More And More Of Less And Less

Off The Cuff Utterances


Maya
(illusion)

Here we go. The most favorite and most misunderstood topic. Because maya exists but not really. It is present in its own absence. Many times, it is understood as something like the fizz in a cola drink. Just bubbles and evaporates. For few others, maya sticks its ugly neck only when there is a moment of sorrow. Losers and dropouts in life generally take solace by bringing up the maya topic to justify their failures. Some have the tendency to think that anything beautiful or enchanting is maya. Too rich, too good, too cute is all maya. The worst and most misleading of all is the thought that this world is just a maya and does not exist. Such a thought, either leads you to get numb and thick skinned or get reckless and go haywire to loot and plunder.

While maya is neither right nor wrong, it is better to be understood and appreciated well. Knowing the mysterious dynamics of maya helps you dealing with life better. Because you can never do away with it. It is here to stay. Even if you have gotten out of the clutches of maya, you will still have deal with the rest of the world which is wallowing in it.
Its doubly important that not only you remain uninfluenced by it, but also to know what precisely you have to do with the influenced ones.
Maya is more like a apparition or like the mirage in a desert. You don't have to decry or denounce it, but have a hard look at it and simply beware of it. In other words, don't take it seriously. The upanishads(vedic literature on self) came up with a classic example of a man mistaking the rope for a snake in the darkness of the night. He went back, brought a stick, beat up the 'snake' to his heart's content till he realized that it was just a harmless rope. The snake seen by him is maya and the rope beneath it was the truth or the consciousness. Just as how the man was ignorant of the rope and saw a non existent snake on the rope, you tend to project your own ideas and beliefs on this world. While the projected 'snake' only posed a threat, the projected world does a lot more. It fascinates you, enchants you, makes a winner or a loser out of you, turns you to noble or ignoble and even grants enlightenment or bondage.

Disciple : What is maya ?
Master : Your thought that you are bound is maya !
Disciple : What is liberation from maya ?
Master : To know that there is neither bondage nor liberation is true liberation !

To see human being as just human being is truth. But to project a husband, father, brother, good man and bad man is maya. To see a tree simply as a tree is truth, but to impose ideas of beauty and grandeur on it, is maya. The day when you have managed to see the hidden truth beneath all the projections of your mind on this world, you have learnt to appreciate maya still seeing the truth without distortion. Indeed, you can have the cake and eat it too.