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Maya: The infrastructure of existence PDF Print E-mail
Gita - Gita Articles

janma karma ca me divyam eva= yo vetti tattvata+
tyaktv| deha= punarjanma naiti m|m eti so’rjuna

I appear to be a person
Like any one else
My actions are also simple
Like any one else
But, both my appearance and actions
Have another dimension
Only few can see
The dimensions of divine appearance
And that of my divine acts
And he who can see from the divine angles
Gets liberated and merges into me (Parmatma) ||4:9||


We just discussed how when Krishna comes to this existence with us, he has to live in the same matrix or infrastructure as we have to live in. In a way it may not be that important for him as to how the infrastructure is for him, because he is already at the peak where many of us have to travel to. However, Krishna is concerned about the health of this infrastructure for us who needs the nourishment of a healthy base and a smooth ride.

Let us go back to our cyberspace example. I had a virus attack recently on my computer and I lost all my emails. I had to reboot the computer and then send emails to different people asking them to send some of my important photographs that I had sent them and so on. This is time consuming and puts a break on our daily lives which is so busy any way.

We are born here and one important purpose of this life is to have a centering growth which Krishna calls Yoga. How is a yogic growth possible if I spend all my time buying salt and sugar for the family? How can I sit to meditate if I can’t feed my children? It is understandable that I have to first meet my and my family’s basic needs. It is however harder to understand some other problems. Let me give an example. I am a doctor and have become successful in life. I open a practice in a village in Bihar. I am treating patients in the village with my expertise and in the process make some money. My son is now abducted for a ransom. Now this is a problem of system nature in the infrastructure. The system allows this to happen. This leads to fear and then there is anarchy in the system.

This system or more accurately put value system which we call dharma is very important for Krishna. Krishna wants an overhaul of the system so that a sensible value system exists and is more amenable for others to grow in that atmosphere.

It is still true that when I am not using the computer, the system still is there. When I die, my surrounding ceases to exist; still the infrastructure of Maya does exist. If and when I take another birth, I start using the then existing infrastructure. From my standpoint death brings the realization that this infrastructure is only a utilitarian material and that it is not me. It is crystal clear that I and computer are different. It is not that clear with this samsar of mine (Maya) that I and samsar are different. Nothing changes in the infrastructure when that clarity sets in, but everything changes as far as inside understanding is concerned.

This samsar is so important for us. We identify so much with this infrastructure that existence without this infrastructure sounds so painful for us. How can we live without our surroundings? I have a son and I have a daughter. I have to see my grand children and then I have to see them grow and get married and so on. There is nothing wrong in all these, but this is not everything. We have been through this cycle over and over again without realizing that the infrastructure has its purpose but is not me.

This samsar is important for Krishna as well. He wants to keep the infrastructure healthy, but he knows the limitations of this infrastructure as well. If you sit on the computer all the time surfing one thing or the other you may get so much attached to it that you may not understand how you can exist a moment without it. It is possible. But that does not make me part of the computer.

Computers are only a small part in our lives. Similarly this infrastructure is only a small part of the existence of our Atma. And this is he interesting part. Krishna and Buddha have no interest in coming back again and again to go through this infrastructure. They see it as a means to the end. They have reached their end and want to help us reach there through this infrastructure as well.

Let us try to understand the second part of the verse now. Krishna says:

And he who can see me from the divine angles
Gets liberated and merges into me (Parmatma)

We have known knowing somebody or something as separate from us. I am me and you are you. Krishna is talking a different language here. Knowing is merging. Knowing is loosing my identity and becoming someone else. Knowing is dissolving. Let us explore that in our next column.

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