Reason for Beginningless Ignorance & Delusion: Maya Avarana Shakti, 3 Gunas, Apara-Prakriti (63)


Lesson 63 provides answers to various doubts, like “If all is infinite Consciousness, then why does humanity constantly seek finite objects/experiences?”. Or “How can Consciousness be covered by maya, when there is only consciousness?”. What is ultimate cause of suffering (besides attachment)? Indicator of real spiritual progress vs. fake spiritual progress.

Source: Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 7 – verse 25, 26, 27, 28


  • From verse 20, Lord Krishna dealing with sakāma-bhakti (worship). Whereby person seeks FINITE, limited experiences.
  • First Krishna mentions PLUS points of sakāma:
    • Not sinful to entertain.
    • No spiritual fall.
    • Valid and permitted if done with dharma/morals.
    • Gives phalam as asked, considering correct protocol is performed. Example, a Tiramisu cake has a specific method to follow if one wishes to enjoy it's final tasty-ness (phalam). If ingredients are incorrect quantity or incorrect order, then Tiramisu won’t be a Tiramisu, but something else. Thus to get wanted result, one needs to follow the ingeredients order.
  • And MINUS points of sakama. In Verse 23…
    • However sacred/lofty, gives FINITE results. So what? It means pain also will be entangled with it.
    • Highest can give is: money, children, possessions, position, highest lokās. However they’re all limited time pleasure.
    • Joys eventually come to end. Brings pain proportional to pleasure.
    • Keeps person in saṃsāra only. Very problem one is attempting to escape.
  • Knowing PLUS and MINUS, what should intelligent devotee DO?
    • If properly assimilated (all finite objects = potential pain), then will seek ONLY limitless goal.
      • GOOD NEWS: Since can NOT have two limitless goals, there is no alternative limitless goal in another school of thought. Hence can’t go wrong.
  • Question: What does this limitless goal give? Infinite security, peace, happiness.
  • Question: What specifically is an infinite goal, which nothing can limit? Parā-prakṛti, my own higher nature. Thus one should seek para-prakriti for infinite result.
  • Question: What is parā-prakṛti? Caitanyam tattvam: Consciousness principle.
    • What is Consciousness principle? Awareness because of which I am constantly present to every experience at all 3 times: Past, Present, Future.
  • Question: WHERE is parā-prakṛti FOUND most CLOSELY & IMMEDIATELY?
    • In presence of guru’s magical touch?
    • Plant medicines?
    • Sacred sites (chakra points of world)?
    • In India? Church? Sacred Temple?
    • Next YouTube video clip.
    • In Jesus? Buddha? Krishna?
    • Your own mind? Yes. Specifically in buddhi (intellect).
  • Next question: If infinite is closest to us right NOW, how come people chase finite goals?
    • Krishna says: If I have X with me, I should not seek outside. If seeking outside, it is only because I am ignorant of the fact. Meaning:
      • X (parā-prakṛti) is covered, which is why I am ignorant of parā. Covered by what? Mind’s impurities/false notions.
      • X (parā-prakṛti) must be discovered. How? Remove the cover.
    • Why discover-parā and NOT gain-parā?
      • Discover implies “It is already TRUE / AVAILABLE”. How to PROVE this? Logic…
        • Immortal is one description of parā-prakṛti. Meaning it was never born. Thus can’t end.
        • What are all humans seeking? Immortality.
          • Which means we are already “in touch” with parā-prakṛti. We can not be talking about aparā, because we already know nothing lasts in world.
        • Therefore what is reason for “fear of death” (notion of mortality)?
          • Superimposing immortality (ātman/self) onto mortal aparā body. Mistakenly turning satyam into mithyā.
            • This also creates trillion dollar health-wellness industry to support false notion of extending life.
  • Next question: What/who is responsible for the covering of parā-prakṭi? V25 answers…


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 7 – Verse 25:

nāhaṃ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yogamāyāsamāvṛtaḥ |
mūḍho'yaṃ nābhijānāti loko māmajamavyayam ||

Veiled by my yogamaya, I am not evident to all. Being deluded, this world does not know Me who (am) is birthless and deathless.


