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Ignorance

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Viswamitra, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Ignorance (maya) is like a ghost of a tribal woman, which once possessed a great pandit in a Himalayan hermitage. The unfortunate pandit sang and danced like any tribal damsel; he swore and cursed in the ghost dialect, and everyone in the hermitage became ashamed of his company. At last, when the ghost was exorcised and the pandit was freed, he became his original self. He remembered nothing of his pranks and blabberings. Humanity is similarly possessed by the ghost of ignorance (maya). The ghost has to be driven out. – Divine Discourse, July 17, 1962

    What is maya? Maya comes from the Sanskrit meaning “that which is not” and there is ‘illusion’. Sages described it in different ways but common idea is that our body, mind, and intellect (“BMI”) can mislead our soul and entangle and entrap it into bondage. Frankly, the soul aspires to control and enjoy matter. However, the BMI complex builds the qualities such as desire, anger, greed, ego, attachment, and jealousy to create illusion.

    In Mahabharata, when Duryodhana enters the hall of illusion (Maya Sabha) at Indraprasth, built by the great master of illusion, he loses his way, becomes confused and envious. When Draupadi laughs at him, he becomes uncontrollably angry, feeling insulted, and vows to take revenge against the Pandava clan for their audacity to display their power and wealth to belittle him in the presence of women.

    The world is also not very different from the hall of illusions. We also live here enveloped by illusion, in a state of ignorance about ourselves, whereby we fail to discriminate between truth and falsehood, become confused, engaging ourselves in egoistic struggles and binding actions, and lose our connection with the supreme Divine Being which should be our destiny.

    Maya has three effects such as obscuring, projecting, and revealing. The obscuring or veiling effect cuts off our vision of perfect unity. This is how creation is made. Its projecting effect casts forth all these broken reflections that we see around us. This sustains the world. Maya’s revealing effect occurs only when we contemplate all these different forms with the idea that are in essence one with everything. This destroys our ego and makes the illusion disappear to break the cycle of birth and death.

    The deception of thoughts and associated happiness traps us into a never-ending phenomenon called life and cycle of birth and death. It is the desires and attachments that puts us in contact with the objects of our world. Once we experience it, we enter a trap of journeying for ever and stop thinking about going back. We become imprisoned into our thoughts and resultant desires, undergoing a series of births and deaths delaying our liberation.

    Bhagavad Gita teaches us that the true meaning of the word Moksha is not salvation but destruction of delusion that precedes salvation. To achieve this, correct understanding of the mechanism of maya is essential. That is the way to release ourselves from the bondage and the pair of opposites such as pain and pleasure or sorrow and happiness. Mahayana Buddhism explains maya with eight examples of illusion such as magic, a dream, a bubble, a rainbow, lightning, the moon reflected in water, a mirage, and a city of celestial musicians none of which is real. We get unshakable faith in our own mental phenomena, believing it is real. Mind is a cauldron of thoughts that develop into desires and attachments.

    We inquire about the outer world in which we live but we failed to ask the questions to get to the truth in our inner world. Paying attention only to the body is like paying attention to the gift wrapper, paying attention only to the mind is like viewing the gift and paying attention to the divine existence inside is like paying attention to the love inherent in the gift.
     
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  2. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Good one.
    Ignorance of self is Maya.
    That, which we can not control is Maya.
    "I" and "You" Is Maya.
    That which can be measured is Maya.
    Interesting subject.
    The only problem is existence itself is Maya.
    The Britishers complain about the weather but can do nothing about it.
     
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  3. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Hari Sir,

    I agree with everything you said except the line, “The only problem is existence itself is Maya”. I would say, “What we believe as existence is Maya”.
     
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  4. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Shri Viswa has drafted a beautiful sketch of maya picturising it
    as a man caught by a spirit.Rishis have been telling that it is only an illusion projected by our senses.. They called It “maya” or the magical creative power of the “Brahman”.
    With the dawn of the 20th century, we find that physics started to support this view.

    The theory of relativity showed us that we can only know the relations between objects, and quantum theory declared that we can only see probabilities. What we think of as solid matter is an illusion created by our eyes. In fact, it is the “maya” which the rishis talked about.
    Matter is actually made up of particles and waves that merely indicate the different types of knowledge that can be derived from that object. Scientists finally realized that our senses do not give us a true picture of Reality. This is exactly what the rishis of ancient India had been telling us more than five thousand years ago.
    We see the pictures in TV through the screen. The screen itself has no qualities. It is unmoving and unchanging, but without this solid support, the play of light and shade which we are watching would have no form and no meaning.

    Similarly, the drama of our life and the drama of the world taking place in front of our eyes would have no meaning without the solid stage of the steady, unchanging state of the Pure Consciousness of the Brahman on which it is being enacted.

