Reflexions (Yoga Blog), Daily News & Analysis, 2006

Maya deludes the world of men. She is the great enchantress. Lord Krishna says in the Gita, "My maya is hard to break. Her way of operating is perverse. She makes the real seem unreal, consciousness appear like matter, God appear like man and the One appear like many. Maya gives rise to the veil." We are indeed like little children strayed from our home of blissful eternity, lost in a land of impermanence and fantasy. We are intoxicated with the world of multiplicity, lost in the maze of images that all appear real. Drama of victories and losses, themes of loving and parting keep us enamored.

Patanjali points out how ignorant it is to take the non-eternal, impure non-Self to be pure and eternal. The lack of awareness of reality, egoism, attractions, repulsions and strong desire for life are the five-fold causes of misery. Yet such is the magic of maya that we see pleasure even in potential sources of pain. Like a bee stuck to the honey of desire, we are unable to escape. What then is the way to overcome this infatuation with the myriad forms of maya? When a thin veil of illusion is the enemy, denial is not the solution to render it powerless. Vigil is. Like a watchdog perpetually on guard to protect its master, so must we be to treasure the Shiva that resides within us.