MUSINGS ON MAYA
“Jagan-mithya”- the world is an illusion, is knowledge much talked about in Indian religion and philosophy. How we can refute this claim? Simple; bang your hand on a wall, the resultant pain will reveal to you that this world is real and not an illusion. Alas, the existence is not so simple. Related religious philosophy is too obscure, so I tried to understand the concept of illusion by help of theory of relativity.
Suppose, a man is sitting in a moving train and is playing with a tennis ball. He is throwing the ball perpendicularly above and catching it when it comes down. Now the train is moving with a speed of 60 km/hour i.e. 16.6 m/sec and time taken by ball in going up and coming down in the hand of the player is 2 seconds. To the man playing with ball, the ball’s movement will seem as a straight line i.e. ball is moving up and down. But to an observer who is standing in a field, the ball will travel a distance of 33.2 meter to come back in the hand of the man playing with the ball. (Train will move 33.2 meter in that 2 seconds). So, to him the ball will be moving in a wave like path.
Now add to it, the facts that earth is also moving and the speed at which earth is moving is also relative when we know that Sun, to which earth is orbiting, is also not stationery and is moving. In fact the whole universe is moving and expanding. As if this was not enough, this is also known to us that length and time is also relative. When we move with a very fast speed, say 90% of the speed of light, the length of an object in the direction of movement contracts. Again when we move with a speed 90% of the speed of light our 1 second becomes about of a duration of 10 seconds and when we move exactly with the speed of light the time stops. So, coming back to our example, what is the exact shape of the movement of the ball? There is no answer to this question. It will seem different to observers at different locations and different to the observers moving with different speeds and all of them, at the same time, are correct as well as wrong. So, our rishis were so correct when they say that this world is nothing but Maya. We have just understood this through theories of science also. When the person at the train says that ball’s movement is straight up and down he is in Maya and when the person standing out of train says the shape of movement is wave-like he is also in Maya.
Hmmm.., but before I could relax on results of my musings, 02 thoughts sprang in my mind-
1. When whole universe is moving (and is not stationery) and any location in this universe has dimensions in space and time, there is no way, till we exist in this universe, to come out of the illusion (Maya).
2. Of course, we can understand that we exist in illusion but when we cannot come out of the illusion and cannot do anything about this illusion, what is practical utility of the knowledge that we exist in Maya (illusion)!
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