Faith

Maitreyi’s quest

Sage Yajnavalkya had two wives — Maitreyi and Katyayani. When Yajnavalkya wanted to renounce the world, he said to Maitreyi: “I shall divide my property between you and Katyayani.” Maitreyi then asked him: “Will I become immortal if you place all the wealth of the world at my disposal?” Yajnavalkya clarified that immortality could not be had through wealth, said M.K. Srinivasan in a discourse. Maitreyi told her husband that she did not want anything that would not confer immortality. Instead she wanted to know the means to immortality.

Yajnavalkya was pleased with Maitreyi’s response and began to tell her about Paramatma: “It is not because of the husband’s will that he becomes dear to his wife. It is not because of the wife’s will that she becomes dear to her husband. Children do not become dear to their parents through their will. All of this happens because of the Paramatma. So to gain the affection of any person, Paramatma’s grace is necessary. The Paramatma alone is to be meditated upon and it is through such meditation that all of this will be understood.” So the sage taught Maitreyi the means to liberation.

The Paramatma dwells in all entities. It has all entities as its body. So when Paramatma is known, everything that constitutes Paramatma’s body also is known.

To understand Paramatma, we have to control the sense organs. But when sense organs come into contact with sense objects, how can we prevent the experience of the objects? The best thing to do is to take away the objects.

To keep a man from blowing a conch, it is best to take it away from him.

Likewise to control the sense organs, it is best to keep sense objects away.


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Printable version | Sep 11, 2021 7:48:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/Maitreyi%E2%80%99s-quest/article17069453.ece

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