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Serious attempt at understanding Maya

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sravna

Well-known member
Maya in advaita is a very mysterious concept. I am sure the concept has been dissected enough in the past. But can we say all the mysteries surrounding the concept have disappeared? Let me make a very serious attempt in the presentation and elucidation of the concept of maya.

Reality in advaita is the changeless nirguna brahman. But reality as we know is full of constant changes. In fact our reality is characterized by changes. According to advaita nirguna brahman is the only reality. So our reality is non existent from the point of view of nirguna brahman or in other words is illusory. Sankara introduced the concept of maya to explain the existence of physical reality. According to him a force called maya is responsible for our reality including space and time. A relevant question is if nirguna brahman is the only reality how can there be another reality of maya.

Let me first give my definition of reality. To me reality has to have the following two features: (i) It has to be changeless (ii) It has to be perceived in the same way irrespective of the subject which perceives it.

Let me give the rationale for the above requirements of reality. If reality is something that may change it may eventually cease to exist too. So permanence of existence is guaranteed only if it does not change in any way. The second requirement of reality is that it has to be perceived in the same way irrespective of the subject perceiving it. This is because reality is something that has to be commonly agreed upon otherwise the true nature of reality will be in question.

Does physical reality pass these requirements? They don't pass both. They are neither changeless nor are perceived the same way by all. Though from the point of view of humans alone they are perceived in the same way. Mental reality is also not commonly agreed upon as each has his own views and interpretations of everything. So we see disputes about what are the correct views.

Does the concept of nirguna brahman pass the tests of reality? Yes it does because nirguna brahman is changeless and there is only one unified perception in that reality and so passes the second test of reality too. So we can say that only something like nirguna brahman can be a reality

What can we say about the physical reality?Since it is not real and people like us experience it, it has to be an illusion. So what we see as happening in the physical world is not actually happening but perceived as happening. In general anything that changes is just a perception and not real.

The question now is what causes the perception of change when something that can be a reality is only an entity like changeless nirguna brahman. This is where the concept of maya comes in handy. My own understanding of maya is that it is a secondary reality in nirguna brahman whose influence is to show all that is unreal as real. But nirguna brahman is not influenced by maya because the reality of nirguna brahman prevails over maya and not not vice versa.

Since we see physical reality exists and is just an illusion it can be said to be caused by maya.That is maya projects the unreal and produces the subordinate reality of the physical world and the jivatmas. Thus the physical world and the jivatmas are under the influence of maya and are taken in by the unreal. The jivatmas and the physical world are illusions created out of the reality of nirguna brahman

As time passes after the creation of the universe, maya recedes from space and time and the jivatmas, in the case of the latter due to learning experiences and so the illusionof the physical world and the jivatmas disappear and everything becomes one with nirguna brahman.

This is my view on how maya fits in, in the philosophy of advaita.
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Dear Sravna,

Maya is a temptress that wants you to desire her and find out more about her.

Once you enter her den there is no way out.

She is the greatest host.

She will love you..she will treat you well.

You will never feel life had treated you better when you are with her.

She will never want you to leave her.

She doesnt age..she doesnt decay..she is always virginal.

She seems pure but she deceives.

She is like the song Livin La Vida Loca.

She creates new sensations day by day.

She creates new addictions for every day and night.

She'll make you take off your clothes and go dancing in the rain.

She'll make you live her crazy life but she will take away your pain.

But with this she puts a bullet thru your brain.

Dont fall for her..do not make any serious attempt to know her.

Once you have the taste of her..you will never be the same.

She'll make you go insane!

That is her game.

Beat her to it.

She is not someone you should know.

She too is an illusion..she too does not exists!
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Renuka,

Who does not like a seductress? I do not mind being seduced as long as I can influence her too. Is it not great to have the best of both the worlds? why settle for one?
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Dear Renuka,

Who does not like a seductress? I do not mind being seduced as long as I can influence her too. Is it not great to have the best of both the worlds? why settle for one?

LOL!

Not in the case of Maya..that would be "Sleeping with the Enemy"

BTW why best of both worlds? Then where is Advaita if there are 2 worlds.

Which is real and which is an illusion?
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
BTW Sravna...in this thread you are saying "why settle for one" but in another thread you were saying there can only be one spouse!LOL

Here you are saying "who does not like a seductress?"LOL

This is indeed Maya!LOL
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
LOL!

Not in the case of Maya..that would be "Sleeping with the Enemy"

BTW why best of both worlds? Then where is Advaita if there are 2 worlds.

Which is real and which is an illusion?

The point is she has to be under my control. And maya will make it real for me.
 
