Moksha and Maya

Liberation is not a place; it does not exist in the heavens, the earth or the spirit-world. Freedom has no space, no time, no location; it can only exist in the now, in the present moment. Moksha (liberation, freedom) is the state of non-ego, where the “me” vanishes and one stands free from all desires, actions and consequences in a total state of oneness.We are bound to this material world through attachment, desire, and the inability to see or experience the oneness of all life. Maya (illusion) is both the psychological separation between ego and the universe and the psychological filter that colors all of our experience. Maya is our memories, conceptions, judgments, and biases that present a distorted sense of reality. These impressions of past experiences become superimposed or projected on current experiences creating a false reality. Maya reinforces the ego, strengthens attachment, and defines our individual “story” that defines who we are and our relationship to the external world.

To achive moksha, maya must be cast off, anava (ego) must be dissolved, and both our attachments to pleasure and our aversions to discomfort must be severed. Moksha arises spontaneously when we become completely absorbed in the sensation of an experience without thought. This “taste” of total absorption is common yet fleeting. Through the practice of yoga, we seek to create the tools to consciously and willfully "pierce the veil" of maya and see the transcendent nature of reality. These tools include selfless work (karma yoga), self-dissolving love (bhakti yoga), absolute discernment (jnana yoga), and meditative immersion (raja yoga).

The most fundamental tool yoga gives us to create moksha is conscious awareness. Through the use of awareness we can slowly begin to see our projections, desires, attachments and judgments for what they are. Once these distorting factors become conscious, they are able to dissolve and unblock the way to a direct experience of reality. When we become liberated from the illusionary world of maya we are able to be in yoga: the union of the inner self (Atman) with the oneness of all life (Brahman).


Related Offers

You May Also Like:

  • Yoga Therapeutics

    Yoga Therapy is the use of yoga postures, meditation and pranayama to help the body naturally heal and balance itself. Check out our Yoga Therapy section to learn which yogic practices have been shown to have healing qualities for common complaints. Yoga Therapy Guides
  • MONTHLY YOGA GIVEAWAY!

    Each month YogaBasics’s readers can enter a new giveaway for a chance to win a great yoga prize. Previous prizes have included yoga books, clothes, and yoga festival tickets! Enter This Month's Giveaway!
  • Our Premium Membership

    Like what you see...and want more? Our premium members have access to deluxe features and premium content including: advanced asanas, yoga pose sequences, yoga therapy, and downloadable MP3s. Join Now!