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Life is Death and Death is Life
From Om Namah Shivaay Group, Aug 28, 2010, by BGY Sastry

Indefinable nature of Maayaa
What do we mean by Maayaa, knowledge and ignorance?

Vedaant uses the expression Anir-vachaneeya Khyaati. Ani-rvachaneeya means indefinable. Maayaa, by its very nature defies definition and description. Who is the Creator? The Lord. What is the object for it was created? Jeevaatmaa. What is Maayaa -- is it Lord the Creator, or Jeev the object created that has the property of Maayaa? If Jeev has Maayaa, then Jeev has come from Maayaa. If God has Maayaa, God is Jeev. Maayaa means ya ma sa maya. Ya means that, ma means not, sa means that which is Maayaa. From that which is not, He created the world.

Let me give a modern example.
A king had 17 elephants. When the time came, the King died. He had three sons. According to his will, the first son was entitled to one-half of the number of elephants, the second was entitled to one-third of his elephants, and the third one was given to one-ninth of his elephants. The size of the share couldn't be changed. As 17 is an odd number, and difficult to share among the three, they were unable to find a solution to the challenge. Fortunately for them, a wise man was passing through their country. He was an old friend of their father's as well. The young men described their predicament and asked for his help. The wise man asked them not to worry and set about solving the problem immediately.

He had an elephant, so he added his own elephant to the 17 elephants, so now they were now 18. He separated 9 elephants or one-half of 18, and gave them to the first son. The second son was given six elephants or one-third of 18. Lastly, the third son was given two elephants, two being one ninth of 18. The total number of elephants given away was 17 (9+6+2). The eighteenth elephant left was that of the wise man, so he took his elephant back and left the place with everybody happy and satisfied. The last elephant is like Maayaa: it came to solve a problem, and having solved it, it removed itself from the scene, leaving no trace of its previous presence.

Here's another example: You are a King, sleeping, and you dream that you are a beggar. Your Guru appears in the dream and tells you that you are not a beggar, but a King. Similarly, you may be under the delusion that you are Paramaatmaa, not Jeevaatmaa. You are like the King who dreams he is a beggar. The Guru reveals that it is your delusion, and that it is Maayaa that makes you think you are a beggar. Which identity is Maayaa, the King's or the beggar's? The king has only to wake up for delusions to disappear.

"When and where can I experience enlightenment?" asked the student. The master replied, "Right here, and right now."

"Then why don't I experience it," the student persisted.
"Because you do not see," said the master.
"Not seeing what," asked the student.
"You don't see the flower, the tree, or the Sun." the teacher said patiently.
"Yes", the student said, "I do see the flower, the tree, and the Sun, but is there a special way of seeing them?"

The master said, "No, there is no special way, you can look at them from an ordinary perspective also." Then with a tone of finality, the master added, "In order to see, you must be awake, but you are deep asleep."
So wake up. Open your eyes.
(By Swami Sukhabodhananda)


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/9/09
Updated on 06/09/11