The Unreality of the Cosmic Illusion

Whichever way we look at the problem of Maya, the cosmic illusion, we find that we cannot legitimately attribute to it any reality without confronting the issue of its relation to the One, sole Reality, Absolute, Transcendent. The Upanishads tell us that “all this is the Brahman” and that Brahman is “one without a second”. Maya, therefore cannot have any reality independent of Brahman. If there is only one transcendent Absolute as the Sole Existent, Maya also cannot be misleading Brahman, or creating any forms or appearances that are not Brahman. Thus, the concept of a separate weaver of illusions creating forms that do not really have any substance or existence, imposing itself upon the Brahman, has no basis.

Sri Aurobindo expounds on this concept: “it is constantly affirmed that all this that is,–this universe we are now supposing to have been constructed by Maya,–is the Brahman, the Reality. The Brahman becomes all these beings; all beings must be seen in the Self, the Reality, and the Reality must be seen in them, the Reality must be seen as being actually all these beings; for not only the Self is Brahman, but all is the Self, all this that is is the Brahman, the Reality. That emphatic asseveration leaves no room for an illusory Maya…”

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 6, Reality and the Cosmic Illusion, pg. 451


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