Maya’s Veiling and Projecting Power – Part 22


In previous part 21, we asked “What causes projection of ignorance?

The cause of ignorance is partial knowledge and the effect is partial ignorance or projection.

Suppose I say it's a 6. You say it's a 9.

Debate goes on for years.

Without the ink – is there a 6 or 9 to debate?

It's not like the ink was completely hidden from us. Because our debate depended on the ink – from beginning to end.

But our focus was on the appearance and not the content of the appearance. Thus we both projected a debate on bases of our partial knowledge of the ink.

In same way, everyone has partial knowledge of Limitless Consciousness (Brahman). It is self-evident as “I exist”.

Nobody needs to be told “You are”. It's obvious to even the most illiterate person.

But this knowledge is partial.

A common man shy's away from the sacred texts and the guidance of a guru. For this very reason,  the “I exist” focus remains on the body-mind.

Thus all our debates from birth to death are of the body-mind concerns.

Maya's two-fold power is at work.

Student now asks, “Who superimposes or projects and with what?”.

” No one superimposes.

It is not an action of placing an object on another, or transferring a picture onto Limitless Consciousness.

Due to beginning-less ignorance, our minds perplexed by māyā's presence, confuses our understanding of reality of things.

Maya's presence prevents us from knowing things in their completeness.

For example…

Take a wooden table. We know not of it's molecular composition. Nor the laws that govern those molecules. Nor the how's and why's of it's creation.

Do you know how your own thinking-brain works? The very brain we debate with, we don't know anything about.

If we view from one angle, we are automatically limited seeing other angles. I either see you from the front or back. But not both at the same time.

Even our mother tongue, we know less then 10% of it's words.

Irony is, no matter how little we know, it's as though we know the whole. This is effect of māyā.

Unaware of the world's real-ness, we think what we see is an absolute reality.

When we saw a rope, we thought it was a snake and reacted accordingly.

As in our dreams, we firmly believe the reality of the dream-world created out of our own mind.

Unknowing of the truth of self, Limitless Existence Consciousness (satchitananda), we accept the world, it's differences and diversity as the one real, the only real.

This causes us to feel bound. Sometimes with no hope or relief from worries. At least not until the body leaves earthly existence.

Unfortunately the partially ignorant self quickly returns. Finding a new body, it repeats the cycle of birth, disease, decay, death.

Whereas when the truth is understood, we will know the reality of the world… freeing us forever instantaneously from the sense of bondage.”

“How can there be a superimposition without someone to superimpose? If it is maya, how does it act?”

“With it's power of ignorance that comes along with our first breath.

The moment we are born, in our mind appears a reflection of the Limitless One.

The I-sense, I-am-ness instantaneously identifies with the body-mind, and results in a self-conscious being, the individual ‘I'.

No matter how rudimentary the species, it is imbued with primal desire to survive.

Visible in every form of life, but more so in humankind.

Using the mind and senses, it incites the body to act, to keep the organism alive.

Caught in a spiral, the ‘I' continues… propelled by it's actions, it's sense of doer-shop.

Owning up it's deeds (prārabdha karma) through infinite lifetimes…. repeating endlessly the circle of life.

Truth of ‘I' masked and maya's magic at work, we are unknowing our our limitless nature.

Thus a new world beings. Of our making. Of separation.

I, me, mine, you, he, she, it, and so on.

So unshakeable is our belief in the reality of the world.

Such confidence we entrust onto our minds and senses that we cannot accept the dependent reality of the world and our body-mind.

Again, this is maya's double act – it's twin roles at play.

One role is keeping us ignorant of the truth of ourselves.

Another leading us to believe in the reality of the projected world.

Thus two aspects of ignorance are veiling (āvaraṇa) and projecting (vikṣepa). They work in tandem. And are the cause of our confusion, our superimposition. “

“What happens after ignorance is removed and full knowledge of Limitless Consciousness is discovered as the truth of self?”

” In our dreams, only when we are ‘dead' or ignorant to the waking world, can we enter the world of dreams.

We cannot be in both simultaneously.

One disappears while the other appears.

Finally understanding the truth is other then mere appearances… despite the  knowledge of reality – the world does not disappear, nor does the body-mind.

One continues to transact living and working in the world… using the infinite names and forms… silently and unceasingly knowing they are māyā's games. ”


Conversation continues in part 23, question being “What is the ontological status of māyā? What is it's reality?”…


  1. The cause of ignorance is partial knowledge and the effect is partial ignorance or projection – can u explain whose partial knowledge is the cause of ignorance? Coz according to advaitha u define Brahman as Satyam jnanam anantam brahma….which means Brahman is svatah siddha…so who has this partial ignorance? Why will Brahman who is swayam jnana swarupa project himself as ignorant and the same svatah siddha brahman studies Shastras to overcome the ignorance….so according to u it’s like holding torch to see the sun…very self contradictory

    1. ==
      whose partial knowledge is the cause of ignorance?

      Of every mind born.

      When baby is born, it knows nothing. It’s taught how to walk, language, math, everything.

      Whatever it learns, pertains to navigating in the world.

      It’s still ignorant of it’s union with the WHOLE. It is convinced “I am a separate individual”.

      Until such mind becomes qualified with sufficient vairāgyam/viveka (dispassion towards the world and discrimination), and sits at feet of guru… it will continue swimming in mixed notions of truth/falsehood.

      Why will Brahman who is swayam jnana swarupa project himself as ignorant

      This we didn’t say anywhere. Brahman has nothing to do with projection.

      Brahman’s inherent power called māyā has two śaktis: vikṣepa/āvaraṇa (power to veil and power to project).

      Just like when you go to sleep. In you, there is a power called mind. It projects a dream world. Whatever good/bad happens in the dream world, doesn’t affect you (the person safely sleeping in bed).

      You didn’t project anything. Your mind projected.

      In same way, Brahman doesn’t project. Brahman’s māyā projects.

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