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Encyclopedia > Maya (Hinduism)
It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Maya (illusion). (Discuss)


Maya, (Sanskrit: ma: not, ya: this) in Hinduism, is many things. Maya is the illusion that the phenomenal world of separate objects and people is the only reality. For the mystics this manifestation is real, but it is a fleeting reality; it is a mistake, although a natural one, to believe that maya represents a fundamental reality. Each person, each physical object, from the perspective of eternity is like a brief, disturbed drop of water from an unbounded ocean. The goal of enlightenment is to understand this--more precisely, to experience this: to see intuitively that the distinction between me and the universe is a false dichotomy. The distinction between consciousness and physical matter, between mind and body, is the result of an unenlightened perspective. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... ... Hinduism (Devnāgari: ), also known as Sanatana Dharma () and Vaidika Dharma - ) is a worldwide religious tradition that is based on the Indo-Aryan religion of the Vedas, and is generally regarded as the oldest major religion still practiced in the world today [1]. The term Hinduism is an amorphous concept... An illusion is a distortion of a sensory perception. ... Mysticism (ancient Greek mysticon = secret) is meditation, prayer, or theology focused on the direct experience of union with divinity, God, or Ultimate Reality, or the belief that such experience is a genuine and important source of knowledge. ... Enlightenment may refer to: Enlightenment (concept), a concept in mysticism, philosophy and psychology For the Hindu religious concept of enlightenment, see moksha For the Buddhist religious concept, see Bodhi, Satori, Nirvana, Great Perfection For the Yoga concept of enlightenment, see Yogic Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment, a period in European... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise such key features as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ...


Maya is also the name of an Asura, who was the father-in-law of the Lord of Lanka, Ravana and the father of Mandodari. He is the archnemesis of Vishwakarma, the celestial architect of the Gods. His knowledge and skills are compatible with Vishwakarma. When Lanka was destroyed by Hanuman, it was the King of Demons, Maya who had re-installed the beauty of that Island Kingdom. // In Hinduism In Hindu mythology, the Asura (Sanskrit: असुर) are a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes misleadingly referred to as demons. ... A dipiction of Ravana, Hindu Demon King of Lanka In Hindu mythology, Ravana (Devanagari: रावण, IAST Rāvaṇa; sometimes transliterated Raavana and as Ravan) is the principal antagonist of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. ... Lord Hanuman In Hinduism, Hanuman (Sanskrit: हनुमत् hanumat; nominative singular हनुमान् hanumān) is a vanara who aided Rama (an avatar of Vishnu) in rescuing his wife, Sita, from the Rakshasa king Ravana. ...

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Maya in Hindu philosophy

In Advaita Vedanta philosophy, maya is the illusion of a limited, purely physical and mental reality in which our everyday consciousness has become entangled, a veiling of the true, unitary Self—the Cosmic Spirit also known as Brahman. Maya originated in the Hindu scriptures known as the Upanishads. Many philosphies or religions seek to "pierce the veil" in order to glimpse the transcendent truth, from which the illusion of a physical reality springs, drawing from the idea that first came to life in the Hindu stream of Vedanta. Maya is neither true nor untrue. Since Brahman is the only truth, Maya cannot be true. Since Maya causes the material world to be seen, it cannot be untrue. Hence Maya is described as indescribable. She (sic) has two principle fuctions—one is to cover up Brahman and hide it from our mind. The other is to present the material world instead of Brahman. She is destructible. Consider an illusion of a rope being confused as a snake in the darkness. Just as this illusion gets destroyed when true knowledge of the rope is perceived, similarly, Maya gets destroyed for a person when he perceives Brahman with the transendental knowledge. A metaphor is also given—when the reflection of Brahman falls on Maya, Brahman appears as God (the Supreme Lord). In the pragmatic level, where the world is regarded as true, Maya becomes the divine magical power of the Supreme Lord, to create and rule the world. But Maya is God's servant—he can leave her any time he wishes. He is not affected by the impiety of Maya, just as a magician is not cheated by his own magic. Hence God is Bliss. However, the individuals are the servants of Maya, hence they are in misery. Hindu philosophy (one of the main divisions of Indian philosophy) is traditionally seen through the prism of six different systems (called darshanas in Sanskrit) that are listed here and make up the main belief systems of Hinduism. ... Advaita Vedanta (IAST ; Devanagari ; IPA []) is probably the best known of all Vedanta schools of philosophy of Hinduism, the others being Dvaita and Vishishtadvaita (total six). ... Brahman (ब्रह्मन् in devanagari script) in the Vedantic (and subsequently Yogic) schools of Hinduism, is the signifying name given to the concept of the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality that is the Divine Ground of all being in this universe. ... The Upanishads (उपनिषद्, Upanişad) are part of the Hindu Shruti scriptures which primarily discuss meditation and philosophy and are seen as religious instructions by most schools of Hinduism. ... Vedanta (Vedānta, वेदान्त, pronounced as ////) means the anta or culmination or essence of the Vedas. ...


