WHAT IS MAYA? WHAT IS THE PROBLEM OF MAYA OR ILLUSION & HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ?PART--01
WHO ARE BRAHMAN AND MAYA?------ 1-Brahman is Sat, the Absolute, Reality. That which exists in the past, present and future; which has no beginning, middle and end; which is unchanging and not conditioned by time, space and causation; which exists during the waking, dream and deep sleep states; which is of the nature of one homogeneous essence, is Sat. This is found in Brahman, the Absolute. The scriptures emphatically declare: "Only Sat was prior to the evolution of this universe." 2-This phenomenal universe is unreal. Isvara created this universe out of His own body (Maya), just as a spider creates a web from its own saliva. It is merely an appearance, like a snake in a rope or like silver in mother-of-pearl. It has no independent existence. 3-It is difficult to conceive how the Infinite comes out of Itself and becomes the finite. The magician can bring forth a rabbit out of a hat. We see it happening but we cannot explain it; so we call it Maya or illusion. 4-Maya is a strange phenomenon which cannot be accounted for by any law of Nature. It is incapable of being described. Its relation to Brahman is like that of heat to fire. The heat of fire is neither one with it nor different from it. DOES MAYA REALLY EXIST OR NOT?------ 1-The Advaitin gives this reply: "This inscrutable Maya cannot be said either to exist or not to exist". If we know the nature of Brahman, then all names, forms and limitations fall away. The world is Maya because it is not the essential truth of the infinite Reality - Brahman. Somehow the world exists and its relation to Brahman is indescribable. The illusion vanishes through the attainment of knowledge of Brahman. Sages, Rishis and scriptures declare that Maya vanishes entirely as soon as knowledge of the Supreme Self dawns. 2-Brahman alone really exists. The Jiva, the world and this little "I" are false. Rise above names and forms and kill the false egoism. Go beyond Maya and annihilate ignorance. Constantly meditate on the Supreme Brahman,,,,, your divine nature. 3-The world is unreal when compared to Brahman. It is a solid reality to a worldly and passionate man only. To a realized sage it exists like a burnt cloth. To a Videhamukta (disembodied sage) it does not exist at all. To a man of discrimination it loses its charm and attraction. 4-Do not leave the world to enter a forest because you now read that the world is unreal. You will be utterly ruined if you do this without proper qualifications. Be first established in the conviction that the world is unreal and Brahman alone is real. This will help you to develop dispassion and a strong yearning for liberation. Stay in the world but be not worldly; strive for liberation by the practice of Sadhana Chatushtaya. 5-Maya is the illusory inscrutable power of Ishvara. Just as heat is inseparable from fire, so also Maya is inseparable from Ishvara. Maya is Ishvara’s Upadhi. Ishvara has Maya under his control. Maya is neither Sat nor Asat. So Maya is Anirvachaniya. This universe is all a display of Maya. All worldly experience is the effect of Maya. A sage who has realised his Self has transcended Maya. 6-Maya is Abhinna Shakti of Brahman. Abhinna means inseparable. Maya cannot be separated from Brahman. Just as heat is inseparable from fire, so also Maya is inseparable from Brahman. 7-You conclude by looking at the effect pot that there should be the cause for this pot. Even so, you will have to conclude by looking at the world that there should be a cause for this world. That cause is Maya, the illusory power of Brahman. IS MAYA ANIRVACHANIYA I,E.INDESCRIBABLE ?--- 1-What is beyond explanation, what is incapable of being explained by its very nature is Maya. Maya is Anirvachaniya i.e., indescribable. It is an inscrutable,, (impossible to understand ) illusory power of Brahman through which this world is projected. 2-Maya is cunning and deceptive. She is the illusory power of Ishvara. It is the finiting (limited or restricted in nature)principle that creates finite forms in Infinite Brahman. She has got 2 powers,------- 2-1-Avarna Shakti--- She hides the Truth through Avarana Shakti (veiling power). 2-2-Vikshepa Shakti--. She projects this universe, creates false names and forms through Vikshepa Shakti (projecting power). 3-Avarana Shakti conceals the Atman and veils the Jiva. Through the force of this Shakti, he is not able to separate himself from the five sheaths. This Avarana Shakti is divided into two.------- 3-1- Asat Avarana 3-2-Abhana Avarana. Asat Avarana is the cause for the notion that there is no Brahman. People say: “If there is Brahman, will it not shine?” This idea is generated by Abhana Avarana. Asat Avarana is removed by indirect knowledge of Brahman, Paroksha Jnana, obtained through Sravana or hearing of the Srutis. Abhana Avarana is destroyed by direct knowledge of Brahman through meditation (Aparoksha Jnana). WHAT IS MUL-PRAKRITI ?----- 1-Avyaktam, Maya, Mula-Prakriti, Pradhana (the chief or first), Gunasamya are synonymous terms. Avyaktam is the unmanifested state of Maya. Just as the tree exists in the seed in a subtle state, so also this world exists in a seed state in Avyaktam during Pralaya. Avyaktam and Pradhana are terms of the Sankhya philosophy. 2-Mula Prakriti is a compound of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas like a three-stranded rope of white, red and black colours. 3-In the Gunasamya Avastha or state, the three Gunas are in a state of equilibrium. This is the state of Pralaya or Sushupti. Just as men go everyday into the state of deep sleep, so also the world goes into its Sushupti state during Pralaya. 