Jigyasa: Your Questions Answered

What is Maya? How can we, rid ourselves from Maya?

Bhagwan Ram has succinctly explained the word Maya in the Ramcharitmanas.

’Mai aru mor tor te maya’

Differentiating between oneself and others is Maya. Maya and attachment are concomitant. Where there is Maya there is attachment. This attachment gives rise to identifying the self and others with external objects. This differentiation gives rise to our ego and is caused by the ignorance of the true self.

This ignorance occurs where there is Dvaita, the philosophy that believes in the duality of truth. Dvaita is false knowledge. It is deluding and gives rise to attachment and aversion. Dvaita causes unhappiness.

Lord Krishna himself has explained how to transcend Maya in the Bhagavad Gita,

’Mamev ye prapadyante, mayametam taranti te’

Those who seek refuge in me conquer Maya.

Seeking refuge in God means obeying His teachings. This is the easiest way and in accordance with the Bhakti Marg, the philosophy that believes that salvation can be achieved through pure devotion to God. The path of devotion admits attachment, but it is directed towards God. An intense longing to be one with God is Tivra Bhakti, or intense devotion. This intense longing for oneness with God enables the devotee to leave behind all worldly attachments, which are the root cause of misery. This attachment for God may cause the misery of separation in the devotee's heart. But such misery is far superior to the greatest of worldly pleasures.

Wisdom tells us that worldly attachments are bound to end in pain, as separation from the object of attachment is inevitable. Death will split us from our loved ones and cause us untold grief.

The love for God is divine love and is known as Bhakti. The attachment to God is constant and cannot be torn asunder. In the path of devotion even ‘Viyoga,’ or separation, implies ‘Vishishta Yoga’, a special connection with the Lord.

We can reduce our worldly attachments by listening to the tales of Divine Glory and His deep compassion for all His children. Our temporal attachment may be converted to a higher love of God. That is Bhakti.

Maya does not linger in the presence of true Bhakti. Hence we should all strive to attain the Divine Grace of God, and rid ourselves of Maya.

 

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