OP
sravna

sravna

Well-known member
BTW Sravna...in this thread you are saying "why settle for one" but in another thread you were saying there can only be one spouse!LOL

Here you are saying "who does not like a seductress?"LOL

This is indeed Maya!LOL

OMG! I am talking of the realities and not having two spouses!
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Don't you feel physical reality though it is an illusion?


That is what Maya is all about!

She makes you feel everything is permanently real when its actually transient.

Maya is one topic I choose to ignore now becos she wants us to waste our time.
 
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sravna

sravna

Well-known member
That is what Maya is all about!

She makes you feel everything is permanently real when its actually transient.

Maya is one topic I choose to ignore now becos she wants us to waste our time.

Dear Renuka,

Seriously,maya is tempting but is enlightening too and never a waste of time. She has a lot of brains too.
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Dear Renuka,

Seriously,maya is tempting but is enlightening too and never a waste of time. She has a lot of brains too.


Dear Sravna,

Maya is the instrument of Brahman.He is the master mind.She has no mind of her own..leave alone brains.

That is why its best to ignore her..she too is a projection.

Its like this..to see a King we need to go thru the place guards..they will try to stop us.

Do we waste our time wanting to get to know the palace guards even though they could be tempting and promise us that we will be able to meet the King?

We need to find our own way to meet the King by ignoring the guards.

Likewise..ignore Maya..break into the palace of Brahman to get a glimpse of Him.

When you reach the throne..its empty becos He is verily You. Its your throne!
 
OP
sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Sravna,

Maya is the instrument of Brahman.He is the master mind.She has no mind of her own..leave alone brains.

That is why its best to ignore her..she too is a projection.

Its like this..to see a King we need to go thru the place guards..they will try to stop us.

Do we waste our time wanting to get to know the palace guards even though they could be tempting and promise us that we will be able to meet the King?

We need to find our own way to meet the King by ignoring the guards.

Likewise..ignore Maya..break into the palace of Brahman to get a glimpse of Him.

When you reach the throne..its empty becos He is verily You. Its your throne!

Yes dear Renuka, Maya is indeed the instrument of brahman. But you cannot ignore her. You have to experience her and get past her. Only then can you reach the throne.
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Yes dear Renuka, Maya is indeed the instrument of brahman. But you cannot ignore her. You have to experience her and get past her. Only then can you reach the throne.


Why do you need to know her?

What will be the outcome?

How many Acharyas talk about Maya in detail?

Even Lord Buddha hardly spoke about Maya.
 
OP
sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Why do you need to know her?

What will be the outcome?

How many Acharyas talk about Maya in detail?

Even Lord Buddha hardly spoke about Maya.


Dear Renuka,

I need to know her because she caters to our weaknesses and so we fall for her. But since we act out of weakness it is going to hurt us later and she recedes at the right time so that we see the mistake in our action and realize the truth. So she makes us learn. So our weaknesses slowly disappear and we appear strong. That is the outcome. Maya has special importance in advaita and I strongly believe in advaita .
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Dear Renuka,

I need to know her because she caters to our weaknesses and so we fall for her. But since we act out of weakness it is going to hurt us later and she recedes at the right time so that we see the mistake in our action and realize the truth. So she makes us learn. So our weaknesses slowly disappear and we appear strong. That is the outcome. Maya has special importance in advaita and I strongly believe in advaita .

One may have a strong believe in Advaita (even though that too needs to be given up eventually)..but one does NOT need ever to know Maya or even believe in her.

After many years of reading books on religion/spirituality I feel one should not have any strong conviction of any kind.

Having a strong conviction of any kind tints our vision..we will only choose to see what we believe.

That remains a projection of our mind.

If we dont hold on to anything..there is nothing for the mind to project.

The show is over! There is no movie.

The actors have left the stage.

But dont go home. Wait!

Truth is only unveiled when the movie is over.

So even your firm believe in Advaita is not going to take you anywhere.

Another person might have a strong believe in Vishisthadvaita.

He will see Sriman Narayana everywhere. That is the projection of his mind.

As long as the mind is playing its own mega serial..the Truth will never be unveiled.

That is why so much emphasis is given to "kill the mind"..The mind needs to die..the mind is the anti hero..it makes us and it also breaks us.

Give up all convictions and Truth will come knocking.
 

krish44

Gold Member
Gold Member
asl SRK about Maya Memsahib

He starred in a movie of same name

thats why Renukaji is talking knowledgably about Maya
 

renuka

Gold Member
Gold Member
Dear Sravna,

Have you ever wondered why a child is able to learn fast and grasp everything much better than an adult?

The reason is the mind of the child is empty..the child does not have pre conceived notions of any kind.

Its this emptiness of mind that allows knowledge to be downloaded.

But we adults are full of pre conceived notions and inherited information from the past.

The average adult human operates within a maze of inherited unexamined believes mainly passed from generation to generation that forms the substratum of the adult mind.

