Pramada in Sanskrit variously means – negligence, inertia, inadvertence, indolence, idleness, sluggishness, inattentiveness. Pramada produces forgetfulness. It is the root cause of all pains and problems afflicting human-beings.
This term refers to “non-attentiveness” to Self as the root cause not only of suffering but is seen as the actual “cause” of the appearance of a “world” outside and separate from us.
87. Self appearing as the world is just like a rope seeing
itself as a snake; just as the snake is, on scrutiny,
found to be ever non-existent, so is the world found
to be ever non-existent, even as an appearance.
88. When considered, is it not that [self-deluding] thought
alone that creates in the rope, the appearance of the
snake, which cannot be other than that thought iself,
as if it were different [to the rope], sustains [its
appearance] as the cause of its suffering, and will
[eventually] destroy [its appearance by means of clear
self-knowledge gained by turning within to know
‘who am I?’].
Sadhu Om: In this verse the repeated words ‘that thought
itself’ denote the mind or ego, the primal thought ‘I’, which
thinks all other thoughts. This thought comes into being due
to avichara (‘non-investigation’ or failure to attend only to
itself), thereby creating the appearance of this world, it
continues to exist due to avichara, thereby sustaining the
appearance of this world, and it will finally cease to exist due
to vichara (‘investigation’ or attending only to itself), thereby
destroying the appearance of this world. Therefore this world
is not created by God, who is our real self, but only by our
ajnana or ignorance of self, which is a result of avichara,
pramada or self-negligence.