4- In Pralaya countless Jivas get absorbed in Mula Prakriti with Sanskaras like particles of gold that adhere to a ball of wax. The Karmas of the Jivas ripen at the end of Pralaya. Ishvara has to give the fruits of their Karmas. So He again projects this universe by mere willing. 5-There is excess of pure Sattva in Maya. The reflection of Para Brahman in Maya is Ishvara. Maya is the Upadhi of Ishvara. It is the causal body of Ishvara. Ishvara has the Maya under his control. 6-Ishvara is also called by the names of Avyakrita and Antaryamin. Ishvara is the instrumental cause of the universe (Nimitta Karana). He becomes the material cause by commingling Himself with the Tamas, just as the spider produces the web out of itself. 7-Avidya is impure Sattva. More Rajas is mixed with Sattva. This is the causal body of the Jiva. This is the Anandamaya Kosha. Jiva and Ishvara experience the Sushupti or deep sleep state through this Karana Sarira or causal body. This is the causal evolution. 8-Maya can do anything. Maya can create eunuchs, hermaphrodities of both (sexes), melodious feminine voice in males, harsh masculine voice in females, beard and moustaches in ladies, clean feminine face in males, beings with faces in their stomachs, hoofs in their heads, beings half-human, half-lions, half-horses. 9-We can clearly infer (conclude) that this world is quite illusory and unreal and Atman alone is real and everlasting. A close study of Nature will induce Vairagya and Viveka and inspiration for realising Atman, the Lord of Nature. Even if the sun becomes cool and the moon hot, even if the fire burns downwards and ice becomes hot, even if the faecal matter emanates the scent of Jasmine or Rose, a Jnani never gets astonished. He knows that this is all the fantastic work of Maya. 10-Unlike Maya, which is subject to change, transforming itself into universe, Brahman never changes. He is quite immutable, great and firm and unborn. Because you cannot see the fire as it is covered by the ash, you cannot say that there is no fire. Even so, you cannot say that there is no Atman because it is concealed by body, mind, Prana and the senses.contd... .......SHIVOHAM.......WHO ARE PURUSHA & PRAKRITI ?“Know that prakriti and purusha are both beginningless, and know also that the modifications and the gunas arise from prakriti” (13:19).This verse is quite pivotal for our correct understanding. First of all, both prakriti and purusha are eternal–without beginning, and therefore without end. This means that prakriti is not a dream or mirage, something that will cease to exist when realization is attained, though our mistaken ideas about prakriti will melt away. Prakriti is like the screen in a theatre. The movie will end, but the screen with remain. Next, all things originate in prakriti, and so do their modifications; for the gunas, the primal building blocks of manifestation, themselves are prakriti. (The next chapter will be about the three gunas.)Two important ideas come into play here: 1) Nothing ever comes from spirit (purusha) or is done by spirit. 2) As Poe said: “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream”–namely, prakriti, the creative energy.Therefore, although we must never forget our essential nature as spirit, everything in our experience–in the field–is an objectification of mula-prakriti, the root-energy from which all things are formed. For this reason yoga is very much a matter of prakriti, for it is prakriti that needs to be refined and evolved to become a perfect reflection of the purusha. That alone is liberation. So yogis pay great attention to such things as morality, diet and health. Meditation practice itself entails certain necessary elements, which is why Patanjali lists asana, pranayama, pratyahara, and dharana as prerequisites for meditation. (See Pranava Yoga: Divine Word Meditation.)To cultivate a false, abstract “spiritual-mindedness” that denies or ignores prakriti is to be in error. For: “Prakriti is said to be the cause in the producing of cause and effect [action and reaction]. The purusha is said to be the cause in the experiencing of pleasure and pain” (13:20). This verse is extremely difficult to translate. The idea is that prakriti is the source of both action and the instrument of action, but purusha is the source of the internal experiences and internal reactions–“our experience of pleasure and pain”–that result from the movements of prakriti. Consciousness is an attribute of the purusha. The more conscious we are–the more we identify with consciousness itself rather than objects of consciousness–the more “real” we are.The knower in the field“For the purusha, abiding in prakriti, experiences the gunas born of prakriti. Attachment to the gunas is the cause of its birth in good and evil wombs” (13:21).This is really pretty simple. We experience the different modes (gunas) of materiality, and our reaction to them–whether positive or negative–intensely attaches our awareness to prakriti. The character of our attachment/aversion determines the kind of birth we will have. Most translators employ the expression “good and evil wombs,” and Prabhavananda has “pure or impure,” but the Sanskrit says sadasadyonijanmasu–birth in real (sat) and unreal (asat) wombs, or birth in true/real or false wombs. This is a purely psychic/spiritual expression.Sentient beings within prakriti exist in a vast scale from totally ignorant and basically unconscious up to subtle and expanded consciousness that approximates and reflects the Consciousness that is Brahman. It is this degree of reflection of the divine consciousness that determines how “real” or “unreal” the birth and body will be. The closer to God we are, the more real we are, and the further away we are, the more unreal we are.This is completely psychological, not spatial. Nevertheless it should make us think carefully about every aspect of our life–including those we associate with. How real are we, and how real is our life? If we wish to approach Reality and unite with It, this is a basic requisite. A sure sign that an aspirant will fail in spiritual life is his neglect of this crucial scrutiny. It is an extension of the adage: If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail.A bit of reflection. It is so common for spiritual aspirants to say that they are different from their families, that they feel alien to them, etc. But this cannot be true. We are only born in families of people with whom we have a deep affinity. True, that affinity may be more subconscious than conscious, but it is there and is a force to be reckoned with. We have no doubt all known people who denounced their parents or family for traits which they themselves possessed. I knew a scrupulously honest young man who was born into a family of low-level criminals. It would have been wisdom for him to realize that criminality was latent in him and watch his mind carefully to guard against it. Again, we all know people who “rebelled” and “cut the cord” and “got away” only to return after some years and become exactly like their parents. Look at the militant hippies of the sixties. Most of them became more bourgeois than their parents. Jane Fonda became a Cub Scout den mother! “Sadhu, beware” is always wise counsel.Many facets“The Paramatman [Supreme Self], the Great Lord [Maheshwara], also called the Supreme Spirit [Parampurusha], is the witness, consenter, supporter, and experiencer in the body” (13:22). Let us take this a bit at a time.The Supreme Self, the Great Lord, the Supreme Spirit. These are all titles of the One, incarnate in the universe and in all bodies. It has these major titles revealing Its function within matter. We are considering the Absolute here, not any intermediary or secondary aspect or secondary form-manifestation of the Supreme or our own spirit. All is under the direct control of God and of us, as well. Ishwara means the ruler, the controller. Just as God is the Great Ruler, so are we on the individual level. We are in total control of our personal life-sphere. True, that control depends on the supreme control of God, but it is none the less absolute, though finite.Witness. Upadrashta means that the purusha perceives everything–nothing is left unknown to it. This applies both macrocosmically and microcosmically. But equally important is its implication that the purusha is always observing, but itself is never the actor nor does it become somehow transmuted into what it witnesses. In no way does it become part of what it sees. This eternal objectivity is a prime trait of the spirit.Consenter. Anumanta is a very interesting word. It means someone who consents, permits, and even approves something. The idea is that both God and the individual spirit have agreed to the process of evolutionary creation. We did not just get dumped here by a deity who gave us no choice. Absolutely not. We decided to enter into relative being, and on the strength of that act of will did so. We have agreed to everything that has happened to us, from when we were manifesting as an atom of hydrogen and all along up the scale to right now. You are only reading these words because you have decided to in your higher mind. And you reaction to them will be determined accordingly.Now please understand that consent is not approval and enjoyment. We see just by looking back in this life that we have done things that did not merit approval, that we should not have desired. For example, revenge may be sweet for some temperaments, but it is never right or worthy of us. Yet, when we agreed to come onto the playing field we were aware of what might befall us.We allow everything that happens to us, because it is necessary for our learning. We have always, from a long time ago and far beyond this world, permitted the whole thing. We are not being helplessly carried along, though the ego-mind thinks so. Yes, we even approve of all the past, present, and future, for ultimately it will lead to our perfection in God. The little steps along the way may be miserable and even contemptible, but however mucky or chancy the rungs of the ladder may be, they get us to the top, and once we step off into freedom it will all be seen as well worth the doing.Supporter. Nothing exists without the substratum of Spirit. It supports and bears up all that is. So it is called bharta.Experiencer. This is very interesting. We have already been told that spirit is seeing everything, but now the word bhokta tells us that it also feels it as well as sees it objectively. So the spirit is both objective and subjective, both transcendent and immanent, yet without really becoming anything other than it eternally is. This is a crucial insight. Further, it tells us that ignorance, indifference, or numbness in relation to the world is not spiritual but degraded. We see this in the saints. They are more conscious, more reactive, and more involved than anyone else, yet they remain ever what they truly are, and never forget it at any time. They are both “here” and “there” just as is God.In the body. In Its essential nature, Purusha is beyond any designation or discussion, but when It enters into embodiment–the Supreme Purusha as the cosmos or the individual purusha as a relative, incarnate being–then we can speak about it.What a storehouse of deepest wisdom is