Maya, aka: Māya, Mayā, Māyā; 37 Definition(s)

Introduction

Maya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Sikhism, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Māyā (माया):—Last of the eight Mātṛs born from the body of Ātmī, according to the Kubjikāmata-tantra. These eight sub-manifestations (mātṛ), including Māyā, symbolize the different kinds of souls, as well as the impurities by which these souls are bound (except for Niṣkala or Śiva). They are presided over by the Bhairava Caṇḍa and his consort Brāhmī. Ātmī is the second of the Eight Mahāmātṛs, residing within the Mātṛcakra (third of the five cakras) and represents the ātman.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

Māyā: It is the source of 5 Kancukas and the limiting principle of the Divine. Maya puts a limitation on the infiniteness of the experience of Sivaness by the individual soul so that the individual soul forgets its organic connection with Siva and thinks that it (the soul) and other distal Tattvas or objects are different from Siva. The five Kancukas (7-11) are the straitjacket of Maya, which severely dumb down the individual soul, though identical with Siva. Maya Tattva is the repository of Anava and Maya (Mayiya) Malas.

Source: bhagavadgitausa.com: Kashmir Saivism
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Māyā (माया, “deceit, illusion”):—Name of one of the sixty-four mātṛs to be worshipped during Āvaraṇapūjā (“Worship of the Circuit of Goddesses”, or “Durgā’s Retinue”), according to the Durgāpūjātattva. They should be worshipped with either the five upācāras or perfume and flowers.

Her mantra is as follows:

ॐ मायायै नमः
oṃ māyāyai namaḥ.

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Cosmic Illusion (māyā).—There is a very subtle veil that clouds our understanding—even though we see death all around us we each think that we are immortal. We know what is good for us but still we pursue that which is transient and unbeneficial. We cling to the ephemeral universe thinking that we can gain ultimate pleasure and satisfaction through it, but even though we fail we still go on trying —this is Māyā or Cosmic Illusion.

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Trinity
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

Māyā (माया):—The Vāyu-purāṇa (IV.30-31) says:—“To measure () is to make a thing by giving shape to it and existence”. The denotattion and connotation of the word Māyā and the principle underlying it expound the same truth. “Māyā or manifestation means division of the hitherto undivided principle; on itself it performs this operation and as Puruṣa it henceforth thinks of itself as composed of parts.”

Source: Digital Library of India: Bharatiya Vastu-sastra volume 1
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Māyā (माया, “guile”) is Treachery; with that he shall never behave; as by doing so, he would not be trustworthy. Nor shall he try to alienate the subjects of other kings, until their inclinations have been ascertained. (See the Manubhāṣya verse 7.104)

Source: Google Books: Manusmṛti with the Manubhāṣya
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Māyā (माया) is the name of a mind-born ‘divine mother’ (mātṛ), created for the purpose of drinking the blood of the Andhaka demons, according to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.8. The Andhaka demons spawned out of every drop of blood spilled from the original Andhakāsura (Andhaka-demon). According to the Matsya-purāṇa 179.35, “Most terrible they (eg., Māyā) all drank the blood of those Andhakas and become exceedingly satiated.”

The Matsyapurāṇa is categorised as a Mahāpurāṇa, and was originally composed of 20,000 metrical verses, dating from the 1st-millennium BCE. The narrator is Matsya, one of the ten major avatars of Viṣṇu.

Source: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

1) Maya (मय).—A Dānava king who served Devas and Asuras as their architect and builder. General. Kaśyapa Prajāpati, son of Marīci and grandson of Brahmā married the thirteen daughters of Dakṣa. Among them, the first was Aditi, the second was Diti and the third was Danu. Āditeyas were born to Aditi, Daityas were born to Diti and Dānavas were born to Danu. The chief among the sons of Danu was Maya. (See full article at Story of Maya from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

2) Māyā (माया).—General information. A consort of Mahāviṣṇu, Māyā has got a very prominent place in Hindu Purāṇas. The Purāṇas state that this whole universe is unreal, illusory and if we feel it real it is because of the working of this Māyā.

