A Place for Paramahansa Yogananda Devotees  

Go Back   A Place for Paramahansa Yogananda Devotees > Discussion Categories > Open Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-11-2018, 08:18 PM   #1
triguybos
Registered User
 
triguybos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 81
What is "maya" really?

It's the manifested imagination of the ego. It is the ego-created delusion that the soul is under. For if this world and life are not real and God and souls are the true reality, then the veil that enshrouds the soul and its vision and oneness with God is the maya/delusion pulled over the eyes of the soul. That veil can only be seen by the ego because the ego is the repulsive force that pulls away from oneness with God. The paradox is that God endowed us with individuality and freewill to see ourselves apart from the Whole, and we unconsciously play in his lila through acting out with our egos...until we awaken and swim upstream back Home to be one with Him.

So I don't think maya is some objective manifestation created by God, but rather something each of us project from our egos. Multiply the ego by countless sentient beings, and lo the physical universe!
__________________
Have faith and fear not. Let go and let God.
triguybos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 08:36 PM   #2
Adhikari
आत्मन्
 
Adhikari's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Bronx, NY
Posts: 1,062
The Puranas describe maya as a cosmic force emanating from God. Yoganandaji also describes it in similar terms:

"As soon as Spirit started His conscious dream, dividing His intelligence, His power of thought, into many things, the law of duality or maya came into being. When by the creation of duality the consciousness of Spirit separated Itself, a portion of that consciousness went out from Spirit as an active intelligent force, restless to express its power. We have many illustrations of this in nature. When a maple seed is put into fertile soil, it begins to germinate, growing and spreading until it assumes the form of a mighty tree. So when the seed of God’s consciousness was planted in the soil of activity by His will, it sprouted into a vast creation."

Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Divine Romance: Collected Talks and Essays on Realizing God in Daily Life – Volume 2 (p. 20-1). Self-Realization Fellowship. Kindle Edition.
__________________
Think ye in thy heart, lotus feet of thy Guru, If you want to cross the ocean of delusion. Shaming the white lotus in purity, beyond all duality, Guru, image of Brahma, deliver us from delusion.
-Cosmic Chants
Adhikari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 08:42 PM   #3
Adhikari
आत्मन्
 
Adhikari's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Bronx, NY
Posts: 1,062
Another characterization of maya as from God:

"The magnetism of most people is not so highly evolved; it is predominately on the plane of animal or physical magnetism— subject to the cosmic hypnosis of maya or world delusion— and functions primarily on the level of materialism."

Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Divine Romance: Collected Talks and Essays on Realizing God in Daily Life – Volume 2 (pp. 129-130). Self-Realization Fellowship. Kindle Edition. Emphasis added.

So maya definitely envelops the ego, but it is a cosmic force that we are subject to if we are not liberated. In my opinion, the only sense in which it can be said to emanate from a person is if you are thinking of the person as the Self which is in union with the Divine.
__________________
Think ye in thy heart, lotus feet of thy Guru, If you want to cross the ocean of delusion. Shaming the white lotus in purity, beyond all duality, Guru, image of Brahma, deliver us from delusion.
-Cosmic Chants
Adhikari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 08:46 PM   #4
Bryon777
Registered User
 
Bryon777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 175
My understanding is that "Maya" is the cosmic force created by God so there could be a creation, and that "avidya" is the individualized maya/ignorance that each ego possesses.
Bryon777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 07:32 AM   #5
Philippe
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 170
I have the same perception.
Maya starts with the ego and the perception of being separated. Then cosmic play / maya starts.
Philippe is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 11:14 AM   #6
Stream
Victory to Spirit!
 
Stream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,428
Maya, it would seem to me, is to identify with that which has no ultimate reality. In sleep we are free of this identification, so there is no maya. Upon awakening, on the edge of sleep and the wakeful state, we can observe the 'void' on one side, and the ego potential (and its reality), on the other. One thought of identification make the dream real again.

The canvas is comprised of Time, Space, the Atom, and the idea of Separateness (as explained in the Holy Science). On this stage comes the play of the senses, and the five corresponding powers, by which the senses are connected to the sensory objects.

