Science continues to point out that our experiences of the world we consider real, is actually very limited. Our experience is constrained by sensory organs that we have. Using technology we can improve sensitivity of our sense organs but we cannot bring about a qualitative change in our perception of the world.
In Indian spiritual tradition, it is said that humans are lured by Maya. Because of Maya we forget our real selves and engage in activities that basically transient in nature. In Mahabharata, Yudhisthira was asked by a Yaksha, “what is the greatest wonder in the world?” Dharma raj in his wisdom replied “every man knows that death is the ultimate truth of life. However, he wishes otherwise“. Such is the power of Maya that it rejects reality outright even when it points our direction.
Once, Narada asked Lord Vishnu, “Prabhu what is Maya?” Vishnu replied “fetch me a glass of water, I shall explain the nature of Maya to you”. Narada went to a spring nearby. He saw a beautiful woman. He fell in love, married, had children. Happy life of Narada fell apart when disaster struck in the form of flood. One by one, Narada lost his son, his daughter, and finally his wife. In agony Narada cried “Oh lord, why are you so cruel. You took away everything from me!”
At the moment, Narada heard Vishnu calling him, “Where are you Narada? How long will you take to fetch a glass of water?” This is Maya. In Vishnu’s time what was a few minute, in Narada’s scheme it was lifetime. In the world we forget what is our real purpose. Finally, when we call out, god listens. Only problem is we don’t call because Mahamaya covers our vision with an illusion created by her. Sri Rama Krishna says “pray to Mahamaya as mother, beg her, she will reveal herself to her son or daughter, when they call her.”