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What is Maya?

Thursday, December 07, 2017

The word ‘measure’ in English comes from a Sanskrit root called ‘Maya’. Maya means that which can be measured. So, saying, “All this is Maya”, means everything here can be measured.

Water can be measured, volume can be measured, temperature can be measured, distance can be measured, time can be measured, etc. Everything in this creation is time and space, and both can be measured, and so it is all Maya. What is not Maya? What cannot be measured? Joy cannot be measured, love cannot be measured, life cannot be measured, so that is why these are not called Maya.

Truth cannot be measured. Truth, consciousness, and bliss – this is what God is. What is God? ‘Sat’ means truth, ‘Chit’ means consciousness, ‘Ananda’ means bliss. God is truth, consciousness, and bliss – these cannot be measured. And this is what you are too! The nature of your spirit is bliss. Bliss cannot be measured, love cannot be measured, and that is what is not Maya.

You are drowned in Maya means you are drowned in small little things that are not permanent, because Maya means that which is always changing. Ever-changing events and things around you is what Maya is. And if you are drowned in the ever-changing, and you are not logged on to the non-changing, life is very unstable. Stability comes when you log onto something in you that is not changing; that remains the same throughout time. That is called getting out of Maya.

There is another meaning of Maya – that which appears but when you try to catch it, it doesn’t get into your hand. That is how everything in the world is. You see something so beautiful and you try to possess it, the moment you possess it, you find the beauty is gone. It is no longer where you thought it was. You think happiness is out there and you chase after that, when you get there, it is not there.

If you are stable, still and content within yourself then everything runs towards you. That is why I have said from the very beginning, if you follow joy, misery follows you and if you follow knowledge, fun follows you.

How Gratitude turns into Grace

A drop of water on a hot plate takes little time to disappear. It makes some noise and it evaporates.Gratitude in our life seems to disappear even faster. We seem to forget how much we have grown, how much we have received. The mind seeks more and more. And in every wanting of more and more, it forgets the past very easily.So gratitude arises in everybody, but disappears very soon. Today we cannot say that no one is grateful. Everyone is grateful, but for the moment and then it is finished.

Grace is that gratitude which can remain all the time.  It is like the snow in the Himalayas that stays throughout the year. It doesn’t just fall and disappear. Whatever falls on the highest peak stays.

When there is gratitude, complaints disappear. When complaints arise, gratitude disappears, gratefulness disappears. When there is a complaint in the mind, there is discontent, frustration, dejections, depression. All that follows. If you are not grateful, then you will start complaining. You will find fault. Even if there is none, you will try to see it. You will find it. Your mind will do it for you. You won’t even need to try hard. Your mind can easily pick it up. This is the lower journey. Gratitude is the plateau, the middle. And as you rise above that, there is grace.

When the gratitude in you, stays, that very gratitude flows out of you as grace.

Wherever you see divine grace flowing, there you will find gratitude. Just relax and be confident at all times. But at the same time, also be wise and practical. You should not think, “Oh! I have abundance of Grace in my life”, and then put your hand in a burning fire. If you do so then naturally your hands will get burnt. Being confident (of Grace) does not in any way mean losing awareness and being impractical. Also, feeling secure and confident should not make you passive and lethargic in life that you end up doing nothing. You should not become irresponsible.

— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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