Esoteric Truth is subtle and not attained through empirical knowledge alone. Sastras anticipate the difficulties in this path to self-realisation and hence make use of simple analogies to gradually lead the aspirant towards the goal, said Sri Mani Dravid Sastrigal in a discourse.
Sastras maintain that ajnana is the root cause of bondage. No one knows the origin of this ajnana, and it is birthless and deathless. It is supported by the Lord’s Maya. Only when one goes beyond Maya can the truth be intuitively grasped. The analogy of the serpent and the rope explains the experiences
of a jivatma hemmed down by worldly existence and its attendant joys and sorrows.
The fear of the serpent is real in the consciousness of the jivatma; its impact is not erased even after realising that there is no serpent at all and that he had only mistakenly assumed its presence.
The fear of samsara is real to every individual and can be overcome only when the illusory nature of the world is recognised and the nature of the atma as eternal consciousness becomes clear. But wrong assumptions and conflicting views can delude and distract one from the truth.
Sometimes the truth is perceived intuitively when instructed by a Guru. But doubts crop up about the validity of the truth. How is one to know what one has learned is true or false? Suppose one gains possession of the precious stone ‘chintamani’ that is believed to confer prosperity. It is likely he might begin to wonder how it could be obtained so easily
and even doubt its authenticity and eventually reject it. Or one can easily assume a piece of stone to be chintamani and continue to believe in this assumption implicitly. He remains in ignorance. To overcome the fallacies is most diicult.