Sarvasar Upanishad, Chapter 14
THAT WHICH IS BEGINNINGLESS AND YET WHICH ENDS, WHICH IS NEITHER BEING NOR NON-BEING AND WHICH IN ITSELF IS SEEN AS THE PUREST OF ENERGIES IS CALLED MAYA OR THE MAGICAL WORLD.
IT CANNOT BE DESCRIBED IN ANY OTHER WAY EXCEPT THIS.
THIS MAYA IS IGNORANCE-LIKE, PETTY AND UNREAL, BUT IS SEEN BY THE DELUDED PERSONS AS REAL AT ALL TIMES - PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE. THEREFORE TO SAY THAT IT IS SUCH CANNOT EXPLAIN ITS REAL CHARACTER.
Now, the enquiry goes into MAYA. After brahman, it must be discussed. By maya is meant something which IS and yet IS NOT, which appears to be - the appearance.
Things as they appear to us are not as they are. Immanuel Kant says somewhere that we cannot know the thing in itself; a thing cannot be known in itself. Whatsoever we know about a thing is a projection; it is a contribution, we have contributed something to it. When you fall in love with someone, it is your projection. You contribute to your beloved, to your lover, something - you give something, and then you are impressed by your own contribution. This is maya.
We go on creating illusions around us. We go on creating dreams around us. The real, that-which-is, is engulfed with out dreams, projections. This force to create illusions around oneself is maya - this magic, this power of the mind to create things which are not, or to give things qualities which are not. And we live in this world, this created one. Of course, obviously, disillusionment is bound to come. It may take time, but it comes - any moment the reality asserts, the dream is scattered.
And we also help each other to create dreams. Someone falls in love, and then they both help each other to create the dream; they both bring qualities, show appearances which are not real - masks, faces. They help each other deceive themselves. All that is beautiful comes up, and all that is ugly goes down. All that is lovable is brought out, and all that is not lovable is just forgotten; it goes into the unconscious and we create a false face. Because really, no one can love unless he can hate - so whenever someone loves, it means that there is every possibility of hatred as intense as love.
They both exist simultaneously, they are part of one phenomenon.
You cannot love if you cannot hate; both are one energy. But the hatred part is suppressed into the unconscious, and the loving part is brought out. Both are bringing the loving part above and suppressing the other, inevitable part, which cannot be denied. They create dreams around themselves, and because of these dreams which THEY have created, they fall in love.
But how long can you continue? The denied part will assert; it will have its revenge. It will explode.
The more suppressed, the more dangerous is going to be the explosion. You can go on having faces when you are not so near and intimate. The moment you are near and intimate, and love demands now be near, now live in one house, now be married, now we cannot live apart.... It is impossible.
This demand, that "now we cannot live apart," creates the situation in which the other suppressed part will have its revenge; it will come up. It will begin to assert, then the dream is shattered.
But again, again we begin to believe that, now this person is just hatred. First, we believe this person is just love, now we again fall into the second trap, the other trap; now this person becomes just hatred, poison. This again is just a projection: the other part is being projected. And we go on living in these projections.
This is the power of maya. This is the inner magic of your mind. It can project, and then it can create disillusionment for itself. It can create dreams and then it can believe in them - BOTH; it can create and can believe in them! And when those dreams are shattered, it is not that one becomes aware of this whole fallacious game. When the dream is shattered, again you begin to create another dream.
This shattering of particular dreams is not the shattering of the maya.
The rishi says that the maya is a natural capacity to hypnotize oneself, it is auto-hypnosis. This auto-hypnosis can create things which are not, and can hide things which are. And for a seeker of the truth, of the real, this has to be understood; this has to be felt very deeply. This power, this maya must be understood deeply, because this is our bondage, this is our ignorance, this is our insanity, this is our suffering - creating dreams and then creating frustrations; creating illusions then disillusionments. And one goes on repeating - lives and lives one goes on repeating, and the power goes on working again and again.
But whenever we are disillusioned, we are not responsible for it; the other one, the situation, the object, is responsible. When we create this illusion, then again we are not responsible; the other one, the object, the lover, the beloved, the world - they are responsible. This happens because the projector is within. We never become aware of the projector, we always become aware of the projected scene, of the projected phenomenon. Just as in a cinema hall the projector is behind - no one looks back to see the projector; the projector is behind. Everyone is facing the screen, and on the screen are just projected images. The real, the power is behind. The film, the power to project, is behind, but no one looks at the projector; everyone is looking at the screen.
The whole world is just a screen; the whole objectivity is just a screen, and the projector is within. And we go on projecting images on the screen of the world, and then we begin to believe.
Whatsoever we see on the screen, we begin to believe. This is maya: the capacity to project images on the screen of the world. If you stop your projections, the whole world just withers away, just disappears. And when the world disappears with your maya, with your projective mechanism...
when the screen remains just a screen without the images, you are face to face with the brahman.
