Monday, March 17, 2008

Lesson 58 - The Three Bonds: Anava, Maya and Karma

"Anava" this simple word has a deep and very spiritual meaning. The buddhist term (and also used in Saivite theology) Anava means the consciousness of the ego, the sense of "I" and "mine". The representation of a sense of individuality and a separation from a general existence of any "divine plan". One of the three Buddhist malas or bondages: anava, karma and maya. In Shaivism, anava is the cause of the individual soul's mistaken sense of separate identity from Universal God, and the last bond broken before union or Self-Realization (moksha).

"Maya" is the belief that everything, which one sees in this world is illusion, a product of the individual's own failed interpretation and self-delusion. It begs the there an out there, out there?

"Karma" if you are a reader of this blog I know you know what Karma is by now but as a quick definition. Karma is the universal principle of cause and effect.

Now that you have a working definition of what Anava, Maya and Karma mean I would like to relay to you the following dharma lesson.

Just as children are kept from knowing all about adult life until they have matured into understanding, so too is the soul's knowledge limited. We learn what we need to know, and we understand what we have experienced. Only this narrowing of our awareness, coupled with a sense of individualized ego, allows us to look upon the world and our part in it from a practical, human point of view. Pasha is the soul's triple bondage: maya, karma and anava. Without the world of maya, the soul could not evolve through experience. Karma is the law of cause and effect, action and reaction governing maya. Anava is the individuating veil of duality, source of ignorance and finitude. Maya is the classroom, karma the teacher, and anava the student's ignorance. The three bonds, or malas, are given by the buddha to help and protect us as we unfold. Yet, the buddhas all-knowingness may be experienced for brief periods by the meditator who turns within to his own essence. "When the soul attains Self-knowledge, then it becomes one with the buddha. The malas perish, birth's cycle ends and the lustrous light of wisdom dawns." ~Namaste

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