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Maya –Illusion

What we see outside in the world is all illusion. It’s nothing and has come out of nothing. One considers it as reality though it does not exist in reality.  Even one is not conscious of his real existence (God consciousness).In Fact God as man is dreaming and man considers this God’s dream as reality as awake. Almost everyone has to pass through the world of illusion; experience its nothingness, remove the six veils of ignorance. At last the seventh veil of ignorance is removed by Avatar or Sadguru and one is freed from world of illusion which is the state of God realisation. Exception is only with the grace of Avatar or sadguru one can attain God realization without going the seven planes of illusion.

Baba explained Maya:

Maya is sheer illusion – the force of imagination

Maya is the principle of ignorance.

Maya is not illusion but is creator of illusion.

Maya is not false. It is that which gives falsity.

Suppose you come along and mistake the string for a snake. This mistake creates Maya. But, if we see that the string is only a string and nothing else, then where is Maya? It is only your false supposition that is really Maya. In the end, when it is found that it is only a string, you laugh at your false presupposition because your fears are gone – the illusion is removed. In the same way, when one attains Realization, he laughs at these false notions of Maya – the world and all its connections – for they are totally false and not real.

God uses Maya to conduct the affairs of the universe. Paramatma never uses Maya to make others free from Maya. Suppose Arjun is Paramatma and his cane is God. If you wrap a seven-colored string around this cane, that string is Maya. What a difference between Arjun and the string – the string has only touched God (the cane) and not Paramatma, Who is aloof.

Therefore, the very moment Maya (desires, passions and anger) enters your head, thrust it out. Do not let it in at all. If a rabid dog goes after you, you shout to drive it away. If, on the other hand, you give it food, it will follow you and will not go away. Similarly, Maya is like a rabid dog. Do not allow it to enter your mind. Drive it away as you would a mad dog. Drive it away with all your strength, for once it sticks to you, it will be quite impossible for you to free yourself.

People say that God created Maya, but that is not so. For example, take the hair on the head. The hair is Maya and the head is God, the Creator. Although the hair grows on the head, the head does not know how, why and where it comes from. Then how can it be said that the head created hair, or God created Maya? But in a way, the very creation of Maya itself is dependent on God.

Baba explained Maya to Sarosh Irani- Mayor of Ahmednagar

“God alone exists as Existence Eternal and all else is illusion – a creation of Maya. And what is Maya? Maya is the principle of ignorance. Maya makes you feel what, in fact, does not exist. In Reality, neither man nor woman, neither the so-called animate beings nor the inanimate things exist. It is Maya which causes the unreal to appear as real and existing.”

“Mind, the issue of Maya, imagines infinite divisions and so creates innumerable worlds of worries. As long as mind exists, ignorance persists. And what a joke that minds tries to gain bliss through furious thinking and worrying, which is empty dreaming! For bliss to come into being, mind has to be quiet. You cannot invite bliss. It is ever present – everywhere.” (Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 17, p. 5829.)

Self delusion

Baba explained delusion

“Imagination of a self deluded man is so strong that he does not doubt he is what he thinks himself to be!  He feels he really is this or that person. This delusion is very positive but it is, after all, delusion. And although these men are not hypocritical, they are dangerous, but not so seriously.”

“Self Baba is delusion is unfortunate but hypocrisy is inexcusable. The self-deluded do not know but thinks that he knows. The hypocrite knows that he does not know but pretends that he does.”

Grip of Maya is strong. It clings the soul till liberation

It goes with mental body incarnation after incarnation. A story of beggar narrated by one of Baba disciple is fit to understand how one is carried away by illusion even after dropping his body

Once there was a beggar. He used to beg in front of a temple, and as soon as he had collected hundred naiya paisa (cents). He would convert them into one pure silver rupee coin. By the time he had collected Rs. 25, he was an old man and realized that soon he was going to die. He was in a plight as to what to do with his precious coins. So he thought that as they were his life's work, he should not part with them.

They had become so precious and dear to him he decided that they should be buried with him. But knowing that people would rob the money from his dead body, he thought of a plan to keep the coins inside his body. He piled up the 25 silver coins and tried to swallow them all. There were too many and he had to clench his mouth shut over them. Straining with the effort, he suddenly died! Nevertheless, he got his wish. The coins remained tightly shut in his mouth!

