Monday, January 22, 2007

Parables of Acharya on Maya

Hare Krishna Friends,
Thanks to Mallika for administering the Blog site. The following excerpt on Maya is drawn from the book “Exalting Elucidations”.

Maya, the fascinating phenomenon, is the source of human bondage. But an understanding of its nature can pave the way to liberation. It is with this in view that the scriptures have spoken extensively about Maya; the Advaitic scriptural lore abounds in information and tales on Maya. Acharya narrated the following parable based on the Yoga-Vasishta.

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A young lad said to his mother, “Please entertain me with a story.” His mother agreed to do so and narrated the following thoroughly fanciful tale.

Three handsome prices lived in a city that was totally non-existent. They were courageous and righteous. Two of them had not been born, while the third had not even reached the womb of his mother. With good thoughts, they set out to acquire the best. On the way, they came across fruit-bearing trees suspended in space. They plucked and ate a variety of tasty fruits.

Moving on, they beheld three rivers prettified by ripples. Two of the rivers never had a drop of water, while the third was fully dry. The princes bathed and sported in the dried-up river. Having drunk its sweet water to their heart’s content. They reached a city that was yet to come into existence and where people where conversing and enjoying themselves.

In that city, the princes saw three lovely mansions, two of which had not at all been built, while the third had not neither walls nor pillars. They entered the third mansion and, there, obtained three golden vessels. Two of the vessels had been shattered and pulverized. They put into it a quantity of rice that was hundred handfuls less than a hundred handfuls. They cooked the rice in that vessel and, with it, fed numerous Brahmins who had no mouths, but were voracious eaters. There after, they ate the food that remained.

Delighting themselves with hunting and other pursuits, they dwelt happily in that city that was yet to come into being.

The boy listened to his mother with rapt attention. He enjoyed the story and found nothing incongruous in it. As far as he was concerned, his mother had given him a completely factual account of what had once transpired.

Just as the undiscriminating child regarded the story as factual, unenlightened people mistake the world they see and think of it to be real. They do not realize that the universe is illusory; it appears and disappears with the onset and cessation of mental activity and has no existence apart from the non-dual Supreme that is of the nature of pure consciousness.

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Prostrations to All.



Blogger vedanta said...


Prostrations to all.

Interestingly, this story (explained in the unique and beautiful way by Prof. Balakrishnan Nair, unmatched by anybody else to date that I have heard or read) is one of the most favorite (or favourite -- forget which one is US American :-)) of my father. He keeps on telliing this to all the people who come to him -- from the age of 10 since I started listening to Balakrishnan Nair's discourses, I have heard it infinite time from my father. My father is another great orator and the way he explains this story in his own inimitable style superb (this praise is not because he is my father but because of the truth in it :-)).

The main import (which hasn't been explained directly by Swamigal but indirectly explained) in the story is that we shouldn't be like the child hearing to things without analyzing. As the Lord's final advice to Arjuna was to do vimarshana -- we have to analyze things. Once we analyze teh reality of the world, we will come to the wonderful truth that there is nothing here but Brahman alone; we will also realize that the world is Maya (yaa maa saa maayaa - that which is not at all there, it is Maya).

It is upto the seeker as to whether he wants to be the child in this story or the child of Nachiketha wanting to know that which is beyond death (or eternal).

Pardon this message and sorry for intruding into the mailboxes minutes just minutes after Neelakantan has sent it.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God

7:10 PM  

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