How Maya Fools Everyone Believing Joy is in the World / About Desire (7)


Sessions 7 focuses on mechanics how Jīva (ignorant person under spell of Māyā) believes joy is in worldly Objects – disregarding Self as source of the joy. As long as person believes joy is in the World/Thoughts/Emotions/Body, this prevents mokṣa (Enlightenment).


  1. Kṛṣṇa gives Arjuna 3 reasons not to worry with the existential crisis presented between Kauravas and Pāṇḍavas:
    1. Everything is consciousness. (tat tvam asi; that thou art)
    2. Jiva gains another body. Gains another chance to fulfill his/her svadharma, leading to mokṣa.
    3. What is Real (Consciousness) – never ceases to exist. Can't destroy what pervades everything. Meaning your existence can't be destroyed. Your body/mind can, but they're NOT you. Why? Because body-mind-intellect is KNOWN to you. You can't be what you Know.
  2. All attempts for lasting happiness fail in Māyā. Because:
    1. All is changing. Meaning as soon you make something work, it already is taking on different condition/form. Even your own mind's preferences about the Object are changing. Meaning even if the Object of desire doesn't change, your own mind about it will.
    2. Jīva (person) doesn't create anything in this world. You don't control what you didn't create. You can only control what you created. But Īṣvara also created the Jīva including the environment which Jīva depends on for it's survival, growth, education.
      Yes, Jīva does have apparent “Free Will”. So it has some level of control over it's microcosmic world. However microcosmic world is still dependent upon the Macrocosmic world (Īṣvara). 
      Hence conclusion is, Jīva:
      1. Has no control. Because Causal Body vāsanā's are always causing Jīva to act/think according to it's Karma. This is Destiny (prārabdha).
      2. Simultaneously Jīva does have absolute control over it's attitude about what happens.
        EG: Arjuna had no choice but to endure the war. All Kṛṣṇa could do was help Arjuna's attitude about the inevitable war.
        This level of control which Jīva has, is Free-will or Self-effort (puruṣārtha). And is the privilege only human beings have. (Tiger can't choose to become vegetarian)
  3. When Māyā is operating, this causes Jīva to feel incomplete/unhappy/unfulfilled. Mechanics of this is explained in 4 parts.
    When spell of Māyā is operating, Consciousness (brahman) apparently forgets itself and experience of LIMITATION – or sense of INCOMPLETION occurs in Jīva's Subtle body.
    This is because Consciousness pervades everything (sarvagatham), including Jīva's Subtle Body (Reflecting Medium).
    Hence Jīva mistakenly concludes “I AM Limited/Incomplete“. Which then motivates Jīva to chase worldly Objects to relieve itself from this Incompleteness.
  4. Metaphor of “Scratching Mosquito Bite” is used to expose how any DESIRE TO SCRATCH (sex, friendship, save the world, fame, power, money) is solely motivated to REMOVE the desire to scratch.
    In other words, all Desire is motivated to be FREE of that Desire. Because it limits what is inherently LIMITLESSNESS (Brahman / Self). 
    EG: Jīva's action of Sex is motivated to BE FREE of desire for sex.
    Because any Desire (like mosquito bite) LIMITS the Jīva who inherently identifies with FREEDOM. Why?
    Because Consciousness (YOU) pervades the Jīva. And Consciousness is “LIMITLESSNESS” (ānanda). Hence any limitation (desire) limits it's attribute of LIMITLESSNESS (ānanda)… which feels painful.
    So then you are motivated to remove this LIMITATION by fulfilling the Desire – in order to get a temporary relief from the Desire.
    This causes experience of saṃsāra (worldly entanglements) which Jīva accepts as “way of normal life”. Endlessly chasing worldly OBJECTS for a temporary relief from saṃsāra. Yet all attempts fail. Because none provide PERMANENT SATISFACTION (mokṣa)… which is what everyone is ultimately seeking.
    SUMMARY: Purpose of all Jīva's action is for freedom from sense of limitation.
  5. There's no winning nor losing in Māyā. There is only duty to lead you to the Highest Goal (brahman).
  6. What is Māyā?
    1. All power.
    2. All knowledge.
    3. It is a latent/dormant power in Consciousness. And when this power manifests, we then call that “Īṣvara“.
  7. Consciousness is a causeless cause. It doesn't cause creation, even thought out of Consciousness, creation comes. This paradox is explained using “Spider-Web” and Dream metaphors.
  8. Self is ___ (11 attributes given in Scripture/Mindmap).
  9. Explanation of using Īṣvara 1 and 2: (which isn't used in Traditional Vedānta)
    1. Īṣvara 1 is synonymous with: Satya, Self, Awareness, Brahman, Kṛṣṇa, Consciousness, Existence, Substratum. It is changeless (doesn't change).
    2. Īṣvara 2 is synonymous with: Mithya, Creator, Lord, God, The Word (Bible), Māyā, World, Universe, Your Experience, Creation. It changes (has unmanifest state; māyā… and manifest state; Īṣvara)
    3. Why do we use 1/2? Because traditionally, “Īṣvara” word refers to both 1 AND 2. Since reality is non-dual (advaita).
      In other words, Īṣvara = Brahman.
      But this confuses students, since Traditional Vedānta assumes student will understand whether guru/scripture is referring to Satya or Mithya – by the context.
      So my teacher James Swartz (who contributed much clarity to often confusing Traditional Vedānta), assigns 1/2 to make a distinction between Satya (Īṣvara 1) and Mithya (Īṣvara 2), to prevent mistaken assumptions.

