Maya in the Bhagavadgita

Maya, Illusion

by Jayaram V

The senses are ten in number, the five organs of action and the five organs of perception. The mind is the eleventh.

Apart from these, we can also mention, the five subtle sensory experiences (tanmatras), which are responsible for our feelings of attraction and aversion to the things we perceive.

They are the experiences of hearing, touching, seeing, tasting and smelling.

The ten sense organs together with the mind and the subtle senses are the main instruments through which Nature deludes the beings by subjecting them to the desire for sense objects and the attachment arising from them.

According to the Bhagavadgita, out of desire comes attachment and out of attachment a person becomes deluded by seeking things in order to satisfy his or her craving.

Even from our daily experiences, we know that the senses are not reliable instruments of truth.

The world is not what it appears to be. The truths hidden beneath the surface of things provide a different picture of the world in which we live.

Things appear differently when we view them from different perspectives and consider them as aggregate of things.

The Bhagavadgita therefore urges people to look beyond the appearance of things into the essential reality that pervades them and envelops them as their source and support.

The same power manifests differently in different things. We have to understand That which has this power and experience it within ourselves to become free from the world of illusion and duality.

That manifesting power is God, the Supreme Lord of the universe.

His manifestation is what we perceive with our senses and mistakenly consider it as the sum total of all. This is the delusion, which we need to overcome.

When we shift our attention from His manifestation to Himself and from the projections and modifications of own minds to our essential nature, we become aware of the transcendental truths that exist beyond our senses.

Note: This is an excerpt from the "Essays on the Bhagavadgita" by Jayaram V

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