Since he was buried at public expense, it was done in a haphazard fashion, and soon his body was eaten away by animals.

His bones with the skull (with Rs.25 inside!) were lying on the ground. Some schoolboys of the village were passing by, and coming across the skull kicked it and heard the jingling of the coins. All of them kicked the skull as hard as they could to knock out the coins, but it was no use as the teeth's grip was so tight. They tried to break open the skull with stones, but to no avail.

So they took the skull to a wise man in the village, who told the skull, "Look here, man, all these people want to take your precious money away, but I want to add to it. Here are five more coins!" Upon hearing this skull opened at once, and the wise man struck it from behind and removed the coins.

So from this tale you can see how strong Maya’s grip is. The more you get, the more entangled in it you become.

Story of a servant titled “The 99 club” reveals how maya deceives

Once upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was neither happy nor contented.

One day, the King came upon a servant who was singing happily while he worked. This fascinated the King; why was he, the Supreme Ruler of the Land, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly servant had so much joy?

The King asked the servant, 'Why are you so happy?'

The man replied, 'Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but my family and I don't need too much - just a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our tummies.'

The king sought the advice of his most trusted advisor. After hearing the story, the advisor said, 'Your Majesty, the servant has not yet joined "The 99 Club."

'The 99 Club’ And what is that?' the King inquired.

The advisor replied, 'To truly know what The 99 Club is, just place 99 Gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servant's doorstep.'

When the servant saw the bag, he let out a great shout of joy... so many gold coins. He began to count them. After several counts, he was at last convinced that there were only 99 coins.

He wondered, 'What could've happened to that last gold coin? Surely, no one would leave 99 coins!'

He looked everywhere he could, but that final coin was elusive. Finally he decided that he was going to work harder than ever to earn that 100th gold coin.

From that day, the servant was a changed man. He was overworked, grumpy, and blamed his family for not helping him make that 100th gold coin.

And he had stopped singing while he worked.

Witnessing this drastic transformation, the King was puzzled. The advisor said, 'Your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club.'

He continued, 'The 99 Club is a name given to those people who have enough to be happy but are never contented, because they're always wanting that extra 1, saying to themselves:

"Let me get that one final thing and then I will be happy for life."

We can be happy with very little in our lives, but the minute we're given something bigger and better, we want more and even more! We lose our sleep, our happiness, all these as the price for our growing needs and desires.

Maya explained by Lord Buddha to His disciple-Anand a-story

One day Ananda, Buddha's close disciple, said to Buddha, "Lord, you are always talking about Maya, but what is it? Please show me Maya." A few days passed and it so happened that Buddha and Ananda were travelling through a hot, dry part of India. After walking several miles, the Buddha sat on a rock under the shade of a tree and said, "Ananda, I am thirsty. Can you fetch some water for me?" Ananda went at once to try and find water.

He walked quite a way and came upon a small farm. He thought the farmer might have a well and went up to the house to ask permission to draw some water. He knocked at the door, and it was opened by the most beautiful woman, Ananda had ever seen in his life. Instantly he was spellbound. He just stood there and stared at her, speechless. He had completely forgotten why he had knocked at the door; all thought of water was gone. The woman, for her part, was equally struck with Ananda, for he was a handsome man and his love and devotion to the Buddha had changed him so that all who came into contact with him were struck by his presence.

So the two of them just stood there staring at each other, without saying a word. After a while the farmer returned home and asked Ananda what he wanted. "I was wondering if you had any work that I could do for you," Ananda answered spontaneously, for his only thought was that he had to spend more time near this beautiful woman he had just met. Of course, farmers always have work that needs doing, so the farmer agreed to hire Ananda to help him in the fields. And so the days passed, and Amanda’s love for the woman did not lessen in the least. If anything, it increased, and the only thing Ananda knew was that he wanted to stay near her. He also wanted to please her father so he would not be sent away, and he worked hard every day and came home exhausted, but content that for an hour or two, before bed, he could sit near the daughter.