  • In V24, Krishna said he (Īśvara) has:
    • Higher nature, consciousness, which is ever evident.
    • Lower nature of matter body, subject to birth and death.
  • Doubt: If consciousness (higher nature of God/Īśvara) is ever evident, how come people miss it? How come people chasing 99.9% of time, the lower inferior perishable nature?
    • How come most only interested in Īśvara darśanam?
      • Seeing God’s form, Feeling God’s presence, Hearing God’s voice?
  • Yogamāyāsamāvṛtaḥ: My lower material nature (aparā-prakṛti, māyā āvaraṇa śakti), is always ATTRACTIVE. Beautiful. (Also supported in 7.13: tribhirguṇamayairbhāvairebhiḥ sarvamidaṃ jagat)
    • Reason why jiva is defined: Object-oriented extrovert. Interested in form.
    • Yogamāyā: Māyā means 3 guṇās. Yoga means combination.
    • Therefore jīvās are avṛtaḥ: deluded by, covered by, tempted by, seduced by, carried away by, robbed by: Māyā / aparā-prakṛti / 3 gunās / mohinī / āvaraṇa-śakti
    • Consequences of delusion? Intellect / thinking power is clouded, reduced, blunted.
      • EG: When person “falls in love”, their intellect is clouded by the “fall”. More I fall, more mind narrows it’s world. And why do we not say “rise in love”?
  • And mūḍhaḥ, being deluded, the jīvās are only interested in saguṇa īśvara. Not in nirguṇa īsvara.
  • How to DISCOVER nirguṇa īśvara?
    • Vivekacūḍāmaṇi 65: (Crest jewel of viveka)
      • Source of ānanda / peace is within you. And there is a METHOD of digging up AND owning that ānanda.
      • Even though guru’s purpose is to help dig it up, jīva is tempted by materialism. “I don’t have time to come to guru / śāstra”, says the jīva. Therefore, jīva runs after same things life-after-life.
      • Thus entire world busy. Forgotten what came to Earth for.
      • For this reason, only handful recognize Me: parā-prakṛti, which is: ajam (birthless), avyayam (deathless), eternal.
  • Next verse talks more about jīva’s saṃsāra created by māyā…


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 7 – Verse 26:

vedāhaṃ samatītāni vartamānāni cārjuna |
bhaviṣyāṇi ca bhūtāni māṃ tu veda na kaścana ||

I know all the beings belonging to the past, present and future, but no one knows Me, Oh! Arjuna.


  • Verse 25 said entire world/humanity deluded by māyā.
  • Doubt: If māyā (aparā-prakṛti) is intimately mixed with Īśvara, then won’t it ALSO delude Īśvara?
    • EG: If person puts own hand infront of eyes, it will block own vision.
  • Krishna explains: I am master/controller of māyā. Whereas jīva is SLAVE of / DELUDED by māyā. This is difference.
    • Swami Chinmaya example:
      • Father and toddler are walking in city. They spot a man cuffed by one policemen. Sons asks about it, and father replies “Man is thief. Going to prison”. Few meters again, another man held by two policeman. “Who is he daddy”, the son asks? Father replies “a bigger thief”. So son concludes, bigger the thief, the more policeman. Few meter later, president coming with 100 policeman. Son cries, “biggest thief in the nation daddy!”. Then father explains, both are surrounded by police. But president is controller of police. While thief is controlled by police.
    • In same way, māyā “surrounds” in and through the jīva and Īśvara.
      • Jīva is controlled by māyā.
      • Īśvara is controller of māyā.
  • Therefore, ahaṃ veda, I (Īśvara) do NOT have problem of ignorance or limitation caused by māyā. I know FULLY of both parā and aparā, for all beings in past-present-future. (samatītāni vartamānāni bhaviṣyāṇi).
    • Whereas, veda na kaścana, the jīva does not know Me (para-prakṛti), hence suffers from saṃsāra.
  • How is suffering created in one’s life? V27 answers…


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 7 – Verse 27:

icchādveṣasamutthena dvandvamohena bhārata |
sarvabhūtāni sammohaṃ sarge yānti parāntapa ||

Oh! Arjuna, due to the delusion of duality caused by desire and hatred, all beings get deluded at the time of birth itself, Oh Arjuna.