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Maya (मय).—The architect of the Asuras of the other world, and a past master in the practice of māyā. Served as calf for the Māyins to derive māyā from Earth. Built aerial cities, three in number, of gold, silver and iron for the protection of the Asuras, and constructed the divine sabhā. The cities were well equipped and furnished, with paintings and drawings of couples of Nāgas and Asuras, pigeons, parrots and śārikas, interspersed by charming gardens of flowers and fruits with lakes of crystal waters. Being the Lord of Tripura which he built, he took part with Bali in the Devāsura war, and also fought with Viśvakarman;1 son of Viśvakarman; Sureṇu was his sister;2 had an evil dream that a naked lady and a man of three eye burning the city: reported it to the Sabhā: was explained by Nārada: precautions for defence: army stationed at respective places of vantage; Vidyunmāli was over-powered; Maya constructed a tank of medicinal waters to make the dead live and restored Vidyunmāli. Knowing this immortalising fluid, Brahmā and Hari drank the whole of it; fierce war; Śiva directed his arrows against the three cities and killed the Asuras by destroying their cities. Maya's address to the Asuras for a bold stand. Vidyunmāli and Tāraka were killed. Maya was let off and asked to live in a special house after burning the city. In the Tārakāmaya it is said he rode on a golden chariot with arms and weapons.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 15. 8; II. 7. 37; IV. 18. 20; V. 24. 9-10; VII. 10. 22 and 29, 51-60.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 59. 21; IV. 12. 3; 20. 46; 31. 7; Vāyu-purāṇa 84. 20-1.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa ch. 129; 131. 25-30; 134. 9-30; chh. 135-140. 173. 2-13; 177. 3-6.

1b) The Asura architect and a contemporary of Kṛṣṇa. His son enslaved the gopas and hid them in a cave. Kṛṣṇa recovered them;1 freed from the forest fire of Kāṇḍava by Arjuna, he erected a sabhā for the use of the Pāṇḍavas. Once Duryodhana (s.v.) mistook a floor of this for a sheet of water and had a nasty fall;2 Supplied a magic car to Śālva under orders of Śiva.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa II. 7. 31.
  • 2) Ib. X. 55. 21; 71. 45; 58. 27; 75. 34 and 37.
  • 3) Ib. X. 76. 7; 77. 28.

1c) An Asura; Lord of Talātala region, won the grace of Śiva and attained mokṣa by satsaṅga. A follower of Vṛtra in his battle with Indra;1 wife Rambhā and father of six sons;2 had daughters like Upadānavī.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 24. 28; XI. 12. 5; VI. 10. 31.
  • 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 6. 5 and 28; Vāyu-purāṇa 68. 28-9.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 6. 21.

1d) Father of Māyā.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 9. 64.

1e) An author on architecture.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 252. 2.

2) Mayā (मया).—A Śakti created from the heart of Nṛsimha.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 179. 64.

3) Māya (माय).—(Mohanavidyas) taught to Pradyumna by Māyāvatī.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 27. 14.

4a) Māyā (माया).—Created by the Lord with a view to creating the world;1 Role of: source of bondage;2 four characteristics of: its influence on jñāna means to get rid of.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 2. 30; III. 5. 25.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XI. 11. 1-3; Vāyu-purāṇa 94. 15.
  • 3) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XI. 3. 1-33.

4b) A daughter of Adharma.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IV. 8. 2.

4c) Is Yogamāyā; a mind-born mother;1 from the heart of Narasimha;2 a śakti.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 2. 12; Matsya-purāṇa 179. 21.
  • 2) Ib. 179. 64.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 26. 9, 29; IV. 6. 53; 12. 21 & 49; 44. 62; Vāyu-purāṇa 24. 86.

4d) A daughter of Maya;1 wife of Bhayam and mother of Mṛtyu;2 helpmate of Vārāhaviṣṇu.3

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 9. 64.
  • 2) Vāyu-purāṇa 10. 40.
  • 3) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa I. 5. 19.

4e) The essence milked by the Asuras from the cow-earth.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 10. 21.

4f) One of the kingly upāyas.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 222. 2.

