The Great Illusion - Maya

God is Formless in Spirit Form. He shed His Light (JOT) which spread every  where and created Matter of Five Elements -

  1. Space
  2. Air
  3. Energy  (Heat)
  4. Water, and
  5. Mud (we call it earth)

The Matter gave rise to  various worlds, constellations, heavenly bodies, suns, moon, stars, stars  and planets, as God desired. It is God's Light in all these creations,  which holds them in their position. This further led to creation of all  life of varied species, the creating force is God's Light abiding in them  and the God's Light (JOT) in each creature is covered with the Material  Body of 5 elements. The Matter thus gave separate individuality to each of  the creature apart from the Divine abiding in them. Thus God created Two  Forces (1) His Light (Jot) verily God Himself pervading in every bit of the  Creation; (2) Material Force of Five Elements, which is described as of  THREE MODES (GUNAS) - Satvic, Rajas, and Tamas. This is the basis of MAYA  of THREE MODES, represented by three gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv or  Mahadev. Our description will become too lengthy if we discuss the details  of the THREE MODES OF MAYA. Suffice it is to state that Maya give separate  individuality to each of the creature, apart from God, abiding in each of  the creature, and separates him from his Source God. This matter is the  source of various passions created in creatures, FIVE of them are considered  as the Basic - Egoism, Lust, Anger, Greed, and Attachment. These passions and each creature's thinking, beliefs, desires, aversions,  etc. create a separate entity from the Divine in him, which is called MIND.  It is the human Mind, which runs after varied material possessions and for  its selfish desires, commits sins, needs to be purified. The Divine Light  (JOT) abides under the same roof close to Mind, but the separation is  world's apart. The Mind can be purified by refecting on the Divine, which  is All Wisdom and All Purity, but all depends on His Grace.

God Himself has created the objects of our temptations, giving false  appearances, illusion, figments, all masquerading as real, which like ghosts  haunt our mind. This is the great illusion or Maya created by Him, the  basis of conflict between good and evil. All our ills have the roots, when  we sever our connections with Him, the Source of our life, Whose part and  parcel we are. Having been disconnected with the Source of our very  existence, we become egocentric and assume too much of ourselves and  consider others as of no count. Man thus deluded leads a miserable life.  The Gurus in the follwong Compositions define this illusion and also provide us with the solution -

"With the Guru's Wisdom (God's Light in Man), one easily sheds off love of  material things (Maya). Without love of the Guru, the world wanders in  agony, as Maya has eaten up the self centered persons. Through the Divine  Word (Guru - His Light in Man), one meditates on God, and through the Guru  alone he gets absorbed in Him, The only Eternal Reality. (4)
Sidh (men of  miracles) roam about aimlessly. They have been misled by Mammon (Maya) and  cannot contemplate on His Name. Maya is pervading the Three Worlds and has  greatly engulfed the mortals. Without submission to the Guru (God's Light  in Man), no one can be liberated nor the Duality of Maya can be removed. (5)
"What is Maya? What actions Maya affected persons do? In woe and  weal Maya has enchained the mortals, induced them to act in selfish way.  Without love of Divine Word (God's light in Man, Satguru ), one remains  afflicted with doubts and self pride. (6)
Without the Divine Word (Guru),  doubts are not dispelled, nor does the pride depart from within. No one can  remember God without imbibing love for Him; and without love for Divine Word  (Guru) he cannot become acceptable to Him. With the love for Divine  Word(Guru), he effaces his egoism and Maya's Illusion also departs; thereby  he obtains the wealth of God's Name. (7)
Without love for the Guru,  virtues cannot be created and without virtues no one can remember God. The  devotee meets with the Lord as a matter of course by imbibing in his mind  the Lord, Who is the Lover of Devotees. Nanak says, through the Divine  Word (Guru) praise the Lord, Who is attained by His Grace. (8) (4) (21)"
(Sri Guru Amardas Ji, Siri Rag, Astpadi 21, page 67, Sri Guru Granth  Sahib)
"God created the Matter of Three Modes (Sattiv, Rajas, Tamas), which  signify Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the basis of Maya (The Great Illusion),  which separates people from their Creator. Those who transcend these  Three Modes of Maya, find Bliss in the Fourth State of Sehaj."
(Paurhi 2,  Gujri ki Var, Sri Guru Amar Das, page 509, SGGS)
"Rajas, Tamas and Sattvic, the Three Modes of Matter, the basis of Maya  was created by God out of Himself. The Maya is the shadow of God, and  the cause of Birth, Death and Egoism. On whom the Lord becomes  Merciful, takes him to the Fourth State for emancipation (Sehaj - The  Perfect Peace of Mind)" (11)
(Sri Guru Nanak Dev, Rag Maru, page 1038,  SGGS)

