Maya, Tantra, and the Outside and Inside search.

The second in a series taken from Swami Nishchalananda’s visit to India
from December 2002 to January 2003

Read more: Maya, Tantra, and the Outside and Inside search.

The sessions from Satyananda Tapovanam are quite informal, but always contain pearls of wisdom from Swamiji’s extensive knowledge of Yoga, Tantra, Advaita. These particular pearls are all prompted by questions, often from Westerners who had gone to India with Swamiji. You may have been there!

This session in January 2003 explores several topics:

What is the meaning of Maya?

Usually translated as ‘Illusion’, the question leads into a wider discussion on the nature of reality. And the difficulty we have to find any definitions on these concepts of illusion, reality and relative reality . Consider the example of the mirror and the image in the mirror , does the image in the mirror have any reality?

It’s interesting to look at the views of orthodox science like Newtonian physics for example, and development in quantum physics to see that even a materialistic view of the universe has a difficulty defining reality.

This leads on to the observation that if the mind and the body are part of the illusion how can we practice yoga and expect to receive anything of an unchanging reality through such a transient medium. We may believe that understanding comes through the mind but Yoga suggests that understanding comes from beyond the mind. 

What is Tantra

“Tan” means body and tantra says no denial of the body is necessary. Expansion of one’s capacity for understanding starts with the body, and then mind and emotions.  Tantra does not deny the physical body and the mind and ego.  It would not be possible for the physical body to function without an ego. But the practices of tantra can then go deeper, from where the ego appears to be illusory. 

And more on both the inner and outer journey, where most of us start our search. Please enjoy this second compilation from the series.

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