CHAPTER - 3. MAYA AND ILLUSION - 2.
( Delivered in London )
Theories had been propounded and repeated, others had been taken up, until at last the idea of Maya became fixed.
We read in the Shvetâshvatara Upanishad, "Know nature to be Maya and the Ruler of this Maya is the Lord Himself."
Coming to our philosophers, we find that this word Maya has been manipulated in various fashions, until we come to the great Sankaracharya.
The theory of Maya was manipulated a little by the Buddhists too, but in the hands of the Buddhists it became very much like what is called Idealism, and that is the meaning that is now generally given to the word Maya.
When the Hindu says the world is Maya, at once people get the idea that the world is an illusion.
This interpretation has some basis, as coming through the Buddhistic philosophers, because there was one section of philosophers who did not believe in the external world at all.
But the Maya of the Vedanta, in its last developed form, is neither Idealism nor Realism, nor is it a theory. It is a simple statement of facts — what we are and what we see around us.
To be continued ....