Sri Guru Granth Sahib begins with Sri Rag, in first two stanzas of Sri  Guru Nanak Dev, the Guru mentions the varied material alluring things and  the charms of the varied magical feats of the jogis and other magicians,  which attract persons to possess them and enjoy them. In their enjoyment  they forget the Creator, and separation from Him causes pain. The Guru  forcefully warns us not to be get entrapped in such enticements and forget  God, the Life Giver, Sustainer and Savior. Given below are some of the  hymns showing 'Maya' of extremely deceptive nature leading to temptations  exceedingly hard to resist by the feebleness of the human mind -

"See how Maya dances its devil dance and yokes every one to vice. She  entices away even the sun and the moon. When her ankle-bells tinkle, she  creates unnecessary upsetting in the mind. She sets herself on making myriad  gestures putting humans under her magic spell to beguile any one except the  Lord. ......Persons involved in strife get intoxicated with her magic wine  and are tossed about as on the stormy waves of high seas. Only the Lord's  Saints are saved, as they cut the knots of Yama's noose. So Nanak  contemplates Him alone, Whose Name sanctifies even the sinners."
(Sri Guru  Arjan Dev Ji, Rag Sarang, page 1231, Sri Guru Granth Sahib)
"When I resolve to do a thing, this Mammon does not allow it to mature.  Whenever I intend doing some good act and want to lead a disciplined life,  this Mammon makes it that it does not happen. She wears many guises and  assume many forms. She makes me restless to wander in different and diverse  places. (1) She has become the mistress of my house and makes me homeless.  If I make an effort to abide in my house, she grapples with me. (1) Pause.  She has been sent by God as an agent, right from the beginning of life on  Earth. She has conquered Nine Regions, all the places and inter-spaces.  She has not spared even the banks of streams, the sacred shrines, the yogis  and the ascetics. People have become weary of reading Smiritis and Vedas,  and attained no peace of mind. (2) Where I sit, there she sits with me. In  all the worlds, she has forcibly entered. By seeking paltry protection, I  cannot protect myself from her. Tell me, my friend, from whom should I seek  protection? (3) Having heard of the Teachings of the Satguru (God in Man),  I sought His help. The Guru has implanted God's Name within me as His  instructions. I now abide in my own home and sing the Praises of the  Infinite Lord. Nanak has met his Lord and has become carefree. The house  is my own and she is my mistress. She is my hand maiden and the Guru has  made me, the Lord's Courtier (His Own)."
(Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Rag Asa,  page 371, Sri Guru Granth Sahib)
"If we associate with the Guru (God's Light in us), we can discern the Truth  and our strife can be brought to an end. He, the Lord Who pervades every  heart, is our Master. (1)
No one can be liberarted by preacticing  meritorious deeds, try he may, verily without the Guru's Light, darkness  cannot be removed in him. One may deliberate on this and draw his  conclusions (1) Pause.
Those who are blind due to their darkened vision and  are completely devoid of intellect, what can one say of them? Without the  Light of the Guru one cannot see the Path. Then how he leads his life? (2)
He calls false the truth, and does not know what is Truth. It is the  wonder of this age, that a Blind one is called the seer! (3)
Those found  sleeping in Maya are called Awakened. And those who see reality and are  Awake, are called in sleep. Those who are leading a spiritual life are  called dead ones, and the really dead ones (in love with Maya) are not  mourned. (4)
Those who come to self realization, he calls them as lost  ones, and those who go astray toward material world, are called coming to  their selves. He calls another's property as his own and as regards what is  his own, he does not like. (5)
What is sweet, he calls it bitter and the  bitter he calls it sweet. He slanders those who are imbued with Lord's  Love. Such is what I have seen in this Dark Age. (6)
He serves the  handmaiden, but does not see the Master. By churning the pool of water, no  one can get butter. (7)
O Nanak, one who realizes his own self, he finds God  there, Who is Infinite and he becomes one with Him. One who gets such an  understanding, I respectfully bow to him as my teacher.(8)
God pervades  everywhere and is in all. It is He Who has deluded the mortals who go  astray. This mystery one comes to understand, when His Grace dawns upon  him. (9) 2.18"
(Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Rag Gauri, Astpadi, page 229, Sri  Guru Granth Sahib)
"Now my mind has snapped its contacts with the five *passions (lust, wrath,  avarice, attachment and pride). My mind is in bliss on seeing the vision of  God within me, and I find release from the five passions (1) Pause.
To reach  the spot where God abides within me is very hard. Hard, too hard, to reach  where the Treasure of God's Name can be found. This spot is guarded on all  sides by the warring desires. It is a deep pit, whereto the hand of the mind  does not reach. The companionship of the saintly persons helped me (my mind  made the advance) and I robbed the pit (throwing aside the passions). (1)
I  have now come upon the Inexhaustible Treasure (of God), the Priceless Jewel  of His Name. Nanak says: When God became Merciful to me, then I began to  drink mouthfuls of His Nectar Name. (2)"
(Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Rag Sarang,  page 1210, Sri Guru Granth Sahib)

