit: Consciousness, Ta: Objects of five senses of perception—seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching) or the memory bank—the part of our mind that is a storehouse of memories and remembrances. Vikalpa or imaginations arise from this Chitta. When this memory warehouse is destroyed, there are no thoughts. So, absorb that remembering consciousness in meditation on the Supreme Self within. In the absorption of the Chitta, the experience is one of bliss alone. The realisation is constant. There is no parallel to the experience.
It transcends circumstances and is independent of situations. It is a state of eternal freedom. There are no desires to torment the individual in this state. It is like experiencing sky without limits, without any divisive parts and with no modifications. All this experience happens not somewhere at some time, but now and in one’s own heart, the centre where feelings are experienced.
In this experience, there is neither original creation of the universe nor man-made creations. It is a state of being that is beyond any imagination. There is an experience of evenness and peace. It is nonpareil. There is no cognition of any name and form here. It marks the fulfilment of the great statements of the Vedas such as “I am Brahman,” “That Brahman is Thou,” “Consciousness is Brahman,” “This Self is Brahman.” This state is eternal and known clearly by those masters who have realised the Self. The knower of the Self has attained this state of being by establishing the mind in the Brahman that is ever complete.