what is illusion?

what is illusion?

Date
Author
Poorna Prajna Das

Dear Prabhujis & Matajis,
Dandavat Pranams.
All glories to Gurudev and Srila Prabhupada.
Srimad Bagavatam explains in a nice sloka what illusion is.

evam grhesu saktanam
pramattanam tad-ihaya
atyakramad avijnatah
kalah parama-dustarah
SB 1-13-17

SYNONYMS
evam—thus; grhesu—in the family affairs; saktanam—of persons who are too attached; pramattanam—insanely attached; tat-ihaya—engrossed in such thoughts; atyakramat—surpassed; avijnatah—imperceptibly; kalah— eternal time; parama—supremely; dustarah—insurmountable.

TRANSLATION
Insurmountable, eternal time imperceptibly overcomes those who are too much attached to family affairs and are always engrossed in their thought.

PURPORT
"I am now happy; I have everything in order; my bank balance is quite enough; I can now give my children enough estate; I am now successful; the poor beggar sannyäsés depend on God, but they come to beg from me; therefore I am more than the Supreme God." These are some of the thoughts which engross the insanely attached householder who is blind to the passing of eternal time. Our duration of life is measured, and no one is able to enhance it even by a second against the scheduled time ordained by the supreme will. Such valuable time, especially for the human being, should be cautiously spent because even a second passed away imperceptibly cannot be replaced, even in exchange for thousands of golden coins amassed by hard labor. Every second of human life is meant for making an ultimate solution to the problems of life, i.e. repetition of birth and death and revolving in the cycle of 8,400,000 different species of life. The material body, which is subject to birth and death, diseases and old age, is the cause of all sufferings of the living being, otherwise the living being is eternal; he is never born, nor does he ever die. Foolish persons forget this problem. They do not know at all how to solve the problems of life, but become engrossed in temporary family affairs not knowing that eternal time is passing away imperceptibly and that their measured duration of life is diminishing every second, without any solution to the big problem, namely repetition of birth and death, disease and old age. This is called illusion. But such illusion cannot work on one who is awake in the devotional service of the Lord, because even the happiness obtained on the planet Brahmaloka is also temporary and illusory. Because the living being is eternal, he can be happy only in the eternal abode of the kingdom of God (paravyoma), from which no one returns to this region of repeated birth and death, disease and old age. Real transcendentalists are hungry for this happiness, and as a hungry man cannot be made happy by all comforts of life minus foodstuff, so the man hungry for eternal absolute happiness cannot be satisfied by any amount of material happiness.

Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada,
Poorna pragna das,
Abu Dhabi