* Guru Arjan Dev has defined the Five Instinctual Passions as under, which  are the part of Invincible Maya -

(1) Attachment - You are invincible hero of the battle field. You crush  even the very powerful ones. You fascinate even the heavenly messengers,  celestial musicians, gods, mortals, beasts and birds.
(2) Lust - O Lust, you make the mortals land in hell and make them wander  in many species. You steal the heart, pervade in the three spheres and  destroy one's meditations, penances and virtues. For the momentary pleasure you  provide, make the mortal poor and unsteady. You exist in all, high and low  alike. ......
(3) Wrath - O wrath, you are the root of all strife. Compassion does not  ever arise, when you are there. You take sinful mortals in your power,  when they dance like monkeys. In your association, man is debased and the  Death Courier chastises him with various punishments.
(4) Avarice - O Greed, you have clung even to the great and by your waves  play many a prank.With your affliction, the persons run amuck and greatly  wobble in various manners. You have caused persons to have no respect  neither for the friends, nor for the faith, nor relations, nor mother and  father. You make man do what he should not do. You make man eat , what  he should not eat. You make him build, what he should not build. O, such is  your reputation!
(5) Pride - O self conceit, the root cause of all sins. You are the sole  cause of repeated births and deaths. You cause man to abandon his friends,  hold fast to enemies and spread many illusions. You make mortals weary of  their repeated comings and goings and undergoing much pain and pleasure to  them. You make one wander in the terrible wilderness of doubt and contact  supremely annoying and incurable ailments. (Guru Arjan Dev, Sehaskriti Sloks, page 158, SGGS)

How can we rid ourselves of the effect of Maya? This is totally dependent  on His Grace to bless us to live in the company of saints and learned ones  to know the reality of the things, to love Him and live with Him by  reflecting our mind on Him present within us (Sat Guru). With His  Blessings we offer prayers to Him in all love and humility, and merge our  tiny conscious self (Mind) in His All pervading Spirit in us. The two  structures in this union become one, now it is all He and we live in Him. It  is again stressed that it all depends upon His Will, when His Grace dawns on  us and He blesses us with His Love, and we in remembrance of Him, find  union. So long we remain ignorant of this hard reality and spend our life as  self centered persons, we continue to fall from one pit to another pit. This  all happens as He Wills, for it is He Who created both Good and Evil, and  Evil is necessary to fight with, to evolve our personality. Evil glorifies  Goodness. Evil serves the necessary purpose, and is according to His Will.

Guru Amar Das, the 3rd Nanak, in a Slok in Gujri Ki Var, page 510, SGGS,  states -

"Maya is a she-serpent, which has allured and captivated the whole  world. He, who runs after her and serves her, she devours him. The  God-man is like a snake charmer, who tramples and crushes her under his  feet. Nanak says: they alone are saved , who remain absorbed in the True  Lord's love."

Guru Gobind Singh in his Composition Jaap, Pauri 15 teaches us -

"It is God, Who enjoys the material wealth of the world (Maya), as He is  present in Complete Form in every creature. Since God is Formless (no  material body), therefore, He does not allow Himself to be destroyed, while  enjoying the worldly things. God-men live with God present in them, thus  they ever remain full of vigor and strength till the end of their earthly  life; material things and the age (Maya) have no ill effect on them."

