When we come into the material world in order to fulfill this desire, we have to be put into illusion. If I see things as they really are, I can’t play the game. So I’m covered with this veil. And this is Maya’s job. She is the grand magician. She does all the tricks and we are mesmerized by it.
So I see, “Oh, this world is a very nice place.” Just like when the baby was born, he came out and immediately he sees, “Wow! Look at this! I’m going to enjoy this, oh, the bottle, the toy, this thing, that thing.” We see, “Oh, pleasure, pleasure, pleasure. I will enjoy that, look at that girl, ooh, what a pleasure there!” She says, “Look at that guy, there’s a lot of pleasure there so I want to own it.”
So we try to gain possession. And to do all of this we have to be in illusion. If we really understood what the truth is, how could we enjoy?
We don’t see that this world is the place of birth, disease, old age and death. We see birth, “Oh, it’s so wonderful. Birth, a new life, a new baby!” But that baby has been suffering for a while. One of our scriptures, Srimad Bhagavatam, describes life in the womb. And the baby suffers so much in the womb. When he gets a little bigger, he starts letting you know, “I want to get out of here!” But the mom says, “Oh, my little baby…” But the baby, “Aaah!” And finally, “Ok, you can come out now.” So he’s blasted down the birth canal, “Whoosh!” Big head, little space. Have you ever seen a newborn baby? They don’t look too good:
-What happened, man? Where’ve you been?
-Oh man, you don’t want to know, don’t talk about it! Let’s not talk about that!
But due to the illusion, the baby quickly forgets. It’s actually described in the womb it’s so painful that the baby prays to God, “If you let me out of here, I will serve You, I’ll be good.”
But as soon as he comes out, “Oh, look at all this stuff!” “Waa!” Mom comes running. “Oh, I can control her very nicely. I don’t have to work, have to do nothing, she feeds me. Everybody likes me, they think I’m cute. Nice life!”
So immediately we fall into that illusion again, ‘I am the enjoyer’. And no matter how many times material nature kicks us and shows us we are not, we still say, “I am.” (laughs) “Oh, it will be better, there is a bright light. Don’t worry, look on the bright side.” The eternal optimist. Because that’s the illusion.
The last relationship destroyed our life but, “Oh, the next one will be different. This is the soulmate that I’ve been looking for. This marriage is made in heaven.” A few years later heaven is turned into hell, and on and on it goes.
It’s described also in our scriptures that it’s like being on a dunking stool. In medieval times especially they had a specific torture: they put a person on the end of a long pall over the water and then they would put him under the water. He is tied to these things so he is under the water. He is gasping for air, he is about to drown. And just before he drowns they bring him up, “Aargh!” Such a wonderful feeling, “Aargh!” And then they put him back. “Aargh!”
So the Vedas say the happiness in the material world is the “Aargh!” before the “Tshhh!” (the sound of hitting the water) “But it will get better. They will hold me up for two breaths next time.” (laughs) “Aargh! Aargh!” And then… This is Maya, this is illusion. But I have to be kept in this illusion if I am going to be able to play the game. So as long as I want to be the enjoyer, the number one, the supreme, the controller, etc., I will be under Maya’s influence.