How does hinduism translate reality? Is it maya - but I kind of thought that was deception-illusion? If maya is related to reality then an aspect of reality, unreality, fullness?

or maybe the translation is vastavikata or vastavam? but i really never heard of that.

or maybe loka (loka from BSE which seems to imply perception)? but if reality was based on our human perception viz. appearance, the subjective world - why not call it maya?

or perhaps satya works best as to contrast the mere appearance? but perhaps reality is really just appearance and perception - thus cause of conflicts and agreements?

"true world" (satya loka) seems not bad, but also denotes "false world" which is confusing without further explanation. also toss in ultimate reality - more confusion.

maybe a good example is the apparent motion of a planet (retrograde, etc) and for a long time ppl thought it was the truth of planetary motion. At the same time, the subjective appearance is not untrue but relative - not to mention the whole of astrology is based on an appearance.

the jain doctrine of Anekantavada states that the ultimate truth and reality is complex and has multiple aspects.

imo since we all want to like the world we are screwed with one another.

  • on a side note, i recall a pandit at a funeral saying something like, 'not knowing the diff. between what is real and unreal is one source of our suffering'...that made me cry :(
    – blue_ego
    Commented Oct 29, 2023 at 1:35

1 Answer 1


Very beautiful question ! Maya is not an illusion, it is what appears to us and what we think of as ultimate reality, i.e. we normally think people are different from me, there is good and bad, here is this world, here are my problems, I am so and so, etc. It is neither existence nor non-existence. It is not existence as it is intrinsically dependent on Brahman to exist and keeps changing. It's not nonexistence as it appears to us as a dual world as a part of our experiences.

The Maya of the Vedanta, in its last developed form, is neither Idealism nor Realism, nor is it a theory. It is a simple statement of facts — what we are and what we see around us. It admits that this world is a mixture of good and evil, happiness and misery, and that to increase the one, one must of necessity increase the other. Like moths hurling themselves against the flame, we are hurling ourselves again and again into sense-pleasures, hoping to find satisfaction there. here. We return again and again with freshened energy; thus we go on, till crippled and cheated we die. And this is Maya. With every breath, with every pulsation of the heart with every one of our movements, we think we are free, and the very same moment we are shown that we are not. Bound slaves, nature's bond-slaves, in body, in mind, in all our thoughts, in all our feelings. And this is Maya. (Swami Vivekananda, Jnana Yoga Chapters 3-5)

How do we define falsity in Advaita Vedanta? That which “borrows” its reality from something else is false. It does not have an existence of its own. Similarly, all that appears in the universe, seems to exist. Their existence is borrowed from Brahman, the infinite existence, which is your own Self. False is not non-existent. So, that which you cannot say that it truly is, and that which you cannot say that it is not, this mixture, which neither exists, nor can be said to be non-existent, this is the false or mithya. (Dissolve Into Infinity, Swami Sarvapriyananda, Pages 20-21)

Because when there is duality, as it were, then one smells something, one sees something, one hears something, one speaks something, one thinks something, one knows something. (But) when to the knower of Brahman everything has become the Self, then what should one smell and through what, what should one see and through what, what should one hear and through what, what should one speak and through what, what should one think and through what, what should one know and through what?(Brihadarankaya Upanishad 2.4.14)

Acharya Sankara writes, " Because when, i.e. in the presence of the particular or individual aspect of the Self due to the limiting adjuncts of the body and organs conjured up by ignorance, there is duality, as it were, in Brahman, which really is one without a second, i.e. there appears to be something different from the Self. Śruti says, ‘Modifications are but names, a mere effort of speech’ (Ch. VI. i. 4-6 and iv. 1-4), also ‘One only without a second’ (Ch. VI. ii. 1), and ‘All this is but the Self’ (Ch. VII. XXV. 2)."

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    Nice. I particularly like the quotes given. Commented Oct 29, 2023 at 6:47
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    nice post. mithya connotes myth.
    – blue_ego
    Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 14:16
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    for this i gather mithya is the false view of reality (maya)
    – blue_ego
    Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 14:18

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