The supreme Consciousness, under a mysterious force called Maya, projects out of Itself, the manifest world which is part of Itself. In the same way milk, when placed on the fire, accumulates cream, which is of the same nature, but different from the milk, and Yoghourt, though differing in appearance and consistency from milk, is yet milk.
Oxygen and hydrogen are two invisible gases ; each has its own peculiar qualities, yet when they are mixed together, they produce water. Under a test tube it is not difficult to separate these gases again, which shows that out of one substance, a completely different substance can be created, which yet contains the original elements.
In a dream you can know fear, although you are lying comfortably in your bed, and such conditions are produced out of the mind.
There is one Existence, and that Existence is absolute, which means that It is free from qualities, name and form. Nothing can or will happen to It, because It operates beyond time and space, and all happenings take place in time and space.
The Absolute has three characteristics—Sat-Chit-Ananda —Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.
This one Substance creates by Its own Power a modification which has no real existence. Just as Utopia can be projected out of the imagination (and can be materialised in course of time if held persistently), so out of the Absolute—attributeless, without dimensions or qualities—is created a mirage. This mirage is nothing but Its own Self. If clay had consciousness, it might will to project a castle with people, within itself, but the clay is not conscious, so it requires an outer agency to put form into it. There must be an outer force which confers form upon matter.
Existence Absolute, as Consciousness, has materialised the whole creation, and He Himself is in the picture.
People ask : “If this is so, why all this misery and the apparent triumph of vice ? ”
Misery and suffering are not explicable by ethics or theology. The truth is that He alone has assumed the forms of tribulation and happiness, poverty and luxury. All that He sees is His dream. These things have no reality, they are transitory and disappear. That which is, IS. Out of the dream-stuff called Maya, He has made palaces, cells, mountains, valleys, and so on, and though He is in all, He remains like the dreamer, untouched by them.
Space is taintless and unpolluted, worship and butchery are one and the same to space.
This power of God—Maya—involves only one part of God. Just as the mind is touched by the dream but not the hands or feet or the rest of the body, so only an infinitesimal part of the Absolute is involved in Maya.
The sun cannot be seen by the naked eye, the eye is dazzled by its brilliance, in the same way our mind cannot see the divine Essence, and we see time, space, the cardinal points and so on in It.
The unreality of this Maya is proved to us in dreamless sleep, when all distinctions, differences and qualities—all these magical forms—are obliterated. The Lord Himself has given us the clue to the mystery, He Himself is within every atom. His attributes—Consciousness and Existence —are evident in, and can never be separated from, living things.
He is evident as existence, and He is evident as appearance. The search of man is for that part of the Absolute which is not evident, and which is Bliss.
Imagine an infinite ocean, in one part of which there is a hurricane and in another only peace and stillness. This is a symbol of the Absolute. One part only is involved in manifestation, and we seek the Attributeless Unmanifest, we wish to know Him in toto. Being convinced that He is Self-evident in Existence and Consciousness, but concealed as Bliss, we go here and there, pass through many experiences to find Him, and come back disappointed, because
He has concealed Himself behind His Maya. As a child hides from his mother, who is distracted, and seeks anxiously for him everywhere, until she hears his laughter, when all anxiety and suffering leaves her, so does the Absolute conceal Himself from the Jiva. When the Jiva tires of searching externally, and turns within, then all is peace and bliss. The search will only end, when we look within ourselves. When the senses are tired, self-culture slowly and silently drives the mind to look inward.
The mind has made two errors—it has forgotten its own nature, and it imagines that something exists, which is in fact non-existent. When the mind forgets its real nature, illusion is imposed on it, as a snake is seen in a rope, but when the nature of the rope is known, the snake no longer exists. The mental illusion is “ I ” and “ thou ”, or duality.
There are two worlds—the world of God and the world of man. There is suffering only in man’s world. When we try to impose proprietory rights on things, we suffer in this world we have created.
How can we overcome these errors ? How may we find Bliss ? This search is as the sailing of a boat on an uncharted sea. Just as the fluttering wings of a bird confined in a cage, confirm the existence of the infinite blue without, so in each human heart the intuition of perfect peace and bliss exists, and will not be satisfied until this Perfection is found.
“ O Arjuna, my Maya is divine. It is made up of the three attributes. It is hard to overcome”. Gita Shastra.
These three attributes are the three Gunas, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas—Light—Struggle—Inertia. The root of all is Love, who is playing a game of love with us. Let us remember that Maya is not evil, the Lord has said “ It is divine, I have made it difficult ”. A game ought to be difficult. This game of love must be brought to a fine art. Craftsmanship will bring interest into it.
Those who try to find the Lord in drink, gambling, human relationships, will fail to do so, for to obtain Him, surely all our energies and efforts are necessary.
“ O Arjuna, those who take refuge in Me make Me their whole object.” Gita Shastra.
Steadfastness is a qualification for this game. Only those who exhibit this quality will find the goal.
When He becomes the one object of our desires, He will reveal Himself to us.
Jiva: individual soul.