Māyā

Having collated from some of the finest writings on māyā I have attempted here to make the reader see through the veil of words. We must understand that the limits of māyā are like the scrim of Radhakrishnan. To pierce this screen we should illumine the ‘other’ side with venturesome knowledge and accept that both the infinite and the infinitesimal belong to this fuzzy realm. This is also borne out by the Brhadāranyaka Upanishad (V.5.1) which explains that satyam consists of three syllables, sa , ti , yam, the first and the last being real and the second unreal, madhyato anrtam. The fleeting is enclosed on both sides by an eternity which is real.

            Another important point that emerges is that māyā is not an illusion but a delusion. We can overcome an illusion by outward knowledge e.g. the cause of a mirage or the straight stick appearing bent in water is determined both by experience and science. Delusion, on the other hand is when we fail to perceive the Divine essence of nature and regard it as a mere mechanical determination unrelated to Brahman. The implication is that the problem of māyā is inherent in the attitude of those who perceive, not in that which is perceived……The term illusion is generic; the term delusion is specific. So long as the individual thinks himself to be a separate atom in this immense universe, so long as he has the idea that he is the chief actor in the stage, he is in the world of māyā,…. When he recognizes the essence of the finite to be in the Infinite, when he realizes that he is but an instrument of a nobler purpose, he will get out of this world of māyā.

To transcend this limit we require an inner search, a repetitive build-up of spiritual energies, a regimen of reinforcing natural harmonies. All this can carry us to the winning ticket that lies just beyond the statistical veil of pratimā.