Illusion theory ! Science in it !

Maya-vad [Illusion theory] is a Hindu philosophical concept propagated by the sage ‘Aadi Sankara’ around 1000 years back. According to his theory the universe is an illusion. The physical world we feel with our five sense organs is just an illusion according to ‘Sankara and he is one of the best ‘Vedantins’ [philosophers] India has ever produced and he is the most famous too.

The concept of ‘Sankara’ is this. The universe is ‘not really’ there but, it ‘appears to be’ there due to our ‘ignorance’ and the analogy he applies is this. In the deserts water appear to be present the ‘mirages’ but, in fact no water will be there in the ‘mirage’. Just due to the ‘optical illusion’ we see waters there and in reality there is no water in the desert at the point of the mirage we had seen. Thus too the ‘physical world’ seems be there but, ‘Sankara’ says – the physical world we see is just not there. Due to our ‘illusion’ we are feeling this world, which in fact is not here.

But, this concept is hard to believe for we do feel the hard core realities of the world. Having tasted the hard knocks of the world no one can agree with the ‘view’ of ‘Sankara’. Even then ‘Sankara’ says his concept is a reality and the ‘world’ is an illusion.

Whether we agree or not, the modern science agrees with the ‘view’ of ‘Sankara’. The modern ‘particle physics’ and Quantum mechanics – describe that there are no matter particles in the world. Instead they say that – the matter we observe comes into effect due to the intersection of super-strings and strings that are continually vibrating in the universe and these - ‘strings’ are nothing but, energy waves. The ‘intersecting’ points of these strings will appear as the matter particles like the ‘electron’, ‘proton’ and ‘neutron’ and etc., and due to this we are observing the 'world' around but, it is not there as it appears, just an 'optical illusion'. The modern physics also says that – these strings are continuously vibrating and due to this the matter particles too appear to be in continuous motion, for example the motion of the electron around the nucleus of an atom and the ‘spin’ of the atomic nuclei.

Another supporting point from the modern physics to the Sankara’s argument is that – the atomic physics describes the electron as a wave around the nucleus but, not as a particle hence, it supports the claim of ‘Sankara’ that there is no matter in the universe around.

Sankara says – with the spiritual awakening or the ‘realization’ one comes to know or realize that the world is not here. This is like after nearing the ‘mirage’ one will come to know that ‘no water’ is there and ‘Sankara’ says in a similar way we will realize that the world not actually here in ‘enlightenment’ or ‘samadhi’.

Due to our ‘ignorance’ the universe appears to be here but, once we get the ‘inner sight’ the universe ceases to be. In other words the universe seems to be here – just it is our ‘illusion’ and the suitable word for ‘illusion’ in Sanskrit language is ‘maya’. Hence, the concept of ‘Sankara’ came to be known as ‘maya-vad’, and in Sanskrit ‘vad’ means ‘theory’. Thus maya-vad means – ‘illusion theory’ more clearly the ‘world illusion theory’.

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