The Evolutes of Maya – Part 2

by Babaji Bob Kindler

IN CONTINUATION of the study of Maya’s evolutes, eight more can be listed which are generally more subtle. Whereas the first eight evolutes concentrate on basic mental distortions like possessiveness and selfishness, the additional eight focus on tendencies that are more difficult to comprehend and renounce such as the sense of agency and the acquisition of basic knowledge in relation to the intellect and its interaction with the individual ego. The second set of evolutes are: Kartritva-Abhimana, Visamvada-Bhrama, Viparita-Bhavana, Vrittijnana, Doshadristi, Tarkika-Buddhi, Pratiloma and Svarupanyathabhava.

Kartritva-Abhimana is a delusion which supposes that the Self within is the agent of action. This only occurs when, out of ignorance, one identifies with the body which is, as discussed earlier, a case of Deha-Abhyasha. In truth, the real Self is not only free of agency, it is free of all modifications. Sri Krishna proclaims this truth on a cosmic level: “Animating my Prakriti. I send forth again and again all this multitude of beings helpless under the regime of Prakriti. Nor do these acts bind me, for I remain unconcerned and unattached to these acts.” The Atman permeates all things, all beings. By identifying with Spirit instead of with matter, aspiring beings give up the sense of agency and offer all actions to the Lord and Mother of the Universe. Thus they realize a state beyond agency and are at peace. Sri Krishna advises this course directly:

“Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you sacrifice and give away, do it as an offering to the Lord. Then you shall be free from the bondage of action and the good and bad results that it yields.”

Lord Buddha’s advice is pertinent to the mode of practice: “Let that one purify the threefold avenues of thought, word and deed and be free from the effects of karma. Then, that one will tread the path made known by the sages.” Adishankaracharya laughs at the attempts of ignorant beings to superimpose modes of activity over the Self: “People in ignorance impute to me these gross and subtle states, in much the same way they impute to Eternity the cycles of years, months, weeks and days. Eternity has no parts and, similarly, the Self has no activity.”

Visamvada-Bhrama casts a cloak of mistaken identity. Here, Maya is up to her old tricks again, causing beings to mistake something that exists for something else, or perhaps to mistake something for another thing which is illusory or vice versa. This quizzical and subtle trick happens many times to people going about their daily lives, but they are unaware of it. This is part of the hypnotism which living beings fall victim to until finally their entire existence is based upon fallacy. Entering into spiritual practice and learning to use the powerful tool of discrimination, an aspirant can dispel what is fallacious from life and mind. Searching for the Atman, the true indivisible Self, the seeker must expose all impostors. As the scriptures state:

“In daylight there is the shadow body, at night there is the dream body. Near a lake, there is the reflection body, and in the mind there is the body of knowledge. There is the body of another, and the five sheaths pose as the real body as well, but the true Self is none of these. Give them all up and uncover your true nature.”

Sri Ramakrishna had a story for this process of uncovering: “Some thieves came to a vegetable field at night to steal the crop. A straw figure resembling a man had been put there to frighten away thieves. The thieves could not persuade themselves to enter the field due to fear. One of them, however, approached and found out that the figure was made of straw. He called his companions but they would not go near out of fear. Then, the daring thief laid the straw figure on the ground and cried out, ‘Come here! It is nothing, it is nothing.’” The illusion of mistaken identity is also nothing. Beings should see through it and dispatch it straight away.