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Chapter XIII

This universe itself is a superstructure, the basis being Paramatma, Godhead; this is apparent, the other is the real. People ignore the basis and crave for the 'based'. They do not stop to inquire how the 'based' can exist without a base! This too is an example of faulty vision. When this Drishti-dosha is set right, Srishti-kartha can be seen. When the defect in the vision is removed, the author of this universe can be cognised.

This subject was raised by Arjuna before Krishna. He asked, "What exactly is faulty vision? Please tell me in detail, o Krishna." He also sought to know how the fault originates and develops. Now Arjuna is not just an ordinary individual. He is not one to nod his head whatever is told him. He is bold enough to stop Krishna in the middle of a sentence if he feels a doubt rising in his mind. He had the courage and the steadfastness needed. He persisted until he got from Krishna an answer that was verifiable by experience, that was in accordance with the wisdom enshrined in the Sastras. So the Lord too provided the answers immediately, with a smile!

For this question, on faulty vision, Krishna had the answer. He said, "Listen, Arjuna! Between Me and this universe there moves Maya, called delusion. It is indeed a hard task for man to see beyond Maya, for Maya too is Mine. It is of the same substance; you cannot deem it separate from Me. It is my creation and under My control. It will turn in a trice, even the mightiest among men, head over heels! You might wonder why it is so difficult to overcome. Of course, it is by no means easy. Only those who are wholeheartedly attached to Me can conquer this, Maya. Arjuna, do not take Maya to mean some ugly thing that has descended from somewhere else; it is an attribute of the mind; it makes you ignore the true and the eternal Paramatma and value instead the attributeful created manifold multiplicity of name and form. It causes the error of believing the body as the self, instead of the embodied (the Deha instead of the Dehi). Maya is not something that was and will disappear; nor is it something that was not, but later came in and is. It never was, or is, will be.