Loneliness and “Maya” – Illusion – From the book, “Living with the Himalayan masters.”

I am never lonely. A lonely person is one who is not aware of the complete fullness within. When you become dependent on something outside without having awareness of the reality within you, then you will indeed be lonely.

The whole search for enlightenment is to seek within, to become aware that you are complete in yourself. You are perfect. You don’t need any externals. No matter what happens in any situation, you need never be lonely.

It is true that the highest of all companionship is the company of the real self. Those who learn to enjoy the real self are never lonely. Who makes us lonely? Those who claim to know and love us, or those whom we love, create loneliness and make us dependent. We forget the eternal Friend within.

When we learn to know our real self we do not depend on externals. Dependence on external relationships is ignorance that needs to be dispelled. Relationships and life are synonymous and inseparable. Those who know the Friend within love all and are not dependent. They are never lonely. Loneliness is a disease.

Being alone happily means enjoying the constant company – the constant awareness – of the Reality.

My master explained anadi vidya – cosmic illusion – to me just as Shankara had described it. He said that avidya means individual ignorance, while Maya is both individual and cosmic illusion.

Ma means “no” and ya means “that” :  that which is not self-existent, yet appears to exist, like a mirage, is called Maya.

Then my master told me that there is another school of philosophy, which maintains that Maya is universal illusion and also the mother of the universe.

He told me that in tantra philosophy Maya is considered to be both cosmic shakti and the primal force, or kundalini – the latent force in all human beings.

By focusing on one’s awareness on the Absolute, this sleeping force is awakened within and directed toward the center of consciousness. Those who do not awaken this force of Shakti remain forever brute and ignorant.

When we devote our mind, energy, and resources to believing in that which is non-existent, then it appears to exist, and that is maya. Don’t contemplate on evil, devils, sins, avidya, or Maya and thereby put yourself in a state of stress and worry.

Even spiritual people become preoccupied with blaming the world for their lack of progress. This weakness is significant in creating obstacles,. For lack of sincerity honesty, faithfulness, and truthfulness we do not realize that which we are. We project our weaknesses and think that the objects of the world are the source of our obstacles.”

The strongest of bondages is created by attachment, which makes one weak, ignorant, and unaware of the absolute Reality. Maya, or illusion, is deeply rooted in attachment. When we are attached to or have a desire for something, it becomes a source of illusion for us.

Those who are free from attachments and have directed their desires towards spiritual growth are free from the bondage of Maya – illusion. The less attachment, the more inner strength; the more inner strength, the nearer the goal.

Vairagya and abhyasa – non-attachment and constant awareness of absolute Reality – are like two wings of a bird which can fly from the plane of mortality to the height of immortality. Those who do not allow their wings to be clipped by the illusion of Maya can attain perfection.

Many people confuse attachment with love. But in attachment you become selfish, interested in your own pleasure, and you misuse love. You become possessive and try to gain the objects of your desires.

Attachment creates bondage, while love bestows freedom. When yogis speak of non-attachment they are not teaching indifference, but are teaching how to genuinely and selflessly love others. Non-attachment or love can be practiced by those who live in the world as well as those who are renunciates.”

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