the Bhagavad Gita! You can see how necessary it is to delve into the Sanskrit text. Learning Sanskrit as an additional language is a herculean labor, but with a few good dictionaries and word-for-word translations (especially Sargeant’s) you can mine the treasures for yourself.Transcending rebirth“He who in this way knows the purusha and prakriti, along with the gunas, however he may exist, is not born again” (13:23). This means that anyone who turns toward knowledge of the Self, of Spirit, can come to that knowledge and be free from rebirth in the material plane. This does not mean that a person can live in any vile or foolish manner, then “get religion” and escape the consequences of his actions. Nevertheless, it is, true, as Krishna has said, that even the worst person who revolves to purify himself can succeed, but that is a coping with evil, not a jumping over it or a circumventing of the moral law. This is, certainly, a statement of great hope and optimism. No matter what our present degree of evolution may be, whatever our present situation, if we go directly to the heart of things and experience and manifest the Self, then there will be no more need for birth in this lowest of worlds (what my friend the healer Ben Bibb called “this dumb kindergarten”). Consequently this subject of the field and the knower of the field is vital for us.kaf vat pitt----------------According to Ayurveda, �Prakruti� means the physical constitution of a person and �vikruti� means the state of disease. Prakruti is the science of nature which determines the innate character, physical constitution or disposition of a person. It helps in deciding the ideal lifestyle and therapeutic regimen for an individual. Depending on the predominance of a single dosha, or different permutations and combinations, Prakruti could be of seven types out of which the three main types are vata, pitta and kapha whereas Vikruti has several types and can be determined only through thorough examinations. Read to explore more about �Prakruti� and �Vikruti�. Meaning of Prakruti The term Prakruti is a Sanskrit word that literally means, �nature,� or �basic trait�. The combination of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha which is present in the individual at the time of conception is maintained throughout his lifetime. Different persons can have different combination of Vata, Pitta and kapha as their basic constitution or Prakruti. That is why; two people react differently when exposed to a similar situation. Thus, according to Ayurveda everyone is unique and each one of them has a distinct body constitution, which is totally different from each other. Meaning of Vikruti Vikruti, on the other hand is the discrepancy that makes our body different from a normal or healthy constitution. In simple terms, it is the abnormal or the diseased state. When the doshas of the body are not in perfect equilibrium, it can be termed as the stage of Vikruti. Any kind of abnormality or Vikruti in the body can lead to complications in the normal regulation of body functions and thus lead to any serious complication or disease. For treating vikruti, reason or etiology of the disease, the state of doshas, the state of the dushyas (the dhatus that are vitiated by the dosha), desha (habitat of the person and kala (seasonal time), bala (strength of the patient and disease) and symptoms of the individual is determined. A body sans any kind of Vikruti is said to be absolutely healthy and fit. An Example The concept of Prakruti and Vikruti can be illustrated with reference to our body temperature. When healthy, we maintain an average body temperature of about 98.4oF, which can be regarded as our Prakruti. Although different persons can have different base temperatures, it does not change much so long as the person is healthy. When we go outside on a winter day, our body temperature may go down slightly; but will come right back to the normal if we are healthy. When we are sick or catch a cold, our body temperature will go up. This indicates that we are sick or outside our normal base condition. We may take medicine to bring the body temperature back to the normal range. In analogy to Ayurveda, our present temperature may be considered as Vikruti, because Vikruti means the state of disease. So it is important to understand the Prakruti and Vikruti of our body. PrakrutiAyurveda is an ancient medical science yet it is based on so much of scientific logics that it is amazing to see that such an advance medical science existed thousands of years ago in the Indian subcontinent. Unlike other ancient medical sciences, the science of Ayurvedic healing is not simply based on assumptions and probabilities rather based on logical examinations and tests. Sharirik DoshasHuman body is very much like a machine, if not handled properly and not given adequate rest, it can give up any time anywhere. Like a machine, it also prefers to work under favorable circumstances and for a limited period of time so that it does not wear out soon. However, considering the hectic lifestyle and the inhumane pressure that people suffer these days, it is impossible to remain healthy forever. VikrutiThe adnormal state or the diseased state of the body is termed as Vikruti in Ayurveda. Prakruti, on the other hand, is the normal state of mind and body. In Ayurveda, both Prakruti and Vikruti form a significant part, the latter being more perused. In simple words, if a doctor is treating a particular disease of a person, then he is treating the Vikruti of the person. The science of life states that if the doshas of the body are not in equilibrium, then a person suffers from any form of disease .