[Based on the Deivathin Kural by Kanchi Paramacharya]
The ocean when motionless, water bubbles are formed due to the air only to get broken by the next stream of air. The Paramatma is like the ocean only limitless. We are merely those bubbles who appear and disappear, but where to disappear. When the merciful glance of Acharya falls on us as the air for the bubble, we become one with the Paramatma.
There is no change in the capacity of the ocean. The water takes various forms and flows such as vapour, rain, river, stream and so on. The ocean remains as it is. There is no new set of flood coming to it, neither does it dry. There is shortage of drinking water in the summer but the water is in different form in different places, not a drop has increased or decreased. The rich just like how they change their wealth from savings to share to properties etc., the water changes face.
The Paramatma has appeared in many forms and in spite, hasn’t changed. We feel shortage and abundance, but when the wisdom of ‘everything is one’ comes, there is no change, shortage or abundance. Just as we relate the water to Paramatma, we must stress the importance of rivers here. The ocean water becomes various forms, like streams, well water, pond, river etc., but the river is the one which runs and mixes the ocean. In the northern India, there is a river Son, which means red. This runs in reddish soil. The Krishna river that runs in Andhra runs in dark coloured soil, Ganga is white which is denoted by the colour of the soil it runs.
The red is Rajas, Black is Tamas and White is Satva. Irrespective of the gunas, all these must culminate in to the Paramatma just as these three rivers mixes in to the ocean. Water finds it level they say, when the water falls from the hill, there is great noise and when it runs as rivers, there isn’t much noise and when it has reached the ocean, there is no noise. The river reaches its level only then and therefore becomes very quiet. We become quiet when we know our level, at the ground level. When we over react, people may get attracted or notice, but we will be losing our ground, our peace. The river is accepted by the ocean just as the Paramatma accepts us and we become one with Him.
Buddhism says everything is Maya, in reality there is nothing. Advaitha doesn’t say this. It does say that the Prapanja is Maya but that Maya has another source, which is Brahmam, which remains the ultimate reality. What? This universe is illusion you say? Can’t you see a number of things happening around you? What do you mean Maya then?
Maya does NOT mean that there is Nothingness.
It is not like an oxymoron (really lie, true mystery). Maya refers to this. It appears to be real as long as we think it is. Not like really lie. Think of a mirage. There is water but we cannot drink it. It is like this for the Gnanis, the world does appear just as a mirage does, but they know they cannot quench their thirst with a mirage water.
Do yourself a favour and read Swami Vivekananda on Maya as well. http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/volume_2/jnana-yoga/maya_and_illusion.htm
Just as the rope appears just as a snake and causes all the sensations in our body and mind when we see a real snake is Maya. When the illusion disappears, that it is indeed a rope, all the fearful sensation disappears. So would you say the snake was unreal? Yes and No. A while back, it was a snake, but now it is a rope. Has the rope changed to snake? It is your knowledge that has changed, evolved. What appeared to be a snake is what is Maya. It is just like a dream. As long as you dream without knowing it, everything is real but when you wake up, you know :).
For the Gnani, the Maya is zero. But for the ignorants, they add as many numbers as possible before the zero and magnifies it, thinking its real. With limited light, we see the black letters of the book but when there is abundance of light, the letters won’t be shown at all. This abundance of light is wisdom. When they say that the day of a Gnani is our night means just this.