He is self centred in the sense that he entirely governed by the substratum of inherited data.

In a way receiving knowledge to a great extent clouds our intellect!

It might seem like a paradox but the more we fill our minds the less we know.

What that was supposed to shine is masked by the clouds of knowledge.

I might sound totally contradicting to what we know from religion that its ignorance that clouds the intellect.

I feel that its knowledge that clouds the intellect.

How can ignorance cloud the intellect?

What is ignorance? Can you have debates on ignorance? Can you have data on ignorance?

No you cant!

You can only debate on knowledge..you can only have data on knowledge.

It is pre conceived notions that is known as knowledge to us humans.

That is pseudo in my opinion...its is deluding becos it clouds our very limited perception.

We see the world as the way our mind sees it with all the stored "pseudoism".


I feel that is the whole Maya effect..to keep clouding our intellect with what we assume will actually help enlighten us.

The game that Maya plays is making us believe that we are actually walking in the right path when we are actually walking in the wrong direction.

So I feel to understand anything better we need to empty the mind of any preconceived notions of any kind.

Do not hold on to any school of thought..knowledge only becomes a burden finally. Identifying with the inherited knowledge is the actual ignorance.

When we hold on to anything we feel threatened or repelled from even the Truth becos Reality might totally be different from inherited perceptions.

So we go on missing the point from life to life..yet again a Punarapi Jananam Punarapi Maranam!
 
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tbs

Well-known member
Maya in advaita is a very mysterious concept. I am sure the concept has been dissected enough in the past. But can we say all the mysteries surrounding the concept have disappeared? Let me make a very serious attempt in the presentation and elucidation of the concept of maya.

Reality in advaita is the changeless nirguna brahman. But reality as we know is full of constant changes. In fact our reality is characterized by changes. According to advaita nirguna brahman is the only reality. So our reality is non existent from the point of view of nirguna brahman or in other words is illusory. Sankara introduced the concept of maya to explain the existence of physical reality. According to him a force called maya is responsible for our reality including space and time. A relevant question is if nirguna brahman is the only reality how can there be another reality of maya.

Let me first give my definition of reality. To me reality has to have the following two features: (i) It has to be changeless (ii) It has to be perceived in the same way irrespective of the subject which perceives it.

Let me give the rationale for the above requirements of reality. If reality is something that may change it may eventually cease to exist too. So permanence of existence is guaranteed only if it does not change in any way. The second requirement of reality is that it has to be perceived in the same way irrespective of the subject perceiving it. This is because reality is something that has to be commonly agreed upon otherwise the true nature of reality will be in question.

Does physical reality pass these requirements? They don't pass both. They are neither changeless nor are perceived the same way by all. Though from the point of view of humans alone they are perceived in the same way. Mental reality is also not commonly agreed upon as each has his own views and interpretations of everything. So we see disputes about what are the correct views.

Does the concept of nirguna brahman pass the tests of reality? Yes it does because nirguna brahman is changeless and there is only one unified perception in that reality and so passes the second test of reality too. So we can say that only something like nirguna brahman can be a reality

What can we say about the physical reality?Since it is not real and people like us experience it, it has to be an illusion. So what we see as happening in the physical world is not actually happening but perceived as happening. In general anything that changes is just a perception and not real.

The question now is what causes the perception of change when something that can be a reality is only an entity like changeless nirguna brahman. This is where the concept of maya comes in handy. My own understanding of maya is that it is a secondary reality in nirguna brahman whose influence is to show all that is unreal as real. But nirguna brahman is not influenced by maya because the reality of nirguna brahman prevails over maya and not not vice versa.

Since we see physical reality exists and is just an illusion it can be said to be caused by maya.That is maya projects the unreal and produces the subordinate reality of the physical world and the jivatmas. Thus the physical world and the jivatmas are under the influence of maya and are taken in by the unreal. The jivatmas and the physical world are illusions created out of the reality of nirguna brahman

As time passes after the creation of the universe, maya recedes from space and time and the jivatmas, in the case of the latter due to learning experiences and so the illusionof the physical world and the jivatmas disappear and everything becomes one with nirguna brahman.

This is my view on how maya fits in, in the philosophy of advaita.
hi

this topic itself maya.....maya cant comprehensible.....JUST MAYA ITSELF MAYA...SIMPLE DEFINITION OF MAYA....

BRAHMA SATYAM....JAGAT MITYA...JIVO BRAHMAIVA NA APARAHA....
 
OP
sravna

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Renuka,

Knowledge can cloud only the mind of the confused. The right mind strikes chord with the right knowledge and will be able to reject the dubious ones. Another important use of accumulated knowledge is to use it as a corroboration of our own understanding of events. You need some validation also, right?
 
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