07.14: The Merciless Microscope of Maya

by February 29, 2012

The Bhagavad-gita (7.14) gives two striking characteristics of Maya, the force of illusion: it is divine (daivi) and it is formidable, if not irresistible (duratyaya).   Gita wisdom explains that our vulnerability to illusion and evil originates not in a satanic personality externally, but in our own choice of satanic desires internally. All of us are destined to rejoice eternally in a loving relationship with the all-attractive Lord, Sri Krishna. But our destiny depends on our desires; we need to desire to love Krishna to relish a loving relationship with him. When we desire anything other than to love Krishna, then this desire misdirects our consciousness and alienates us from our glorious destiny. Consequently, to impel us to reclaim our destiny, Krishna arranges us to be coached by Maya.  Maya coaches us in the school of hard knocks by inciting us toward wrong choices and inflicting us with their inevitable consequences. With her merciless microscope, she zeroes in on every one of our smallest ungodly desires and magnifies them till they swallow our consciousness. When we succumb to those desires and experience firsthand their futility, the resulting realization shaped by Gita wisdom inspires us to leave no desire for the microscope to find in future. This inspiration impels us to offer all our heart’s desires to Krishna and thereby enables us to relish our destined oceanic spiritual happiness undistractedly and unlimitedly.    Thus, underlying the merciless method of Maya is the merciful motive of Krishna. That’s why the verse concludes by placing the onus of transcending Maya on us: it informs us that all we need to do to become free from the insidious influence of Maya is surrender to Krishna.


This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.

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