4 Mar 2012 - 9

What is Maya? Does this Maya need to be embraced or does it need to be questioned? Why is it so difficult to comprehend?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

Maya means that which appears but when you try to catch it, it doesn’t get into your hand. That is why it is Maya.

Something appears and you go to catch it and you can’t catch it. That is how everything in the world is. You see something so beautiful and you try to possess it. The moment you possess it, you find the beauty is gone. It is no longer where you thought it was.

Many things in life are like that. You think happiness is there and you chase after that and when you get there, it is not there.

One of the former Prime Ministers of India had a farmhouse around 35 kilometers outside Delhi. He invited me to come there on one of the Sundays, so I went there.

In the farmhouse he told me, ‘Guruji, in last 26 years, my only aim was to become a Prime Minister. Now after becoming a Prime Minister I feel, what a foolish thing I asked for! Before, I could happily sleep outside on a cot and enjoy nature, but now see how many guards are sitting all around. I have lost all my freedom. I can’t just go wherever I want. Now I am a prisoner in my own home.’

He said, ‘I can’t go and sit or sleep outside. Guards are standing all around. And now I feel it is all futile. I did everything possible that should be done or should not be done to occupy this chair and now I see it is all so futile.’

I said, ‘You are so lucky you got this realization. Many would not even get this realization and die without this realization.’

Anyway, he didn’t stay on the Prime Minister Post for too long also. 

That is why it is called Maya.