Maya: Illusions

The Advaita philosophy of Hinduism declares this world as “Maya” or “That which does not exist”. The basis of that claim is as follows:

  1. The world  we experience is a flux of change. The happiness, success, perfection, freedom, contentment, etc. that we derive from this world are all relative (not absolute) and are transient or fleeting.
  2. We experience the the waking, dream and deep sleep states of consciousness  through the senses of the Body, Mind, Intellect and Ego. This identification with the limited, enslaving material aspects of our personality called Body, Mind , Intellect and Ego that causes this phenomena of world is fallacious and far from the truth or Reality. Our Ego and desires of the Mind pitches up a reality onto the world of Time, Space and Causation or objects, beings and experiences. Truth or Reality is that which exists at all periods of time.
  3.  Our true identity, the real “I” of our personality can be achieved through Self Realization. The Supreme Self  is the subtlest enlivening principle that supports the world and life of all the beings in the world that exists in the core of our personality. The Supreme Self being the subtlest is beyond definitions and is imperceptible to the senses of the Body, cannot be felt through emotions and feelings of the Mind and cannot be captured by thoughts and imaginations of the Intellect. Thus we need to cross the limitations of Body Mind and Intellect through spiritual practices of Karma Yoga, Bhakthi Yoga and Gnana Yoga. Then by final meditation on the Supreme Self, one crosses the ocean of Samsara, which is nothing but Maya and attains the Transcendental state of Self Realization. The state of Self Realization is simply like waking up from the other three states of consciousness.

To explain the illusion, Vedanta considers the rope and the snake analogy. When the conditions are perfectly conducive, that is, for instance it is pitch dark in the evening, we see the snake in the place of rope due to our ignorance of the rope as rope. Similarly the ignorance of our true Self has caused the misconception of this pluralistic world and the happiness we go through in life. Our worldly life or Samsara is Maya. The ignorance of the supreme Self has caused the misconception that we are the Waker, Dreamer and Deep sleeper in the the three states of consciousness which we experience through the filters of Body, Mind, Intellect and Ego. Our Waking State of consciousness and our identity of waker or waking personality is also an extension of the dream. That is the Waking State of consciousness we go through is a more realistic dream.

rope and snake1snake

“Truth alone wins, not the untruth” is the triumphant declaration of Mundakopanishad. The Unrighteousness may seem to succeed, but finally, the Truth alone wins. The selfish, egoistic, extroverted, secular or utilitarian worldly pursuits of Materialism and sensuality will end up in destruction of the individual. Whereas, the Selfless, sacrificial, introverted, liberal spiritual pursuit of the Supreme Self will enable us in self unfoldment or evolution of the personality and enjoy everlasting bliss.

Lord Krishna promises to give Yoga (Spiritual enlightenment) and Kshema (Health and prosperity) to whomever has unswerving devotion to Him. Thus spiritual studies grants us supreme Bliss of Self Realization, Health and the potential to earn a prosperous life.


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