Download visual mind map of this session.

12 June 2018


  1. Hi Andre, as I’ve mentioned before in a previous comment, I’m rewatching the series and just finished lesson 7. Around 55 minute mark, you mentioned vasanas still continue even when you are liberated (now as witness), as a mere observer of BMI. Please excuse semantics if they arise in my comment. But does identifying as witness itself help in the process of thinning out vasanas that trickle down to BMI? What happens when ALL vasanas are completely gone for a jiva. Is this a second type of liberation without the BMI? What state is this?

    1. Hi Rov.

      vasanas still continue even when you are liberated

      Vasanas just mean habits. If ajnani (unliberated) wakes up at 9am by habit, his/her body won’t suddenly wake up at 6am or 10pmn after knowledge takes place (firm identify as sakshi/witness). If they eat with fork, they won’t suddenly eat with hands.

      Therefore, there’s no need to “thin out” vasanas. They are what makes up the unique-individual called “Rov”.

      does identifying as witness itself help in the process of thinning out vasanas that trickle down to BMI?

      No. One has to FIRST thin out problematic/addictive/selfish vasanas, before FIRM identification with sakshi can take place.

      In other words, “Can liberation drop all the problems (vasanas) of the mind?”.

      No. In fact liberation (identity with sakshi as the sakshi) cannot take place because of vasanas. Because vasanas (habits) keep personally interpreting reality. Thus even “liberation” gets put into the framework of the vasana.

      That’s why 99% of the work in Advaita is actually on the mind. The knowledge of Self (sakshi) is the easiest and simplest to understand, but only once the problematic reality-interpreting vasanas are resolved.

      How to “thin out” the problematic vasanas (like lack of empathy for others, lust, opinionating the world, not thinking about others needs, etc)? You’ll have to go through entire program for this. 🙂

  2. The explanation on Maya is not correct. First of all it is undefinable. Secondly it is stated as the power creation or manifestation of qualified Brahman called saguna Brahman . Thought Brahman as such has no role in manifestation.

    It has to be said at the outset that maya defies our power of logical understanding and rational comprehension. It is neither real nor unreal: neither positive nor negative. It is inexplicable and indefinable. It is the illusion in the perception of silver where there is actually only a shell, and that deeper illusion by which an object seems to the commonsense mind to have inherent qualities, such as sweetness in sugar. Scientific investigation shows that such qualities are not inherent in the article itself, but are our own response to certain featureless events associated with the article. On the other hand, the fact that the events do not possess the qualities we ascribe to them does not mean that they do not exist. Both they and our appreciation of them, though not wholly real, do have a reality, a relative reality; indeed maya is the very stuff of creation, both the weaving and the curtain.

    1. This is all correct Sree. However Maya has been already explained in this course in hundreds of ways; including the way you’ve kindly supplied us. To portray a deep understanding, it requires multiple angles. Whole course is at

  3. There’s so many things with this teaching that resonate within .
    Eternal thanks. When one ponders , there’s many things.

    ) Where will you go when you pass ? Where do you want to go when you pass

    ) Heard said that karma from past life, some relatively simple conflict can come to play out the next life.
    Then it’s said that massive casualties in a war is all pretty acceptable or inevitable for things to move forward

    ) mention of a deep bliss in an Airport with previous methods, is more irrelevant now with Vedanta teaching

    Would there be a point with population increase , where new people are created without Karma . Or could there be non-sentient beings among us .

    1. Hi Matthew,

      Pleased to share some thoughts…

      Where will you go when you pass ? Where do you want to go when you pass

      However one has lived their life, determines where and how the jiva continues the trajectory. So it’s not like the jiva selects consciously after death. Just as my yesterday, contributes to my today. My today contributes to my tomorrow (whether this life tomorrow, or next life tomorrow). So it’s a perfect continuity.

      Heard said that karma from past life, some relatively simple conflict can come to play out the next life.

      It’s not like there are markers of pain and pleasure setup in this life, just waiting for their time to fructify. Rather, the impressions from last life carry over into this life and sculpt the individuals personality. It’s the personality which then attracts misery or relative easy in one’s life.

      For example a particular kid is innocently attracted to troublemakers, who further guide him or her into making regretful life choices.

      General Order: Healthy/unhealthy impressions carried over > defines or sculpts personality > personality attracts situations > situations affect the persons life in positive/negative ways.

      mention of a deep bliss in an Airport with previous methods, is more irrelevant now with Vedanta teaching

      Indeed. Another of infinite experiences. One’s bliss or whatever past experiences they’ve had, doesn’t say anything about understanding of reality.

      Would there be a point with population increase , where new people are created without Karma . Or could there be non-sentient beings among us .

      One created without Karma is called Avatara. Avataras are extremely rare, and only needed in early stages of human civilization when ethics need to be firmly established within the society. Everyone else, is born with karma.

      There’s no such thing as “non-sentient beings”. Sentient means anything that responds to environment. Even a plant, bacteria or single-cell organism is a sentient being (jiva).

      Non-sentient is something like space, air, fire, rock, soil, water.

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