Bhranthi (Delusion) is a false belief or wrong notion held with sincerity despite having evidence to prove that it is not so. The cause for the delusion is due toMaya (Illusion) which in turn is due to Avidya (Ignorance). Until there isPrajnana (Awareness) which lifts up the veil of ignorance various forms of Bhranthi (Delusions) entangle the Jeevatma (Individual Consciousness) in all its planes namely Karana (Causal), Sukshma (Subtle) and Sthula (Physical) giving rise to distorted vision and experiences.
Self (Consciousness) is over powered by Mind due to following Delusions:
Karta-Bhogta Bhranthi (Delusion of doer-ship and enjoyer-ship):
If the reflection of the moon in the lake is distorted by the waves that resonate due to wind, moon up there does not get distorted. Exactly in the same way Self (Consciousness) though unaffected appears as if affected due to its reflection on Mind and Body. The false notion of doer-ship and enjoy-ship which belong to the Mind and Body is superimposed upon the Self (Consciousness) this gives rise to the presumption of “I am the doer, I am the enjoyer.”
Here the attributes of Mind and Body is superimposed on Atma, which is just a delusion.
Sangha Bhranthi (Delusion of attachments):
When an iron ball is put into a furnace it becomes hot and red. Though the nature of iron ball is to be cold and black, when it gets associated with fire it becomes hot and red. Exactly in the same way the qualities of the Self (Consciousness) is imposed on the Mind and Body. Hence there is a false notion that Mind and Body is Eternal and Perpetual.
Here the attributes of the Self is superimposed on Mind and Body, which is just a delusion.
Karya-Karana Bhranthi (Delusion of cause and effect relation):
Clay is the cause for the pot, Gold for the ornaments, Cotton for the cloth and in reality pot is nothing but clay in a different form, ornaments is nothing but gold in a different form, cloth is nothing but cotton in a different form. The cause and effect relation is only in name and form when at the core it is the same. In the same way Self (Consciousness) and Paramatma (Supreme Consciousness) is the same. The difference that seems to appear between the cause and effect is delusion.
Upadhi Bhranthi (Delusion of limiting Adjunct):
When I hold a glass tumbler, there is air inside the tumbler as well as outside the tumbler. There is a separate identity for the air present in the glass tumbler. If I drop the glass tumbler, and if it breaks the air inside and the air outside gets mixed up isn't it? Likewise when this Physical Body falls (at death) the Self merges with Parmatma. The limiting adjunct of the Mind gives rise to the idea of limitation to the Self (Consciousness) which is eternal.
The Mind and Body limit the Self (Consciousness) and experience bondage which is just a delusion.
Adhyasa Bhranthi (Delusion of Superimposition):
Seashell on the beach appears like silver. The qualities of silver are super imposed on the seashell and make the onlooker think he has found a piece of silver. The silver is not present in the Seashell but the Mind approves it so by the force of superimposition. In the same way the characteristics of Eternality and Infinitude of the Self is superimposed on to Mind and Body. Hence there is always a delusion that the Mind and Body is perpetual, Eternal and Infinite. This delusion gives us the strength to cling to life.
By a mere enquiry on “Who am I?” one can get a clear picture of that which can drive out the illusion caused by these various kinds of delusions. Self is eternal while Mind is inert but when both get amalgamated, Jivatma (Individual Consciousness) is born. That is why scriptures ask the seekers to make the Mind so huge through Jnana (Knowledge) that it merges with Self this is what Sri Sri Sankara did and felt “Soham” or use Bhakthi (devotion) and by surrenderance to the Self detach the Mind completely from Self this is what Sriman Madhva did and felt “Dasoham”. Either way the illusion is annihilated.