Welcome to Episode 24 of the Ask Sri Vishwanath show and it’s very chilly out here it’s almost afternoon I hope you’re having a great day. In today’s episode we will speak about the power and influence of Maya and how you can cut the wheel of Maya to pieces with help from Krishna.

Question: So today’s question is from Daniel from New Jersey and he asks, What is Maya? I know It’s an illusion, but I understand Maya only intellectually and am not able to put it into practice.  I am not able to get any benefit from this concept of Maya.

Answer: In India everyone thinks they know Maya but in reality we are all being influenced to act under the control of Maya. The best definition of Maya was told by Ramakrishna Paramahansa, and he said

“That which makes the unreal appear as real and the real appear as unreal is Maya”

I will share with you a very wonderful story. .There was a sage who was talking about Maya this world of illusion and the various perceptions that different people have because of their behavior, character and attitude. As the sage was preaching a mad elephant was coming from the other side crushing everything in its way….

Everyone ran for shelter and everyone was shouting “ Get out of the way… Get out of the way a mad elephant is coming… So everyone ran… The sage also ran  and took shelter and allowed the mad elephant to pass by. After the chaos was over the the disciple asked the sage.

“I thought you said everything is Maya so why did you run, The mad elephant is also Maya so why did you run.”

The sage replied back to the discple “ If you think the mad elephant is also Maya then consider my running also to be Maya…. So everyone laughed..

So that was a very humorous thing which is if the mad elephant is Maya then consider my running also to be Maya. When we live in the world of Maya every action, thought and emotion appears real.

The Two Most Powerful Words in History of Spirituality

Let’s go back to the definition that Ramakrishna said, Ramakrishna said that which makes the real “The Self, The Jiva” appear as unreal and the unreal as real is Maya.

So there are two things that come here, there are two words that pops up, one is Exists, and the other Appears.


I want you to note down these two words exists and appears the differentiation between these two words will lead you close to Maya.

Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita: “In all It(Brahman..Jiva) exists undivided and yet it appears to be divided”

In all beings the Self-exists undivided and yet appears to be divided, and the reason it appears is because of the lens of perception . This is very important and the easiest way to understand this is is through an example

Let’s say when you’re watching a movie… what do you see in the movie the emotions, characters, events and the scenes, you know all of them are unreal to you and yet many people start laughing, crying and all of those stuff, but we all know all those things are an appearance….

What exists in reality is the director and the script, from which all the visible scenes manifest. You see there’s always something that exists which is invisible like in a movie the director and script are invisible from which all the scenes that appear is heard touched and felt by us….

However during the process of interaction we get caught up in the appearance of scenes and take that to be real and completely forget the source of existence of the scenes. The same happens with our life. We pay more attention to the scenes to the events and less to the invisible script that drives our life..

The Action Step That Will Set You Free

So if we take a step back and go from appearance to existence, if you go a step back you can know that the entire movie, there is a script and there is a director and that is the invisible team, that is what exists and everything appears from that so we should not get caught up in the appearance.

When you step back from appearance to existence you gain power. That is the first step towards freedom. Always ask yourself when you are caught in the midst of problems

“Where is my concsiousenss existing right now? Where has it disappeared?”

So Maya basically means  temporary disappearance of our concsiousnes and when this happens we mistake the appearance of scenes to be the highest reality and suffer in our emotions. So Krishna says

Always discriminate between the unreal and the real

The visible is the unreal, the invisible the real. Emotions only appear to be real..Krishna says “ At all times we always have a choice for higher awareness. No power on earth can take away that choice from you

For example : If we get angry, what is a higher emotion? Calmness is the higher emotion

If we get sad what is the higher emotion? Happiness is the higher emotion

Krishna says darkness is not real. It only means that light has not reached that place

So anger only means calmness has not reached that place.

Sadness only means happiness has not reached that place.

Anger and sadness are emotions it is an appearance because what exists in reality is happiness, calmness which is the real nature of the Jiva.


The Source of Awareness & Appearance of Awareness

The source of awareness is the Self, the Jiva and appearance of awareness are what we see, hear, touch and feel like the body, mind and the intellect. So this is very important whenever you get an emotion know that it is an appearance on the screen of time. It is not real. It is an illusion. Whenever the choice for an higher perception exists that choice is reality.. The rest is an appearance

All Intelligence On Earth is Borrowed

When you pinch your body it’s pains, the pain is real .. but Krishna says your body is Maya…. Why? Because the intelligence of the body is borrowed from the intelligence of the mind, you see if the mind instructs the body to lift the hands the hands are lifted… It it says dont lift the hand the hand is not lifted

Now the mind is also Maya because the intelligence of the mind is borrowed from the intelligence of the intellect, we always have the intellect which is discriminating which say don’t lift your hands because…..

If we take this one step further we know that the intellect is also Maya  because the power of the intellect is borrowed from the power of the self, if there is no consciousness the body will just fall apart to pieces…

So we know that the intelligence of the body is borrowed from the mind and intelligence of the mind is borrowed from the intellect and the intelligence of the intellect is borrowed from the consciousness, that way all these things the body, mind, and intellect is like an appearance and what really exists is the soul.

Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita

“Thus worshipping Him who is nobler than the intellect, restraining the Self with will destroy the enemy within that is craving so hard to reach”

All the things that appears have a limited existence it will be there today, it will not be there tomorrow it’s momentary and that which exists is the source of this appearnace.

You always have a choice to rest in the source of awareness or get entagled in the appearance of awareness. When you choose the former there will be no Maya, no illusion and you will see things as they are. You will be seated in the heart of your consciousness. Maya cannot dare to enter into the chamber of God. He shines everything else shines.Download my Best work of 15yrs