There are so many variations on this basic theme that it doesn't become boring, .... until it does. But we can't just walk straight out, because of the actions resulting from our past identification. God freely hands us sleep, but enlightenment we have to earn. Or so it would seem.
__________________
"Softer than a flower where kindness is concerned,
stronger than the thunder where principles are at stake."
- PY

"The darkness of maya is silently approaching. Let us hie homeward within." - Swami Sri Yukteswar
Stream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 02:20 PM   #7
khitomer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 286
Sri Ramakrishna came down to the floor and sat near Mahimacharan. M. and a few other devotees were near him. Rakhal also was in the room.

MASTER (to Mahima): "For a long time I have wanted to tell you my spiritual experiences, but I could not. I feel like telling you today."

"You say that by mere sadhana one can attain a state of mind like mine. But it is not so. There is something special here [referring to himself]."

Rakhal, M., and the others became eager to hear what the Master was going to say.

MASTER: "God talked to me. It was not merely His vision. Yes, He talked to me. Under the banyan-tree I saw Him coming from the Ganges. Then we laughed so much! By way of playing with me He cracked my fingers. Then He talked. Yes, He talked to me."

"For three days I wept continously. And He revealed to me what is in the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras, and the other scriptures."

"One day He showed me the maya of Mahamaya. A small light inside a room began to grow, and at last it enveloped the whole universe."

"Further, He revealed to me a huge reservoir of water covered with green scum. The wind moved a little of the scum and immediately the water became visible; but in the twinkling of an eye, scum from all sides came dancing in and again covered the water. He revealed to me that the water was like Satchidananda, and the scum like maya. On account of maya, Satchidananda is not seen. Though now and then one may get a glimpse of It, again maya covers It."


~ The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
khitomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 07:14 PM   #8
Bryon777
Registered User
 
Bryon777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 175
Wow, thanks khitomer...Ramakrishnaji is such an awesome Master. I must read that book someday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khitomer View Post
Sri Ramakrishna came down to the floor and sat near Mahimacharan. M. and a few other devotees were near him. Rakhal also was in the room.

MASTER (to Mahima): "For a long time I have wanted to tell you my spiritual experiences, but I could not. I feel like telling you today."

"You say that by mere sadhana one can attain a state of mind like mine. But it is not so. There is something special here [referring to himself]."

Rakhal, M., and the others became eager to hear what the Master was going to say.

MASTER: "God talked to me. It was not merely His vision. Yes, He talked to me. Under the banyan-tree I saw Him coming from the Ganges. Then we laughed so much! By way of playing with me He cracked my fingers. Then He talked. Yes, He talked to me."

"For three days I wept continously. And He revealed to me what is in the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras, and the other scriptures."

"One day He showed me the maya of Mahamaya. A small light inside a room began to grow, and at last it enveloped the whole universe."

"Further, He revealed to me a huge reservoir of water covered with green scum. The wind moved a little of the scum and immediately the water became visible; but in the twinkling of an eye, scum from all sides came dancing in and again covered the water. He revealed to me that the water was like Satchidananda, and the scum like maya. On account of maya, Satchidananda is not seen. Though now and then one may get a glimpse of It, again maya covers It."


~ The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Bryon777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 08:20 PM   #9
Bakhruddin
Om Nama Shivaya
 
Bakhruddin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 42
I don't recall where I read, but Master said that Maya can have both impersonal and personal (personality) aspects. It is the personal aspect that is known in other religions as the devil and Satan. When one is very close to liberation Maya might take personal form "to do battle" with that soul. Master tells the story that Satan appeared to him and tried to crush the life out of him but (again, my memory is spotty) Master called upon God (or Sri Yukteshwar) and was rescued. Perhaps someone remembers this story in better detail than I.

My point is that it would seem that Maya is a universal force of God that plays upon the individual soul, causing it to fall under the delusion of itself as an ego experiencing creation, separate from God, from within the bonds of unreal limitations.

Now, does the soul willingly accept this delusion as the price to be paid for experiencing creation or is it thrust upon it? It comes down to the "I didn't ask to be born...(...or did I)" chicken and egg like controversy.
Bakhruddin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 09:45 PM   #10
yogagirl
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: France
Posts: 169
Surely not all delusion is satan? 'Good' delusion reflects the goodness of God, doesn't it?
yogagirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 10:23 PM   #11
Bryon777
Registered User
 
Bryon777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 175
Hi yogagirl,
I think you mean sattvic qualities, which I guess you could still define as part of creation and maya. Yeah, they are totally needed to become more and more spiritual. I guess that is what spiritual discrimination is all about: always choosing the good in creation/maya that takes us back to God.

