On a morning walk with Prabhupada in Stockholm, Sweden, we were suddenly blinded by what appeared to be the light of the sun. It was only the sun being reflected from a large glass window. Prabhupada stopped and pointed in the direction of the glare. “This is maya. You see, it appears as sun in front of us shining brightly, but there is no sun; the sun is opposite, behind us. So this is maya, it only appears to be reality, but the reality is not there; it is opposite. Maya, that which is not.” Now, whenever we have the experience of seeing the sun reflected from a window and blinding us momentarily, we can’t help but think of Prabhupada.
In Hamburg, Prabhupada was taking a morning walk on the waterfront when a huge ocean liner was being towed backwards by two small tug boats. Prabhupada pointed towards the big ship and said, “This is maya. If the ship’s propellers were to turn only a few times, the lines would snap and the boats would have no power over the ship. But because the ship has voluntarily shut down its engines and is fastened with heavy rope, the small tug boats can easily drag the big ocean liner wherever they like. Maya has no real power, but when the soul agrees to embrace maya for sense enjoyment, then only maya has power; otherwise not. So as soon as you chant the Holy Name, immediately the lines of maya are snapped, and you are free.”