சக்தி விகடன் - 17 Mar, 2015


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Māyai is Ignorance! Author: P.N.Parasuraman

Jīvarāsis (Living things or organisms) created by God, should have divine qualities. But, it is not so.  Grief and difficulties are ascendant in the created beings. Why so?

An example will illustrate this anomaly easily. We bought a brand-new skillet for the kitchen. How is that skillet now? The skillet has caked and burnt-in black residue in the bottom, defying scraping and cleaning. We can’t tell the first time the blackness appeared on the skillet.

Hereafter, no story is told! Gurunāthar explains a principle by analogy. We are the vessel by name Skillet. Because of our contempt, carelessness, and laziness, the black residue accumulated a little at a time day after day.  Likewise, over many births, we accumulated plenty of merits and demerits. Instead of removing the accretions, we accumulate them. We don’t even know the accretions are taking place. Then, we are confused and distressed, when hardship strikes. All this is because of ignorance called Māyai (மாயை).

The cause of metempsychic hardship (பிறவித் துன்பம்) is our ignorance.

The delusive Māyai is responsible for the hardship of birth (metempsychosis). Listening to the Guru and such other endeavour lead to Mukti or liberation. The first is hearing (கேட்டல்) ) from the Guru. Deliberation (சிந்தித்தல்)is reflection of what is heard. Freedom from doubt is the third (= தெளிவு = Clearness of mind, freedom from doubt) which happens with the dawn and daylight of knowledge. Is there help in the night of ignorance? Maindenē! The obscuration caused by Māyai’s power, is indescribable. It is wicked and vice.


These are the color-coded equivalent terms.

Chariyai = சரியை

Kriyai = கிரியை

YOgam = யோகம்

JnAnam = ஞானம்





யோகம் Truth-knowing


நிட்டைக் கூடுதல்











Hearing from Guru









Hearing from the Guru is the first (கேட்டல்); contemplation on what is heard from the Guru is second (சிந்தித்தல்); comprehension on what is heard is the third (தெளிந்திடல்); meditation on the Supreme Reality is the fourth(Jñāṇam): these are the ways of attaining Mukti or liberation. The ones who abide in these will obtain Mukti. Verse 83, Sivapprakasam.


This verse depicts the saying of the Guru to his disciple about the cause for birth, and the ways to attain Mukti, tranquility, peace…, the two times such as day and night (Awakening and decline of the spirit), the power of enveloping Māyā’s nescience, and more importantly the word ‘Maindhā.’ Let us look at them in order. Maindhā, though it occurs at the end of the verse, should be put initially and find the explanation.

‘Maindhu’ has two meanings: Mayakkam and Āṛṛal (மயக்கம்-ஆற்றல் = faintness and energy). According to Tamil Dictionary, the Guru calls the faintish (fainting) disciple ‘Maindhā.  Moreover, the disciple has the power to free himself from danger and ignorance.  Therefore, he calls him ‘Maindhā,’ meaning an energetic (energized) man.

If we want to free ourselves from anything, we should be cognizant of our surroundings. We should have the energy and stratagem. A disciple is such a person. That is why Gurunāthar calls him ‘Maindhā.’ Let us put ourselves in Maindhā’s place and follow the verse.

Taking medicine is for good health. That is, the intent of medicating ourselves is not to take medicine anymore (and prevent recurrence of disease). Likewise, the intent of our birth is not to have any more births. Not to be born again is a sure sign of Mukthi. To attain such state, human birth is of immense help. The spiritual treatises say the metempsychic sorrow will resolve itself and disappear, if we perform four acts. These four acts are Hearing, Contemplation, Clear Comprehension, and Meditation.

We desire to eat mango.  We find out who owns the mango grove. Then we think how to steal the mango. We find out that at 12 p.m. (noon) the watchman went on a lunchbreak.  We get the clear idea how to hit the mango out of the tree. What is next? We break the unripe mango with a stone into two or three pieces, smear it with chili and salt and eat it. That is supreme epicurean delight. We feel exultant. That is Nitai kaikūduthal (realization from meditation). These four seem necessary for a mere mango. If we desire to attain Mukthi…?

Hearing from Guru




Sravanam is Kēṭṭal (கேட்டல்) or listening to the Guru… The verse talks about daytime and nighttime. Here daytime means intellectual endowment and spiritual enlightement. Nighttime is the opposite.

The nescience of wicked Māyā has the power to impede the spiritual progress of man to attain the goal of human birth, that is Muthi or liberation.

Will Continue….