The 6 Vedic Illusions of Life and How to Move Beyond Them

By Roger Gabriel (Raghavanand)

Woman sitting comfortably
Roger Gabriel (Raghavanand)

“I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I’ve been knocking from the inside.”—Rumi

Is it real or is it imagined? Well, it all depends upon your level of awareness. When you woke up this morning, you may have remembered last night’s dreams. They may have been wonderful or confusing, romantic or scary—it doesn’t matter. As soon as you awoke, you realized they were just dreams; they were something the mind created and weren’t real, so you let them go.

The great Enlightened Masters tell us that this life, which we call our waking reality, is also just another form of dreaming—something conjured up by the mind, a mistake of the intellect—and one day we’ll also awaken from this dream to the reality of our true Self.

Understanding Maya (Illusions)

In ancient Vedic times, the Rishis referred to illusion as Maya or that which is not. However, this is often misunderstood and thought to mean that this world you live in doesn’t exist. Obviously, on one level it does exist, just like when you were dreaming last night about the big dog chasing you—the dog existed at the time. Maya is when you superimpose an idea or memory onto something else and create a different reality from what’s truly there.

In India, there’s the story of the ignorant man who sees a rope on a dark road and shouts, “Snake, snake!” When light is brought, he realizes it was just a rope. The rope didn’t change; it was always a rope and it was only the man’s mistake that created the illusion of a snake. Maya is the contraction of a consciousness that should be fully expanded, all-knowing. It’s when you look around and experience all the thousands of individual objects, but miss the one Pure Consciousness that connects them all as part of the eternal Wholeness. The poet Robert Frost expressed it beautifully when he wrote, “We dance around the ring and suppose, while the secret sits in the middle and knows!”

Ultimately, anything you can experience with your senses or imagine isn’t Real in the true sense. You identify with what you are not. Your spiritual journey is to bring the light, step out of the boundaries, and enjoy the unlimited freedom of the Real.

Your path from the unreal to the Real is actually quite simple. You don’t have to learn anything new; the Truth is who you are. Your spiritual journey is just remembering and recognizing who you really are. In forgetting the Real, you have created your world of illusions.

The 6 Illusions

The following illusions, or delusions, are from the Vedic Texts from India.

1. The delusion of limitations of space. This leads you to the mistake that, “I am here and not everywhere.” Certainly your individual, limited consciousness is only here, but when you tap into the Unified Field …read more
Source: Deepak Chopra  

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