“ਮਾਇਆ ਮਮਤਾ ਮੋਹਣੀ”
“0, My Merchant friend, in the Third watch (youthful beauty) of Night, your mind is fixed on beauty and riches. You remember not the Lord’s Name, through which one is delivered of his bondage. Remember not you your Lord’s Name and lose your head; lured by Maya — your mind is fixed on beauty and riches” [i]SGGS, p.75
The above mentioned Shaloka makes it explicit that the doctrine of Maya is basically borrowed from the Advatic (Vedanta) literature of Hinduism, where it is seen as the grand illusion or the cosmic principle of illusion or magic or a veil or curtain concealing reality. It simply means that the world is only as real as the image that is seen in a mirror. It is assumed to stand between a person and the reality thereby producing error and illusion in the human mind, and creating difficulties in the individual’s progress to a state of knowledge and bliss.[ii] However, there are different definitions for this concept by different sects within Hinduism, One such sect, is the Bhakti movement which believes that,
“It is only Maya which defects us from realizing that the whole universe is pervaded by one God (Iswhara) and everything in the universe is His manifestation. So one has to transcend Maya to understand this reality.”[iii]
However, Maya in Sikh thought, is better translated as delusion (deception) rather than illusion (false belief of idea) “O my mother, Maya is so misleading and deceptive” (SGGS, p. 717).[iv] The world is real but it is not permanent. “It is like the fire of a single straw, a cloud’s shadow becoming flood water” (SGGS, p.717).[v] Maya offers qualities which are accepted as both good and desirable, but which constitute a fraud, a deception because, “Behold, the world is on the decline; it will be totally destroyed” (SGGS, p.932).[vi] Therefore, the one who desires and follows the world in this way is a victim of Maya, “You are squandering this life uselessly in the love of Maya” (SGGS, p. 12).[vii] Hence, the following of it leads into punishment of Samsara-Chakara, “There is no pain as great as the pain of Maya; it drives people to wander all around the world, until they become exhausted” (SGGS, p. 39)[viii] and, “Bound by duality, they come and go in reincarnation” (SGGS, p.109).[ix]
Maya is basically untruth and stands against the truth. Thus, involvement in the world means attachment with Maya and the result can only be separation from God. Maya is Anjana (darkness and untruth) whereas God is Nir-Anjana (One who is aloof from darkness and untruth), “God, the Inner-knower, the Searcher of hearts, is All-knowing, Unseen and Immaculately Pure” (SGGS. p. 300).[x] Thus, in Sikhism problem dwelt more with Maya not with Avidia (ignorance) or illusion per se. Those who accepts the influence of Maya involves themselves in dubidha (confusion) and stands against the union with God. Guru Grantha asserts that, the disciple of Maya is false, he abhors the Truth, “The false shaaktas, the faithless cynics, do not like the Truth” (SGGS, p. 109).[xi]
Furthermore, Sikhism preaches that like any other thing Maya was also created by God. Maya came from the primal source that is God but as a servant. Hence, this servant that is Maya has got three qualities that bring effects on human,
“Raajas, the quality of energy and activity; Taamas, the quality of darkness and inertia; and Satvas, the quality of purity and light, are all called the creations of Maya, Your illusion. That man who realizes the fourth state – he alone obtains the supreme state”.[xii]SGGS, p.1123
The solution to get rid from Maya is given in Satguru. A Bhakta has to meet Satguru, “Without the Guru, liberation is not attained, and the double-mindedness of Maya does not go away” (SGGS, p.67),[xiii] and get the ‘Name’ for chanting, as it is only Satguru who dispels the dubidha (confusion) of a seeker and makes him/her to realize the Reality, “The false Maya has bound the whole world, but I have obtained peace, chanting the Name of the Lord” (SGGS, p. 482).[xiv]
Thus, one arrives to this understanding that Maya is a delusion or in other words a deception. Because of its three qualities it has influenced the creation to such extent that those who wants to desire and follow the path of the world are victim of Maya. Maya in reality is untruth and stands against the truth. One has to deal with the problem of Maya to attain emancipation. The problem is easily dealt by meeting with Satguru who has the power to dispel the untruth.
However, this compels a seeker to ask few questions. Where is the Satguru who can dispel the power of Maya. Who can provide redemption? Who can help a person to get rid from the influence and power of Maya. Where should one search that God given Name upon whose ‘Name’ calling or whose recitation will help a person to achieve Bliss? What is truth? Where is he? We find answer to all these questions in Satguru Jesus Christ.
“What is truth?” (John 18:38). This is an age old question asked by many and was asked by a Governor as well to Satguru Jesus Christ in his time. The Governor wanted to find out Truth. He got the answer from Satguru Jesus Christ, “I came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John 18:38). Where is this truth? Again the answer is given by Satguru Jesus Christ, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
In addition to this Satguru Jesus Christ is the ‘Name’ given to a Seeker for emancipation. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). He is also the light of the world, who dispels the darkness,
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”John 8:12
Thus, the real problem of Maya is solved. The problematic issue that is confusion is taken care by Satguru Jesus Christ.
