In one of the latest posts on this weblog, the word “trappings” was used simply in reference to something that comes along with another something. Sort of to say it’s just a package deal.
I was amused to find that the official definition of the term “trappings” (outside of the context of hunting) is something like “the outward features, characteristics, or objects associated with a particular situation, role, or thing.” Characteristics that are just part of a package deal. To expand on that, the concept of “you take the good with the bad” comes to mind but it is not really implied.
I was amused because there is something else is not really implied either. None of it beyond the word itself really refers to a trap of any sort. Interestingly though, it is features, characteristics, and objects, situations, roles and things that tend to be the agents of Maya. And in life, that IS very much a part of the package deal. We’re surrounded and tempted, bewitched, bewildered and beheaded by Maya at all times and all turns. Our appearance, our age and race and so on are all characteristics that are traps in the way of realization.
Objects, I’d argue are an even greater trap when we think of them as an end rather than simply tools or even just props in this drama.
Situations can be similarly tricky, when I react rather than respond. Subtle difference, but in observing some of my Samkhya friends in my early days as a Hindu, I learned this lesson most effectively.
Other than “objects”, and maybe even more so than with “objects”, it is “roles” where Maya presents itself the most. It is in our various roles in life that we lose ourSelves, and forget who and what we really are. Unfortunately it is a package deal.
Jai Sri Tirupati Venkateswar