4g) (Vaiṣṇavī): Atimohini and Triguṇātmaka.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 21. 1; 30. 14-9.

4h) Represents the lips of the Vedas,1 makes different varieties of and varied guṇas with śīlas.2

  • 1) Vāyu-purāṇa 104. 75.
  • 2) Ib. 104. 41.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Māyā (माया, “deceit”) refers to one of the twenty-one sandhyantara, or “distinct characteristics of segments (sandhi)” according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 21. The segments are divisions of the plot (itivṛtta or vastu) of a dramatic play (nāṭaka) and consist of sixty-four limbs, known collectively as the sandhyaṅga.

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

Māyā (माया) refers to the “illusion” as defined by Cirañjīva Bhaṭṭācārya (fl. 17th century).According to the vedānta philosophy māyā, avidyā, ajñāna and adhyāsa are all synonymous. Cirañjīva holds the view that this avidyā or māyā cannot be taken to be manifested into rasa as it has no beginning and it is not produced where as so called all the rasas under go production. Moreover how it can be argued that false knowledge (mithyā-jñāna) etc. are the cause of māyā, as it will go against the tenets of the scriptures. In fact according to the Ālaṃkārikas rasa is always blissful. So it is compared to the nature of Brahman. As the nature of rasa is very close to the nature of Brahman, it cannot be of the nature of māyā. māyā undergoes destruction and as such it is quiet different from Brahman. So māyā can not be of the nature of rasa. For this reason ancient Ālaṃkārīkas have admitted nine and only nine rasas.

Source: Shodhganga: The Kavyavilasa of Ciranjiva Bhattacarya (natyashastra)
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Vedanta (school of philosophy)

In Vedanta, māyā is to be seen through, like an epiphany (darśana), in order to achieve moksha (liberation of the soul from the cycle of saṃsāra). Ahaṃkāra (ego-consciousness) and karma are seen as part of the binding forces of māyā. Māyā may be understood as the phenomenal Universe of perceived duality, a lesser reality-lens superimposed on the unity of Brahman. It is said to be created by the divine by the application of the Lilā (creative energy/material cycle, manifested as a veil—the basis of dualism). The saṃskāras of perceived duality perpetuate saṃsāra.

Māyā is often translated as “illusion”, since our minds construct a subjective experience, which we are in peril of interpreting as reality. Māyā is the principal deity that manifests, perpetuates, and governs the illusion and dream of duality in the phenomenal Universe.

Source: WikiPedia: Vedanta

In Advaita Vedanta philosophy, māyā is the limited, purely physical and mental reality in which our everyday consciousness has become entangled. Māyā is held to be an illusion, a veiling of the true, unitary Self—the Cosmic Spirit also known as Brahman. The concept of māyā was introduced by the ninth-century Hindu philosopher Adi Shankara. He refuses, however, to explain the relationship between Brahman and māyā.

Source: WikiPedia: Advaita Vedanta
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Vedanta (वेदान्त, vedānta) refers to a school of orthodox Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. There are a number of sub-schools of Vedanta, however all of them expound on the basic teaching of the ultimate reality (brahman) and liberation (moksha) of the individual soul (atman).

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Māyā (माया) is the power of God, and the word is used in various senses in various contexts; it may mean the essential power, the external power, and it has also the sense of pradhāna.

Source: archive.org: A History of Indian Philosophy (vaishnavism)
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Maya (मय).—tad. affix मयट् (mayaṭ) (1) in the sense of proceeding therefrom (तत आगतः (tata āgataḥ) P. IV.3.92) added to words showing cause or meaning human being; e.g. सममयम्, देवदत्तमयम् (samamayam, devadattamayam); (2) in the sense of product (विकार (vikāra)) or part (अवयव (avayava)) added optionally with अण् (aṇ) to any word, e.g. अश्ममयम्, आश्मनम् मूर्वामयम् मौर्वम् (aśmamayam, āśmanam mūrvāmayam maurvam), and necessarily to words beginning with आ, ऐ (ā, ai) and औ (au), words of the class headed by the word शर (śara) and the words गो, पिष्ट, व्रीहि, तिल (go, piṣṭa, vrīhi, tila) and some others्; cf. P. IV. 3. 143-150; (3) in the sense of proportion, added to a numeral; e. g. द्विमयमुदश्विद्यवानाम् (dvimayamudaśvidyavānām); cf. P. V. 2.47; (4) in the sense of "made up of' added to the thing of which there is a large quantity; e.g. अन्नमयम्, अपूपमयम् (annamayam, apūpamayam) cf; तत्प्रकृतवचने मयट् (tatprakṛtavacane mayaṭ) P.V.4.21,22.

