Delusion: The Biggest Folly

(Excerpts from Satsang of Pujya Sant Shri Asaramji Bapu)

Once a number of Saints and holy men assembled at a place. Yogi Gorakhnath was also there. He posed a question to the assembly, What is the biggest folly?

Some responded by saying that it was the Earth. Others said the sky was the biggest. Still others picked out wealth, political power or Mother Nature as the biggest thing.

Each of them had their own opinion but Gorakhnath was not satisfied with any of the answers. Finally all of them requested Gorakhnath to reveal the real answer.

Gorakhnath said, The biggest thing is the folly (delusion) that doesnt allow us to realize our indwelling Beloved, the Truth-Absolute, Consciousness-Absolute and Bliss-Absolute Supreme Lord. And this delusion is due to our ignorance that keeps us from Self-realization.

Lord Sri Krishna says, Ignorance has shrouded Knowledge; this is what deludes all living beings.                                - Srimad Bhagwad Gita: 5.15

Sant Tulsidasji also says, Delusion (Ignorance) is the root of all ailments which in turn gives rise to various other afflictions.

- Sri Rama Charita Manasa, Uttara Kanda 120.15

In fact, the jiva is an Eternal personification of the Pure-Consciousness, the Supreme being, but out of ignorance it identifies itself with the body. A person considers himself to be Punjabi, Marwari, brother, sister, sick, healthy, happy, sorrowful, etc. In reality though, one is neither happy nor unhappy. Happiness and unhappiness are attributes of the mind, attachment and hatred are attributes of the intellect, fairness and darkness are attributes of the skin. But out of delusion a person assumes himself to be dark or fair, happy or sad, and this is the biggest folly of mankind. To identify oneself with the ever-changing body and not realizing the Atman, the Pure Consciousness, the eternal witness as ones True Self is the biggest delusion.

A washer man had only one donkey. One day he was galloping his donkey. A friend met him on the way and asked, Where are you going?

I have no time to tell you, was the frantic response.

The friend asked again, But where are you going in such a hurry?

I am very busy right now. I will talk to you later.

The friend then insisted, I have never seen you so anxious. Tell me, have you lost or misplaced something?

Yes I am in search of my donkey.

Then whose donkey are you riding?

Oh! It is mine.

Similarly your mind hankers after peace and happiness supported by the Supreme Consciousness. It is through the power of the Supreme Consciousness that you feverishly run after trivial pursuits; but if you delve deep within and venture towards that Supreme Consciousness, your own True Self, you will realize that you yourself are that ocean of bliss. Your mindless search will automatically come to an end.

The Lord is ever present; but the blind one assumes Him to be distant.

It must be the fault of my worship that I remained just a worshipper.

I did not know my True Self; thats why I bowed my head.

Neither was He far from me nor was I far from Him.

I could not see Him only because of my faulty vision.