23rd January, 1936
Mr. Prakasa Rao: What is the root-cause of maya ?
Maharshi: What is maya?
D.: Maya is wrong knowledge, illusion.
Maharshi: For whom is the illusion? There must be one to be deluded.
Illusion is ignorance. The ignorant Self sees the objects according to you. When the objects are not themselves present how can maya exist? Maya is ya ma (maya is what is not). What remains over is the true Self. If you say that you see the objects, or if you say that you do not know the Real Unity, then are there two selves, one the knower and the other the knowable object. No one will admit of two selves in himself. The awakened man says that he himself was in deep slumber but not aware. He does not say that the sleeper was different from the present one. There is only one Self. That Self is always aware. It is changeless. There is nothing but the Self.
D.: What is the astral body?
Maharshi: Do you not have a body in your dream? Is it not different from the recumbent body on the bed?
D.: Do we survive after death? Does the astral body outlive physical death?
Maharshi: Just as in dreams you wake up after several novel experiences, so also after physical death another body is found and so on.
D.: They say that the astral body lives for forty years after death.
Maharshi: In the present body you say the dream body is astral. Did you say so in the dream body? What is astral now would appear real then, the present body itself is astral according to that viewpoint. What
is the difference between one astral body and another? There is no difference between the two.
Mr. P. Brunton: There are degrees of reality.
Maharshi: To say the dream body is unreal now, and to say that this body was unreal in the dream, does not denote degrees of reality. In deep sleep there is no experience of the body at all. There is always only one and that is the Self.
Talk 143 Talk 145