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Playing cricket with Maya? – Part one

“Everyone is like a play toy in the hands of the illusory energy and is acting as she moves him. One should come to Krishna consciousness to release oneself and also to release others”

  • Srila Prabhupada (in Srimad Bhagavatam purport 6.2.36-37)

Chanting and other spiritual practises (sadhana) is one reality of our life and the illusory energy, maya is another. You can’t wish away maya simply by your sadhana. We need to work on making the right choices of saying ‘No’ to maya as well. Both- saying ‘Yes’ to Krishna and saying ‘No’ to maya are independent realities of our lives.

I have performed good sadhana one day doesn’t mean the next day-in fact the very next moment- maya won’t provide me with a choice of choosing her over Krishna. She’d be relentless in her pursuit and attempts to take me away from Krishna.

In fact as I perform excellent sadhana, my situation is akin to a batsman who hits sixers and fours and is nearing a fast century. Maya, like the agitated captain of the opposing team would get desperate to seek my dismissal. As she unleashes her best ‘bowlers’ and attacks me, my hitherto excellent bating does no good. If I thought the opposing team would submit to my spiritual prowess, and acknowledge my spiritual achievements, I am sadly mistaken. She’d do none of those things. On the contrary, she takes the position not of a sporting opponent but a vicious enemy who is hell bent to pulverise my spiritual existence.

I need to face each new ball thrown by maya with alertness. She has many temptations and distractions up her sleeve.

These two realities could often bewilder the best of the spiritual practitioners. A devotee may expect his chanting to help him avoid maya but when he sees that doesn’t happen he’d get discouraged. Little do we realize that maya gets more vindictive when we perform nice sadhana. In fact good sadhana means greater tests and stronger choices need to be invoked.

Remember no one has scored an easy ‘century’ in this match.

A cricket captain has limited bowlers to get your wicket, but maya has amazing, innovative ways to take us away from Krishna.

One of her most lethal tricks is ‘sledging’. Like the expert Aussie team that is famous for ‘sledging’- discouraging the opposite team’s batsman by speaking provocative and disturbing language, maya weakens us emotionally after her attacks. If we make one wrong choice we do have a chance to fight back and score a ‘boundary’ of the next delivery, but she grabs us when we slip, and instead of supporting us, she hits us hard when it hurts the most. At that moment, she attacks us through our mind and intelligence. She chides, “Oh, what’s the use? You did such nice sadhana, eh? Just see I have pulverized you? You are puny! Forget it! You can’t do it” This way she ensures I lose concentration as I face the next ‘ball’; she gets my  past mistakes to affect my present choices and that in turn weakens me for the future. Thus I am tightly enwrapped in a vicious trap of maya.

What’s the solution to this? How do we ‘bat’ well in the face of deadly attacks by maya?

To be continued…..

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