[Advaita-l] mithya and maya

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 5 17:35:28 CST 2009

In a magic show the magician sees the show he performs differently from the way the audience sees the show. Similarly God is the magician who knows the reality and we assume what we perceive as real. Maya is the ability of God to create the magic ie. this world. Due to Avidya or ignorance we do not see the reality that the world is not different from God. This notion that what we see as separate, which starts from us looking at ourselves as separate individuals, is false or Mithya, as in reality we are all connected and not separate from each other and from God.
The word "Maya" is a Vedic word and Lord Krishna used it in the 32nd century BCE in the Bhagavad Gita when He says that He created this world by His Maya. There is a book by an American Lady scholar, who has traced the  word  "Maya" in the Vedas and other ancient Indian texts. To my knowledge  Adi Sankaracharya was the first to use the word Mithya, in the meaning as said above. But many people who did not understand the proper meaning of the word had criticised Advaita.
Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

--- On Mon, 1/5/09, Michael Shepherd <michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

From: Michael Shepherd <michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk>
Subject: [Advaita-l] mithya and maya
To: "advaita vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Monday, January 5, 2009, 6:13 AM

A respectful request to relate the terms 'mithya' and 'maya' in
relation to

Which term has the more ancient history in Advaita-Vedanta ?

Do they both have an universal and an individual aspect ?

Personally, I try to 'look through' illusion, and learn from
but it would be good to hear from the wiser !

Michael Shepherd

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