Is experience of Maya necessary ?

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Thu Jan 16 12:23:34 CST 1997

> Let us imagine the following hypothetical situation. We come across a
> living soul (I use the word "living soul" because I could not think of
> a better word) in a cave, completely untouched and uncorrupted by the
> world and the worldly ideas.

Embodied soul? Aware of being embodied, and subject to hunger, thirst,
sleeping and waking cycles? If no, the "living soul" is the eternal Atman.
If yes, such a living soul is not untouched by the world. Non-contact with
other human beings does not necessarily mean untouched by the world and
worldly ideas, no? To feed the hunger, such a living soul will pluck
fruits from trees or kill an animal that wanders into the cave, or go out
of the cave to hunt. To slake the thirst, it will go in search of water.
To ensure comfort for the body while asleep, it will fashion a bed and
pillows. Such activities will lead to the soul's identifying itself with
its body, a classic instance of assuming that the deha is the Atman. This
is what constitutes experience of maayaa. In other words, maayaa is
beginningless (anaadi) for any embodied being.


S. Vidyasankar

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