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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Chandas (prosody, study of Sanskrit metres)

Māyā (माया) refers to one of the 130 varṇavṛttas (syllabo-quantitative verse) dealt with in the second chapter of the Vṛttamuktāvalī, ascribed to Durgādatta (19th century), author of eight Sanskrit work and patronised by Hindupati: an ancient king of the Bundela tribe (presently Bundelkhand of Uttar Pradesh). A Varṇavṛtta (eg., māyā) refers to a type of classical Sanskrit metre depending on syllable count where the light-heavy patterns are fixed.

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature
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Chandas (छन्दस्) refers to Sanskrit prosody and represents one of the six Vedangas (auxiliary disciplines belonging to the study of the Vedas). The science of prosody (chandas-shastra) focusses on the study of the poetic meters such as the commonly known twenty-six metres mentioned by Pingalas.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

Māyā (माया) means wonderful power which alone would make the milky ocean cleaned. Māyā refers to the power to display mohas (delusions). The astounding acts take place without any effort on the part of people.

Source: archive.org: Isvara Samhita Vol 1
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Katha (narrative stories)

Maya (मय) is the name of an Asura and incarnation of Viśvakarman, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 34. Accordingly, “there is a great Asura, Maya by name, an incarnation of Viśvakarman, who made the assembly hall of Yudhiṣṭhira and the city of Indra; he has a daughter, Somaprabhā by name, who is a friend of mine. She came here at night to visit me, and out of love made this heavenly garden by her magic power, for the sake of my daughter”.

In chapter 44, Maya instructs Sūryaprabha in the art of magic sciences. Accordingly, as Vajraprabha said to Naravāhanadatta: “... Maya went up in the assembly hall to King Candraprabha, who welcomed him, and said to him, in the presence of Sūryaprabha: ‘King, this son of yours, Sūryaprabha, has been appointed as the future emperor of the kings of the Vidyādharas by Śiva; so why does he not acquire the magic sciences that will put him in possession of the dignity? For this reason I am sent here by the god Śiva. Permit me to take him and teach him the right method of employing the sciences, which will be the cause of his obtaining the sovereignty of the Vidyādharas’.”.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Maya, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Maya is the architect of the Asuras. He is mentioned in many places as having constructed cities of great beauty and splendor for the Asuras. He was saved from being burnt by Agni by Arjuna and Krishna. In gratitude, he built the city of Indraprastha, the capital of the Pandavas, to rival Amravati, the city of Indra. Namuchi is his brother.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

In Purāṇas and Vaiṣṇava theology, māyā is described as one of the nine śaktis of Viṣṇu. Māyā became associated with sleep; and Viṣṇu’s māyā is sleep which envelopes the world when he awakes to destroy evil. Viṣṇu, like Indra, is the master of māyā; and māyā envelopes Viṣṇu's body. The magic creative power, māyā was always a monopoly of the central Solar God; and was also associated with the early solar prototype of Viṣṇu in the early Āditya phase.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

(Maturity).

Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Māyā (माया, “magic show”) refers to one of the ten comparisons (upamāna) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 11. These upamānas represent a quality of the Bodhisattvas accompanying the Buddha at Rājagṛha on the Gṛdhrakūṭaparvata. They accepted that dharmas are like a magic show (māyā). All the formations (saṃskāra) are like a magic show (māyā) that deceives little children; they depend on causes and conditions, they are powerless and do not last for a long time.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Māyā (माया, “deception”) refers to one of the fourty “conditions” (saṃskāra) that are “associated with mind” (citta-samprayukta) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 30). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., māyā). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Māyā also refers to one of the “twenty-four minor defilements” (upakleśa) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 69).

