Nimiththamathram Bhava Savyasaachin

Bhagavad Gita As It Is, 11.33: The Universal Form, Text 33.
I stumbled upon this stanza in Bhagavad-Gita today accidentally.
I was reading Vathsala Madam's and Panchapakesan Sir's detailed comments* on "Maya", Universe, the concepts of matter, energy and "being" in a wider context. I just wanted to give a one line thanks note appreciating the comments and saying that I felt happy that I could become the "nimiththam" for the ongoing discussion on the subject. The thought of the word made me Google search for this stanza. Found the meaning and commentary here relevant in the context of the discussion on "Maya"

M G Warrier
*Copied below:
Vathsala Jayaraman from Chennai observes:

Maya and Physics

Just two days back Shri Warrier has made a reference to Maya in one of his forwards on Faith Column of The Hindu.
Maya is a word which is very familiar to us all, but very few know what it actually means. It is a word which was used by the rishis (sages) of ancient India to describe the nature of this universe of changing forms. The rishis have always been telling us that matter is not as real or as solid as we think. It is only an illusion projected by our senses. They called It “maya” or the magical creative power of the “Brahman”.

With the dawn of the 20th century, we find that physics started to support this view. 
The theory of relativity showed us that we can only know the relations between objects, and quantum theory declared that we can only see probabilities. What we think of as solid matter is an illusion created by our eyes. In fact, it is the “maya” which the rishis talked about. 
Matter is actually made up of particles and waves that merely indicate the different types of knowledge that can be derived from that object.  Scientists finally realized that our senses do not give us a true picture of Reality. This is exactly what the rishis of ancient India had been telling us more than five thousand years ago.
 We see the pictures in TV through the screen.  The screen itself has no qualities. It is unmoving and unchanging, but without this solid support, the play of light and shade which we are watching would have no form and no meaning.
Similarly, the drama of our life and the drama of the world taking place in front of our eyes would have no meaning without the solid stage of the steady, unchanging state of the Pure Consciousness of the Brahman on which it is being enacted.
The quantum world of science, which is a strange, unbelievable dance of particles, solidifies into a semblance of concrete reality when an observation is made by someone. In the absence of an observer, the atomic world is only a possibility. The particles materialize only when we look for them.
Another strange fact is that when scientists looked for the location of a particle they were able to find it at a particular place, but they could not gauge its speed. When they wanted to gauge its speed, the particle turns into a wave and they could see it in motion. However, the scientist could not fix both its location and speed at the same time. Both depended on the observer! We cannot observe a thing without influencing it.
This takes us back to the truth which had been declared by the rishis: that each of us is really creating our own world. Modern science has corroborated the statements of the rishis that this is actually a shadow world, which can be called real only when the consciousness of the observer comes into play. Normally quantum particles act in a haphazard fashion of chaos and disorder; but when individual consciousness is focused on them, they lose their individuality and begin to act as a single unit. This coherence extends into the world. Thus, human consciousness represents the greatest form of order known in nature and can help to shape and create order in the world.
The modern physicist corroborates the claim of the rishis that the world exists only because we who are the observers are actively participating in it. The world is a creation of the human mind. Each of us creates our own world. These words are used both by Vedanta and by the quantum physicists. Vedanta says that the universe is an illusion created by the participators in this drama taking place on the stage of the universe!
The question now comes up as to how the Supreme, unchangeable Being of the Brahman turned into the changing world. Vedanta explains this unique phenomenon by postulating “maya” as the cause of the superimposition.
Maya has two powers- one to veil and the other to project. It veils the nature of the Brahman and projects pluralities on the screen of the non-dual. We can understand this only through examples. Light exists, darkness does not. The latter is only the absence of the former. Although darkness does not exist in reality, it has empirical existence. Similarly, the world also has empirical reality.
According to the theory of relativity, continuous activity is the very essence of matter. Hence in Hinduism, maya is described as a state of “becoming” whereas Brahman is the state of “Being”. The Puranas describe this relationship in a very poetic way. Shiva in his essence is the Absolute and is known as Bhava or “Being”, whereas his consort Parvati, who is the essence of maya, is known as Bhavani or “Becoming.” There can be no change without expenditure of energy. The Sanskrit word for energy is “Shakti” and this also refers to maya, as we have seen.
Maya is thus the enchantress who has cast this spell on us and made us believe in the solid reality of this universe of forms. She has made us believe in the reality of the forms and forget that formless that is upholding the forms. 

The only way to break free from the spell of the enchantress is to realize that all the forms we see are aspects of that one Reality, just as all the rays of light emanate from just one sun. 
This is known as moksha or liberation and is the goal of Hinduism.  Liberation is when the individual experiences that he or she is nothing but that Brahman. This is the very essence of Hinduism.
The sage of Arunachala known as Ramana Maharishi  said,"Just as the spider emits the thread (of the web)out of itself and again withdraws it into itself,likewise the mind projects the world out of itself and again resolves it into itself.when the mind comes out of the Self, the world appears.Therefore,when the world appears to be real, the Self does not appear;and when the Self shines, the world does not appear. 
When one persistently enquires into the nature of the mind, the mind will end leaving the Self shine, as the residue.
 “Who am I?” is the question that he asked his disciples to use. By negating all those parts of our selves that are transitory or superficial, we will come to the realization that we are nothing other than that Supreme Consciousness of the Brahman.This is the final liberation from all the fears that haunt the mind of the human being. 
If this knowledge is made a part of our everyday life, all our basic hang-ups like the fear of death and extreme attachment to people, places, and objects can be banished forever.
Our inquiry into the true nature of our selves will make us realize that the Supreme Self is present in all beings irrespective of any perceived differences. 
Meditation and yoga can only give us occasional glimpses of that Supreme Self, but the abiding knowledge and realization that our existence is not separate from that universal existence, can at one stroke remove all our mental agonies.
Vathsala Jayaraman

V T Panchapagesan adds:

Wonderful analysis.
Everyone having born in this world has to perform an action.
What is action?
Action performed with selfish desires.
Action performed with unselfish desires.
Action performed without desires.
Who has to decide whose action is the best?
Let us not fume or fret.

Halford Luccock shares his experience .
An aggressive businessmen told his doctor he was stressed with work.
“I take my briefcase home every night and it is packed with work.”
He said this with nervous infection.
“Cannot someone else do it or help you with it?” Said the doctor.
“No”, the man snapped, “I am only one who can do it as it must be done,
and it has to be done quickly”.
The doctor prescription was , The patient was to take off two hours every working day
And go for a long walk. Also he was to take off half-day a week and spend that half day
In a cemetery .  In astonishment , the patient demanded, “why should I spend a half-day 
Ina cemetery.?”  “Because,” answered the doctor , “I want you to wander around and look at the gravestones of men who are there permanently. I want you to meditate upon 
The fact that may of them are there because they thought even as you do, that the
Whole world rested on their shoulders. Meditate on the solemn fact that when you get
There permanently , the world will go on just the same and, important as you are, others
Will be able to do the same work you are now doing.”
The patient slowed his pace. He learned to delegate authority. He stopped fuming 
And fretting. And it might be added , He now does better work...

Exploring the frontiers of consciousness
Maya which is illusion, 
Physics which is the study of the nature
And properties of matter and Energy..

Be well
V T Panchapagesan


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