Continuing . . . (from Volume 15 Number 1&2)
by Ramjoo K. Abdulla
Has anyone really understood what Maya means—not only what it means but what it is in reality?
If you understand Maya, you know half the truth of the universe. You read and hear about Maya, but few can really understand it, so first we will examine the state of things in general from the spiritual point of view. Then we will define Maya.
God is Infinite, as you all have heard. God is beyond duality. Beyond good and bad, right and wrong, virtue and evil, happiness and misery, birth and death, and so on. Dual aspects do not belong to God, but if we take God as one separate existence, then God forms a second part of duality. Just as we say good, bad; so we also can say, God—not God; finite, Infinite, etc. Finite and Infinite also mean two. Infinite, though not of the dual aspect, has now become the second part of duality. But God cannot be mixed up with duality, so this apparent existence of God's duality is Maya. God cannot be mixed up with duality, so Infinite cannot be the dual part of finite; hence the apparent existence of finite is false. Finite does not exist. What makes finite exist? Maya. So it means that all the attachment that Soul has for the finite, is Maya. Maya it is, that makes the Infinite Soul get mixed up with the finite body, so much so that the Infinite Soul thinks itself to be the finite body. This Maya does, and not only this. Maya makes the Soul, attached to the body with all its accompaniments, all that is alluring and all its temptations, appear as real. As, for example, when you are very thirsty in a desert like the Sahara, you think nothing is more precious than water; here, too, water is precious, but you are not so thirsty and water is in abundance, so the value you attach to water in Sahara you do not attach to it here. This differentiation of values is due to Maya. When you feel hungry and you eat, then you think all is good—you don't even want to think of food. This is Maya's working.
When a dear one dies and you miss him, this feeling of missing someone whom you always saw is due to Maya. When you think you are the most miserable person in the world, it is Maya.
So we define Maya as that which makes the Soul take the unreal for the real.
Maya is not illusion. It is the creator of illusion. Maya is not false. Maya is that which gives false impressions. Maya is not unreal. Maya is that which makes the real appear unreal, and the unreal appear real. Maya causes illusion. It is as unfathomable as God.