Maybe the tamasic is the satanic then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yogagirl View Post
Surely not all delusion is satan? 'Good' delusion reflects the goodness of God, doesn't it?
Bryon777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 11:22 PM   #12
Bakhruddin
Om Nama Shivaya
 
Bakhruddin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 42
Not sure Yogagirl,
But doesn't Christ's quote: "Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God." imply that 'everything' but God is tainted by some degree of delusion/ignorance? When the soul reaches liberation in Cosmic/God Consciousness, Maya, all karma and the three gunas are transcended, as I (intellectually) understand it. Even the 'individualized soul' is realized to be an illusion. Master explains that the "memory" of every unique manifestation of God's consciousness is retained forever and can be recalled according to His will. I believe that is the nature of an Avatar (though, of course, I don't understand it!).
Bakhruddin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2018, 05:07 AM   #13
Stream
Victory to Spirit!
 
Stream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,428
Quote:
Originally Posted by yogagirl View Post
Surely not all delusion is satan? 'Good' delusion reflects the goodness of God, doesn't it?
Delusion is not satanic. Delusion is what is necessary to have a Play. God created Delusion. But Satan wants to maintain the Delusion.
__________________
"Softer than a flower where kindness is concerned,
stronger than the thunder where principles are at stake."
- PY

"The darkness of maya is silently approaching. Let us hie homeward within." - Swami Sri Yukteswar
Stream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2018, 06:47 PM   #14
khitomer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryon777 View Post
Wow, thanks khitomer...Ramakrishnaji is such an awesome Master. I must read that book someday.
Its an amazing book! ~


The Master continued: "Faith and devotion. One realizes God easily through devotion. He is grasped through ecstasy of love."

With these words the Master sang again:

“How are you trying, O my mind, to know the nature of God?
You are groping like a madman, locked in a dark room.
He is grasped through ecstatic love; how can you fathom Him without it?
Only through affirmation, never negation, can you know Him;
Neither through Veda nor through Tantra nor the six darsanas.
It is in love's elixir only that He delights, O mind;
He dwells in the body's inmost depths, in Everlasting Joy.
And, for that love, the mighty yogis practise yoga from age to age;
When love awakes, the Lord, like a magnet, draws to Him the soul.
He it is, says Ramprasad, that I approach as Mother;
But must I give away the secret, here in the market-place?
From the hints I have given, O mind, guess what that Being is!”

While singing, the Master went into Samadhi. He was seated on the bench, facing west, the palms of his hands joined together, his body erect and motionless. Everyone watched him expectantly. Vidyasagar, too, was speechless and could not take his eyes from the Master.

After a time Sri Ramakrishna showed signs of regaining the normal state. He drew a deep breath and said with a smile: "The means of realizing God are ecstasy of love and devotion — that is, one must love God. He, who is Brahman, is addressed as the Mother:

“He it is, says Ramprasad, that I approach as Mother;
But must I give away the secret, here in the market-place?
From the hints I have given, O mind, guess what that Being is!”

Ramprasad asks the mind only to guess the nature of God. He wishes it to understand that, what is called Brahman in the Vedas, is addressed by him as the Mother. He, who is attributeless, also has attributes. He, who is Brahman, is also Sakti. When thought of as inactive, He is called Brahman, and when thought of as the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer, He is called the Primordial Energy, Kali.

Brahman and Sakti are identical, like fire and its power to burn. When we talk of fire, we automatically mean also its power to burn. Again, the fire's power to burn implies the fire itself. If you accept the one, you must accept the other.

Brahman alone is addressed as the Mother. This is because a mother is an object of great love. One is able to realize God just through love. Ecstasy of feeling, devotion, love, and faith — these are the means.

(“The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna”, translated by Swami Nikhilananda, V1, Ch. 3 “Visit to Vidyasagar”, August 5, 1882)

Last edited by khitomer; 01-13-2018 at 11:33 PM.
khitomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2018, 06:48 PM   #15
khitomer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by yogagirl View Post
Surely not all delusion is satan? 'Good' delusion reflects the goodness of God, doesn't it?
What you refer to as 'good delusion' doesnt actually delude the consciousness, because as Aum vibration or Holy Ghost, God's omnipresent immanence is felt within it. Delusion or Maya on the other hand is satanic, in that it hides Him (Maya or 'the measurer'; the Infinite and Unconditioned gets perceived as finite and conditioned). This is why the Bible calls Satan as 'the father of lies.'


