(Below is a continuation of the post What is it That Makes You Miserable?)
The influence of Maya is so vast that no matter where you go, you find yourself under its influence. The moment you feel you have freed yourself from one trap (of Maya), you find yourself stuck in another one.
We often blame others, the
world or even ourselves for
our circumstances and end
up feeling guilty. But
everything happens because
of the three gunas, which
are a manifestation of the
A gentleman came to me once and said, ‘Gurudev, please bless me, I want to get married. This will be the fourth time, my earlier three marriages ended in divorce. So please bless me that I may find a suitable girl for myself’.
See, it is okay if one or two marriages have failed. But if three marriages ended in divorce, then there must be something wrong in you that you need to look at and correct.
In America, there was a lady who was conducting many workshops on ‘How to make your marriage work’. People would pay thousands of dollars to attend her workshops, but she herself had been divorced eight times! (Laughter)
So a devotee came to me and said, ‘This lady has been divorced eight times herself. How can she teach people about how to sustain a marriage?’
I said, ‘No, she is the right person to advise in this regard! She must have learnt from all those eight marriages! She must be teaching people what mistakes can break a marriage, so she is the right person to tell what to do and what not to do in a marriage.’
Lord Krishna says, ‘This three gunas have come out of me, but is not easy to overcome all this because of Maya (illusion) which has also come out of me.’
We often blame others, the world or even ourselves for our circumstances and end up feeling guilty. But everything happens because of the three gunas, which are a manifestation of the Divine.
It is only in India that even the Tamoguna (the state of existence characterized by inertia and negativity) is regarded as a form of the Divine. This is not found anywhere else in the world. In other parts of the world, anything negative it is regarded as a demonic quality; as part of the Devil which is separate from God. But this is not the belief system in India.
Here, even Tamoguna is believed to have come from God and is governed by Him. This is why the terrifying form of Goddess Kali too is said to be a form of Divinity. Why is this so? That is because for the director of a film, each character of the movie belongs to him. Whether it is the hero, heroine or the villain, a director sees all characters as equal. Though they might be paid a little differently from each other, but all of them are important, because all of them are needed to make the movie.
In the same way, the Creator created this Universe using the three gunas. So Lord Krishna says that these three gunas belong to Him (as an extension of His divine energies). He says, ‘These three gunas function through Me, and only through Me can you transcend them. You cannot transcend them by yourself. You cannot be free yourself from their influence (Maya) without My Grace’. Lord Krishna tells this also to Arjuna.
Lord Krishna says, ‘The three
gunas function through Me,
and only through Me can you
transcend them. You cannot
transcend them by yourself.
You cannot be free yourself
from their influence (Maya)
without My Grace’.
When we chant the Durga Saptashati (referring to the 700 verses of the Devi Mahatmayam from the Markandeya Purana, dedicated to praising the Mother Divine), there is a verse which says, ‘Ya Devi sarva-bhuteshu bhranti rupena samstitha; Namastasye namastasye namastasye namo namaha’ (meaning: O Divine Mother! I bow down to You who are manifest as Bhranti - the element of delusion in all living beings).
It means that it is the Mother Divine who is present as delusion within you.
Some people have this bhrama (misconception) that everyone is against them. This happens to very accomplished people as well. Now just think, who in the world has the time to go against them? Everyone is busy doing their own work, and are thinking about themselves only. But such a person still thinks that everyone is against him or her, and they get so troubled by these thoughts.
So, delusion too is the manifestation of the Mother Divine and is a form of the Divinity.
One needs great courage to say something like this. A person who is very brave and who has examined all the facts properly only can say such a thing.
Only a person who has experienced and who knows the underlying Divine principle that operates everything in creation, that is beyond the material world (Maya), can say such a profound thing. Not everyone is capable of doing such a thing. This is why Lord Krishna is given the title of ‘Bhagawan’ (a prefix for God in India).
Like how people say that Shri Ram is regarded as Maryada Purshottama (the supreme among the upholders of Dharma and righteousness); Lord Krishna is called as Yogeshwara (the paragon of perfection in Yoga).
Why are they addressed as ‘Bhagawan’? It is because they possess the knowledge of the underlying Tattva (divine element or principle) that is both the basis and also beyond the five elements and Maya.
So, Lord Krishna says, ‘All the three gunas and Maya are divine qualities. Hence one should honour them all, because they are a form of the Divine’.
The aspect of Divinity responsible for the dissolution of creation is honoured as much as the aspect responsible for the preservation of the creation. Both have equal importance.
Lord Shiva is worshipped everywhere as the Lord of destruction. Lord Brahma is almost done with His task of creating the Universe. But Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are worshipped more than Lord Brahma.
So, these three gunas are Divine in nature and it is very difficult to overcome their Maya. This is what Lord Krishna says.
Only someone with deep knowledge can say such a thing. If someone says this casually, people will not take him seriously. They will say, ‘Oh, he is speaking nonsense’.
But we have experienced that it is indeed difficult to overcome Maya. A devotee on the spiritual path has this same experience.
Here the Guru (Lord Krishna) is acknowledging this fact. Which is why Lord Krishna says to Arjuna, ‘I know this is very difficult for you’.
So Lord Krishna has understood Arjuna’s condition very well.
A Guru’s duty is to first understand the condition of his disciple and then provide him guidance. Lord Krishna has recognized that it is difficult for Arjuna to overcome this, and He acknowledges it.
A Guru’s duty is to first
understand the condition
of his disciple and then
provide him guidance. Lord
Krishna has recognized that it
is difficult for Arjuna to
overcome Maya, and He
Usually, when people want to overcome something, they do so by criticizing it. That is when it becomes nearly impossible to overcome it.
If you want to move away from somebody and you keep on criticizing them then you will never be able to move away from them. You will get even more caught up with them. You think more about the people you criticize than those whom you praise. You praise someone and you forget about it. But those whom you hate or have a conflict with, they stay in your mind only. Such people rent a space in your mind without paying any rent! They just do not seem to leave your mind, even if a rent control officer were to go there (laughter).
So those whom you criticize occupy your mind and you get completely caught with them. Similarly, people who keep on criticizing Maya get more and more caught into it. You must first honour Maya completely (because it is a manifestation of Divinity). So, honour that which does not really exist, because that is what Maya is – that which only appears to be true but does not really exist.
So Lord Krishna says, ‘Honour that also which appears but does not really exist, for that too has come from Me’.
What is the source of delusion? This is what you must first find.
Just reflect on how you were before the delusion happened, and you will find that your delusion simply falls away.
Lord Krishna says, ‘Take your attention towards the source of this delusion which appears to manifest through the three gunas, and you will find that it comes from Me. So only by My grace can you overcome this. You cannot be free from delusion by your own efforts. Just surrender and take refuge in Me. That alone will help you cross over this delusion’.
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(Note: The discourse was given in Hindi. Above is a translation of the orginal talk.)