Sri Guru Amardas Ji, in Rag Ramkali, Anand describes Maya in more details,  given hereunder -

(i) No one has ever attained to God, and led a truthful, peaceful,  contented and happy life by his ingenuity. The cleverness of their mind  proves that they are inflicted by the evil effects of Maya. Maya bound  person is one who is selfish, leads a life of uncontrolled instincts,  passions, drives and cravings for material possessions and his sensual  pleasures and falls an easy prey to all types of temptations. This Maya is  the Great Charmer that instills doubts in one's mind and strays him away  from the Path. This deluding Maya has been created by God Himself, which  bewitches by its charms. (Pauri 10)
(ii) The effect of Maya cannot be removed by performing religious  ceremonies and rituals. In this way no one can attain to peace of mind.  This is the materialistic approach only, while the mind remains fear  stricken. The fears and doubts are not removed by any other means, however  one may continue to practice such things for any length of time. Mind  remains impure with fears, doubts and superstitious beliefs. Mind can be  purified only by reflecting it on God abiding within oneself (Sat Guru) and  His Holy Word. Those alone, who are blessed with Sat Guru's Grace, their  fears and doubts are dispelled, and their minds are in peace. (18)
(iii) Those have deceptive appearances, who pose to be religious and pious  from without, but are unclean within. They lose their life in gamble.  They are seized by the great malady of greed and become oblivious of death.  They forsake Truth and cling to falsehood. (19)
(iv) Those who are pure within and also pure without, they live with God  (His Light called Soul or Sat Guru) and act as He directs them. They are  not affected by the falsehood, as they ever live with Truth. They are such  true merchants, who trade with Truth and earn the life's Jewel. (20)
(v) The true seekers of Truth efface their egoism completely and lean on  the Guru, and do not recognize any one other than Him, as without the Grace  of Sat Guru (God's Light in Man), no one can be liberated from the clutches  of Maya. (21 & 22)
(vi) God Himself has created both Life and Matter. His Eternal writ runs  throughout the creation. There are the rare ones, who break the bonds and  are emancipated by realizing His Will through His Grace. He enshrines His  Word in their minds. The Lord reveals His Will to them. (26)
(vii) The Smiritis and Shastras deal with Good and Evil only, but do not  know the Essence, as they do not reflect their selves on the Guru (God's  Light in Man). They get involved themselves in the Three Modes of Matter,  and spend their lives in complete ignorance. (27)
(viii) Just as fire is within the mother's womb, similar is Maya without.  Maya is destructive as is the fire of the womb. It is God, Who feeds us in  mother's womb amidst the fire. It is He, Who has set up this Play. By His  Command , one takes birth in the world and there is rejoicing in the  family. When he forgets the Lord, the Maya then takes hold of him, and he  gets affected with avarice. Maya has been created by God. When the  creatures forget the Creator, Maya creates attachment in them. Only those  who are attuned to the Lord by the Guru's Grace, they attain to the Lord in  the midst of Maya. (29)
(ix) One's tongue becomes Maya inflicted, when it is lured by other tastes  and its cravings remain uncontrolled. His cravings do not cease until he  attains to God. (32)
(x) It is God's Light in the eyes that one is enabled to see. Whatever one  sees, it is His Form everywhere. Before Sat Guru's enlightenment, one is  blind to the Reality. By meeting with the Guru, he finds illumination and  vision. (36)
(xi) The ears are also created to hear Truth only. What we see is that man  is over curious to hear slander and falsehood of others only. (37)

