[Advaita-l] Define MAYA ?

Sri B sriadvaitam at gmail.com
Fri Jun 12 21:19:03 EDT 2020

Namaskaram Raghav. First of all, please don’t be formal, address me as just Sridhar. Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate the effort. I realise now how important it is to use the right word, particularly in such matters. Incorrect usage basically leads to undermining the meaning. Have to be cautious of syntax errors. Will make the change. Please write back should you find any other inconsistencies. 


> On 12 Jun 2020, at 8:58 pm, Raghav Kumar Dwivedula via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> In the previous mail, whenever the word "created" was used, it's only in
> the sense of manifested or put together intelligently and not a fresh
> creation.
> On Fri, 12 Jun, 2020, 4:25 PM Raghav Kumar Dwivedula, <
> raghavkumar00 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Namaste Sri B Sridhar ji
>> On Fri, 12 Jun, 2020, 1:05 PM Sri B via Advaita-l, <
>> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>>> Interesting discussion.  Will it be appropriate to understand Maaya as
>>> the cosmic mind? There are few similarities between manas and maayaa. In
>>> Individuals the mind operates the two levers of - veiling (Avarna) and
>>> projection (Vikshepa), resulting in avidya.
>> "Resulting in avidyA" is not an accurate way of expressing it.
>> Rather avidyA is the primary entity. It is not the result of anything.
>> avidyA is in that sense not reducible to anything simpler or more basic. It
>> is fundamental. That avidyA is understood as having two aspects -
>> concealment (AvaraNa) and projection (vixepa).  That avidyA is synonymous
>> with mAyA when we are analyzing the cosmic srishTi which has created all
>> these worlds.
>> I am restricting myself to this one idea which needs modification in your
>> post.
>> Similarly at the cosmic level, Maayaa operates the same set of levers
>>> causing avidya.
>> Again, we should not say -  something causes avidyA. Perhaps you mean
>> "causing our experience of multiplicity".
>> Then it's fine. Otherwise it needs modification.
>> You may want to read this from the list archives.
>> http://www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/teachers/maya_hudli.htm
>> A small excerpt -
>> The whole universe is explained by advaita along the lines of a classic
>> case of illusion, such as the illusion of the snake in the rope. What is
>> seen under the influence of illusion is the snake which has been
>> superimposed on the rope. The whole illusion is the result of two powers of
>> avidyA (aj~nAna) called the AvaraNa-shakti and the vikShepa-shakti.
>> Two phenomena happen in this illusion. First, the reality, the rope, is
>> obscured or concealed. This is done by the AvaraNa-shakti. Second, the
>> illusory object, the snake, is projected by the vikShepa-shakti. The
>> AvaraNa shakti is called the power of concealment and the vikShepa-shakti
>> the power of projection
>> Now once we have the scheme in place with Brahman with mAya/avidyA at the
>> universal level we have all these worlds made of five elements created.
>> Regarding the sUxma deha of which the individual mind (manas/buddhi) is a
>> constituent, we say that the subtle five elements are it's building
>> blocks.  These five elements themselves are created/projected by mAyA which
>> is at the universal level.
>> Now if the universal level avidyA/mAyA has already accounted for the five
>> elements and all their products, where is the role of individual level
>> avidyA? The answer is that once the subtle and gross bodies have been
>> created by Ishvara's mAyA shakti, that same Ishvara as though enters (i.e.,
>> identifies with) a specific body due to the individual level avidyA and
>> begins the samsAric process of life as a limited human being, waking,
>> sleeping etc., and believes he is in time and space undergoing various
>> experiences.
>> Om
>> Raghav
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