During the preparation of each Sunday Freak magazine we make a lot of web and libraries researches. And often some of us find the materials or facts, that none of us knows as well. Live a life- study a life. So, here is one of that secret hidden stories about MAYA.
In Advaita Vedanta philosophy, māyā ( illusion) is the limited, purely physical and mental reality in which our everyday consciousness has become entangled. Māyā is held to be an illusion, a veiling of the true, unitary Self—the Cosmic Spirit also known as Brahman. The concept of māyā was introduced by the ninth-century Hindu philosopher Adi Shankara. He refuses, however, to explain the relationship between Brahman and māyā.
Many philosophies and religions seek to "pierce the veil" of māyā in order to glimpse the transcendent truth from which the illusion of a physical reality springs, drawing from the idea that first came to life in the Hindu stream of Vedanta.
Māyā is a fact in that it is the appearance of phenomena. Since Brahman is the only truth, māyā is true but not the truth, the difference being that the truth is the truth forever while what is true is only true for now. Since māyā causes the material world to be seen, it is true in itself but is "untrue" in comparison to the Brahman. On the other hand, māyā is not false. It is true in itself but untrue in comparison with the absolute truth. In this sense, reality includes māyā and the Brahman. The goal of spiritual enlightenment ought to be to see Brahman and māyā and distinguish between them. Hence, māyā is described as indescribable. Māyā is avyakta and as Parameshashakti has two principal functions: one is to veil Brahman and obscure and conceal it from our consciousness; the other is to present and promulgate the material world and the veil of duality instead of Brahman. The veil of māyā may be pierced, and, with diligence and grace, may be permanently rent. Consider an illusion of a rope being mistaken for a snake in the darkness. Just as this illusion gets destroyed when true knowledge of the rope is perceived, similarly, māyā gets destroyed for a person when they perceive Brahman with transcendental knowledge. A metaphor is also given—when the reflection of Brahman falls on māyā, Brahman appears as God (the Supreme Lord). Pragmatically, where the duality of the world is regarded as true, māyā becomes the divine magical power of the Supreme Lord. māyā is the veritable fabric of duality, and she performs this role at the behest of the Supreme Lord. God is not bound by māyā, just as magicians do not believe the illusions of their own magic.
The following passage is by Sri Shankaracharya:
The Supreme Self (or Ultimate Reality) who is Pure Consciousness perceived Himself by Selfhood (i.e. Existence with "I"-Consciousness). He became endowed with the name "I". From that arose the basis of difference.
He exists verily in two parts, on account of which, the two could become husband and wife. Therefore, this space is ever filled up completely by the woman (or the feminine principle) surely.
And He, this Supreme Self thought (or reflected). Thence, human beings were born. Thus say the (scriptures) through the statement of sage Yajnavalkya to his wife.
From the experience of bliss for a long time, there arose in the Supreme Self a certain state like deep sleep. From that (state) māyā (or the illusive power of the Supreme Self) was born just as a dream arises in sleep.
This māyā is without the characteristics of (or different from) Reality or unreality, without beginning and dependent on the Reality that is the Supreme Self. She, who is of the form of the Three Guna (qualities or energies of Nature) brings forth the Universe with movable and immovable (objects).
As for māyā, it is invisible (or not experienced by the senses). How can it produce a thing that is visible (or experienced by the senses)? How is a visible piece of cloth produced here by threads of invisible nature?
Though the emission of ejaculate onto sleeping garments or bedclothes is yielded by the natural experience of copulation in a wet dream, the stain of the garment is perceived as real upon waking whilst the copulation and lovemaking was not true or real. Both sexual partners in the dream are unreal as they are but dream bodies, and the sexual union and conjugation was illusory, but the emission of the generative fluid was real. This is a metaphor for the resolution of duality into lucid unity.
Thus māyā is invisible (or beyond sense-perception). (But) this universe which is its effect, is visible (or perceived by the senses). This would be māyā which, on its part, becomes the producer of joy by its own destruction.
Like night (or darkness) māyā is extremely insurmountable (or extremely difficult to be understood). Its nature is not perceived here. Even as it is being observed carefully (or being investigated) by sages, it vanishes like lightning.
māyā (the illusive power) is what is obtained in Brahman (or the Ultimate Reality). Avidya (or nescience or spiritual ignorance) is said to be dependent on Jiva (the individual soul or individualised consciousness). Mind is the knot which joins consciousness and matter.
Space enclosed by a pot, or a jar or a hut or a wall has their several appellations (e.g., pot space, jar space etc.). Like that, Consciousness (or the Self) covered here by Avidya (or nescience) is spoken of as jiva (the individual soul).
Objection: How indeed could ignorance become a covering (or an obscure factor) for Brahman (or the Supreme Spirit) who is Pure Consciousness, as if the darkness arising from the night (could become a concealing factor) for the sun which is self-luminous?
As the sun is hidden by clouds produced by the solar rays but surely, the character of the day is not hidden by those modified dense collection of clouds, so the Self, though pure, (or undefiled) is veiled for a long time by ignorance. But its power of Consciousness in living beings, which is established in this world, is not veiled.