Book 2: Sutra 22

According to the Vedantic term, nature is called māyā, or the illusion. To whom is it māyā? To the person who has understood it. To others it is still real. The entire world is a sort of factory. In a factory we can see raw materials come in: timber, iron, etc.; but as they pass through different processes and various machines, they come out as finished products: which go to showroom, the sales section and finally to the consumer. These products don’t return to the workshop again. But the workshop continues to function as raw materials keep passing through it.

The world is our factory. As we pass through we are shaped every minute by different experiences. We become refined as our knowledge develops. Eventually, we understand the world completely and have no business being in the factory any longer. Then we can say, “Once I thought all this was real: money, name, position, beauty. But now I understand that none of this is permanent. I have watched millionaires become paupers, famous beauties become wrinkled.” When that understanding comes, we no longer trust the worldly pleasures nor run after them. When we stop running after the world, the world says, “All right, I won’t bother you any more. But whenever you wish to make use of me, I’m ready to serve you.” The world runs after you. But we can’t shape ourselves without the factory’s help. We should know nature first. That is why nature is called the Mother. Only through the Mother can we know God. Nobody on this earth has understood who his or her father is without the mother’s help. She alone can tell us who the father is.

Know nature well. Don’t try to run from it. Let there be no running away or dropping out. Escapism never helps us. If we try to leave something now, we will have to face it in a more difficult from later on.

Another thing is: We must always be alert and aware with māyā. The world will try to cheat us in every way. It will attempt to come through every nook and corner. We must have thousands of eyes all over in order to face the world. But we must face it, understand it, analyze it and solve its tests.

Many people are afraid of knowing what their problems are. They just want to swallow a pill and forget everything. Instead, they wake up with several new problems. They want to become ostriches. When there is a danger in sight, they want to bury their heads in the sand. But that doesn’t mean they have solved their problems. Once we solve and understand our problems, we become masters. Once we are masters, we are no longer bound by nature. It becomes our slave.

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