Celibacy/Abstinence/Meaning of 'Maya'

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Question
Dear Guruji,
When you speak of 'Maya' you use adjectives such as illusory, non-existent and metaphors like dream. Although, I can intuitively grasp this truth, my analytical mind has some doubts in need of clarification.

In this world of sights, sounds, objects and their corresponding senses, everything feels so rigid, sturdy and "existent". Forces and objects behave in a constant manner. Nature responds to consciousness, consciousness responds to nature, evolution occurs and so on and so forth. With what reasoning can one call of this false? Is it only " real" in relative regard to the mind and senses? So does that mean if there is no mind, there are no senses and therefore no physical existence? It's like the age old question "If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one around to hear, does it make a sound?" Is then the body and senses just another creation of mind?

Warm Regards,
Sahil

Answer
The people, events, circumstances and objects in a dream also appear completely real to the dreamer. When one gets killed in a dream in some violent encounter, the horror and pain which he experiences are not different to a similar encounter in flesh. A knife or gun which might have been used there also appear very real and to such an extent that people can remember minute details about the color and characteristics of the weapon. It is a well known fact that people scream and wake up perspiring, in utter horror and shock after such an incident and start calming down only after they realize it was a dream. Does this mean those events, people and objects were real?

Just as the dream was only a superimposition of circumstances and ideas on one's consciousness through the mind in sleep, the waking state is another superimposition on the pure Atman, whose consciousness has identified itself with the Ego, body and a sense of separate entity. Just as the dream is realized as being unreal upon wake-up, the 'waking state' which was earlier considered real by a person is realized to be an unreal illusion upon attaining 'Atmasakshatkara' (realization of the self)

Just as the dream knife, dream killer and dream horror no longer affect the person upon wake-up (who then laughs at the same), the events, circumstances and happenings of the world are realized to be a dream by the 'Gnyani' (realized soul), after he has irreversibly woken up to the reality of the Atman.

The world, its objects and even space are only a creation of the mind. Where were these when one was fast asleep where there was no mind? Just as images (which are not real but only the product of light) move on the cinema screen, while the white screen remains constant, the world and its phenomenon are images on the infinite screen of Brahman (Almighty)

ďO Innocent one, just as a city may be seen reflected in a mirror, I am that Brahman, the absolute reality, in whom is seen the reflection of this world. Knowing this, O sinless one, ever be fulfilled.Ē  

"The perfect among the sages is identical with ME. There is absolutely no difference between us" - Tripura Rahasyam, Chap XX, 128-133


ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)  

Celibacy/Abstinence

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Questions concerning the practice of 'Brahmacharya' to know the self, & the means required are dealt with here.

Experience

The term 'Yoga' is a derivative of the Samskruth verb 'Yuj' which refers to union. 'Yoga', also called 'Brahma vidy‚' is the eternal dissolution of the individual 'Aham' (Ego) into the Atman (self) for 'Mukti' (liberation). Mere indulgence in '¬sana' or physical postures is not Yoga. ¬sana is only one limb or 'Anga' of Yoga. The eight limbs viz. Yama, Niyama, ¬sana, Pr‚n‚y‚ma, Praty‚h‚ra, Dh‚rana, Dhy‚na and Sam‚dhi are the means to Yoga. Brahmacharya or spiritually based continence is one of the important components of 'Yama'. 'Brahmacharya':- "Brahmani charyathey ithi" - "To surrender one's Ego and go with the will of the Almighty."

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