In Hinduism, Maya must be seen through in order to achieve moksha (liberation of the soul from the cycle of death and rebirth) - ahamkar (ego-consciousness) and karma are seen as part of the binding forces of Maya. Maya is seen as the phenomenal universe, a lesser reality-lens superimposed on the one Brahman that leads us to think of the phenomenal cosmos as real. Hinduism (Devnāgari: ), also known as Sanatana Dharma () and Vaidika Dharma - ) is a worldwide religious tradition that is based on the Indo-Aryan religion of the Vedas, and is generally regarded as the oldest major religion still practiced in the world today [1]. The term Hinduism is an amorphous concept... Moksha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Karma (Sanskrit: कर्म from the root kri, to do, meaning deed) or Kamma (Pali: meaning action, effect, destiny) is a term in several eastern religions that comprises the entire cycle of cause and effect. ... Brahman (ब्रह्मन् in devanagari script) in the Vedantic (and subsequently Yogic) schools of Hinduism, is the signifying name given to the concept of the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality that is the Divine Ground of all being in this universe. ...


Establishing the existence of Maya

By Sri Sankaracharya


1. The Supreme Self (or Ultimate Reality) who is Pure Consciousness perceived Himself by Selfhood (i.e. Existence with "I"-Conciousness). He became endowed with the name "I". From that arose the basis of difference. Self might refer to various different things: Look up self on Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


2. He exists verily in two parts, on account of which, the two could become husband and wife. Therefore, this space is ever filled up completely by the woman (or the feminine principle) surely.


Note: The above two verses explain how the One Ultimate Reality which is of the nature of non-dual Existence - Consciousness became the cause of the universe of multiplicity. The first creative impulse in the Supreme Self is the pure I-consciousness. This brings in duality in the One Transcendent Reality, which is symbolically expressed as husband-wife representing Pure Consciousness and its Creative Energy. This Creative Energy is the effective cause as well as the material cause of the entire universe which is stated to be filled with it.


3. And He, this Supreme Self thought (or reflected). Thence, human beings were born. Thus say the Upanishads through the statement of sage Yajnavalkya to his wife.


Note: The primal manifestation of the creative energy of Pure Consciousness is the I- consciousness which results in duality. From that arises thought or ideation of multiplicity, which gives rise to the entire universe of beings.


4. From the experience of bliss for a long time, there arose in the Supreme Self a certain state like deep sleep. From that (state) Maya (or the illusive power of the Supreme Self) was born just as a dream arises in sleep.


Note: The non-dual Supreme Self is of the nature of Pure Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. Just as a dream arises in sleep and produces various objects, an inscrutable power called MAYA manifests in the quiescent, blissful state of the Supreme Self and this produces the bewildering variety of objects and phenomena constituting the universe.


The concept of Maya is central to Advaita Vedanta (or non-dual conception of the Ultimate Reality as propounded in Vedic literature). Advaita Vedanta (IAST ; Devanagari ; IPA []) is probably the best known of all Vedanta schools of philosophy of Hinduism, the others being Dvaita and Vishishtadvaita (total six). ... The adjective Vedic may refer to The Vedas, the oldest preserved Indo-Aryan texts. ...


5. This Maya is without the characteristics of (or different from) Reality or unreality, without beginning and dependent on the Reality that is the Supreme Self. She, who is of the form of the THREE GUNAS (qualities or energies of Nature) brings forth the Universe with movable and immovable (objects).


Note: Maya is not real, since it disappears on the dawn of knowledge of the Supreme Self. Maya is not unreal, since such a thing would never appear at any time. Maya is equated with Nature or the visible universe consisting of the three modes of energy- Sattwa or harmony, Rajas or activity and Tamas or inertia. Maya is the inscrutable cause which depends on the Supreme Self which is the Ultimate Reality. Nature is its apparent effect. Satvic or Sattvic or satva is to be pronounced as Saa-thvik or as Saa-thvaa respectively. ... The Sanskrit word guna (guṇa) has the basic meaning of string or a single thread or strand of a cord or twine. In more abstract uses, it may mean a subdivision, species, kind, and generally quality. In Classical literature In Classical literature (e. ... The Sanskrit word guna (guṇa) has the basic meaning of string or a single thread or strand of a cord or twine. In more abstract uses, it may mean a subdivision, species, kind, and generally quality. In Classical literature In Classical literature (e. ...


6. As for Maya, it is invisible (or not experienced by the senses). How can it produce a thing that is visible (or experienced by the senses)? How is a visible piece of cloth produced here by threads of invisible nature?


