Power of Maya

The section of the story of Dhruva's vision of the Lord and his return to the kingdom is presented as a conversation between Vidhura and Maitreya in the Bhagavata Purana. Maitreya explains that though Dhruva beheld the Lord, the sole granter of mukti, he could not think of mukti at that moment. In a discourse, Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal drew attention to the fact that this situation reflects the predicament of every jivatma caught in the powerful sway of Maya.

Though it may be possible to catch glimpses of the eternal truth in the course of each one's spiritual attainment, it is not potent enough to lead us out of samsara. In the case of Dhruva, he had secured the Lord's feet in a short period, when it had taken even sages like Sanaka and others several births of life-long celibacy, concentration and meditation. With an uneasy mind, Dhruva analyses his folly of seeking worldly ambitions from the Lord, instead of eternal bliss. How foolish to have accepted the short lived felicities when he should have cut asunder all worldly bonds? All such worldly advantage is futile, like a treatment given to a dead man. The Lord, the soul of the entire universe, is the destroyer of samsara. So Dhruva knows that he is no different from the beggar who goes to an emperor and begs for chaff. What is to be learnt is that Dhruva is also bound by his karma and desire.

A somewhat parallel situation is found in the Katopanishad which features the story of another young boy Nachiketas. He wishes to learn esoteric truths from Yama, who tests him before imparting the knowledge by offering the boy all the riches and worldly enjoyments. Nachiketas declines all this and establishes that the superior power of renunciation alone can win over the influence of Maya. Desire is the hurdle to salvation and ties one to samsara.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 1:56:00 PM |

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