What is Maya?

I am sure that people in the West might have heard the word Maya. In the Hindu mythology, Universe or the Maya is the dream of Hindu God Brahma which he dreams. Then, there was Narada his son, who was a very erudite sage. With his intelligence, he impressed so many Gods and they often discussed their problems with him and used his services as a messenger for communicating with each other because one of them may be in Himalayas while another in the down South.

One day Brahma called upon Narada and offered him a single wish. The Narada asked him to understand the Maya that is the dream Brahma dreamed and which as we know is the universe. Brahma said Ok and took him on a walk. This is no ordinary walk.

Now they are walking and walking beginning with Calcutta which is teeming with millions of people. They cross the Sunderbans where the fabled “White tiger” lives in the swamps and Sundari trees grow. They turn towards west and enter Bihar and then towards Uttar Pradesh. The weather is turning hotter and hotter and they are feeling more and more thirsty. The land is parched and Narada is finding it very difficult to go on. Now they reach the desert where the sand is burning with the heat from Sun.

Brahma calls Narada and asks him to fetch some water for him as he is feeling very thirsty and weak. He points towards an oasis with its green shady trees and a village. The Narada goes there in search of water and sees a well. He goes and knocks at the door of first house to ask for the permission to draw water from the well. But when he see the face of the woman who opens the door, he forgets everything about him and falls instantly in love. He marries the woman and they live together in great happiness. He and she work in their fields and in the passage of time they are blessed with two children.

But the happiness is not everlasting. After twelve years, dark clouds thunder in the sky. Then the rain comes in thick sheets and there follows a deluge of such intensity that there is a flood which hurls everything that comes in its way. Swirling currents of water separates his family. He sees them consumed by the water one by one. He is crying and calling his beloved wife and children but to no avail. There after he also drowns in the water.

Narada wakes up after one hour with his face on the sand. The Brahma is standing over him and asking him why he had been so late and where is the water he had gone to fetch for him. On hearing this Narada said “O God, now I have understood the meaning of Maya”

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