Māyā

Two important distinctions emerge from Radhakrishnan’s extensive writings extracted above. Firstly māyā is not the illusionary world around us as is commonly interpreted. This world is an illusion per se because our consciousness cannot simply penetrate the veil cloaking Brahman. To be able to do so our minds need to overcome their ignorance (avidyā). The process of collecting this knowledge (vidyā) painstakingly is the path to be taken by the souls seeking enlightenment and the final goal of nirvāna. The delusion that strays us from this process of seeking life’s truth, its natural rhythm, its harmony is māyā. The rising sun, the moving earth and planets, the changing seasons, the blue sky, the swaying trees, the chirping birds…all these are illusionary to our senses that mistakenly compartmentalize this vast sea of universal energy flow into distinctive experiences. To help the mind rise above this diversity that is continuously being fed in by our senses we need to develop a deeper perspicacity. The path to this higher goal of knowledge or “something more” (as R. puts it) is through the rhythmic process happening around us even though it is illusionary to our senses. We should not get deluded by this and continue our Karmic search with minimum perturbation. This is the path to spiritual wonders described, time and again in their various ways, by the Great men who have truly reached enlightenment.