For thousands of years, Vedic seers have known of the world of Maya-or illusion. Much like a fog, Maya shrouds everything that we experience. There is the Maya of nature, which is one of beauty, harmony, and peace. It is the sense of tranquility one finds on the top of a mountain where the birds sing their songs and wind blows through tall grass. And then there is the Maya of the human world, which is filled with our suffering, pleasure, technology and everyday lives. The modern Western science has discovered what has been philosophized for thousands of years, is that all that exists in our material world is nothing but energy moving through time and space. Quantum physics and Einstein’s infamous law that energy equals a body of mass times the speed of light squared has verified this.
With the distractions of smart phones, touch screens, traffic, social media, and all of the hustle and bustle of modern day life, we are even more shrouded in Maya than ever before. You might be thinking: what is the solution to the problem? It is impossible to answer this, for there is no how or why, but Maya simply is and we cannot help it. To fully even comprehend Maya is out of our power. For there to be absolute Truth without Illusion would be tipping the scale of the way the universe works, because one cannot exist without the other. Life is constantly pulsating between contradictions. Optimism and pessimism, life and death, good and evil, and the list goes on. Everything that is in existence has something opposite in nature, for one could not exist without the other. This seemingly dualistic state is the Maya of unity, for although they are opposites they are also one
That being said, it is possible the find a balanced, middle ground in which is not living completely in Maya nor without it (for that would be impossible). Instead, by recognizing that there is Maya but pushing to see beyond the veil of illusion to seek Truth, one can find a state of harmony and acceptance. Rather than swimming upstream, we can learn to understand the motion of the currents and let it wash you along your path. For if Maya brings suffering, it is important to do the things that help ease suffering. Suffering exists because of attachment, craving, desire and ignorance. When we recognize that the source of our suffering comes from within, we can see that we have the power to make it come to an end.
One can find ease from suffering in a wholesome and balanced lifestyle that is in harmony with nature. Buddhism talks about the Eightfold Path and the road to freedom, however this can be achieved in almost all cultures, philosophies, and belief systems. This being said, anything that is a healthy way for you to find alignment within yourself is encouraged. Mindful practices such as meditation, Qi Gong, or Yoga are all amazing tools to lift the veil of Maya and find Truth. Although it is easy to get caught up believing that everything is Maya, one must also remember that there is Truth. By living in a harmonious way that nourishes right thought, action, and lifestyle, one can find ease from suffering and attain liberation.
Many Blessings, Santa Cruz Ayurveda
Resources: Ramakrishna, S. (1884). Chapter III: Maya and Illusion. Retrieved June 05, 2017, from http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/volume_2/jnana-yoga/maya_and_illusion.htm