Chapter 14: The End of Illusion
The news reached the emperor. He also saw Majnu’s suffering and felt that it was authentic, that his crying was real, and took pity on him. He called a dozen girls of the palace and told Majnu he could choose any one of them and to forget about Laila.
Majnu looked at these twelve girls; they were the most beautiful girls in the kingdom, but he said, “Where is Laila? They are not even the dust of Laila’s feet.”
The emperor said, “Either you are mad or you have lost all your senses. I have seen Laila and she is a very ordinary looking girl. Why are you saying that these beautiful girls are not even the dust of Laila’s feet?”
Majnu said, “To see Laila, the eyes of Majnu are needed.”
But these eyes, the eyes of Majnu, what are they doing with Laila? They are imposing something on Laila which she does not have. These eyes are creating some dream about Laila; these eyes are creating some maya, some illusion around Laila which she does not have. Laila, as known to Majnu, contains more of Majnu than of Laila herself. Laila is not even ten percent present, she is ninety percent Majnu. And there is a possibility that she is only one percent Laila and ninety-nine percent Majnu. What Majnu is seeing is his own projection, it is his own creation; it is his own mind that is fabricating a dream around Laila’s face. It is the mind of Majnu that is weaving a web, surrounding Laila with a fragrance, with beauty, with a melody.
Man’s mind weaves illusions and then projects them from within himself, the way a spider takes the fibers from within his own body and weaves a cobweb. Just a support is needed from the outside - that is all. Even the spider needs a support from which to hang its web, the spider needs a wall or a door on which to hang its web. It just needs a support to hang it from, the rest of the creation is its own.
Man too needs something around which to fabricate his illusion. Laila is no more than a support to hang it on. Laila’s appearance is nothing more than Majnu’s fabrication, his cobweb. Maya means the capacity that man’s mind has to create a dream around himself. And it is very interesting also that the spider then starts walking on its own cobweb, lives on it, dwells in it. The cobweb comes from within it and it also becomes its way, its path. It is its home, the means of its food, its subsistence. The cobweb will trap food for it, and the cobweb is the spider’s own creation.