The most beautiful expression of erroneous perception in the Vivekachoodamani and many yogic texts is Atasmin Tad Buddhi. It means having the thought of ‘Is’ in what ‘is not’. This misunderstanding is generated from a mind overpowered by ignorance of the true self, which is called Tamas.
In such an intellect, there is even an absence of the right discrimination between what is real and what is impermanent. Owing to dullness of mind, the person is actually in the presence of a snake, but he thinks it is a rope! He misunderstands what is unreal for what is permanent. As a result of this, there comes a series of illusory perceptions which lead to unmeaningful activities. O friend, listen to how this leads him to hold on to more unrealities and gets caught in a bound perception.
Just as the shadow of the moon catches hold of the image of the sun during an eclipse, the inert mind completely covers the truth which has no parts and is eternal. It is an eternal celebration of the true self which is endless.
While the purest part of our being, the self, is covered by inertia, the mind out of delusion sees many names and forms instead of one, and out of delusion it divides the bodies as “I and mine”. Once it has such wrong understanding of the self, it leads to festering thoughts of desire and anger which are binding by nature. The mind is tossed by extreme agitations called Vikshepa.
Having attained an intellect that is constantly drugged by plurality sinks into the shoreless ocean of change, getting caught in the wheel of change, engrossed in the sea of objects, and gets completely drowned and thrown around helplessly due to his perverted and crooked intellect.
Just as rows of clouds are created only by the light of the sun, the mind seems to be crowded with other activities and after a time, the clouds pass away and the consciousness is clearly seen, when the sense of understanding is shifting between names and forms, the truth is revealed once again when the sky is clear of clouds. These are the kind of powers that makes the person entertain the dull state of misunderstanding and have a mistaken identity of the self.
The power of Rajas and the power of Tamas are the ones that cause bondage.These are the two powers of veiling and projection that delude the mind. When a person is free from that, he begins to revel in the self alone.
The writer is Sevika, Chinmaya Mission, Coimbatore (www.chinmayamission.com); email: email@example.com