When we come to
know that it is only a rope or a pillar, we no longer fear it, we no longer run away from
it. Similarly, when we come to realize the changeless God, we are no longer troubled by
the changing appearances of the world. When vidya or divine knowledge removes avidya
or the evil of misapprehen- sion, when mithyajnana or false knowledge is replaced by
samyak- darsana or true perception we rise to a higher order of reality as a
into waking life. This is a matter of spiritual experience and all the mystics of the
world have borne testimony to it.
But how exactly
the Reality is connected with the appearance we are not able to say. The relation
is, therefore, said to be anirva-caniya or indefinable. We should guard ourselves
here against a misconception. As Hindu philosophers use the word Maya to explain the
connection between God and the world, many people have come to believe that they teach
that the world is an illusion.
As a matter of fact, it was not Hindu philosophers but some
Buddhist philosophers that taught that the world was unreal. And the Hindus as heretical
condemned their opinions. No orthodox Vedic school even supported the theory of
illusionism, according to which nothing exists really out side our minds.
On the other hand, we distinguish three stages in Hindu
philosophy in the treatment of this question of the reality of the world. The first stage
of development is seen in the theories of Nyaya-Vaisesika school, which analyzed the facts
of the world and reduced them into a number of padartha or categories. The second stage of
development is seen in the theories of Samkhya- Yoga school, which further reduced them to the two well-known
Prakrti and Purusa.