As seen earlier, Maya is created by God brought the darkness in the mind of people hence humankind is not able to meet with their own Creator, they are neither able to see the reality not able to grasp the light of True Name (Sat Nam). One finds something similar in Granth Bible where it is being said that,
“Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ”2 Corinthians 4:4
However, with the coming of Satguru Jesus Christ in this world, the wall of ignorance, the wall of blindness, the wall of confusion, the wall of separation standing between a Bhakta and his beloved Lord and separating him from his own Creator has been pulled down. That’s why Granth Bible says that, Satguru Jesus Christ, being
“our peace, made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility”Ephesians 2:14
Thus, the union with God has been brought by Him, “And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together in the heavenly sphere (Sachkand) in Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 2:6). Once, we were far from this ‘Name’ due to veil on our eye but now we are brought closer to Him, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near” (Ephesians 2:14). Granth Bible further adds that, Satguru Jesus Christ, “came and preached peace to you who were far off (Ephesians 2:17). Therefore, Granth Bible explicitly says that, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). As a result, the moment a seeker meets with Satguru Jesus Christ, his confusion is destroyed. One finds emancipation at once. They recognizes the very voice of God (Anhad Naad). He/she gets elevation to their original state and starts living in their heavenly abode (Sachk hand). Thus, they become liberated from all the influence of Maya thereby becoming the liberated one (Jivan Mukta), sincehe/she nowrecognizes their Master. Waheguru (God Almighty, the Creator or the Supreme Being) by his grace gives the antidote for Maya that is the ‘Name’ Satguru Jesus Christ. The very name of Satguru Jesus Christ breaks the spell of darkness. Maya is brought under control and thereafter no longer harasses the disciple. Hence, the words of Guru Grantha are right here to quote, “but without the Guru, no one finds You. All are enti
[i] ਤੀਜੈ ਪਹਰੈ ਰੈਣਿ ਕੈ ਵਣਜਾਰਿਆ ਮਿਤ੍ਰਾ ਧਨ ਜੋਬਨ ਸਿਉ ਚਿਤੁ ॥ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਚੇਤਹੀ ਵਣਜਾਰਿਆ ਮਿਤ੍ਰਾ ਬਧਾ ਛੁਟਹਿ ਜਿਤੁ ॥
ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਚੇਤੈ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਬਿਕਲੁ ਭਇਆ ਸੰਗਿ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਧਨ ਸਿਉ ਰਤਾ ਜੋਬਨਿ ਮਤਾ ਅਹਿਲਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥
[ii] For more information – Aranya kand 1.1, 2.3 and Uttar kand 77.3 of Shri Ram Charitra Manas (RaMayana), the Hindu literature.
[iii] H S Singha, “Encloypadied of Sikhism,” (New Delhi:Hemkund Pub. Ltd.), p.143,
[iv] ਮਾਈ ਮਾਇਆ ਛਲੁ ॥
[v] ਤ੍ਰਿਣ ਕੀ ਅਗਨਿ ਮੇਘ ਕੀ ਛਾਇਆ ਗੋਬਿਦ ਭਜਨ ਬਿਨੁ ਹੜ ਕਾ ਜਲੁ ॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
[vi] ਛੇਆ ਨਿਤ ਦੇਖਹੁ ਜਗਿ ਹੰਢਿ ॥
[vii] ਜਨਮੁ ਬ੍ਰਿਥਾ ਜਾਤ ਰੰਗਿ ਮਾਇਆ ਕੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
[viii] ਮਾਇਆ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਨਹੀ ਸਭਿ ਭਵਿ ਥਕੇ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥
[ix] ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਬਾਧਾ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਵੈ ॥
[x] ਅੰਤਰਜਾਮੀ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਸੁਜਾਨੁ ਅਲਖ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਸੋਇ ॥
[xi] ਸਾਕਤ ਕੂੜੇ ਸਚੁ ਨ ਭਾਵੈ ॥
[xii] ਰਜ ਗੁਣ ਤਮ ਗੁਣ ਸਤ ਗੁਣ ਕਹੀਐ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਸਭ ਮਾਇਆ ॥
ਚਉਥੇ ਪਦ ਕਉ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਹੀ ਪਰਮ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥
[xiii] “ਬਿਨੁ ਗੁਰ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਨ ਪਾਈਐ ਨਾ ਦੁਬਿਧਾ ਮਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥੫॥
[xiv] “ਝੂਠੀ ਮਾਇਆ ਸਭੁ ਜਗੁ ਬਾਧਿਆ ਮੈ ਰਾਮ ਰਮਤ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੩॥੩॥੨੫॥