Illusion Or Reality

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Illusion or Reality? The Concept of Mãyã This paper will approach the topic of mistaken identity of self which can result in the experience of mãyã. Mãyã is best defined as “trickery, fraud or deceit. magic, jugglery or witchcraft which are different forms of illusion that distract and deceive the senses” (Jayaram). In the spiritual realm, mãyã “means unreality, distinct from the reality represented by God or Brahman” (Jayaram). To discover if mãyã is an illusion or a reality, the author will explore references to mãyã in the Hindu texts to understand interpretations that relate mãyã to one’s ignorance of the true spiritual reality and ultimate destiny, and how mãyã bounds the soul to the body.
The Views of the Hindu Texts The Upanishads gives two main views of mãyã: “first, it is the mysterious, wondrous bedazzling, deceptive power of God (in which case, the world and its phenomena are considered real)”
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In Bengali, “mãyã means love, attachment, compassion, or affection” (Lamb & Mines 65). Therefore, we all experience a form of mãyã, as we express love for our family members, our homes, and other possessions. We experience mãyã through the experiences we live in our lives, weddings, births, vacations, feeding our family members and other experiences that bond us emotionally and physically to other beings. Maya is a valued sought-after experience that creates strength in families, and in work and living environments. “One’s life in this world is full of pleasures and experiences that bind the self to cherished people, places, and things (Lamb & Mines 69). It is also inherently fleeting, as mãyã is impermanent, “it is only a temporary stopping place on the way to something else” (Lamb & Mines 69). How can it be said that mãyã is unreal, that our most memorable experiences are an

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