1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

What is Maya? August 17, 2008

I Have Come to Know the Illusory Power to be a Great Thug

Her Hands Sway Holding a Web-like Trap
She Speaks in a Sweet Voice  

For Kesava, the Sustainer, She is Seated as the Embodiment of Abundance
For Shiva, the God of Dissolution, She is the Empress of the Worlds
For the Priest She is Seated as the Idol of Worship
And in Places of Pilgrimage She Manifests as the Holy Water

For Yogis She is Seated as the Spiritual Partner
In the King’s Palace She is the Queen
For Some She is Seated as a Priceless Diamond
For Some She is a Mere Penny  

For Devotees She is Seated in the Object of Devotion
For Brahma She is His Consort
Says Kabir Listen Oh Practicing Aspirant
All this is an Untold Story    

poem by Kabir (poet-saint of India, 15th Century)

A weaver by profession, Kabir ranks among the world’s greatest poets. Back home in India, he is perhaps the most quoted author.

Kabir openly criticized all sects and gave a new direction to the Indian philosophy. This is due to his straight forward approach that has a universal appeal.

The basic religious principles he espouses are simple. According to Kabir, all life is an interplay of two spiritual principles. One is the personal soul (Jivatma) and the other is God (Paramatma). It is Kabir’s view that salvation is the process of bringing into union these two divine principles. The social and practical manifestation of Kabir’s philosophy has rung through the ages. It represented a synthesis of Hindu, and Muslim concepts. From Hinduism he accepts the concept of reincarnation and the law of Karma. From Islam he takes the outer practices of Indian Sufi ascetics and Sufi mysticism. Not only has Kabir influenced Muslims and Hindus but he is one of the major inspirations behind Sikhism as well.


10 Responses to “What is Maya?”

  1. swaps Says:

    So many Kabirs have striven to unite people (by uniting them with God).
    But the world is more divided than before.
    There is only one rule : “Love thy enemy”.
    Nothing less will work.

    Btw, it is interesting that many philosophers in medieval India were poets.

  2. When the ‘Kabir ke Dohe’ was taught to us back then, we were thinking that it is so boring. When we want to read and understand the philosopher/poet, there is not much of time. Thanks Axina, for bringing forward the poem from Kabir to our attention. Also do bring some of the ideas professed by the German philosophers like Goethe, Kent etc. We would like to know that too.

    Destination Infinity

  3. axinia Says:

    @Destination Infinity, I got your hint 🙂 I will try to post something from the Western poets. I had one Blake


    and here:


    To my opnion, the West did not gave so many of great philosophesrs like India – and also because I have the Western approach I am naturally nore intrested in the Asian one 🙂

    @Swaps: you hit te Nail! – by preaching something the world will not change. Only the global transformation on a personal level can help – what is what my experince, as I told you before.
    I love Kabir because of his spiritual beauty.

  4. Ramya Says:

    I remember I read it in my 5th standard, when my teacher explained me the meaning…Ya at that time, I read it, memorised it and thought I understood…..Now, again 12yrs later I am seeing this again in all new way!!! I guess, I really understood it now….and will never forget it…Thanks to U 🙂
    The philosophy of Kabir,infact of many philosophers is there in our everyday lifetyle in India….I am surprised I never realised it!!! We are brought up hearing these stories and philiosophies of life from our grandparents, seeing them as plays, singing through songs and praying through our mantras…..its there evrywhere around…but I am afraid, we the young citizens of India, are losing the sight of real India :-(….
    Hope for the Best!!!

  5. axinia Says:

    Ramya, I can see you have a pure soul and you are very sensitive.

    Materialism is a very powerful thing, it is the manifestaion of Maya, illusion! 😉 And it is hard to withstand. That is why it is good to have such a cultural background as you have – but you have to be aware of that!
    In India you have something which is missing in the West:both the spirituality and the practical life. I always wonder how so many INdians are good at trading and how they understand money…

    On the other hand, you drunk the wisdom of sages with your mother`s milk – and that is something very special, like a back-up for all your life.
    I heard and saw that there is a decrease of Spirituality in India. MAy be it is a natural reaction on the upcoming wealth. It is pass, I am sure…

  6. “I Have Come to Know the Illusory Power to be a Great Thug”

    That is a great line, Axinia!

    The illusion (or the reality) can fool one into doing stupid things 😐

    Kabir was a person who tried to unite the followers of Hinduism and Islam during trying times. But now, in twenty-first century India, we have the dangerous forces of communalism who are ready to ruin India completely by spewing lies and propagating hatred. Shame on them!

    (Axinia, if you have some spare time, please send me that e-mail.)

  7. Kalyan Says:

    lovely reading this post…makes us thoughtful for a few moments…beautifully written!

  8. radha Says:

    I think the untold story he refers to is yet to come.
    I love it thank you for posting this, i never read it before! i love all the maya of my life too!

  9. Ramya Says:

    Thats really nice of You Axinia……I dont know well about other cultures but I do feel lucky and previleged to be an Indian!! And I hope I would keep up and be deserving!!

    I was never outside India until last year sep, when I was employed and now I am globe trotting….I am in UK now and I have been in NL.Germany and France…As of my experience , even these countries are soo much diff in culture and traditions….And one thing that was common is “they preserve and respect their culture soo much!!” which I felt is decreasing rather rapidly in India.

    I was no exception, the most ironical part is that I realised the true of value of my country while I am here….
    I realised certain little things which I never took notice when I was in India……I used to think its the same everywhere…As a small example, value and beauty of saree…I never wore saree even when my mother asked me to…dunno what on earth was my logic!!! I shall try and preserve my culture atleast within me…and carry it forward furthur!!

    And once again….Thanks to you….your blog is more like a source of knowledge for me…a nice phase of life…:-)

  10. axinia Says:

    Ramya, I understand you very well!

    You know, I moved to Europe from Russia when I was 21, and it was rather a cultural shock for me…Interstingly, exactly how you depict it, I suddenly started realising how actually Russian I am 🙂 . Although back in Russia I used to look and think very “western”!!
    And then I began to value my Russian roots much more, I started actually learning and loving Russia (what was not the case before).

    Emigration is a great experience in realising your roots and value system. Good luck on the way!

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