We all remember what Morpheus offers Neo in the movie Matrix. Neo takes the red pill and escapes from the matrix into the ulterior world.

One can find a very close relation between the Matrix and the concept of Maya in Vedanta. No, I am not trying to smear the Vedantic concepts onto the plot of this  movie. This must have already been done ages back by a lot of “intellectual” people and it is not my intention. I am only trying to point out the similarity for the purpose of this blog.

Maya is a concept in Advaita Vedanta. It is said to veil the Cosmic Spirit known as Brahman. A person in Maya cannot experience Brahman as it obsfuscates this transcendant truth. Some people just say it is an illusion (which is closer to the meaning of Maya in various Indian languages). The world we live in is said to be due to Maya. That’s more or less the description of Maya.

Maya has been introduced into Advaita by the great Sri Sankaracharya. There is one glitch though regarding Maya. Sankaracharya does not say why Maya actually exists and it cannot be answered by the “axioms” of Advaita as well. That is, Maya might actually exist but it cannot be proved if it does or not (Much like the Incompleteness theorems of Godel – dont beat me to death for this comparision). The existence of Maya is assumed.

To break the fetters of Maya and to experience the transcendent reality there is only one way – the path of knowledge or in other words the philosophy of Advaita. If the Matrix is similar to Maya, Advaita, for me represents the red pill.

Taking the blue pill represents we still stick to all the things that we cherish in this world and the red pill offers a way to experience a possible “ulterior” reality. What should be the choice?