Awakening - What is Maya?.
After having got clarity on what God is, a common subject that comes along with that discussion is that about Maya. No, I'm not talking about the movie Dil To Pagal Hai here
There are various understandings about Maya. However, if we understand this deeply, Maya is definitely not a woman. Maya is definitely not any activity, such as shopping, dancing, or even sex. Maya is not any object or thing, such as an expensive item like gold jewellery or a car.
Maya is nothing but the weakness and vices within us. What are weaknesses and vices? They're just the Limiting Beliefs, the tendency to create negative Thoughts and Feelings, the residual negativity (which I call Resident Evil) within us, and the illusion that we have had about ourselves for a long period of time now. You will read about the illusion part in the subsequent paragraph. These sets of weaknesses vary from person to person, and each person has his own unique version of Maya. Therefore, although there are guidelines - on websites such as this - as to guide you towards more and more happiness in life, each person on this planet has his / her own set of Beliefs and Thoughts, and, thus, his own version of Maya.
Illusion is called Maya, because it's the illusion or misunderstanding we have about ourselves that causes pain in life. The illusion is that we consider ourselves to be "physical humans playing a fixed, pre-destined / pre-defined / pre-allocated role in this world", and we have forgotten our originality, which is that of freedom, joy, happiness, unconditional love, our inner-self and our true identity as a powerful and precise creator of life. This is where the understanding of the law of attraction becomes crucial.
But so far we Thought that Maya is outside...
People and circumstances are of all kinds in the world outside, and if you understand how the creation process works, I would say it is us (humans) who have caused all the chaos in the world outside. The weaknesses and vices inside have caused resembling situations to occur outside by the virtue of the law of attraction. Now when we face those situations, we call them Maya, but the roots of Maya were and are within us only. Just because it is within us in the form of our Beliefs, the law of attraction, brings more and more of it towards us.
Now, that we are ascending spiritually, we are able to recognize our own weaknesses and eradicate them.
What is NOT Maya...
Love is NOT Maya. This is often said by many people. Love is love, and it is a beautiful feeling. Love is the basis of life. Love is why this world exists. You may have read a lot about Love on one of my prior articles here.
Relationships and People are not Maya, as many people believe in. We are not here to live lone lives. Imagine if you were the only person on this planet. Would you enjoy it or be able to do everything that you're able to do as of today? Often, people who come to this understanding of spirituality start devaluing others, denigrating relationships, start considering other people as obstacles in their lives (with the quest to achieve a particular spiritual stage), start renouncing relationships, and it nothing but backfires. Even if one may be totally surrendered to a spiritual lifestyle (although there is nothing such as surrenderance to a spiritual lifestyle, because spirituality means clarity and freedom - but let's say even if someone is surrendered to a group of people or an organization), you cannot live without people. One has to realize this.
Mother's Love or Affection () is often known as Maya, but that's just a word used to describe Love & Attachment, and although Love is not Maya, Attachment is.
Often, nature / cities / luxury / traveling are also called () MohMaya, which is untrue. When I first traveled outside of India, and put up a video on YouTube, someone commented, "Hey Sagar, you're being attacked by Maya, and you're getting attracted towards Maya", but let's understand that Maya is not outside. If I'm dependent upon traveling for my happiness, that is a form of Maya I would say. In fact, we may make use of nature to meditate or to visualize. We may use that as a medium, and that's still fine, as long as we don't depend on it for meditation. If one cannot meditate without the presence of an external object, then that's a form of Maya, I'd say. Let's remember that we are not here to transcend the physical materialistic world.
Hobbies are not Maya. We all have them, and they keep us motivated and alive. However, when a Hobby turns into an obsession or an addiction... that is a form of Maya I would say.
I would also consider the word DEPENDENCY as the synonym of MAYA.
We are supposed to do everything that we've been doing so far, now just with the correct understanding that we would be in a better position when we stop doing everything FOR happiness and start doing everything WITH happiness.
not an activity or a possession
Maya does not catch your nose or slap you or test you, because there is no such invisible entity outside. If you hear such words anywhere, it is only symbolic or said for easier understanding. You get trapped by own weaknesses and then you feel guilty, and then you be in despair. That is what it means. Like how we deny out kids from going into the dark by saying that a ghost would come and pull them up with their hair.
These weaknesses don't interfere in our understanding of this knowledge (because the knowledge is very logical and easy to understand once you get the grip of it), but they interfere while implementing the knowledge in our practical lives. That is the critical point when we need to win that war by only being persistent about it.
Now with all this knowledge, it is our duty to - firstly check if we are liking all that we are facing from outside, and if not, we need to understand that there is something within us that needs to be changed. If not, we are always free the continue living life as it is.
Why does "Maya attack you" more often after you come into spirituality?
In deep meditative introspection, you understand yourself and all that you've become over all these births. There's a lot of junk within to be cleaned up. One realizes himself.
In the process, as we become aware of our thoughts and feelings, we can distinguish between our good traits and bad. Without having this knowledge, we considered everything to be good (even negative thinking), but now, in a way, we first activate our "habitual vices" within, and then with knowledge and power, destroy them. It's a process. It's a journey. Otherwise they would remain just inside like unused things do in our storeroom. We "take them out" (not literally, but we tend to notice them) and evaluate if it's of use. If not, we throw it away.
The statement that you're attacked more by Maya after turning to Spirituality, because you're a special child of God is a way to motivate you. Each person on this planet is a child of God, and is special. Just that you're now working on yourself. That's what makes you special. If you develop a Superiority Complex thinking you're special, there you go again...
Even if people say that you've become worse after turning to a spiritual lifestyle, (and even if you think that they're correct,) know that it's temporary and it's finally that you're behaving like this, and ignore them for a little while and keep working on yourself. Once you cross it, it'll be over and the positive changes will be obviously visible to them. It's a good sign. Earlier, those weaknesses were dormant, now they're in the process of being thrown away.