The Gurus taught that God created this Universe from the Five Elements,  which constituted Matter or Maya (Illusion). The Five Elements are, Air,  Water, Heat, Earth and Space. The human body and mind have been created by  God through His Light (Soul), which is verily God Himself present in Man.  Both the body and mind have taken birth from the Matter of Three Gunas or  Modes, which is called  Maya (Illusion), created by God. Mind is the abstract of the body's  instincts, passions, thinking, habits and consciousness. God, Who created  Matter of Three Modes or Maya (Illusion), is beyond it or remains unaffected  and uncontaminated. So do the Rays of Light shed by Him, which created the  Matter of Three Modes and created the Universe and the living beings. The  Rays of His Light are present everywhere and in all living beings, called  Soul or Satguru (The True Teacher of All Wisdom). Similar to God, His Rays  of Light remain unaffected by the Matter or Maya, as Light is such an  element, which cannot be contaminated by any material or non-material  thing. For example, the Sun rays fall on a debris of filth, yet do not get  contaminated. The Rays of His Light remain as Absolute in Purity and  Wisdom as God is. So in Sikh Scriptures Sat Guru or His Word, or Soul is  described in synonymous terms with Absolute God. Sri Guru Arjan Dev in his  Composition Sukhmani Sahib, Rag Gauri, Astpadi 18, states : "sarb nirantar  aiko sohey. Oat pote ravehia rooprung. - He is present in every one; in  all forms, in all colors, He alone is present like warp and woof." Again  in Astpadi 23, the Guru states: "subh kai mudh alpato rehai. Jo kich kehna  so aapai kehai. - He living with all, remains aloof (unattached); does  whatever He wants to do." God's Light in all, called Sat Guru is the  Immanent Form of God in action.

The Passions or Instincts in Man. The Conflicts in Man between the Divine  Powers of Truth, Light and Immortality on the one hand and the instinctual  drives leading to darkness, untruth and death, on the other, is the theme of  Sri Guru Gobind Singh's Composition, Chandi Chritra. The Victory of the  Divine element over the irrational impulses has been glorified. The demons  represent the lower part of the mind, the gods, Vishnu, Indra, etc. represent the higher self in man. We learn from this treatise that the  Animal in Man is Very Powerful, and the Animal Power has to be reckoned  with. The Animal Forces invariably vanquish the gods (our higher self), who in turn looks to the Supreme Power for help in restoration of the lost  authority. In most of the Hindu mythical stories, severe conflict is depicted between the beast in man and his real self, and the latter not  being equal in strength loses the battle and the supplication for the Divine  Support, is made, and then the animal forces are eliminated restoring the  right place of the real self in man. These three layers in man's thinking  are accepted in the Sikh Teachings. Sikhs daily make supplication to God  to establish the Spiritual and mental harmony in them so that they may  subordinate their instinctual desires to the dictates of the intellect,  which in turn be guided by the Divine Power. One must know his real Self,  must seek enlightenment through knowledge, integrity and activity by  identifying with the highest ethical values. The Sikhs daily pray - sikhan da mun nivan, mat oochi, mat pat ka rakha akal purkh Wahiguru.

At the onset of the story of "Chandi", Guru Gobind Singh gave the following  myth -

"When there was no creation, God alone was there and lying asleep  (latent state) on the cushion of Hydra Serpent in a vast frightful ocean. God first created Brahma (the Creative Power in the Universe) from His  navel. He then created the demons from His ear wax. He named the two demons  (one man and one woman) as Madh and Kitab. The demons developed their bodies in huge dimensions. Brahma was terrified on seeing them and prayed for the help of the Divine Mother (Chandi or God's Light). God was then awakened  from sleep and hastened to make the war preparations in order that the  demons could be eliminated and the rule of gods (righteousness) be established. God then engaged Himself in fighting battle with the two demons but could not do away with them, as they were very powerful. (judh  kio tin so bhagwant na mar sakain aat daint balie hai). In this way, they  went on fighting for five thousand years and none of them felt tired. The demons were greatly power intoxicated and told their Creator to ask for a boon from them. God asked for their heads. He then cut their heads with  the Disc Wheel by placing them on His knees and thighs, and incorporated their light within Himself. In this way, God established the rule of gods by killing the demons, and handed over the Kingdom of the Earth to gods, and Himself took the way to homeward in Heaven. (devan thapio raj, Madh Kitab ko  mar kai, dino sakal samaj, baikunth gami har bhai.)"