  • Owning to māyā, from time of birth, jīva misses infinite Īśvara within oneself. Thus jīva never finds infinite peace and security. As result, constructs a personal world of likes/dislikes for sake of happiness.
  • sarvabhūtāni sammohaṃ sarge yānti: from time of birth, jīva is under spell of ignorance or māyā’s āvaraṇa śakti.
    • Meaning jīva doesn’t know INFINITE peace/security is within oneself. Thus resorts to seeking outside. Extroverted-ness begins from birth.
    • Stages:
      • Toddler: Peace/security in toys.
      • Teen: In opposite gender, computer games, sports.
      • Adult: Spouse, children, house.
      • Old age: Grandchildren, TV.
    • Meaning jīva never suspects that happiness sough is found within oneself.
    • Extroversion further escalated by scientific developments. Increases fascination for aparā-prakṛti.
      • EG: VR glass, more TV channels, cheaper travel tickets.
    • Thus humans kept busy throughout life. Self-inquiry no chance.
  • Dvadvamohena: Whole world is deluded by dvandva. Pairs of opposites.
    • What strengthens reality to “pairs of opposite”? Rāgaḥ-dveśaḥ.
    • One divides world into 2 categories: (1) Source of joy (2) Source of pain. As a result of this…
      • One’s SUBJECTIVE likes/dislikes override OBJECTIVE reality.
      • Prātibhāsika overrides vyāvahārika. Personal ideas wallpaper over transactional reality.
      • What consequences does rāga-dveṣa have?
        • Busy acquiring what consider joy worthy.
        • Busy getting rid of what interpret as potential sorrow.
        • In short: Getting / getting rid of. Acquire / dispose.
        • Because of these likes/dislikes, whole world is always busy getting SOMEWHERE.
    • In comparison, how does Vedāntin look at world?
      • World is neither cause of happiness nor sorrow.
      • Cause of happiness = knowing myself (pūrṇatvam; full). Caused by self-knowledge.
      • Cause of sorrow = not knowing myself. Caused by self-ignorance.
      • Vedāntin accepts: happiness/sorrow centered on me.
      • However IF it’s not centered on me, then it’s centered on world. Hence world is responsible. Blame!
        • Adjusting environment. House.
        • Wanting to change people. Including wives/husbands.
        • Changing single/taken status.
        • Body, clothes. Professions.
        • All in common: Changing situation will make me BETTER human being.
  • Despite unwillingness to settle with anything… there are some blessed jīvas, different from majority. WHO are they?


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 7 – Verse 28:

yeṣāṃ tvantagataṃ pāpaṃ janānāṃ puṇyakarmaṇām |
te dvandvamohanirmuktā bhajante māṃ dṛḍhavratāḥ ||

However, those of the people who are of noble actions, whose papa has ended and who are totally free from the delusion of duality seek Me with a firm resolve.


  • There are some rewarded jīvas who performed adequate puṇya-karma, either in previous or present birth (janma). EG: Karma-Yoga. Bhakti-Yoga.
    • So various sādhanās, makes mind pure. And reduces life obstacles.
      • To such jīvās, COMPLAINTS about life reduce. Because no longer find self in problematic situations.
      • And pāpam (painful events showing up in life) is REDUCED.
  • What is a definitive-indicator of pāpam reduction? (less annoyances, sorrow-giving actions)
    • One begins to be a thinker / inquirer about life in general.
      • Krishna says, when pāpam reduces, jīva BEGINS to think. What is thinking? Asking questions. Eg:
        • Really worth it in long run?
        • Has this brought LASTING happiness to others?
        • Will this also bring me pain?
        • How will adjusting world give happiness? If works, should’ve worked by now 60 years later!
        • 50 years later, I got it all. Supposed to be happy. But I’m not. I’m missing something!
    • Meaning as mind is purified… jīva starts to feel at EASE to ask someone for direction.
      • Before then, stubborn “I know it all, I am source of all answers” attitude.
      • So as mind is cleansed of pāpam… jīva recognizes “Sukham/duḥkham is not outside, but in my mind”.
        • Swami Dayananda wrote short 30+ booklet about this: Problem is You. Solution is You.
      • Meaning REAL SPIRITUALITY is when one turns ATTENTION entirely onto oneself (subject). Whereas, FAKE spirituality is extroverted in nature, turning attention onto objects. EG: Spiritual festivals, attire, spiritual music, spiritual drugs, acting spiritual, etc.
      • What happens when attention is turned onto oneself?
        • Sanctifies the mind in time.
        • Reduces sinful (pāpam) tendencies.
        • Bhagavān can finally get through the jīva and guide them.
  • So what is fundamental problem of all suffering?
    • I don’t know who I am. For that reason, I am drunk on ignorance. Doing various things.
    • And AFTER falling many times, like a child who eventually looks for mommy after playing with toys…
      • mām bhajante: they begin to seek Me (parā-prakṛti), and not aparā. They begin to seek infinite, niṣkāma-bhakti.
  • CONCLUSION: Once clarity comes to mind, sakāma-bhakti CONVERTS to niṣkāma-bhakti.
    • Through persistence of niṣkāma-bhakti, result is discovery of inexhaustible satisfaction… unmovable by world’s crises.
  • Next question: Then what is niṣkāma-bhakti? Next verse…


Keywords: ananda, apara-prakriti, avarana-shakti, bhagavan, duhkham, guna, gunas, ishvara darshan, jiva, jivas, maya, maya avarana shakti, mohini, nirguna ishvara, nishkama-bhakti, niskama-bhakti, papa-karma, para, punya-karma, purnatvam, raga-dvesa, raga-dvesha, sadhanas, saguna ishvara, sakama-bhakti, samsara, sastra, shastra, vedantin, vivekachudamani, vivekacudamani, vyavaharika


Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Chinmaya Int. Foundation & Swami Paramarthananda

Recorded 20 Aug, 2019


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