Ayurveda and Illusion

maya as illusion

‘Maya’ is one of the most well-known and significant coinages in Hindu philosophy. It is a fundamental notation in Indian philosophy and it has gained popularity in the English language as well. Unfortunately, Western scholars, modern Indian gurus and pundits frequently mistranslate the word ‘Maya’ as ‘illusion.’ It often signifies an illusion, even when employed by western experts without translation in their English writings.

This mistranslation of Maya, meaning an illusion, has created a general misconception that Hindu philosophy is world-negating, pessimistic, and unproductive.

This article will throw light on how ‘Maya’ is different from illusion and why it would be better if we stop translating Maya as an illusion. Contents are from Mr. Rajiv Malhotra’s video series titled Maya with his guest speaker Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji.

Maya as Illusion

Illusion is one function of Maya. Maya is not an impersonal thing, but it is a person. One personality that we call Maya Devi, and she has a role to play. It has a function that bewilders the living being because it creates delusion.

Delusion is created in two ways called Avarana Shakti, and it has two Shaktis in it. Specifically, Avarana Shakti is the covering potency, and Akshaepa (pronunciation key : akh- shae – paa) is the bewildering potency.

In addition, Maya has two components : Jiva Maya & Guna Maya. The intrinsic quality of any soul is referred to as – Jiva Maya (swaroopa). The objective predicate of this Jiva manifests as Guna maya (roopa).

For example, the modern day Zeitgeist of product advertisements. So they are infusing knowledge, which is mostly not true. Indeed, these advertisements are an exaggeration of the brand.

Functions of Maya

  1. It hides the true nature of a Jiva
  2. Projects a supposition-reality of material objects

Maya is made of three Gunas:

  1. Sattva (Revealing)
  2. Rajas (Projecting)
  3. Tamas (Veiling)

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Maya ≠ Illusion | Sanskrit Non-Translatable

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