Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

Every one wants to know and realise the Truth; but Truth cannot be known and realised as Truth unless ignorance is known and realised as being ignorance. Hence arises the importance of understanding Maya or the principle of ignorance. People read and hear so much about Maya but few understand what it really is. It is not enough to have superficial understanding of Maya; it is necessary that Maya should be understood as it is, i.e. in its reality.

To understand Maya or the principle of ignorance is to know half of the Truth of the universe. Ignorance in all its forms must disappear if the soul is to be established in the state of self-knowledge; therefore, it is imperatively necessary for man to know that which is false, to know it as being false and to get rid of the false by knowing it to be false.

What is the essential nature of a falsehood? If the true is known as being true or if the false is known as being false, there is no falsehood but only a form of knowledge; falsehood consists in taking the true as being false or the false as being true, i.e., in considering something to be other than what it really in itself is. So falsehood is an error in judging the nature of things.

Broadly speaking there are two kinds of knowledge: (i) purely intellectual judgements about the facts of existence, and (ii) judgments of valuation which imply the appreciation of the worth or importance of things. Purely intellectual judgments or beliefs derive their importance from being related to values in some way: if they are divorced from values, they have very meagre importance in themselves.

For example, no one takes much interest in counting exactly the number of leaves which exist on a particular tree, although from the purely theoretical point of view such information will be a form of knowledge. But such information or knowledge is treated as unimportant because it is not vitally connected with other values. Intellectual knowledge becomes important when it enables man to realise certain values by giving him control over the means to their realisation, or (ii) when it enters into valuation itself as an important factor, modifying or in some other way affecting the accepted values.


DISCOURSES BY MEHER BABA, 5th ed, vol 2, pp. 67-68
1953 or 1954 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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