Thursday, October 2, 2014
'Maya And Meditation"
All of us are familiar with Maya, so difficult to define or to pin down but something which, like God, pervades everything we are associated with in life. It is so subtle that one does not even know that one is totally enmeshed in it. Meditation on Him, on the other hand is the only sure way of wriggling out and recognizing its subtle nature…..with a very few actually defeating it. A subtle tog-o-war continues throughout our lives with maya most often being victorious. (By maya i mean Satan/Shaitan/ Devil/Diabalos). Throughout man’s known history, prophets, saints and realized souls/gurus have repeatedly taken birth to help mankind to thwart the subtle clutches of maya, which can masquerade as any and everything. It becomes much more enticing and fierce in its severity when a person tries to escape it by trying to connect to Him through meditation. Meditation is the method by which our conscious mind (most affected by maya) can be made to become quiet. Our conscious mind is like the surface of the ocean, always in turmoil, full of huge waves, and storms….all of which symbolize our thoughts while deep down the ocean is serene, moving….. yet still and full of ‘depth’. The deeper parts of the human mind too are still, extremely powerful and, by their proximity to God, full of wisdom. Wisdom is what maya abhors and meditation is what takes us there. Most of the times, we are easy meat for Maya Ma’am because of our nature and habit of relating to and “worshiping” all worldly things…..riches, comfort, so called happiness from the things we wish to acquire. Mayaji is always happy giving us such toys so that we remain busy in gossip, other people’s affairs, trying to make us feel happy even if it is at the cost of another fellow being’s unhappiness or pain. This scenario has continued for ages and will continue to do so. Maya makes us do “simran” on the world and worldly things rather than on Him. To a very few of us, however, a very faint inner voice becomes audible above this mad cacophony, and we, with His grace, try to start the journey towards Him by getting close to ourselves (which is the same as trying to meet Him). We resolve to get close to Him and try to meditate but most of the times, one finds it difficult to even start doing so because maya prevents us from focusing and produces myriads of thoughts, and very subtly makes our minds wander and flit from one place to another, thereby making it impossible to get anywhere near Him. Suddenly a lot of things start happening in our lives, sometimes good, at times bad. The good things, like getting a promotion, a large sum of money coming our way, news of our child getting awarded etc or bad situations, like an illness, grief or demise in the family. These are all situations in which Maya thrives. As we know, the main purpose of Maya is to cause disillusion and prevent us from seeing the single Reality of the ONE since where there is He Maya cannot exist. When Nature gifts us with something which makes us happy, maya makes us so engrossed in that momentary happiness that we forget the Divine….maya makes us believe that the happiness has been acquired by us and is real, though the fact of the matter is that it is transitory….. It is in grief that she almost always wins…..she ties us to the memories of the departed soul, and takes us back both in time as well as our spiritual evolution. Without realizing it we suddenly slide down the ladder of spiritual progress ….worldly things, situations and circumstances, people, again become our pivotal points. What people and this world convey to us becomes all-important than His Naam, which becomes distant and unapproachable….that little inner voice which had awakened us becomes weak and inaudible. Maya weaves a thick net around us like a wall so that the consoling and loving suggestions given to us by sincere well wishers fail to penetrate and to be imbibed by us but get scattered in the wind ……we get so entrenched in the grief and sorrow that they sound like mere words…..such are the machinations of Maya Memsaheb! She makes us focus on the death of the physical body of the deceased, taking us deep into sorrow and depression, preventing us from seeing that beautiful, scintillating Divine Light which is forever beckoning us and is the only thing which can banish our blues and maya. So called hurts, too, are the handiworks of maya….who actually hurts whom?........the one who hurts another is actually hurting him or herself ten times more…it is said “the people who really care won’t hurt you ……but if they do, you’ll see it in their eyes ….for they’ll be hurting too” (author unknown). Such negative developments too impact us and are detrimental to spiritual progress. In the above situations of grief, hurt, sadness, depression etc, it becomes even more important to not lose sight of the Almighty, who is all loving, kind and compassionate, and to remember that He takes care of all much better than we humans can ever do. We must remember that it is this ‘Mohini’ Maya which is misguiding us …..to see through it and to move forward again. If we are fortunate, our ‘inner’ journey commences with His and the Guru’s grace but Maya does not spare us and intrudes on our inner spiritual journey as well by manifesting itself as horrifying visions, grotesque figures and monsters and even appearing in the form of the Guru! This sort of thing goes on and the further we travel on the inner path, the worse it becomes. Maya is relentless and springs forth surprises at every step and we fall into its trap without realizing it. No one can say he is free from Maya since it is not them speaking but Maya Ma’am voicing her opinion! However, Realized Gurus/Saints/ Prophets who have understood how she works are best suited to guide us away from her, though even they are tested…..Jesus Christ, when he was on the Cross, had cried “Father , why has thou forsaken me?” We must remember that just as God, maya too has been from the beginning and is a part of all dualities. It is only when we see beyond these dualities can we hope to achieve Union or Yoga with Him. This is so aptly brought forward in the image of Maa Kali….her scary and fierce countenance with her protruding tongue covers the deep beauty, kindness, love and compassion she encompasses. God resides everywhere but we fail to see Him, all because of maya….. We need to see beyond all such dualities …..unmask Mohini Maya and witness the beauty of the Divine. In our sad, melancholic and depressed moments our simran must become more vigorous and we need to pray to Sadhguru from the bottom of our hearts (nay… cry our hearts out) for Him to be with us at all times. He always obliges …..but our simran and longing for Him has to be sincere. Our meditation then bears fruit.