Volume 14 - Issue 10
October 2016
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Posted on: Oct 18, 2016


Right answer on your 1st attempt
3 Points
Right answer on your 2nd attempt
2 Points
Right answer on your 3rd attempt
1 Point

Quizzes have been a part of Radio Sai journal's offering for over 10 years now. Initially it was Multi-faith quiz and soon we had quizzes based on Bhagawan’s discourses, and later, on His writings. In this month of July when we honour our Lord as the Sadguru, by His grace we begin a new series wherein we will have quizzes on specific themes. Guru Poornima goads us to unconditionally offer our everything at the feet of the Divine Master. This is exactly what Bhagawan sang in His very first bhajan – Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam. To help us ruminate on what it means to offer our everything to the Lord, the theme we have chosen for this month is Surrender.

Since this is a new series, the format also has some fresh elements in it. Do try it and let us know if it helps you to understand and implement His message in your life better.

Quiz 01 || Quiz 02 || Quiz 03|| Quiz 05 || Quiz 06 || Quiz 07


A Word Jumble

Swami says: The Primeval Universal Energy (Adi Parasakthi) is conceived as the matrix of all forms of divinity. The cosmic urge (prakriti) is the cause of the variety and multiplicity of expression, the manifold forms. The Supreme Divinity (Maheswara) has this capacity to manifest and is therefore so named.

The Supreme Divinity and the Universal Energy are two aspects of the same force. This dual-faceted force motivates the universe, from the vast expanse of the sky to the entire earth. The unmanifest Supreme Person manifests as the Feminine Universal, the maya, the Parasakthi. In each individual, it is experienced as knowledge, strength, and activity.

This quiz seeks to explore the concept of maya as beautifully explained in various ways by our beloved Swami. The answers are actually given out in the clues to each question but in a jumbled form (just as maya hides the Truth). The clues are just intended to add to the fun in the quiz; a good way to absorb the learning would be to ponder on Swami’s words and arrive at the answer, before you seek out the clue.

Let’s go!

1. What is Maya?

Swami, once in reply to a question as to what is Maya, said:

There is no such thing as Maya; it is all one's imagination. To think that you are the body is Maya. You mistakenly believe that you are something [body] that you really are not; that is Maya. Truly speaking, there is no Maya; it is all one's imagination.

He further said:

Maya is like the shadow of a tree. What casts the shadow? - the branches of the tree and not the rays of the Sun. If there are no branches, there is also no shadow.

What do you think Swami went on to describe as the branches that cast the shadow?




2. How does Maya work?

Swami says: It is during twilight or in the dark that we imagine that we see a snake when there is only a rope there. It is through darkness that the delusion comes and envelops us. In truth, no snake has covered the rope, but the delusion beclouds the mind of man and covers his clear perception. This delusion is Maya.

When you turn your torch on the area, you find no snake there; there is only a rope lying there. Thus, in the light, delusion disappears and the real object is seen. That which exists will always exist; it will never cease to exist. It remains forever unchanged. There cannot be even the slightest variation in its existence. It is only the delusion covering it that comes and goes.

The form that this delusion takes in the mind is Vikshepa, the second powerful Shakti of Maya. Vikshepa is the projection that is super imposed on the unchanging basis. In this case the projection was the snake. Another time it will be something else.

Moods, pains, pleasures - all come and go. They are something like relatives that come to visit us, but they do not stay permanently. In the same way, this Maya comes and goes as a delusion for human beings.

The delusion in our mind that covers the rope and hides from view is Avarana, the veiling power.

The illusion that has been projected by our mind on to the rope is Vikshepa, the projecting power.

In the rope and the snake example, what, according to Swami, does the rope represent?




3. Creating the illusion of the many

Swami says: Maya, by means of its power of (1) hiding the real nature and (2) imposing the unreal over the real, makes the one-and-only Brahmam appear as Jiva, Easwara and Jagat, three entities where there is only one!

The Maya faculty is latent but when it becomes patent, it takes the form of the Mind. It is then that the seedling of the huge tree (which is the Jagat) starts sprouting, putting forth the leaves of mental impulses or vasanas, and mental conclusions or sankalpas.

So, all this objective world is but the proliferation or vilasa of the mind.

What according to Swami is the cause of Jiva, Easwara and Jagat, which is described also as Maya?




4. Maya and Man

Swami says: The term ‘man’ itself has to be interpreted as M (Maya), A (Atma), N (Nirvana), that is, only when you overcome maya you can realize the Atma and attain nirvana.

What does ‘nirvana’ imply here?




5. How can we overcome illusion and become a true Manava?

Swami says: Maya is the name of that mist of ignorance, that torments the mind which seeks to plunge in the depths of the Self.

This mist is the confusing conglomeration of three qualities that disturb the primal equanimity of the Universe - the white, red and black - the Satwik, the Rajasik and the Tamasik - the unaffected, the active and the dull; the detached, the passionate and the slothful. The curtain of maya made of these three strands has to be either brushed aside, or rent asunder, or raised, so that the reality may be revealed.