Brahman is the screen. But we have never seen the screen, because there is a continuous flow of images. One image is followed by another, one image is replaced by another. There is a gap, but we are so concerned with images that the gap is never felt. Slow down your projecting. Slow down your projecting machinery. Sometimes it happens in a cinema hall, some defect in the mechanism, and the film is slowed, and then you see the gaps. One image has gone, another has not come, and there is a sudden gap and the screen is seen.
By meditation we try to slow down the mechanism of projections. If the mechanism is slowed down and even for a single moment you begin to be aware of the gap - imageless gap of the screen - you have the glimpse. Suddenly you know that you have lived in the dreams of your own creation; and whatsoever you have known as the world was not the world really, it was YOUR world.
Pearl Buck has written her autobiography; she has named it MY SEVERAL WORLDS. It is good; the title is good - everyone is living in several worlds, in several dreams, in several projections. And you can continue forever. That's why the moments of suffering sometimes become blissful; the moments of suffering sometimes suddenly create a situation in which the mechanism stops, falters, and you see the gap. Someone has died, you loved him. Suddenly there is a gap; suddenly you cannot project - now the person is dead, you cannot go on projecting on him. You will need some time to find another object to project the same dreaming; there is a gap. So sometimes death, sometimes deep suffering, sometimes illness, sometimes sudden dangers and the mechanism falters and you have the gap.
But we are cunning. We are so cunning we just close our eyes. The moment there is a gap, we just close our eyes. Someone has died, you begin to weep, and your tears will become a screening phenomenon, and you cannot see the gap. The gap is there. Someone has died! Now be aware and see that the object has disappeared, and your dreams are just in a vacuum, and they cannot find an object! Be aware in this moment and you may be able to see the gap, the screen, not your world.
But no, the mind is cunning. The moment there is a sudden gap, our eyes are filled with something else. Again, we are not able to look in the interval. One is weeping and crying; and he will weep and cry unless he can find another object again to laugh, again to live, again to create the old illusion.
Buddha says when there is death, meditate - meditate on it. This is the moment.
When there is suffering, meditate on it.
When there is disillusionment, meditate on it.
This is the moment!
Don't lose this moment in anything which deviates you from the gap!
This mechanism, this capacity, this power to create illusions is maya. It is there, and very real because it works. Very real, and very actual because it works and we are in it. This auto-hypnosis must be broken; otherwise, you are never face to face with the reality. And unless one is face to face, unless one is in an encounter with the real, one is not.
You can dream only if you are asleep, and you can project only if you are in ignorance. So ignorance means spiritual sleep, a spiritual somnambulism. This ignorance you cannot destroy by learning more and more. By any information, by any accumulation of knowledge, this ignorance cannot be destroyed, because this ignorance is not the LACK of knowledge. So one can be a very learned man and still in illusion, and still in the same hypnotic trance, in the same sleep.
That is the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom comes when there is no ignorance- ignorance conceived as a positive force of maya, not just absence of learning, information - not just absence. And wisdom comes only when there is no ignorance. This positive energy which is creating illusions just stops to create. Knowledge means ignorance is still there, but hidden, hidden in information. And you can hide it, you can cover it, you can create a false sense of knowing without knowing at all.
Scriptures can help; teachers can help; religions can help; philosophy systems can help. Only meditation will not help you to create a false sense of knowing; everything thing else can help, help this dreaming. Only meditation cannot help you; only meditation can destroy the whole structure of ignorance and so-called knowledge. And then there is a sudden burst of wisdom. Then you are face to face, encountering the real.
Meditation is a technique to destroy another, another natural technique of auto-hypnosis, maya.
Maya can be destroyed only by meditation, because meditation brings your mechanism of projections to a halt. And if you can go deep, it comes to a full stop. The moment it comes to a full stop, the whole changes; you are transformed and you are in a new world, in a new consciousness.
That consciousness is brahman. As we are, we are in maya; as we can be, as is our potentiality, is brahman. This seed of brahman, this seed of supreme consciousness is covered in ignorance, in maya.
Use meditation as a technique of de-hypnosis.
Maya is hypnosis; meditation is de-hypnosis.
Of course, it looks like hypnosis, because it is going back on the same path you have come. It is retracing your steps back, so it looks like hypnosis. In a way it is hypnosis, only the direction is different. In hypnosis you are projecting things; in de-hypnosis you are taking your projections back, collecting back your projections, bringing back the web of your projections into the projector. It looks the same, only the direction is just the opposite.
In hypnosis you go far away from yourself on the same path. In de-hypnosis you come back - on the same path but towards yourself. So meditation is de-hypnosis, the technique to de-hypnotize yourself from a natural hypnosis, from a natural power called maya.
Now we should start de-hypnosis.