Hello and welcome to episode 88 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about the power of maya illusion and how the power of this knowledge can solve your problems and give you a different perspective on life.
Today’s question comes from Catherine and she says “what is maya? I’m slightly confused. I read about it a lot but how is it beneficial? Can you explain it?”
Thanks for the question. I have already posted a few episodes about maya so I will leave links to them and you can watch and read them too.
This is what Krishna says about maya: “Vieled by the delusive power of yoga maya I do not stand revealed to all. The deluded do not know me unborn and immutable. Oh Arjuna I know all beings past, present and future but none knows me. All beings in this world are confounded by the delusion of dualities born out of attachment and aversion.”
That is quite a mouthful but I want to share a beautiful story by Vivekananda that will help you to understand it better. Krishna and the great sage were walking together. He turned to Krishna and asked him what maya was. Krishna told him he would explain it at a later time but not now.
One day they were both walking in the desert and Krishna told the sage to get him a glass of water because he was thirsty. The sage was happy to have the opportunity to serve Krishna so he went to find some water. He walked for a long time until he came to a village. He knocked on the first door that he saw.
The door opened slowly and he saw a beautiful girl behind it. The sage was enamoured by this girl. It was love at first sight. He could tell she liked him as well and they stayed talking to each other. He was so sure that this was the girl for him that he asked when her father would be back so he could ask for her hand in marriage.
That evening her father came home and the sage asked the father for his daughters hand in marriage and he agreed. They married and were very happy together. They had two children and the sage helped the girl’s father to manage his businesses in the village.
Life was great until one day the father died suddenly. A few months later the village was flooded and a lot of the properties in the village collapsed. The sage and his wife and children got caught in the flood and were desperately trying to get to the shore. Suddenly a wave crashed into them and took one of his children away. More waves came and took his other child and his wife. All three had drowned in the torrential river.
The sage somehow made it to shore. He was on the shore weeping when he felt a hand tap his shoulder. He heard a voice say “Where is my jug of water? I have been waiting for you for 15 minutes! He turned around and saw Krishna before him.
The sage looked at Krishna in disbelief. 15 minutes? He had been gone for 12 years. He had a wife and two children. This is important because 12 years in this lifetime is only 15 minutes in another dimension.
Let’s say you want to travel from New York to Washington and you have 3 options. You could walk there which would take months, you could go by car which would take days or you could fly which takes a few hours. Let’s say you chose to walk. You would have all the problems that would come with it, sore feet and tiredness. What’s important is that the distance remains the same no matter what method you use. The time taken is very different and that depends on the vehicle used. The vehicle of thought that we use on earth is wrong according to Krishna.
Walk, car or plane
Vivekananda gives this example: If I were to ask you right now to explain the last 15 years of your life to me how long would it take you? The average time is ten minutes. Ten minutes to talk about 15 years of life. This is the real crunch of experience. It’s worth only 10 minutes of real life benefits. The rest is maya. The rest of the time we are thinking and acting but it is of no real benefit to us. If we keep going the same way the next 15 years will be the same. Life should be about the quality of our experiences not the quantity.
So when you say you are 60 years old in reality you and your experiences are only 60 minutes old. This is the reality. In another dimension the vehicle is super-fast that years are only minutes. Thought is the worst form of communication. Thought is like walking from New York to Washington. It takes months when it should only take days. We need to start to fly and use the consciousness as our medium.
Whenever you communicate with someone you need to drop the thought because this is what is holding you back. We need to transcend time, space and form. You must be beyond all that. Remove yourself from the time and space and body that you are in now. It is only a frame. When you do this your communication will be so fast and you will be able to get so much done.
Traditionally there is a thought, action and then an event. This is like Walking from New York to Washington. This is faulty. Instead we need to see experiences as real and unreal, as dharma and karma. Real is everything that is helping you to manifest your consciousness. Dharma is where you communicate through your consciousness and Karma is when you communicate through time space and form.
So let’s put it all into perspective. We are in a certain circumstance and that is the basis for how we think and act. We must let go of all this. Krishna says “Surrendering all works to me knowing me Krishna to be above all. With a concentrated mind fix your mind on me. Fixing your mind on me, you will overcome all obstacles due to my divine grace but if egoistically you persist you will perish.
Your thought is your ego because it comes from the gunas. We have seen and spoken about how the gunas will push certain thoughts to the surface for you to pick from. Krishna says you must not be like this. Don’t take that long walk. You should do everything from the domain of your consciousness. No matter what happens in life you must surrender to it.
You can do this by keeping a journal. Use it to make a list of the great ways that you communicated through your spirit. Then make a list of ways that you communicated through thought. This will help you to avoid doing so in the future. If you master this you could be in the midst of a battle field and still be completely serene. You will begin to see things as real and unreal and then you can move away from maya and towards the consciousness.
I hope I answered your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.