Of all the obstacles to knowing the Self, Avidyaa is the one at the center. Avidyaa, or forgetfulness of the Self, is the root cause of a human being’s inability to recognize his True Nature.
The mechanism of Avidyaa is activated at birth. We could say that it is the human predicament to forget who we truly are as soon as we develop the ability to distinguish I from you. When a child begins to see itself as an individual with a name and a body, its primary perception of reality happens through the eyes and senses, which can only see separation.
We experience this human state of consciousness - the waking state - as a subject relating to the separate objects around us. Thus we develop an identity as a person, believing in our body and thoughts as our identity and as the source of our knowledge. Avidyaa, or the forgetfulness of our Source, the Self, is so complete that most people never question the veracity of their senses’/mind’s perception and remain locked into the belief of their individual existence.
Meditation is the antidote to Avidyaa. Only in the state of Meditation do we have a chance to experience the absorption of the body/mind/senses in the Self. We get to know that the infinite space of the I that remains when all else falls away is who we truly are. We know that we could never be separate from the Source that is the Self, just like sunray is never separate from its source, the sun.