Note: The purport is that it is as impossible for the visible universe to be produced from invisible Maya as it is for a visible piece of cloth to be produced from invisible threads.


7 As there is the emission of the generative fluid on to a good garment on account of the experience of copulation in a dream, the pollution of the garment is seen as real on waking while the copulation was not true, the man in the dream was real (while) the woman was unreal and the union of the two was false (but), the emission of the generative fluid was real, so does it occur even in the matter in hand.


Note: In this example, an unreal cause (viz., copulation in a dream) produces a real or visible effect (viz., seminal emission). Similarly, the apparent world could arise from the undefinable Maya.


8. Thus Maya is invisible (or beyond sense-perception). (But) this universe which is its effect, is visible (or perceived by the senses). This would be Maya which, on its part, becomes the producer of joy by its own destruction.


Note: When the illusive power, Maya, disappears, what remains is Pure Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.


9. Like night (or darkness) Maya is extremely insurmountable (or extremely difficult to be understood). Its nature is not perceived here. Even as it is being observed carefully (or being investigated) by sages, it vanishes like lightning.


Note: By enquiry into and contemplation on the nature of the Ultimate Reality, Maya and its effects vanish and there is the spontaneous absorption of the mind in undifferentiated Being- Consciousness. There is no entity (called Maya or by any other appellation) other than the Supreme Self.


10. Maya (the illusive power) is what is obtained in Brahman (or the Ultimate Reality). Avidya (or nescience or spiritual ignorance) is said to be dependent on Jiva (the individual soul or individualised consciousness). Mind is the knot which joins Consciousness and matter. That mind is to be as imperishable until liberation. Brahman (ब्रह्मन् in devanagari script) in the Vedantic (and subsequently Yogic) schools of Hinduism, is the signifying name given to the concept of the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality that is the Divine Ground of all being in this universe. ...


Note: Avidya is nescience or spiritual ignorance which makes the soul forget its real nature which is Eternal, Pure Being-Consciousness- Bliss, identical with the Ultimate Reality and impose upon itself separateness, embodiment and the state of a doer or enjoyer. Mind is the entity which is the link between matter and Consciousness and is the field of operation of Avidya. It is synonymous with worldly existence and it disappears on the dawn of liberation or intuitive perception of Reality. Just as Maya, the inscrutable illusive power of the Ultimate Reality, gives rise to the universe of multiplicity, Avidya is the cause of the world perceived by the individual soul. Avidya is the Buddhist term for ignorance. ...


11. Space enclosed by a pot, or a jar or a hut or a wall has their several appellations (eg.,pot space, jar space etc.). Like that, Consciousness (or the Self) covered here by Avidya (or nescience) is spoken of as jiva (the individual soul).


12. Objection: How indeed could ignorance become a covering (or an obscure factor) for Brahman (or the Supreme Spirit) who is Pure Consciousness, as if the darkness arising from the night (could become a concealing factor) for the sun which is self-luminous?


Note: The darkness of the night on the dawn of the sun. The very nature of Brahman is Pure Intelligence or Consciousness. How could it be covered by ignorance which is antithetical to it?


12. As the sun is hidden by clouds produced by the solar rays but surely, the character of the day is not hidden by those modified dense collection of clouds, so the Self, though pure, (or undefiled) is veiled for a long time by ignorance. But its power of Consciousness in living beings, which is established in this world, is not veiled.


Understanding Maya through Bhagavad Gita verses

Bhagavad Gita, Ch.14, Verse 3. "My womb is the great Nature (Prakriti or MAYA). In that I place the germ (embryo of life). Thence is the birth of all beings". Bhagavad Gīta भगवद्गीता, composed ca the fifth - second centuries BC, is part of the epic poem Mahabharata, located in the Bhisma-Parva chapters 23–40. ...


Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 14, Verse 4 "Whatever forms are born ,O Arjuna, in any womb whatsoever, the great Brahma (Nature) is their womb and I am the seed-giving father."


Explanation-Prakriti (Nature), made up of the three qualities (Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas), is the material cause of all beings.


In the great Prakriti, I place the seed for the birth of Brahma (the creator, also known as Hiranyagarbha, or Ishwar, or the conditioned Brahman); and the seed gives birth to all beings. The birth of Brahma (the creator) gives rise to the birth of beings.


The primordial Nature (prakriti) gives birth to Brahma, who creates all beings.


(I am the father; the primordial Nature is the mother).


Bhagavad Gita,Ch.13, verse 26. "Wherever a being is born, whether unmoving or moving, know thou Arjuna, that it is from the union between the field and the knower of the field". (Purusha is the knower of the field; Prakriti is the field; Shiva is another name for the knower of the field and Shakti is the field; Spirit is another name for the knower of the field and Matter (Prakriti) is the field).


Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 7, Verse 4. "I am endowed with two Shaktis, namely the superior and the inferior natures; the field and its knower (spirit is the knower of the field; matter is the field.) I unite these two".


Bhagavad Gita Ch.7, Verse 6. "Know these two- my higher and lower natures- as the womb of all beings.Therefore, I am the source and dissolution of the whole universe".


Bhagavad Gita, Ch.13, Verse 29. "He sees, who sees that all actions are performed by nature alone, and that the Self is action less".


(The Self is the silent witness).


Bhagavad Gita, Ch.9, Verse 17. "I am the father of this world, the mother, the dispenser of the fruits of actions and the grandfather; the one thing to be known, the purifier, the sacred monosyllable (AUM), and also the Rg, the Sama and the Yajur Vedas".


Maya as the Goddess

In Hinduism, Maya is seen as the illusory form of Devi, the Divine Goddess. Her most famous explication is seen in the Devi Mahamaya, also known as Candi or Abhaya, which is said to spring from the Devi Sukta passage of the Vedas. Commonly known as Devi (goddess), Vaishnodevi (देवी, Devī in Hindi and Sanskrit) is the Divine Mother of Hinduism. ... Hinduism (Devnāgari: ), also known as Sanatana Dharma () and Vaidika Dharma - ) is a worldwide religious tradition that is based on the Indo-Aryan religion of the Vedas, and is generally regarded as the oldest major religion still practiced in the world today [1]. The term Hinduism is an amorphous concept... Veda redirects here. ...


Essentially, Mahamaya (great Maya) both blinds us in delusion (moha) and has the power to free us from it. Maya, superimposed on Brahman, the one divine ground and essence of monist Hinduism, is envisioned as one with Kali, Durga, etc. A great modern (19th century) Hindu sage who often spoke of Maya as being the same as the Shakti principle of Hinduism was Shri Ramakrishna. Brahman (ब्रह्मन् in devanagari script) in the Vedantic (and subsequently Yogic) schools of Hinduism, is the signifying name given to the concept of the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality that is the Divine Ground of all being in this universe. ... A common scene depicting Kali standing over Shiva. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (Bangla: রামকৃষ্ণ পরমহংস), born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay (Bangla: গদাধর চট্টোপাধ্যায়) , (February 18, 1836 - August 16, 1886) was one of the most important Hindu religious leaders of India, and is deeply revered by many Hindus and non-Hindus to this date. ...


In the Hindu scripture 'Devi Mahatmyam,' Mahamaya (Great Maya) is said to cover Vishnu's eyes in Yoganidra (Divine Sleep) during cycles of existence when all is resolved into one. By exhorting Mahamaya to release Her illusory hold on Vishnu, Brahma is able to bring Vishnu to aid him in killing two demons, Madhu and Kaitabh, who have manifested from Vishnu's sleeping form. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa often spoke of Mother Maya and combined deep Hindu allegory with the idea that Maya is a lesser reality that must be overcome so that one is able to realize his or her true Self. For other uses of the name Vishnu, see Vishnu (disambiguation). ... Kaitabh, a figure of Hindu mythology, is associated with Hindu religious cosmology. ... Sri Thakur Gadadhar Chattopadhyaya Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (Bangla: শ্রীরামকৄষ্ঞ পরমহংস) (February 18, 1836 - August 16, 1886) was a Bengali saint. ...


See also

Hinduism (Devnāgari: ), also known as Sanatana Dharma () and Vaidika Dharma - ) is a worldwide religious tradition that is based on the Indo-Aryan religion of the Vedas, and is generally regarded as the oldest major religion still practiced in the world today [1]. The term Hinduism is an amorphous concept... The Rig Veda questions the origin of the cosmos in: Neither being (sat) nor non-being was as yet. ...

External links

  • Maya

  Results from FactBites:
 
Hinduism Information - Philosophy and Religion | Encyclopedia.com: Columbia Encyclopedia Online! (1409 words)
In Hinduism, dharma is the doctrine of the religious and moral rights and duties of each individual; it generally refers to religious duty, but may also mean social order, right conduct, or simply virtue...
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Maya - AstroZoom (1940 words)
In Hinduism, Maya must be seen through in order to achieve moksha (liberation of the soul from the cycle of death and rebirth) - ahamkar (ego-consciousness) and karma are seen as part of the binding forces of Maya.
In Hinduism, Maya must be seen through in order to achieve moksha (liberation of the soul from the cycle of death and rebirth)—ahamkar (ego-consciousness) and karma are seen as part of the binding forces of Maya.
Maya, superimposed on Brahman, the one divine ground and essence of monist Hinduism, is envisioned as one with Kali, Durga, etc. A great modern (19th century) Hindu sage who often spoke of Maya as being the same as the Shakti principle of Hinduism was Shri Ramakrishna.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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