Thursday, November 29, 2007


Sri gurubhyo namaha.

I have been thinking. And I have been thinking. Trying to put into words the overwhelmingly disconnected thought stream is a bit difficult to say the least - though even that I can suffer, the martyr that I am. But it is the thought of the misery that I will be inflicting on the 'herbally challenged' readers who will be out of breath trying to keep up with the speed and flow (or not) of thoughts that makes me wonder.
As usual, the Mooligaisidhan is here to convince you that something is quite different to what you thought that something to mean! That something is Maya and its evolutes (which is quite simply, everything).

We have all become quite used to the idea of Maya being a negative kind of energy. It is the Illusion, the Veil, the Shadow, the Game and all the other knee jerk references to it. She (Maya) has been used as the supreme 'air brush' in the philosophical/theosophical and religious contexts to sort of touch and taint everything. She hides, they say. She holds your inner self from realising his/her own supreme nature, they say. Maybe they are right. But that doesn't necessarily mean it is impossible for Her to do anything else.

I often think that if Maya is a veil, then She is one which reveals more than She hides! Imagine this - Maya is the power which through Her operation lets the infinite jivas experience and learn the lessons each of them need to learn individually and as a collective, through or from the same set of objective principals. In a more reduced example, the same piece of rope is perceived as different jivas at different times and utilised to serve different purposes at different times, though the rope (objective principal in this instance) remains always the same. When energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it is impossible to keep 'creating' new things to keep generating the new experiences that are needed for the never ending journey of the jivas. Then how are endless universes born and absorbed? How is it that each individual jiva perceives and reacts differently to the same set of things? Like the physics experiment where there is a box with its lid painted totally black. Try this at home! Take a cardboard box and paint its lid totally black. Make a hole the size of a two euro (ok, 2 rupee!) coin on the lid so that its possible to see through the lid into the inside of the box. The box on the inside is white (or cream). Now put the lid on the box and ask anyone to look at it and guess which is darker/blacker, the lid or the inside of the box?? When you look at it, the inside appears to be darker black than the lid (which is painted black), though it is actually white. Apart from the 'intellectual' aspect of this which will explain the reasons why in terms of the properties of light, and the fact that it is an optical illusion, think about it. Tell me, just because the inside is 'not really' black did it make the appearance of darkness inside any less 'real' to the perceiver? If it was an illusion just like in a dream, then the darkness inside should disappear once the 'awareness' of its 'real' white inside becomes clear. Like the gold coins that were given to us in a dream are of no use in the shop when we wake up from the dream - the illusion of blackness on the inside of the box should disappear when the real colour is seen. To the perceiver the blackness still exists (even on being informed of the actual inside colour), though collectively standing on the outside of the 'actual perception, perceiver, perceiving tangle' we can theoretically confirm that the apparent blackness is only an optical illusion.
Maya is like that. When the great sages and seers of yore like Shankara, Vyasa and others described this world appearance in terms like 'illusion', 'dream like', 'unreal', etc, we have to keep in mind that they were speaking from the transcendental aspect where they were outside the 'perceiver, perception, perceiving' triad. Their words that life in the world cycle is like a mega illusion should not be used by us on this side of the divide as a means to escape or disentangle from the above mentioned triad. Like words that describe food do not by themselves satisfy the hunger of the hungry man, like the word water does not by its mere mention quench the thirst of the thirsty, the terms 'illusion', 'dream' etc will not bring about the realisation of the same to be true personally. While within the operational radius of the super power called Maya, even mighty Gods and seers are confounded in an instant. All our stories in the epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the stories of the puranas etc abound with examples of Gods and great beings having the same alternating experiences of joy and sorrow. Just maybe the joys and delights of Indra might appear to be much more magnified than our own (for my delight in a Latte, Indra delights in Soma! for my delight in pursuit of the pleasures of the body, Indra delights with countless divine radiant damsels). But be sure, Indras sorrows are equally magnified (for my little scuffle to get a seat in a busy bus or train, Indra battles deadly asuras! for my little reprimand, Indra suffers with his body covered in thousand yonis!). In the end, it is really the same story. Albeit in an altered scale.

Maya is the veil which hides when the subjective reality overwhelms the objective and when the opposite is true Maya is the veil that reveals. While She veils uncountable things through Her all encompassing grip, She simultaneously reveals infinite things (out of actually nothing or the 'one' thing) so that the show can go on.

To be continued.......

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Am I a Mayavadi? Really?

