It is next shown that engaging in these enquiries postpones the main thing, the quest of the real Self, which is the principal thing to be engaged in.
322 Enquiring into unrealities, taking them to be real, leads to forgetting the real [Self].And there is no death other than this forgetting, because in this way the Self isalmost lost to the seeker.
The urgency of seeking the Self is next pointed out.
333 If the aspirant knows the Self in this [very] life, then and only then, for him the realis real. If in this life he fails to know the Self, for him the real [Self] remainsconcealed by the unreal.334 Therefore the aspirant, being firmly convinced that space and time are unreal,should give up the whole world and seek to know the substratum, the Self, throughthe quest of his own true nature.
The next topic dealt with is the duality of free will and fate.
335 Only he that thinks ‘I am the doer of actions and the recipient of the fruits of actions’ takes the distinction between the intellect [will] and fate as real. But theSelf is neither the doer nor the recipient of the fruits of actions.336 When the fruit of action is pleasant, man thinks that will is stronger than fate. Butwhen the fruit of action is otherwise, he thinks that fate is stronger.
That this difference is unreal is then shown.
337 Fate is only action done before, and all action is done by the will. Hence the pair of will and fate is only unreal. How can their antagonism be real?338 Since the root of [both] will and fate is the ego, this pair will cease to appear whenthe ego dies in the pursuit of the quest of the real Self. [Hence,] the sage is notaware of the distinction between free will and fate.339 The sage, who is mind-free and hence free from attachments, and without a[personal] will, does not become a doer of actions, nor does he reap the fruits of actions. Therefore, he is not aware of the distinction between free will and fate.
340 Even in the case of an ignorant one, the real Self is ever enlightened, and hencedoes not engage in actions, nor suffer delusion. But in its presence the intellectbecomes endowed with consciousness and is active according to the qualities thatdominate it.
This is important. The real Self remains unaffected, being ever-free. It is only themind (or intellect) that is ignorant and bound.