Tell me, Brother, how can I renounce Maya?
When I gave up the tying of ribbons, still I tied my garment about me:
When I gave up tying my garment, still I covered my body in its folds.
So, when I give up passion, I see that anger remains;
And when I renounce anger, greed is with me still;
And when greed is vanquished, pride and vainglory remain;
When the mind is detached and casts Maya away, still it clings to the letter.
Kabîr says, “Listen to me, dear Sadhu! the true path is rarely found.”

Kabir, the great mystic of the 15th century, asks us this wonderful question about Maya – the dilemma that we face when we try to escape from it. The challenges that we face in the web of Maya. The connection between passion, anger, greed, pride, vanity and glory. And when we, somehow, are able to renounce all these, the mind still clings to the “letter” – the form. But can we describe the formless with the “letter”? And hence Kabir concludes – the true path is rarely found.

maayaa taji naa jaaye – माया तजि न जाये – it is very difficult to renounce Maya – a great spiritual challenge for all of us… what is your opinion on Maya? do share with us in the comments.

Excerpt From: 1440-1518 Kabir. “Songs of Kabir.” Translated by Rabindranath Tagore.

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4 Responses to Kabir – On Maya and Renunciation

  1. […] our identification with ego. Could it be that it is our love of the “I and Mine” that engulfs us in Maya? Perhaps, when we see what is truly within us, that we can die to the “I and Mine”, […]

  2. jayadeva says:

    According to Vedic sastra (teaching), there are two kinds of “Maya.” The external forms of maya in the phenomenal world are known as “Durgamaya,” and the internal potency of maya is known as, Yogamaya; i.e., the energetic substance of divinity. Yogamaya is the lila dance of Krishna which is derived from the internal potency of the iivatma (paramatma) together with the totality of living sentient beings who encompass the choreography of this dance when they are themselves operating as paramatma.

    Human beings have the choice of becoming attached to the external forms of phenomena or becoming attached to the internal potency of divine substance. True and original creation of reality is derived from the internal potency, which throughout history has been the genesis of all life forms. True renunciation is found in becoming detached to the forms of creation while continuing the process of creation by producing the infinite forms of our phenomenal universe. The resolution of the apparent dichotomy between Durgamaya and Yogamaya is in becoming attached to the internal potency which, in effect, is renunciation of attachment to the forms produced by the creative energetic of the devotional attitude toward creation.

  3. GPM ANAND says:

    Hari Oum: Namaste: This is a very typical and difficult question or situation that every one pass through – in the sense who are on the way to realise Him in his sadhana. Of-course it is a very difficult situation but not an impossible thing when we observe those who have reached Him with their tremendous practice and technic of worship. It is in my opinion that one should achieve Him only with their constant and continued effort until they reach.

    • AjmaniK says:

      Namaste – yes, Sadhana is given great importance in our scriptures – and, as you say, ‘constant and continued effort’ on our chosen path is vital and essential if we are to conquer ‘Maya’.

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