After a while, Ananda got his courage up and asked the farmer if he could marry the daughter. The farmer was happy because Ananda was a good worker and he knew he would look after his daughter well. And, of course, the daughter and Ananda were happy and so the marriage took place.

The years passed and Ananda and the woman had three children. Ananda continued to work very hard and the farm prospered. After a while, the father-in-law died and Ananda inherited the farm. There was more work to do now, but Ananda was happy. His life seemed perfect. He loved his wife and his children, and there was enough to eat because the farmland was fertile and it seemed that there was nothing else Ananda could wish for.

Then, after twelve years of contented married life, there came a flood. Overnight the river rose and overflowed its banks and came rushing towards the farm. There was no time to save anything. Ananda put one child on his back and held his wife with one hand and the other two children in his other hand and was swept away by the current.

Ananda started swimming hard so as not to go under, and as they were pushed along by the flood they saw animals drowning in the torrent. Ananda felt his only hope was to try and swim across the current to the other side because there was a hill there which was not submerged, and if he could make it there they could be safe. But a flood means what? The current is not like that of an ordinary river, and Ananda had not gone very far at all when the child on his back was swept away by the current. His head was seen briefly above the raging waters but then disappeared from sight and was never seen again.

Ananda cried out in despair but kept on swimming. But the current was too strong and before long his two other children could not hold on any longer and were also swept away before their parents' eyes. Now Ananda only had his wife left, and he was determined to hold on to her. They had almost made it to the high land where they would be safe when the flood tore them apart. Ananda desperately reached out for his wife, touched her for a second, but the current drove her under and she too was lost. With his last strength, Ananda kicked and managed to throw himself on the dry land, where he lay exhausted and weeping bitterly about the loss of his family. His heart was broken.

Behind him came a gentle voice, "My child, have you brought the water?" Ananda looked up and there was the Buddha, sitting on a stone, looking at him with great compassion. "The water?" Ananda repeated, unable to take it all in. "Yes," Buddha replied. "You left at least half an hour ago to fetch water, and now that you have returned I was wondering whether you had brought any."

"Half an hour!" Ananda exclaimed. "But that can't be. I..." and now he lowered his head in shame, for he remembered how he had forgotten his Lord. "But what about my wife? I was married. I had children. Twelve years have gone by!"

The Buddha smiled and shook his head. All of Amanda’s twelve years of married life had taken place in less than half and hour. "That is Maya," said the Lord. ( That is how it was page-400-403)

Remain in Maya but do not get enmeshed in it.

Meher Baba explained how to remain in Maya to Sampath Aiyangar during this brief visit to Madras,

In Baba’s words

Maya! It is like this: If a person wants to take the pearl from the bottom of the ocean, then he should not shout at the pearl to come up while he sits on the beach. If he really wants the pearl, he should try his hardest to plunge to the bottom of the ocean to get it.

Now, say that the water of the ocean is Maya and the pearl is God. According to spiritual law, it is then essential that the diver not get wet nor even touch one drop of water while diving! This means it is possible for him to dive and obtain the pearl, but it is impossible for him to not touch even a drop of water in the effort. This impossible aspect of spiritual things really makes the diver worthy of the prize.

In order to not touch water, the diver must put on a full diving suit; and after putting on an air tank, he can dive down. Only then will he be able to follow the rule of bringing up the pearl without getting wet.

To compare the above with spirituality, take the water of the ocean as Maya, the pearl as God, the diver as the seeker, the diving suit as love, or the willingness to renounce the world, and the man on the beach or boat in charge of the air compressor as the Sadguru. Without the help of the Sadguru to manipulate the air compressor, it is thus impossible for one to dive down and take the pearl, which means to free oneself from the clutches of Maya while remaining in Maya.

A man may discharge his worldly duties and maintain a household with a wife and child. But at the same time, he should remain detached from all this, come what may. This does not mean that he should be neglectful of his duties toward his near and dear ones, but that he should have no attachments to it at all. You know that a pen is yours and you use it. But if you lose it, you should not care about it; you should remain detached.

The meaning of God-Realization is emancipation – freedom from the bondage of Maya. But one has to be in Maya to come out of it. So remain in Maya but do not get enmeshed in it. Keep away from its tricks and snares. (Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 5, p. 1860.)