Concept of Maya –Vedicology
Vedicology awareness program on Maya is facilitated by Mr Praveen Saanker, Mr Eswaran Namboothiri and Mr Abhishek Mohan. This program is conducted as a two-day workshop at the Vedicology Center for Spiritual Empowerment, Chennai, India
In Hinduism, Maya is used to denoting both Prakriti or Nature and deluding power. Prakriti is the dynamic energy of God. Much like Him, it’s unborn, uncreated, individual and indestructible.
According to Vedicology Team, God undertakes five different functions, namely, Creator, Preserver, Destroyer, Concealer and Bestower of grace. In His job as Concealer, He unleashes the power of Maya, through Prakriti, to hide Himself from what He generates and delude all the living beings (jivas) into thinking that what they experience by using their perceptions is real and that they are independent of their objects and other people they perceive through their senses.
Maya consequently causes ignorance and through ignorance perpetuates the notion of duality, which is accountable for our bondage and mortality on the planet.
We must become conscious of the extent of its influence and its function in our lives. Out of this consciousness comes a feeling of caution and discrimination, which ultimately contributes to our salvation. But till we reach that point, we remain in the grasp of maya, like a fly, caught helplessly in a web.
How are beings subjected to delusion?
It is through the perceptions and their activity. The Bhagavadgita explains the procedure thus, “By always thinking of the materialistic things, a mortal being gets attached to them. Attached thus he develops various desires, from which consequently ensues anger. From anger comes delusion, and from delusion arises confusion of memory. From the confusion of memory arises loss of intelligence and when intelligence is lost the breath of life is also lost (2.60-63).”
So, we human beings draw ourselves into relationships and situations we think will lead to our happiness and satisfaction. We become involved in the process and with Prakriti that we forget who we are and why we are here or what we need to do in order to be ourselves.
Maya triggers delusion in many ways
Under the influence of Maya that an individual loses his intelligence and power of discretion. He loses contact with his or her authentic self and believes he is the physical self with a mind and body that are subject to constant change, instability, and death and birth. In that delusion, he believes that he is doer of his own actions, that he is accountable for his actions, he is alone and independent, he cannot live without or with specific things and so on, whereas in truth he’s an element of God, who has hidden himself, who is actually the real doer, and for whose expertise all it has been created. Because of his dumb believing, he develops attachment with mysterious objects and wants to possess them. He also spends his entire life in the pursuit of useless objectives on the planet considering them to become critical for his success, survival, joy and personal pride.
One can overcome the power of maya, by creating detachment, by eliminating the senses from sense objects, by dedicating to God and from performing desireless actions accepting God as the doer.
Nature of Truth
Does Hinduism consider the world where we live as real or unreal? It is unreal not since it does not exist, but because it is unstable, impermanent, unreliable and illusory. It is unreal since it hides the truth and shows us things that lead to our ignorance. It is unreal since it changes its colours every moment. What is now is not what is next. The universe is so dynamic at a macro and micro level.
The world where we reside gives us an apparent illusion of equilibrium, whereas, in truth, it isn’t. It is an illusion to think that this world is the same always, or that the folks we deal with will be exactly the same all the time. The planet is, therefore, an illusion, not since it does not exist in the physical sense, but as it’s unstable, ever-changing, impermanent, unreliable and most significant of all never precisely the same. Are you exactly the exact same person you were a minute ago?
The scriptures state that it would be unwise on our part to centre our Lives around such an unstable world since, in the event that you spend your life for the sake of impermanent and undependable things, you’re sure to repent ultimately for wasting your life in the pursuit of emptiness. The actual world is located beyond our ordinary senses where our existence would be eternal and where things would not change the way they do in this plane.
The objective of the awareness program on Maya
The awareness program or course on Maya, Prakriti aim to empower the participants on the concept of Maya and make them aware of what Maya means. Out of this awareness comes a sense of caution and discrimination, which ultimately leads us to the search for the ultimate truth.