"Para Prakriti and Apara Prakriti

Prakriti - Cosmic Nature; in general, the intelligent, creative vibratory power projected out of Spirit that both objectifies and becomes the triune manifestation (causal, astral, and physical) of the universe and the microcosm of man. Specifically designated: Maha-Prakriti is the primal Undifferentiated Creative Intelligence of God, Creative Mother Nature or Holy Ghost, that through Cosmic Vibration of Its own Self brings into manifestation all creation. Para-Prakriti (Pure Nature) and Apara-Prakriti (Impure Nature) correlate with the Christian terminologies of Holy Ghost and Satan—respectively, the creative power that expresses the immanence of God's vibratory Presence in creation, and the dark power of cosmic delusion that obscures the Divine Omnipresence."

~ Master

Last edited by khitomer; 01-14-2018 at 12:57 AM.
khitomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2018, 10:44 PM   #16
liberty
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by triguybos View Post
It's the manifested imagination of the ego. It is the ego-created delusion that the soul is under. For if this world and life are not real and God and souls are the true reality, then the veil that enshrouds the soul and its vision and oneness with God is the maya/delusion pulled over the eyes of the soul. That veil can only be seen by the ego because the ego is the repulsive force that pulls away from oneness with God. The paradox is that God endowed us with individuality and freewill to see ourselves apart from the Whole, and we unconsciously play in his lila through acting out with our egos...until we awaken and swim upstream back Home to be one with Him.

So I don't think maya is some objective manifestation created by God, but rather something each of us project from our egos. Multiply the ego by countless sentient beings, and lo the physical universe!
GTWA

Ch 10, verses 1 - 3 (pg 770)
“All emancipated beings who accept rembodiment are required to work in harmony with Cosmic Mother or Lawful Nature, to whom the Lord has given full power over the phenomenal worlds. To a certain extent even such exalted beings have to place themselves nominally under Nature’s cosmic delusion and thus forego full realization of spirit - immutable, unborn, and unmanifested. They are obliged to accept maya or delusion as the only means by which their bodies assume visibility at all.”

Ch 8, verse 3 (especially pg 713, 714)
“Cosmic Aum is also called visarga or “the two dots of duality,” because by the dual law of relativity and by the triple qualities of the gunas it produces the Cosmic film of delusion.”

Ch 8, verse 19
Purusha and Prakriti (Spirit and Nature)
“Prakriti is the storm of maya, delusion, relativity, that transforms the surface of the calm ocean of God unto tumultuous waves of human lives.”

I pray your questions should have meaningful answers when you read the above commentaries in entirety. Do read the footnote on pg 714.

Jai Guru.
__________________
Om Guru!

Last edited by liberty; 01-14-2018 at 09:47 PM.
liberty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2018, 09:24 AM   #17
Stream
Victory to Spirit!
 
Stream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,428
One could say that the outgoing force is satanic, yet without it there would be no Creation, so that would be the same as saying that Creation is satanic.

There is also a force that opposes the outgoing force, without which nobody could return to Spirit. It expresses naturally through evolution, by withdrawing different sheaths (mineral kingdom, plant kingdom, animal kingdom, etc).

'Satanic', to me, means the conscious resistance by the outgoing force to the withdrawing force. In this sense it is the outgoing force seeking to prevent the escape of souls; from the realm it helped create in its non-satanic capacity.
__________________
"Softer than a flower where kindness is concerned,
stronger than the thunder where principles are at stake."
- PY

"The darkness of maya is silently approaching. Let us hie homeward within." - Swami Sri Yukteswar
Stream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2018, 09:47 AM   #18
Ajay0
Registered User
 
Ajay0's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 14
The agitated mind is Maya, as it destroys equanimity of mind emphasized by Krishna and Yogananda.

The mind gets agitated by the influence of inner emotions or external sensory objects and the strong likes and dislikes they generate. These agitations then veils the Self or Awareness through the mental modifications they create , though the Self is immune to all this.

