**IV (Selections from the Math Diary)**

Volume 5,Questions and Answers

**Q.—Is the division of time into four Yugas astronomical or arbitrary calculation?**

A.—There is no mention of such divisions in the Vedas. They are arbitrary assumptions of Paurânika times.

Q.—What should be our highest ideal of character?

A.—Renunciation.

Q.—Brahman and Maya cannot be cognised simultaneously. How could the absolute reality of either be proved as arising out of the one or the other?

A.—It could be proved only by realisation. **When one realises Brahman, for him Maya exists no longer, just as once the identity of the rope is found out, the illusion of the serpent comes no more.**

Q.—What is Maya?

A.—There is only one thing, call it by any name—matter, or spirit. It is difficult or rather impossible to think the one independent of the other. This is Maya, or ignorance.

Q.—What is the proof of the self in us not being the product of the body etc.?

**A.—The "ego" like its correlative "non-ego", is the product of the body, mind etc. The only proof of the existence of the real Self is realisation.**

**Source**: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Complete_Works_of_Swami_Vivekananda/Volume_5/Questions_and_Answers/IV_Selections_from_The_Math_Diary