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Swami RamaTeertha's Speech on Maya

Swami RamaTeertha's Speech on Maya

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Published by vrajasekharan

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Published by: vrajasekharan on Nov 10, 2010
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In Woods of God-Realization Volume 3
A Lecture delivered, in January, 1903, Golden
Gate Hall, San Francisco
The ruler, governor, controller ofmaya in the form
of ladies and gentlemen!
The subject o£ tonight's discourse isMay a. This is a
subject which superficial critics look upon as the
weakest point in the Philosophy of the Vedanta.
Today we shall take up that weakest point. All
those Philosophers and thinkers who have studied
the Philosophy of the Vedanta say unanimously
that if thisMaya could be elucidated, then
everything else in the Vedanta would be
acceptable, everything else in it was so natural, so
plain, so clear, so beneficial and useful. This is the
one hitch, the one stumbling block in the way of
students of the Vedanta. This is a vast subject. In
order that we may exhaust it thoroughly, about ten
Lectures ought to be devoted to this subject alone
and then can the subject be placed on such a clear,
In Woods of God-Realization Volume 3
lucid basis that no doubt or question under the Sun
or on the face of the Earth would be left
unanswered; everything can be made plain, but it
requires time. Hurrying readers and hurrying
listeners are not expected to understand that
The question is,Why this world, whence this
world? or to put it in Vedantic language,Why
this ignorance in the universe? You know the
Vedanta preaches that this universe is unreal,
merely phenomenal. Ignorance is not eternal. All
these phenomena are not real or eternal. The
question comes, 'Why should this ignorance be?'
Why should this ignorance which is the cause of
these phenomena, or thisMay a which is at the root
of all thismeum andtuam, difference and
differentiation, why should this ignorance
overpower the true Self or Atma? Why should this
Maya or ignorance be more powerful than God?
In common language, in the language of other
philosophers and theologians, the question is,
Why should this world exist at all? Why should
God have created this world?' The Vedanta says,
No, brother, you have no right to ask that
In Woods of God-Realization Volume 3
question. There is no answer to this question. The
Vedanta plainly says there is no answer to this
question. It says we can prove it to you
experimentally and directly that this world that
you see is in reality nothing else but God, and we
can show to you conclusively through experiment
that when you advance high enough in the
realization of the Truth, this world will disappear
for you; but why does this world exist at all? We
desist from answering that question. You have no
right to put that question. The Vedanta plainly
confesses its inability to answer that question, and
herein all the other theologians and dogmatizers
and all superficial philosophers come forward and
say, "Oh, oh, the Vedanta Philosophy is imperfect,
it cannot explain the why and the wherefore of the
world." The Vedanta says, Brother, examine the
answers that you yourself give to this question ' the
why and wherefore of the world,' examine them
carefully and you will see that your answers are no
answers at all. It is mere waste of time to dwell
upon that question, sheer waste of time and labour.
It is letting go a bird in the hand in search of two in
the bush. They will fly away before you reach them
and you will lose the bird in your hand. That also
will fly away. The Vedanta says all Philosophy and

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