How To Escape Maya? - The Grand Illusion Of Life

You might have heard the word maya before.

You might have wondered what the definition is and what significance does it have on us and our way of living.

Maya is the grand illusion of life as dictated by our senses.

Escaping maya means re-discovering our true nature – the divine Self.

To learn how to escape maya, first we need to dive a bit deeper and find out exactly what maya is and how to break free from it.

Related: How Do I Know If I Am Spiritual?

What Is Maya?

“On the basis of this misconception which ties together the hearts of the male and female, one becomes attracted to his body, home, property, children, relatives and wealth. In this way one increases life’s illusions and thinks in terms of ‘I and mine.” – Bhagavat Purana 5.5.8

According to Wikipedia, Maya, literally “illusion” or “magic”, has multiple meanings in Indian philosophies depending on the context. In later Vedic texts, Māyā connotes a “magic show, an illusion where things appear to be present but are not what they seem”.

maya, grand illusion, identifying with the body
Under maya’s influence, our soul mistakenly identifies with the body.

In a nutshell, maya is a cosmic illusion that we are living in.

Maya is the illusion that the world, as perceived by our senses, exists.

In maya, our soul is first misled and then entangled and entrapped by matter.

Under maya’s influence, our soul mistakenly identifies with the body.

We tend to identify with our gender, race, religion, occupation, etc.

Under this false-ego sense, the confused soul tries to control and enjoy matter.

By doing so, the soul continues to serve lust, greed, anger and as a result, only falls deeper into the illusion.

Living in maya and never questioning it, keeps us trapped in an endless cycle of searching for happiness.

But there is a different way.

There is a different perception awaiting our welcome.

Related: Why Do I Feel Broken?- How To Use This Feeling To Evolve Spiritually

 

Why Is It Important To Understand Maya?

“If one clings to his attachments, refus­ing to let go, sorrows will not let go their grip on him.” – Tirukkural 35.347–348

Let’s imagine you are lost in a desert.

What happens if you pursue a mirage of an oasis?

mirage, illusion, maya
What happens if you pursue a mirage of an oasis?

You will not find what you are seeking, there will be no water because the mirage was just an illusion.

Similarly, in this world, if we do not have the understanding and pursue the illusion in an attempt to find happiness, we will never find this elusive goal.

If we remain ignorant of maya- the veil that covers our real nature and the real nature of the world around us will forever stay hidden. We will never discover our true divine Self. We will continue identifying ourselves with the body, mind and ego.

Maya, this misconception creates pain and miserly. By identifying ourselves with the body and mind, we suffer from anger, hatred, miserly and we fear diseases, getting old, and eventually death. Yet, all of that is an illusion and has nothing to do with our true divine nature.

We have forgotten who we truly are.

Isn’t it time for us to re-discover our true nature?

Related: Is The Ego Good Or Bad?

 

The Effects Of Maya

“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”  – Albert Einstein

Maya has three effects on us: obscuring, projecting, and revealing.

The obscuring or veiling effect cuts off our vision of perfect unity.

The projecting effect casts forth all of the broken reflections that we see around us.

The revealing effect occurs when we contemplate all of the different forms with the idea that we are in essence one with everything.

Related: Why Do We Want To Feel Special?

 

Who Created Maya?

“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.” ― Alan Watts

Your mind creates maya.

Most people don’t realize that because to them they are who they think they are.

They never question the mind.

Your mind creates maya.
Your mind creates maya.

Whatever is in their mind is the reality to them.

We are not able to see our minds creating maya just as the eye cannot see itself seeing.

We, for the most part, identify with our minds completely.

As far as we are concerned, we are our minds.

In reality, we are not our minds.

It is possible for us to become aware of who we really are.

The more the awareness grows, and the less we will identify with our minds, we will be able to observe the workings of the mind and realize our true nature.

Related: What Is The Difference Between Being And Doing?

 

How To Escape Maya?

“If one clings to his attachments, refus­ing to let go, sorrows will not let go their grip on him.” – Tirukkural 35.347–348

The good news is, we do not need to escape maya?

How to escape maya - grand illusion of life
How to escape maya – the grand illusion of life.

All we need to do is become aware of maya and observe instead of blindly participating in the illusion.

If you are able to grasp this concept, you will be guided, at your own pace to the next step of your spiritual awakening.

As mentioned previously, maya is experienced through our physical senses.

It is impossible to escape maya as you cannot disconnect your powerful sensory center in your brain.

But what we can do is to shift our consciousness to a higher dimension.

By going beyond your sense, you will enter a higher dimension and as a result, escaping the claws of maya.

How is that done?

With practice.

Start with periods of observation.

Close your eyes and observe your mind without participating in the thoughts that come and go.

Increase the duration of the daily observation periods and eventually start introducing observation into your daily lives.

Before you react to any person or a situation, try to observe first.

This might not be easy at first, but with time and perseverance, you will quickly learn to observe.

Don’t try to escape maya, doing so is maya as well.

Try to reach the deepest truth hidden within yourself.

All the answers are there, you just need to learn to be very still for them to be revealed to you.

Keep trying

A life beyond maya is possible, not by force but by allowance instead.

Related: Learn How To Be Still – And Discover A New World


I hope you have enjoyed this article. I know that this concept is not easy to accept at first but I urge you to not let fear control you. Try to look at the positive aspects of it all. Just be open to new perceptions of life. Please share you comments, questions, or suggestions below.

 

***If you have spotted a spelling error or an inconsistency, please contact me so I can fix it.***

 

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