Which of the paths brushes aside the curtain of Maya?



6. King Janaka – “Which is real?”

Swami narrates this beautiful incident from the life of King Janaka:

King Janaka used to gather many rishis in his palace and take delight in discussing with them about spiritual problems; he was a great adept at sadhana and he attained the highest stage of samadhi through Raja yoga.

One day, while in the midst of the court, with the Queen and the maids, even while he was conversing with them, he fell asleep. He had a dream, during that sleep. He dreamt that he was deprived of his kingdom, that he was roaming half-mad, hungry and deserted in the jungle, begging for food from whoever he met, that he came upon some men washing dishes and vessels after a feast which they had shared, that he ran towards them seeking some crumbs, that they gave him some little quantity of rice scraped from the vessels, that he was about to put it into his mouth when a big bird flew in and swooped it out of his grasp; so, he yelled in pain and grief, and the Queen heard it and she woke him up.

Of course, when he woke, he knew he was the King. He remembered that a second previously, he was a beggar. "Which is real? This or that?" he wondered. He questioned within himself, which is real, this or that?

To everyone who inquired what the matter was, he put the same question. "Am I a king or a beggar?" He wanted each one to tell him which was real. The queen and others were frightened at this behaviour; they sent for the ministers and with them came, Ashtavakra, the preceptor.

What do you think Ashtavakra identified as real?




7. Maya and the waking, dreaming and deep sleep stages

Swami says: It is Maya that produces the illusion of Jiva and Easwara and Jagat: this is declared by the Srutis. Has not the Vasishta-smriti made clear that mental processes are responsible for the magic dance of He and I, This and That, and Mine and His? The expression ‘Sohamidam’ found in that text indicates Jiva, Easwara and Jagat. ‘Sah’ means He, the Unmanifested, the Super-soul, the Power beyond and above, the Easwara. ‘Aham’ means ‘I’, the entity enveloped by the consciousness of doer, etc., ‘Idam’ means this objective world, the perceivable sense-world.

So, it is clear that these three are the products of mental processes only and they do not have any absolute value. Their value is only relative.

In the waking stage and during dream, these three appear as real.

Which of the three - Jiva, Easwara and Jagat - cease to exist in the deep sleep state or when one is unconscious?





8. The Sun and the shadow

Using the example of the sun and the shadow, Swami compares the individual to the jiva tatwa and the shadow to Maya.

Swami says: In the morning time, the sun rises. If at that time you face the sun and look at it, you will notice that you have a long shadow but it is behind you. If, on the other hand, you do not direct your sight towards the sun but turn towards your shadow, you will notice that your own shadow, a long one at that, is leading you and it will appear as if this long shadow is showing you the path. In this example, you are the Jiva tatwa and your shadow is the maya (illusion).

If it is your desire to overcome maya and leave it behind you, however fast you may walk, you will never get rid of maya if it is in front of you. On the other hand, you turn your sight towards the sun, you can overcome maya even as the shadow is behind you.

What do you think is the sun that Swami means in this example?




9. Four requisites

We become what our thoughts are. These thoughts on the validity of the objective world and the value of the joys derivable therefrom, though they emanate from ignorance (ajnana), do shape us from within.

Swami lists the absence of four qualities for being caught in the attraction to the objective world and mentions that even if one of them is absent, one would be unable to experience the bliss of the Absolute.

According to Swami these are:

1. Attention to _______
2. Steady Faith
3. Devotion
4. Grace of God

What do you think Swami said we should pay attention to?




10. We are actors in the Lord’s play

Swami says: All living beings are actors on this stage. They take their exit when the curtain is rung down or when their part is over. On that stage, one may play the part of a thief, another may be cast as a king, a third may be a clown, and another a beggar. For all these characters in the play, there is ONE who gives the cue!

Here, some points have to be understood clearly. The prompter will not come upon the stage and give the cue, in full view of all. If He does so, the drama will lose interest. Therefore, standing behind a screen at the back of the stage, He gives the cue to all the actors, regardless of their role - be it dialogue, speech, or song - just when each is in most need of help. In the same way, the Lord is behind the screen on the stage of creation (prakriti), giving the cue to all the actors for their various parts.

So, each actor must be conscious of His presence behind the screen of illusion (maya); each must be anxious to catch the faintest suggestion He might give, keeping a corner of the eye always on Him and having the ear pitched to catch His voice. Instead of this, if a person forgets the plot and the story (that is to say, the work for which one has come and the duties that appertain thereto), neglects to watch the presence behind the screen, and simply stands dumb on the stage, the audience will laugh at their folly and charge the person with spoiling the show.

What do you think are the two things we, as actors on the stage of the world, must focus on?


Swami says: I direct you to implant three ideals in your hearts:

(1) Do not forget God;

(2) Do not put faith in the world you see around you; it is changing every second and does not last;

(3) Do not be afraid. You are the imperishable Atma that knows no fear.



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- Radio Sai Team

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