For most Indians, this is a known word and they will understand as Mithya means “Not Real”
The question of what it means “Not Real” is an extensive philosophic discussion.
For now, we can think like a layman.
The word Mithya became popular from the following phrase in “Brahmajnanavalimala verse 20 by Shri Adi Shankaracharya.
“Brahma satyam jagat mithya, jivo brahmaiva naparah“
- Brahma == Supreme Consciousness
- Satyam == Is Real
- Jagat == World
- Mithya == Unreal
- Jivo == We
- Brahmaiva == Supreme Consciousness.
- Na Parah == Ultimately you and Supreme consciousness are the same.
Finally, it is “Brahman is the only truth, the world is unreal, and there is ultimately no difference between Brahman and individual self”
Why do we need to understand this?
The simple answer is to get another perspective get a more balanced view of the world and understand the world is fundamentally a changing place all the time. What exists today will not exist in the same way tomorrow.
What Practical benefit you will get by understanding this concept?
Your ability to plan or react to the changing environment, World, and changes in your life, Will improve.
Often we react strongly to situations with more emotion or intensity.
If we understand the above concept, it will help us in a balanced reaction.
Unfortunately, the above concept has some side effects, it might make you not react when there is a need for a reaction.
Hence don’t forget to react, when a reaction is necessary.
Are Mithya and Maya the same?
The answer is “No”, Maya means “Universal Ignorance”, it is a power that causes wrong perception, again another extensive subject for discussion.
Read “What is Shoonya“
Hamaredha, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons