Advaita says that going beyond Maya will bring you to the state of permanent bliss where you realize that all that you see in Maya is “un-real”. You can reach this state of “super-consciousness” or Nirvana by several means of merging the “I” with the “non-I” (see Super-consciousness) and then you truly understand the world of Maya and its triviality.
But here’s an obvious question: Why should I put in the effort to go beyond Maya? Why should I chase that state of personal bliss? Is it not a selfish act to try and escape the world of Maya to move into a state where you deem the real-world issues as trivial or “un-real”?
From the point of view of the person that has reached the state of Nirvana and has this true understanding of the universe, all the issues of poverty and hunger within our world may in fact be unreal. However from the point of view of those within Maya these issues are very much real. So why should one not channel all the energy into bringing about a change in the society rather than spending time and energy in the pursuit of one’s own permanent bliss?
I recently had a discussion with an Acharya on this subject and his answer to this concern was a set of extremely simple counter questions. First: Would you ever say that you would not want to wake up from a dream because there was need for the upliftment in that world within your dream? Second: Once woken up from your dream, would you regret waking up because you could not make a difference in the world within your dream? And third: If your hand pokes your eye by mistake, would your eye get angry at or disown your hand?
Once you truly understand that the world around you is nothing but the projection of the pure consciousness through your body, mind and intellect – that pure awareness filtered through your “I-ness” factor (i.e. your ego) – you realize that the world exists because you the seer exists. The whole universe is a reflection or projection or manifestation of that pure consciousness/awareness which is shared amongst all. And the universe exists because you see it (or rather you the pure awareness are aware of it) and without you, the seer, it would not exist at all (see Drishti-Srishti vada).
This universe, the world of Maya, is dictated by your ego, desires and the goal of self preservation and that is what results in the ever-lingering urge to better your self resulting in the joys and sorrows that come with it.
Achieving Nirvana and reaching the state of realization is like waking up from the waking state. Once you reach that state of super-consciousness, your life will be a life of selfless actions. You realize how the pure awareness prevails everything and your actions reflect this selflessness.