    The quantum world of science, which is a strange, unbelievable dance of particles, solidifies into a semblance of concrete reality when an observation is made by someone. In the absence of an observer, the atomic world is only a possibility. The particles materialize only when we look for them.
    Another strange fact is that when scientists looked for the location of a particle they were able to find it at a particular place, but they could not gauge its speed. When they wanted to gauge its speed, the particle turns into a wave and they could see it in motion. However, the scientist could not fix both its location and speed at the same time. Both depended on the observer! We cannot observe a thing without influencing it.

    The modern physicist corroborates the claim of the rishis that the world exists only because we who are the observers are actively participating in it. The world is a creation of the human mind.

    Maya has two powers- one to veil and the other to project. It veils the nature of the Brahman and projects pluralities on the screen of the non-dual. We can understand this only through examples. Light exists, darkness does not. The latter is only the absence of the former. Although darkness does not exist in reality, it has empirical existence. Similarly, the world also has empirical reality.

    Maya is thus the enchantress who has cast this spell on
    us and made us believe in the solid reality of this universe of forms. She has made us believe in the reality of the forms and forget that formless that is upholding the forms.
    The sage of Arunachala known as Ramana Maharishi said
    ,"Just as the spider emits the thread (of the web)out of itself
    and again withdraws it into itself,likewise the mind projects
    the world out of itself and again resolves it into itself.when
    mind comes out of the Self, the world appears..
    Therefore,when the world appears to be real, the
    Self does not appear;and when the Self shines, the
    world does not appear. '
    When one persistently enquires into the nature of the mind, the mind will end leaving the Self shine, as the residue.
    Meditation and yoga can only give us occasional glimpses of
    that Supreme Self, but the abiding knowledge and realization
    that our existence is not separate from that universal
    existence, can at one stroke remove all our mental agonies.

    Jayasala42
     
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  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Smt. Jayasala:

    Thank you for your excellent response giving step by step example of how Relativity theory and Quantum science support what was told in our scriptures thousands of years ago. It is imperative that an observation is needed for danciping particles to materialize. Time and space is applicable only to the material world which is the reason that it is difficult to measure both the location and speed of the particles. Indeed, the world is the projection of our own mind.

    Michael Talbot in his book titled, "The Hologrophic Universe" explained that when an image of an object falls on the screen in our Retina, it is instantly analyzed by the mind to project what it is comparable with and projects a picture to us. It is similar to how the solid state screen projects the images of a program in a TV telecasted. It is very interesting to read his theory that all the objects in the world are holograms and it is the mind that makes it into a solid matter.

    The Bhagavad Gita chapter 7 explained the power of Brahman as three namely Yogamaya, Maya and Soul. Yogamaya is the power of the Brahman to manifest in any form without revealing the true nature. Maya is the illusion that all Brahman's creation encounter and delve in it. Soul is the one that empowers the creation to function.

    Our entire life's work is to control, alter and delete the mind to experience that everything came from one source.
     
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  6. sln

    sln Platinum IL'ite

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  7. sln

    sln Platinum IL'ite

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    Nothing is certain except death and taxes-is what Benjamin Franklin said.We are all living in an illusory world.On the instability of the world grandeur,an eighteenth century essay beautifully explains this concept.It is extremely difficult to get over this phenominon.Sundaramurthy nayanar was advised by Lord Shiva to apologise for his arrogance to other Nayanmars.This is how he apologised-Thillai wazh andhanar tham adiyarkum adiyen.
    SLN
     
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  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear SLN Sir,

    The body dies easily due to illness and it integrates quickly with 5 elements but ego never dies easily as it is built over several lives. Ego is never in a dark place but it hides behind our intellect in plain sight for others to see, but it is difficult for us to find it. We take pride in something we understand and experience more than appreciating the subject we have understood. We isolate ourselves into a cocoon called mind and enjoy our isolation instead of seeking unity thinking that it is the most secured place. Maya can succeed as long as we think we are this body, mind and intellect.
     
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  9. messedup

    messedup Platinum IL'ite

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    Recently while watching mahabharat i observed the character of dhritarashtra. He was blind with eyes and couldn't see the real world and also was blind with his love towards his son. Everyone from past present and future tried to convince him that his act was not good. But due to his complete blindness he was not able to accept the truth.

    Our lives are also same. We see what we want to. The reasons could be our love,trust or any other blindness. We are not able to see anything beyond that. The world is so big and we are the small particles roaming around and believing on our thoughts as of prime importance.
     
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  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @messedup,

    Thank you for your apt response. Our respect and reverence for our thoughts is unshakable irrespective of the expected results coming from it. The mind only gives importance to what feels good for itself.

    Dhirutarashtra's only aim was to capture power himself and get his son to rule after him and he never paid attention to anything else. Even when Krishna offered to give him vision to see Him, he was worried about the light and how it affects his eyes. He was so self-centered and was not even aware seeing Krishna would be his greatest opportunity.

    A spiritual aspirant is always looking at his mind and its vagaries to put himself/herself in the right path and pray to the Lord for guidance. If we fix our thoughts on the right direction, the path to see the Truth unfolds.
     
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