The knowledge hidden by Rishis from Ancient India is cosmic. The Sanskrit Poetries, which were used to reveal humanity’s greatest secrets, are perhaps the most fantastic puzzles ever known to our world. Every line from the past holds codes waiting to be decoded. One concept that has baffled many people is ‘Maya’ and ‘Maya Jaal (trap).’
Everything that we can touch, feel, taste, see, and hear is real. However, according to Hinduism, when there are ‘real things, there are ‘unreal’ things as well. Maya connotes unreality. Maya means illusion. Here ‘illusion’ does not directly mean that the world is not real and merely a figment of the human imagination. Maya means that the world is not as it appears to be; the world that one experiences are deceiving as far as its true nature is concerned. Maya means something that is not true.
The Upanishads describe the human experience on earth, and the universe at large, as an interplay of Purusha (the infinite, unchanging principles, awareness) and Prakṛti (the temporary, changing material world, nature). The former manifests itself as Aatma (Soul, Self), and the latter as Maya. The Upanishads refer to the knowledge of Aatma as actual knowledge (Vidya) and the knowledge of Maya as wrong. Complicated, right? Let me try to simplify and try to decode the same, according to my perception.
After going through the English Texts, Translations, and Commentaries of Upanishads, here is my perception of ‘Maya.’ Again, this is what I think and feel. Every day, we wake up at a certain time, and we follow a routine. We feel useful when we work, earn money, or maybe when we gain knowledge. We feel energetic when we go out, meet our friends, while chilling at a pub on Saturdays or going on a long drive. We feel tired after a long day at work. We feel exhausted after scrolling our social media feeds for countless hours. Either we are chasing something, or we think we have done it all. Everything that we do is an illusion. (Maya!)
Our job might not exist tomorrow; the social media platform (this case, Instagram) where I am writing and publishing this might get deleted/removed someday. Maya (the illusion) is born, evolves, changes, dies with time, from circumstances, due to invisible principles of nature.
The worldly worries have distracted us from something that is the most important aspect of life – our purpose. Human beings are fascinated with magic, and thus, they create bondage to illusions and delusions like a routine life, settled careers, limited goals, etc. We invest our energies, or rather we ‘waste’ our energies for an illusion. We are happy holding on to a rope that we feel is helping us in the vast ocean called life. Little do we know that this ‘rope’ is, in fact, a snake waiting to bite us and drown us in an endless game of life and death. Time is Maya (an illusion).
As mentioned in the first paragraphs, Maya doesn’t mean that the world is not as it appears to be; the world that one experiences is misleading as far as its true nature is concerned. The world isn’t fake; what we are truly trying to chase probably is. Our purpose is something else.
The point is to recognize that everything you do and that every action you take is an action of the mind, not your true spirit.
To try to “train your spirit” is the main motto you’re alive. Emotions, love, hate, sadness are actions of the spirit, not destiny. Time is an illusion created by the minds. Before this life, there were other challenges, and after this one, there will be more, and then we will face the ultimate prize, the next dimension. But not as we see it. In the next realm, there would be no time to kill because the illusion of time would be gone. Until we reach that dimension, our focus must be centered on training our emotions and channelizing our energies inwards. Millions of years of misleading dreams have trapped us all in this Maya net. We have to look within, cut through billions of years of absolute deception, and find the solution to liberation. This is our ‘purpose of life!’ To break away from Maya.
Again, this is my perception of Maya!