One often wonders why our ancestors called the world an illusion when

in fact it seems so real! Watching a close relative with her newlyacquired

daughter suddenly provided me with an answer.

The mind keeps on fl itting when actually we want it to be fi xed as expressed

in a Beatles song “To keep my mind from wandering”… This is an extremely

diffi cult task and even after many years of medita¬tion, great people have

failed in this endeavour.

Hence nature has worked out many little illusions that we can easily focus

upon and thereby temporarily be in a state of bliss. When people get married,

their immediate focus is on the physical pleasures; when the newness of that

dies down, nature brings in a child who takes up the attention of the parents.

As it grows up and requires less looking after, another one arrives and the

process starts all over again.

When we cannot get our minds hooked onto the real, nature makes sure

that we latch on to one thing after another, which is unreal in the sense that

it cannot give us sustained happiness. As a Buddhist text says, “The only

meaningful life is a life which strives for individual realization absolute and

unconditional of its own particular law to the extent that a man is untrue to

the law of his being”. A true state of bliss is only possible when the mind has

been stilled through deep meditation. In such a state one can realize why our

great saints called the world ‘maya’.

– Dr. Kiran Seth