Delusion. Ignorance. Temptation. Habit. Sense Bondage.

This world is a trap, and desire is its bait:
escape the traps, and quickly
turn your face toward God.

Rumi, Mathnawi III, 379, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.87.

Satan, or cosmic delusion, is always snaring us through our ignorance. That is how he obstructs God. The Lord could easily destroy Satan, but prefers to overcome him by love. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.192.

Ignorance is the supreme disease. When one banishes ignorance he also banishes the causes of all physical, mental and spiritual disease. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.81.

Temptation is not our own creation; it belongs to the world of maya, and all men are subject to it. But to enable us to free ourselves, God gave us reason, conscience, and will power. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.192.

By the five-rayed searchlight of the senses, we perceive and explore the world of matter. Through the senses we learn to like things that are pleasing to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. The desire for a particular sensation becomes a habit. The trouble is, most people have not had any experience of the Spirit, which is hidden behing matter; hence they have no standard of comparison between the exciting, pleasurable percpetions of the senses and the unknown ineffable bliss of the soul. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.193.

Try never to let yourself reach a point where you become such a victim of wrong habits. You must be the master of yourself (...). Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.193.

Corroding emotions of anger, greed, and jealousy, and overstimulation by sex, alcohol, or drugs are extremely detrimental to you, for they prevent the realization of soul joy. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.194.

"Ever fed, never satisfied; never fed, ever satisfied" is a true axiom about unwholesome sense experiences. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.194.

(...) when temptation comes you must first stop the action or urge, and then reason. If you try to reason first, you will be compelled in spite of yourself to do the thing that you don't want to do, because temptation will overcome all reason. Just say "No!" and get up and go away. That is the surest way to escape the Devil. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.195.

Temptation is sugarcoated poison; it tastes delicious, but death is certain. The happiness that people look for in this world does not endure. (...) Don't let the world rule you. Never forget that the Lord is the only reality. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.196.

Man is sunk in a dream of ignorance, imagining that he is suffering with illness and sorrow and poverty. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.196.

Maya, cosmic delusion, makes us feel that the body is so real, such a necessary part of our being. Yet in a moment the body may be taken away from the soul at death, and the separation is not painful at all. (...) And you are still you. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.218.

Man was made in honor, but since he does not understand this honor through his ignorance, he can justly be compared to sheep, or to other companions of his present state of corruption and mortality. S. Bernardi, De Diligendo Deo, quoted in: Merton, Diaries. P.338.

In time, existence is successive, from moment to moment, a forma fluens (flowing shape, or changeable essence), controlled and recreated each instant by God as causa conservans (the cause that keeps something in being), not merely set in motion by God as prima causa producens (the first cause that brings something into being). On this relies Occam's proof for the existence of God. Thomas Merton, Run to the Mountain, P.269.

May this universe not deceive you, waylaying you from Love,
for this universe comes from you.

Rumi, Intellect is a Shackle, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.157.

My master explained anadi vidya - cosmic illusion - to me just as Shankara had described it. He said that avidya means individual ignorance, while maya is both individual and cosmic illusion. Ma means "no" and ya means "that": that which is not self-existent, yet appears to exist, like mirage, is called maya.

Then he explained another school of philosophy, which maintains that maya is universal illusion and also the mother of universe. He told me that in tantra philosophy maya is considered to be both cosmic shakti and the primal force, or kundalini - the latent force in all human beings. By focusing one's awareness on the Absolute, this sleeping force is awakened within and directed toward the center of consciousness. When one comes in touch with this power he can easily attain the highest level of consciousness. (...)

"When we devote our mind, energy, and resources to believeing in that which is non-existent, then it appears to exist, and that is maya. Don't contemplate on evil, devils, sins, avidya, or maya and thereby put yourself in a state of stress and worry. (...)" Swami Rama (2001). Living with the Himalayan Masters, P.57.

The strongest of bondages is created by attachment, which makes one weak, ignorant, and unaware of the absolute Reality. Maya, or illusion, is deeply rooted in attachment. When we are attached to or have a desire for something, it becomes a source of illusion for us. (...) Swami Rama (2001). Living with the Himalayan Masters, P.58.

Last updated: 2004/03/14

See the related subjects: Awakening, Detachment, Enlightenement, Freedom, Karma, Materialism, Sin, Transcendence, Wisdom