Talks on the Gita -Vinoba 63

Chapter 7
32. The Magnificent Vision Of Bhakti

3. The Self and the body, the higher and the lower prakriti are the same everywhere. Why should then man be deluded? Why should he see differences instead of unity? The face of someone whom we love attracts us, whereas that of someone whom we dislike is found repulsive; we desire to meet one person and shun the other. Why is it so? Different pictures drawn by the same artist with the same brush on the same paper evoke different feelings. Therein lies the skill of the artist. The artist and the sitarist have such a skill in their fingers that they make you laugh or cry. In their fingers lies a magical power. We welcome someone while we shut the door in the other’s face. We embrace someone and push away the other. Such feelings arise in the mind and, at times, deflect us from the path of duty. All this is because of delusion. If we are to escape this, we should understand the secret of the creative skill of the Creator’s fingers. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad gives the analogy of a drum. A drum produces a variety of sounds. Some frighten us, some make us dance. If we are not to be swayed this way or that and remain in full control of all such emotions, we must catch hold of the drummer. Then all the sounds of the drum would be under our control.

The Lord declares, “Those who want to cross the river of maya should take refuge in Me.[1] ”In the words of Jnanadeva—

येथ एकचि लीला तरले। जे सर्व भावें मज भजले।
तयां ऐलीच थडी सर लें। मायाजळ॥

(‘Only those who worship me single-mindedly and with unswerving devotion can cross this river of maya. In fact, they need not have to cross it at all; for them the water of maya dries up while they are at this bank itself—that is, the mirage created by maya disappears for them here and now.’) What is this maya? It is the Lord’s creative power, His art and His skill. He created this world out of the single eternal Self and the eight-fold prakriti, or what the Jain terminology calls jiva and ajiva. The Lord has created this variegated world out of these two elements; out of them He is ever creating all sorts of things. They evoke different sentiments and responses. If we want to go beyond them and attain true inner peace, we should reach out for the creator of them all. We should know Him. Only then can we get rid of the delusion that gives rise to divisions, antipathies and attachment.


References and Context

  1. Gita 7.14. Maya is the creative power of the Lord which creates illusions. It is maya which makes us forget that we are Divine. It is the veil that hides the Real from us.