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Jnana-Yoga : 4 - 2.

CHAPTER-4. Maya and the Evolution of the Conception of God-2.
(Delivered in London, 20th October 1896)

We have seen how the idea of the Devas came. At the same time we know that these Devas were at first only powerful beings, nothing more. Most of you are horrified when reading the old scriptures, whether of the Greeks, the Hebrews, the Persians, or others, to find that the ancient gods sometimes did things which, to us, are very repugnant.

But when we read these books, we entirely forget that we are persons of the nineteenth century, and these gods were beings existing thousands of years ago. We also forget that the people who worshipped these gods found nothing incongruous in their characters, found nothing to frighten them, because they were very much like themselves.

I may also remark that that is the one great lesson we have to learn throughout our lives.

Swami Vivekananda
To be continued ...


Jnana-Yoga : 4 - 1.

CHAPTER-4. Maya and the Evolution of the Conception of God
(Delivered in London, 20th October 1896)

We have seen how the idea of Maya, which forms, as it were, one of the basic doctrines of the Advaita Vedanta, is, in its germs, found even in the Samhitâs, and that in reality all the ideas which are developed in the Upanishads are to be found already in the Samhitas in some form or other.

Most of you are by this time familiar with the idea of Maya, and know that it is sometimes erroneously explained as illusion, so that when the universe is said to be Maya, that also has to be explained as being illusion.

The translation of the word is neither happy nor correct.

Maya is not a theory; it is simply a statement of facts about the universe as it exists, and to understand Maya we must go back to the Samhitas and begin with the conception in the germ.

Swami Vivekananda
To be continued ...

Jnana-Yoga : 3-27.

CHAPTER - 3. MAYA AND ILLUSION -27.
( Delivered in London )

The whole history of humanity is a continuous fight against the so-called laws of nature, and man gains in the end. Coming to the internal world, there too the same fight is going on, this fight between the animal man and the spiritual man, between light and darkness; and here too man becomes victorious. He, as it were, cuts his way out of nature to freedom.

We see, then, that beyond this Maya the Vedantic philosophers find something which is not bound by Maya; and if we can get there, we shall not be bound by Maya. This idea is in some form or other the common property of all religions. But, with the Vedanta, it is only the beginning of religion and not the end.

The idea of a Personal God, the Ruler and Creator of this universe, as He has been styled, the Ruler of Maya, or nature, is not the end of these Vedantic ideas; it is only the beginning. The idea grows and grows until the Vedantist finds that He who, he thought, was…

Jnana-Yoga : 3-26.

CHAPTER - 3. MAYA AND ILLUSION -26.
( Delivered in London )

This Maya is everywhere.

It is terrible.

Yet we have to work through it.

The man who says that he will work when the world has become all good and then he will enjoy bliss is as likely to succeed as the man who sits beside the Ganga and says, "I will ford the river when all the water has run into the ocean."

The way is not with Maya, but against it.

This is another fact to learn.

We are not born as helpers of nature, but competitors with nature.

We are its bond-masters, but we bind ourselves down.

Why is this house here?

Nature did not build it.

Nature says, go and live in the forest.

Man says, I will build a house and fight with nature, and he does so. 

Swami Vivekananda
To be continued ...