Maya – What Illusion is All About

Maya – What Illusion is All About

Maya is the Hindi word that has been translated in the west to mean “illusion.”

It is said that life on this planet is maya – an illusion.

This translation creates a misunderstanding which goes like this:
Life as we experience it doesn’t really exist because it is maya – illusion.

What is more helpful is to understand that maya really means “that which is impermanent but which gives the illusion that it is permanent.”

Everything in the physical world will come and go. On an intellectual level, we have that understanding. Yet we still go about our daily lives with an unconscious expectation that the world around us has permanence.

What we don’t understand is that when a hundred billion years are dropped into eternity, they disappear in less than a nanosecond. Any number of years – in fact anything finite – will vanish without a trace when placed in the context of infinity.

And when it is deeply understood that nothing in the finite world has endurance, then the only “thing” which does endure is that which has no substance, which is pure potentiality. It can be called the unmanifest…or it can be called “no-thingness.” Everything else comes and goes, but the potentiality always abides, forever…and even beyond forever!

This understanding, even if it is presently intellectual, opens the door for a deeper exploration into that which never dies – that which is not maya!

And it explains much of the pain we experience in our lives because we are always trying to do something impossible – to hold on to the impermanent….

©2008 Subhan Schenker