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Māyā (“deceit”) in Buddhism refers to one of the sixteen upakilesa (subtle defilements).

Source: Google Books: The Fruits of True Monkhood

1) In Theravada Buddhism, the current expression of Buddhism most closely associated with early Buddhist practice, māyā is the name of the mother of the Buddha. This name may have some symbolic significance given the place of māyā in Indian thought, but it does not seem to have led this tradition to give to the concept of māyā much of a philosophical role. The Pali language of Theravada speaks of distortions (vipallasa) rather than illusion (māyā).

2) In Mahayana Buddhism, illusion seems to play a somewhat larger role. Here, the magician's illusion exemplifies how people misunderstand themselves and their reality, when we could be free from this confusion. Under the influence of ignorance, we believe objects and persons to be independently real, existing apart from causes and conditions. We fail to perceive them as being empty of a real essence, whereas in fact they exist much like māyā, the magical appearance created by the magician. The magician's illusion may exist and function in the world on the basis of some props, gestures, and incantations, yet the show is illusory. The viewers participate in creating the illusion by misperceiving and drawing false conclusions. Conversely, when appearances arise and are seen as illusory, that is considered more accurate.

Buddhist Tantra, a further development of the Mahayana, also makes use of the magician's illusion example in yet another way. In the completion stage of Buddhist Tantra, the practitioner takes on the form of a deity in an illusory body (māyādeha), which is like the magician's illusion. It is made of wind, or prana, and is called illusory because it appears only to other yogis who have also attained the illusory body. The illusory body has the markings and signs of a Buddha. There is an impure and a pure illusory body, depending on the stage of the yogi's practice.

3) In the Dzogchen tradition the perceived reality is considered literally unreal, in that objects which make-up perceived reality are known as objects within ones mind, and that, as we conceive them, there is no pre-determined object, or assembly of objects in isolation from experience that may be considered the "true" object, or objects. As a prominent contemporary teacher puts it: "In a real sense, all the visions that we see in our lifetime are like a big dream [...]". In this context, the term visions denotes not only visual perceptions, but appearances perceived through all senses, including sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations.

Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Māyā (माया) refers to “deceitful practice” and is one of the twenty-four activities (kriyā) of sāmparāyika (transmigression-extending influx). Sāmparāyika is one two types of āsrava (influx) which represents the flow of karma particles towards the soul, which is due to the three activities: manoyoga ( activities of mind), kāyayoga ( activities of body) and vacanayoga (activities of speech).

Kriyā (‘activities’, such as māyā) is a Sanskrit technical term defined in the Tattvārthasūtra (ancient authorative Jain scripture) from the 2nd century, which contains aphorisms dealing with philosophy and the nature of reality.

Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Māyā (माया, “deceit”) refers to a subclass of the interal (abhyantara) division of parigraha (attachment) and is related to the Aparigraha-vrata (vow of non-attachment). Amṛtacandra (in his Puruṣārthasiddhyupāya 116), Somadeva, and Āśādhara among the Digambaras and Siddhasena Gaṇin (in his commentary on the Tattvārtha-sūtra 7.24) among the Śvetāmbaras mention fourteen varieties  of abhyantara-parigraha (for example, māyā).

Source: archive.org: Jaina Yoga

Māyā (माया).—What is meant by māyā? Deceitful disposition of the soul caused by a particular conduct deluding karma produces the influx of life-karma leading to the birth in sub human world (tiryañca).

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 6: Influx of karmas
General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geogprahy

Maya refers to one of the 84 castes (gaccha) in the Jain community according to Prof. H. H. Wilson. The Jain caste and sub-caste system was a comparatively later development within their community, and it may have arisen from the ancient classification of Brāhmaṇa, Kṣatriya, Vaiśya and Śūdra. Before distinction of these classes (such as Maya), the society was not divided into distinct separate sections, but all were considered as different ways of life and utmost importance was attached to individual chartacter and mode of behaviour.

