Perception & Reality

“The sun moves around the earth”. While visual observation may say that this is an authentic statement, we all know that it is not the truth. For thousands of years however, until someone decided to challenge this understanding, this remained as a fact. Today even a schoolchild knows that it is the earth that moves around the sun. We may all now laugh at this, but do we ever stop to think about the veracity of the things we state as facts. It is not as if there has been a quantum jump in the quality of human beings in the last few thousand years which would make us immune to these errors.

There is a lot of talk about Maya and how it hinders a sincere seeker. What is Maya? The above statement is an example of Maya’s manifestation. It is not always some grand delusion orchestrated by nature to hide reality. When we believe our own limited perception and try to put labels, meanings and conclusions, we are living in Maya. For instance, many say that chasing after material things is Maya. Let us look at this phenomenon a little closely. The chasing happens because of our limited perception that material well-being is the ultimate in living a fulfilling life. Whereas if we spend some time examining the pros and cons of chasing only material well-being, we would see that our perception is fraught with limitations. This can be seen also in many fundamentalist religions and cults where a limited perception of the founder is taken as the truth by the followers who then are willing to die for it.

Nature does play a role at times in the scheme of things. Without attraction to the opposite sex, the species would perish. However even here if we observe carefully, we can see how the mind can rationalize the irreconcilable flaws of someone when there is a strong attraction. This chemistry can be so strong that it can overrule reason. It can be nearly impossible for the mind to break free. Such brain hijacks also happen in case of people who are addicted to junk food, alcohol, drugs, speeding. Despite knowing the harmful effects of these things, reason goes out the window. This is a case of evolutionary instincts hijacking the frontal lobe of the brain to make it do stupid things.

In both types of cases the common things is the inability to think with absolute clarity. Clarity requires the mind to be uncluttered, refreshed and energetic. While being uncluttered may be difficult in the initial phases of sadhana, ensuring that the mind is refreshed and energetic is slightly easier. Spiritual processes are designed to give the practitioner an extra boost of energy in order to enable clarity. The whole system in Kriya yoga includes a certain lifestyle which if done with the support of a Guru help in giving the practitioner nearly boundless reserves of energy. This energy can then be harnessed to rise above the veil of Maya like a space rocket and see that it is actually the earth which is going around the sun.

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