This is similar to a calm lake reflecting the moon. A disturbance in the waters through wind then agitates the surface, and the moon is seen to be trembling, though it is not in actuality.

The disturbed/agitated mind will also result in erroneous perception due to contamination by mental projections of like and dislike, leading to error in judgement and action as well, and creation of further egocentric tendencies strengthening the ego.

To the extent one is agitated, to that extent one lacks mental equanimity, and hence is subject to the influence of Maya or illusion to that degree.
__________________
Be careful what you choose to do consciously, for unless your will is very strong, that is what you may have to do repeatedly and compulsively through the habit-influencing power of the subconscious mind.
- Paramahansa Yogananda

Self-awareness is yoga. -- Nisargadatta Maharaj

Evil is an extreme manifestation of human unconsciousness. -- Eckhart Tolle
Ajay0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2018, 04:39 PM   #19
sulmonte
Registered User
 
sulmonte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 976
Just heard a nice quote from a talk of Brother Ananadamoy about maya: Divine Mother's Halloween Show. - So true! :-)
sulmonte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 06:52 AM   #20
mccoy
supernal user
 
mccoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Italy, Europe
Posts: 7,012
Re. MAya vs Satan: there is a previous thread dealing specifically with that. Maybe I'm able to find it and eventually merge the twain.
__________________
This world is ruled by invisibilities or ghosts: God the Father , Christ Consciousness, the seven Spirits before the throne of God; and Satan and his legion of evil powers - Paramhansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest.
mccoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 09:52 PM   #21
khitomer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 286
The senses drag the human soul out. Man is seeking for pleasure and for happiness, where it can never be found. For countless ages we are all taught that this is futile and vain, there is no happiness here. But we cannot learn; it is impossible for us to do so, except through our own experiences. We try them, and a blow comes. Do we learn then? Not even then. Like moths hurling themselves against the flame, we are hurling ourselves again and again into sense-pleasures, hoping to find satisfaction there. We return again and again with freshened energy; thus we go on, till crippled and cheated we die. And this is Maya.

~ Swami Vivekananda
khitomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 02:25 AM   #22
sulmonte
Registered User
 
sulmonte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 976
Quote:
Originally Posted by khitomer View Post
The senses drag the human soul out. Man is seeking for pleasure and for happiness, where it can never be found. For countless ages we are all taught that this is futile and vain, there is no happiness here. But we cannot learn; it is impossible for us to do so, except through our own experiences. We try them, and a blow comes. Do we learn then? Not even then. Like moths hurling themselves against the flame, we are hurling ourselves again and again into sense-pleasures, hoping to find satisfaction there. We return again and again with freshened energy; thus we go on, till crippled and cheated we die. And this is Maya.

~ Swami Vivekananda
Thanks - great quote - so much written since ages and still...see above....has to do also with the yugas.
sulmonte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 02:36 PM   #23
triguybos
Registered User
 
triguybos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 81
So where does maya originate? From our sense experiences, which feeds our ego’s desire to satisfy itself with evermore sense experiences...unless we control our ego and desire by withdrawing our energy and consciousness back to the soul source. Such a predicament to balance the flow of energy and consciousness between this physical, maya world and the soul’s home. It makes me envious of Babaji’a band of devotees who roam the Himalayas. But that is not why the rest of us are here now, which is to learn self-control and stop hurling ourselves at that flame, so that we can redirect back to the Light. It makes me feel so despondent a la Arjuna to stand in the doorway between two worlds, knowing the what and why of the purpose of life and to carry forward.
__________________
Have faith and fear not. Let go and let God.
triguybos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 07:44 PM   #24
khitomer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 286
Maya originates from vibration; the point at which Aum manifests the immanent Christ Consciousness. At the visarga point where bindu vibrates and causes the unity to become self-perceived as multiplicity (one becomes two, and from that the rest).

How that relates to individualized consciousness of soul, is that this same phenomenon from the point of view of each soul is called 'avidya' (individual ignorance). As Guruji said, its like when you run film through a projector, giving the illusion of a moving picture, while the beam itself is the thing giving life to the movie. Human being is the only evolution on earth that is capable of resolving the perpetual oscillations of bindu back into stillness. Of bringing attention from the moving pictures back to the beam.

Last edited by khitomer; Yesterday at 08:31 PM.
khitomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.