According to the myth, the Universe was in the state of dissolution, or in  a state of rest. God alone was there. His Powers of Creation were in the  latent state or in the form of seed, away from the soil. God then lay  Himself in the Cosmic Womb. He then brought into Being His Inner most Self,  the Immaculate Lotus of Pure Consciousness from which is born all Wisdom and  Knowledge. In Vedic literature, God is said to have created from His navel,  the thousand petalled Lotus Flower, depicting this Universe, and Brahma (the  Creative Power of God was at the center of all existence.) Brahma, the part  of the Creative Power of God felt that the instinctual powers in man were  too great and had apprehensions of that it may not lead to his total  destruction. Brahma is said to have prayed to "Chandi", the Light of God or  the Life Force, to annihilate the forces of darkness, which hindered the  creative process. This Vital  Energy or the Creative Force or Chandi is identified with God. It is God's  Light verily God, just as there is no difference between the qualities of  the Sun and its rays of light. It is God, Who came to the rescue of man and  harnessed the Creative Energy from the Animal Power in man. The Beast in Man  is indeed very Powerful (aat daint balie hai). God in order to control the  wildness of Man directed his surplus energies toward the process of  procreation. He is said to have caused the killing of Madh and Kitab. In  other words He engaged them in sexual inter-course. In Symbolic Language,  the Killing signifies involvement in a sexual inter-course of man and woman  in all cultures. Placing of a person on thighs is universally accepted  symbolism of coitus. God thus removed the chaos in Man, which was  shattering his peace. He harnessed man's surplus energies into creative  channels and evolved something sublime out of this slush perpetuating the  creative process in him. Guru Arjun in one of his verses said that  "countless Brahmas are being engaged in the creation of this Universe."  (kehi kot brahmain jag sajan lagai), There is the Brahma in every living  being - God's Creative Force. The sex potential in humans is the Divine  endowment. Its sacredness or its offensive and sinful nature leading to  destruction, entirely depends upon observance of the Laws of God.

It is of great importance to note that in this myth, the Supreme Creative  Power, the Light of God or the Vital Force, called Goddess Chandi and God  are completely identified. In Sikh Scriptures God's Light in Man is  completely identified with Him and is called "Sat Guru", verily God Himself.  It is quite clear to us that Chandi, God's Light is Sat Guru, Who is being defined in this myth.

Another mythical story given in 24 Avtars as described in Puranas, is given  below. On account of the unlimited powers of the instinct of Lust in man, man's  very existence became in danger. Gods (man's higher self), in their  distress, applied to God for help. God told them to churn the sea (engage  in sexual intercourse) to dispose off the surplus energy in them. During  the act of churning the sea (act of coitus), God promised to become the  tortoise on which the mountain Mandra as the Churning Stick should rest.  God told the gods (higher self of man) that He will restore their strength,  if they act as He enjoins. Let all the gods (higher self of man) and  demons (Lust) cast all sorts of medicinal herbs into the sea (womb) and  together chrun the sea (womb), depending upon His help. To secure the help  of demons (Lust), humans must be at peace with them, and engage to give them  an equal share of the associated toil in this endeavor. It means that the  Animal power bestowed to humans is His endowment, and should be used under  His direction in the proper way. Jewels were promised to emerge if the Animal Power was to be utlized under  His directions. Otherwise there would be total disaster in misuse of the  Animal Power, and the Evil would have its sway.

THIS IS THE ESSENTIAL PART OF "MAYA" OR ILLUSION CREATED BY GOD.  Basically, it is man's egocentricity, which leads him astray toward Maya.  Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Rag Bhairo, page 1140 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib states -

"God has put in the malady of egoism in Man; lust in elephant by which  it is overwhelmed; sight in moth by which it gets burnt to death; deer gets  ruined on hearing bell's note. All are seen engrossed with some type of  malady. (1)
It is only the Sat Guru (True Teacher - God's Light), Who is  free from disease. (1) Pause.
It is through the malady of tongue, fish is  caught; through the malady of smelling, black-bee gets destroyed. The  whole world is engulfed in the malady of attachment; people being involved  in Maya of three modes commit countless sins. (2)
In disease one dies  and in disease he is born. Being inflicted with disease he is born again  and again. Being engrossed in disease, he cannot stay at peace even for a  moment. . Without meeting with Sat Guru, the disease cannot be  eradicated. (3)
On whom God becomes Merciful, He takes hold of his arm  and pulls him out if the disease. One's fetters get loosened, when he  associates with the society of Saints. Nanak says: the Guru rids him of  the disease." (4) 7.20.

Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji in Bichitar Natak, Chapter 3, states -

"God  created conflicts of varied types in humans, which none has been able to  resolve them. He created the Mighty Forces of Lust, Attachment  (Prejudices), and Greed. Who is the Brave Man, who could escape from their  poisonous effect or conquor these enemies?"
"racha bair  badung bidatai aparung. jisai sadh sakio na koho sudharung. bali kam  raiyung maha lobh mohung. ghio kaon birung su yatai alohung. (1)"

God is unaffected by this Maya  created by Him. Only those on whom His Grace dawns and who live with Him  and become One with Him, are immune to Maya. Those who completely rely on  Him, He helps to solve all their problems instantly. It is He in them, Who  induces them to act in the befitting manner. God alone is the Doer.

The Matter serves as a vehicle for the Divine Light present in living  beings. Matter is necessary for the sustenance of the body in varied ways.  It has many other uses necessary for the living beings. God alone is the  Creator of both Life and Matter. The Matter comes into activity with God's  Potential alone. God is the Creator and Sustainer of all Life; it is He Who  gives potential and wisdom to the creatures and shows them the way for  acquisition of material things necessary for the sustenance of all Life. As  the Creator Farther of All, it is His responsibility to sustain all and  fulfill all their necessities; and He Alone does it. Those who live with  Satguru (God's Light in them), they remain immune to the effect of Maya; use  the material things given them by God in the controlled and balanced way as  He guides them. Those, whose mind becomes egocentric, vainly take on  themselves as the doers and the creator of material things, not only for  their needs, but also of others and even of GOD, are involved in Maya.  This we see of those, who absorb their mind in pursuit of material objects,  involve themselves in strife, become greedy, arrogant, guilt stricken,  shameless, reckless and restless; and ultimately destroy themselves. Sri  Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Sawayya 8, page 1388 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib states:  "(A person's mind engrossed in Maya) finds himself into the dark deep well of  ignorance, doubts and attachments. Maya changes color like chameleon. He  feels so proud of himself that he cannot be contained between the Earth and  the Sky. But what indeed he is - a belly full of dirt, worms and bones.  Beguiled by ignorance, he robs others and runs amuck in all directions to  gather the poison of Maya." Man's selfishness and his uncontrolled  cravings for possession of material things involve him in Maya, which is  hard, too hard to overcome. Only those, who live with God present in them,  called Sat Guru, are not affected by Maya, which serves them; they truly  enjoy life - "anand karo mil sundar nari, gur nanak meri paij savari - Says  Nanak, enjoy the material things given by God, for by living with Him, my  honor and integrity has been saved." (Sri Guru Arjan Dev, Rag Bilawal,  page 806 SGGS)

The Basic Elements of Matter God created are -

  1. Air
  2. Heat or Energy
  3. Water
  4. Earth
  5. Space.

These elements produce inexhaustible  supplies and wealth for consumption of the creatures and their sustenance.  Where each of these elements are of creative nature and for the service of  the creatures, on the other hand these very elements in their excessive  force and fury cause havoc and unspeakable destruction of life and property.  Balanced and controlled use of material wealth under the guidance of God  leads to peace and happiness, while the excessive cravings for these  material things results in unrest and miseries. Man's selfishness is  inherent in him, which cannot be removed by any means, except by taking  God's refuge and ever keeping Him in mind. The poison of selfishness is  the poison of Maya, which has engulfed the whole humanity. Guru Amar Das,  in Slok 22, Varan tai Vadik, page 1415, SGGS, states -

"Maya is like a poisonous snake, which has surrounded the world and injects  poison in all. Its antidote is God's Name. The Guru (God's Light)blesses  us with the efficacious Mantrum of His Word. They, whose lot is so writ  by God, they meet with the Sat Guru. One becomes pure by meeting with Sat  Guru and is thus rid of the poison of egoism (or Maya). The faces of  God's devotees are brightened and they attain honor in His Court. Nanak  the slave, is ever a sacrifice to them, who obey the Will of the Guru."

Sri Kabir Ji describing this Illusion (Maya) says -

"Who is whose son? Who  is whose father? Who dies? Who inflicts pain? The Lord is the Enticer, Who  has enticed the World. How shall I survive, in separation of God? (1)  Pause.
Who is whose husband and who is whose wife? Reflect on the reality  of the things within you. (2)
I have now adjusted with the Enticer (God),  says Kabir. The illusion has vanished and I have recognized the Deceiver  (God)"
(page 331, Sri Guru Granth Sahib)