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

It is beginning to get tiring now to excuse the lack of regular updates to this page, so I wont go into that anymore. Perhaps it is the Vata predominance in my prakruti that is to be blamed for the erratic nature of all that I do (ayurvedic excuse) or maybe the moon in Gemini (astrological excuse) . Or maybe it might have something to do with the mystical herb, known as it is for altering the perception of time. I think only a few days have gone by and in reality its more than a month. Gone without a trace, sucked into itself like the camphor flame going out, leaving no residual light.

Never mind the month passing by unnoticed, I am so bad with time that it is legendary. The years roll by and I don't even notice it. Oh, the woes of being so preoccupied with the present! The arrival of the spring, of autumn and such seasonal events register somewhere deep. From shivaratri to navaratri, the passing of time is duly catalogued somewhere. But the overall vision of the cycle is totally lost on me. Some things though leave an imprint so strong that they don't pass me by.

Today is a special day in the year. It was this day eleven years ago (like I said, somethings leave strong imprints impossible to forget or ignore) that the journey of my life found its purpose. It was this day eleven years ago that I crossed ' The bridge across forever' and arrived 'home' to my soul. In a place most magical, beyond all time and space. This day eleven years ago saw me walking hand in hand, on the way to unparalleled bliss. And today, looking back, the events of this day ages ago feel as euphoric and tingly as they were then. Saturated as I am with those memories, I could be forgiven for assuming that bliss and exhilaration are my very nature. Which they are!
Now, coming closer to the point (of bliss & exhilaration being my very nature), I want to ask you something. A conversation yesterday touched on my perception of the world, life and everything. It seems that I (the famous or infamous, as you would have it), a staunch opponent of Mayavada (the argument which holds all things in this physical world are mere illusions/unreal, in short) have come across as one who does look on the world as illusory. The posts in this blog and most of what I say and do apparently seem to convey my belief that this world is merely dream like and that prayer and meditation etc are the only true things. I didn't think so. But, for the sake of being true to the debate and being impartial (as if!) I went over some of the posts from some time back to see if that could be true. And as I would have thought, it appears to me from my own words (through the eyes of an impersonal observer, mind you) that I am the diametric opposite of a mayavadi (a proponent of the Mayavada).

I would not for a second believe that the world out there is an illusion, nor would I have you believe that the world and its infinite experiences are insubstantial yourself. I take immense delight, every second of the day, in the incredible diversity and beauty that is this world. If this were a dream, it is certainly one of the best. Worth every bit the effort spent in 'not waking up' from it. I have always held that it is in embracing (and not divorcing) this world lies the easiest and the most enjoyable of all paths to the supreme. Life and living it is the 'sahaja' or the most natural path for us. Anything else is a contrived path. I have also always held that it is not the world and the world experiences that are unreal, but our perception of it (seen through the filter or lens of individuality or the ego sense) that is the illusion. Maya to me is the most supreme form of that Brahman. Maya as I see it is the devi's supreme gift to the infinite jivas and to Shiva, Her lord and slave!! The shakti or power through which the One being spontaneously appears as many, the power through which everything is made manifest from apparently nothing (like the magician pulling out yards and yards of silk from his (apparently) empty hands), is Maya. She is the mother of even the gods, the mother of universes vast and infinite. Certainly She is not false or illusory in the negative sense. I mean, Her Maya does not operate/initiate to delude the lost jivas. Rather, it is an outpouring of Her compassion and Love - a gift to the jivas who need a medium to experience actions and their fruits. Repeatedly, till they realise their oneness with Her and the manifold universes that are all the spontaneous product of the same Maya. Once again, it is not the world appearance that is false/illusory - it is their apparent diversity and multiplicity that is false.

It is like the one moon in the sky being reflected in a million puddles of water. The millions of moons seen in the puddles are all real reflections, it is not a dream or a mirage. But the perception of the million moons could not be constructed to be proof of the existence of a million moons. Similarly, the infinite beings (both sentient and otherwise) on earth and elsewhere, throughout the vast and endless universe(s) are all reflections of the One supreme being. Seen, understood and experienced in their context as reflections, this manifold creation is real in every sense of the word. But when taken out of context and seen as something real of its own accord, this becomes a world of never ending duality/multiplicity - and that is what is 'unreal'.
It is only the fool who is deluded by this apparent diversity and is lost when trying to find 'reality'. The wise one though takes delight in the diversity, as, for him there are as many methods to see and praise his maker as there are different things in the world!

Having said my piece, I would appreciate your comment on this one question -
Knowing me (if you are one of the readers who do) and/or going through the many posts in this blog, would you say I am one who perceives this world as a false appearance (and holds that prayer and meditation are the only true things), or would you say I belong to the opposite camp?
By the way, you can ignore the content of this post in making your mind up. It was not my intention to swing your vote this way or that! Just let me know, how I come across to you personally.