Sarpa Rajju Bhranthi (the illusion of rope and serpent)
A Hindu parable which provides a good example of the illusionary nature of the world.
Ancient Hindu philosophy has explained the truth through many parables, phrases and examples. When ever the issue is a bit difficult, the preacher, rishi used to provide a wonderful example to understand the concept. When it is tried to explain how maya, illusion comes in to picture and how it acts on us making us crazy, they have given a wonderful simile called Sarpa Rajju Bhranthi (illusion of snake in a rope).This is great example and helps us immensely if we ponder over it and understand the concept.
When we are in dim light like twilight, we see a rope laying on the ground and assume it to be a serpent. We don't see a rope but we see a serpent in that, though in fact rope only is there. When our mind gets the signal of serpent, shivering,sweating starts.we shout, cry for help. A wise friend brings a lamp nearer to the illusionary serpent and proves that it is not yet all serpent but a rope. Then we get up from the illusion, our body comes to normal. Now where is the serpent that caused the trouble? Has it come into the rope, and gone after a while? no. Entire issue is just because of seeing a non existing thing in the existing thing. Maya, illusion is like that.
What is the reason for such illusion. The contaminated mind. It first will not see what really exists (the rope). Then it sees what is not existent in the really existing thing (serpent). It also then creates shocks and waves and creates more illusions like it is moving, it is hissing, it has stripes etc. This is a very good example of the illusionary world. Only the wake up call from guru (the lamp in this case) can drive the illusion and help us to see the truth. Day to day world and this illusion: We often, or daily come across this illusion. When we see some thing, meet somebody, hear some thing, we assume some thing in it. Immediately the serpent enters into that rope and creates havoc. When we meet somebody, a doubt about him flashes in mind and life long we will be doubting him and he becomes more and more worse as the illusion gains weight with time.
When we hear some bad news, we assume a lot and go on adding colors to it. This creates a serpent and it becomes a big problem for us. We all should try to see the things as they are.
Copyright © 2006 Gopal Rao
Philosophical tips to know thyself: www.gvsgopalarao.blogspot.com
“The price of anything is the amount of life that you have to pay for it.” -- Henry Thoreau
Keywords: nature of reality, belief systems, consciousness, quantum physics, spirituality and quantum physics, spiritual, spirituality