According to Dr. Vilas Adinath Sangava, “Jainism does not recognise castes (viz., Maya) as such and at the same time the Jaina books do not specifically obstruct the observance of caste rules by the members of the Jaina community. The attitude of Jainism towards caste is that it is one of the social practices, unconnected with religion, observed by people; and it was none of its business to regulate the working of the caste system” (source).

The legendary account of the origin of these 84 Jain castes (eg., Maya) relate that once a rich Jain invited members of the Jain community in order to establish a vaiśya-mahāsabhā (i.e. Central Association of Traders). In response, 84 representatives came from different places, and they were later seen as the progenitors of these castes. Various sources however mention differences in the list.

Source: Wisdom Library: India History

Maya was also a great astronomer and civil engineer of Asuras. Maya wrote the famous text “Surya Siddhanta” in 6778 BCE. In all probability, the Yakshas of Sri Lanka built the city of Lankapuri before 6778 BCE. This may be the reason why Maya named the point on equator as Lanka where the Ujjain meridian intersects. There is a Shilpashastra written by Maya. In Mahabharata era, Maya designed and constructed a “Mayasabha” for Duryodhana. Like Vishvakarma, Maya’s descendants were also known as Maya.

Source: academia.edu: The Chronological History of Ancient Sri Lanka
India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

māyā : (f.) fraud; deceit; magic; jugglery.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Māyā, (f.) (cp. Vedic māyā. Suggestions as to etym. see Walde, Lat. Wtb. s. v. manticulor) 1. deceptive appearance, fraud, deceit, hypocrisy Sn. 245, 328 (°kata deceit), 469, 537, 786, 941 (: māyā vuccati vañcanikā cariyā Nd1 422); Vbh. 357, 361, 389; Miln. 289; Vism. 106 (+sātheyya, māna, pāpicchatā etc.), 479 (māyā viya viññāṇaṃ); VbhA. 34 (in detail), 85, 493 (def.). Is not used in Pali Abhidhamma in a philosophical sense. ‹-› 2. mystic formula, magic, trick M. I, 381 (āvaṭṭanī m.). khattiya° the mystic formula of a kh. J. VI, 375; Miln. 190; DhA. I, 166. In the sense of “illusion” often combd with marīci, e.g. at J. II, 330; V, 367; Nd2 680A. II, — 3. jugglery, conjuring Miln. 3.—On māyā in similes see J. P. T. S. 1907, 122; on term in general Dhs. trsl. 2 255 (“ilḷusion”); Expos. 333, 468n.—As adj. in amāya (q. v.) & in bahu-māye rich in deceit SnA 351.—Note. In the word maṃ at KhA 123 (in pop. etym. of man-gala) the ed. of the text sees an Acc. of which he takes to be a contracted form of māyā (=iddhi).

—kāra a conjurer, magician S. III, 142; Vism. 366 (in comparison); VbhA. 196. (Page 529)

— or —

Maya, (adj.) (—° only) (Vedic maya) made of, consisting of.—An interesting analysis (interesting for judging the views and sense of etymology of an ancient commentator) of maya is given by Dhammapāla at VvA. 10, where he distinguishes 6 meanings of the word, viz. 1. asma-d-atthe, i.e. “myself” (as representing mayaṃ!).—2. paññatti “regulation” (same as 1. according to example given, but constructed syntectically quite diff. by Dhp.).—3. nibbatti “origin” (arising from, with example mano-maya “produced by mind”).—4. manomaya “spiritually” (same as 3).—5. vikār’atthe “alteration” (? more like product, consistency, substance), with example “sabbe-maṭṭikāmaya-kuṭikā. ” — 6. pada-pūraṇa matte to make up a foot of the verse (or add a syllable for the sake of completeness, with example “dānamaya, sīlamaya” (=dana; sīla).—1. made of: aṭṭhi° of bone Vin. II, 115; ayo° of iron Sn. 669; Pv. I, 104; J. IV, 492; udum- bara° of Ud. wood Mhvs 23, 87; dāru° of wood, VvA. 8; loha° of copper Sn. 670; veḷuriya° of jewels Vv 21.—2. consisting in: dāna° giving alms PvA. 8, 9; dussa° clothes Vv 467; dhamma° righteousness S. I, 137.—3. (more as apposition, in the sense as given by Dhp. above under 6) something like, a likeness of, i.e. ingredient, substance, stuff; in āhāra° food-stuff, food J. III, 523; utu° something like a (change in) season Vism. 395; sīla° character, having sīla as substance (or simply-consisting of) It. 51 (dāna°, sīla°, bhāvanā°). (Page 523)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

maya (मय).—ind A Sanskrit affix abundantly and elegantly used in the sense of Full of, abounding with, fraught, replete. Ex. jalamaya, agnimaya, ānanda- maya, krōdhamaya, kāmamaya, lōbhamaya, vṛkṣamaya, dhānyamaya, kaṇṭakamaya, parvatamaya Overflown or copiously supplied with water; Blazing with fire; Filled with joy, rage, lust &c; Abounding in trees, grain, mountains &c. 2 Composed or consisting of; as suvarṇamaya, lōhamaya, dhātumaya, kāṣṭhamaya, mṛttikāmaya, sikatāmaya, pāṣāṇamaya Golden, iron, metallic, wooden, earthen, stone &c. Of this class of conpounds only such as undergo any change (e.g. tējōmaya, mṛnmaya) will occur in order.

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mayā (मया).—See maiyata &c.

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māya (माय).—f (S) A mother. Pr. māya marō paṇa māvaśī māya māvaśī nāhīṃ in. con. or māya māvaśī pāhata nāhīṃ Spoken of one who, in the gratification of his lusts, would not abstain even from incest.

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māyā (माया).—f (S) Creation-illusion; the illusoriness of the appearance of the universe as material and of distinct subsistence, being in reality spiritual and the evolved substance of the eternal monad Brahma. māyā is personified, in mythology, as a female and the consort of Brahma, and the formative energy of the Brahma-expansion and disposition misapprehended as a creation See under brahma. 2 Deceit, trick, jugglery, illusion in general. 3 Affection, love, fondness. Pr. māyā vēḍī gū phēḍī Love will refuse no service however disgusting or mean. 4 Compassion, pity, tenderness. māyā nivāraṇēṃ To dispel the investing illusion of. Ex. kṛpādṛṣṭīnēṃ pāhasī jayā || tayācīṃ māyā nivārisī ||. māyēcēṃ tōṇḍa khālīṃ or nirāḷēṃ Love is not lofty or disdainful or rigidly righteous; love bends over. māyēnta aṭakaṇēṃ-ghōṇṭāḷaṇēṃ-paḍaṇēṃ-phasaṇēṃ and, also māyēnēṃ, -guntaṇēṃ-gōvaṇēṃ-guṇḍāḷaṇēṃ To be entangled with earthly affairs and relations; to lead a secular a life.

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māyā (माया).—f ( P) Stock, substance, property. 2 (In joining together by the edges two pieces of cloth &c.) The portion left along and without the seam; the portion of a substance generally left or spared along the edge (as of the pieces of a cotframe in rataning it; of a slip of wood in driving along it a line of nails; or as per examples) hā barū kēvaḷa kāṇḍyābarōbara kāpūṃ nakō thōḍī māyā rākha; hī phaḷī kēvaḷa pātaḷa āhē mhaṇūna icē aṅgīṃ māyā kamī.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

maya (मय).—ind An affix used in the sense of full of, &c.; consisting of.

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mayā (मया).—See under mai.

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māya (माय).—f A mother.

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māyā (माया).—f Illusion. Deceit. Love. Pity. Stock. Property.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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In Sikkhism

General definition (in Sikkhism)

In Sikhism, the world is regarded as both transitory and relatively real. God is viewed as the only reality, but within God exist both conscious souls and nonconscious objects; these created objects are also real. Natural phenomena are real but the effects they generate are unreal. māyā is as the events are real yet māyā is not as the effects are unreal. Consider the following examples. In the moonless night, a rope lying on the ground may be mistaken for a snake. We know that the rope alone is real, not the snake. However, the failure to perceive the rope gives rise to the false perception of the snake. Once the darkness is removed, the rope alone remains; the snake disappears.

Source: WikiPedia: Sikkhism

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