Maya, Māya, Mayā, Māyā: 69 definitions


Maya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Sikhism, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi, Hindi, biology, Tamil. 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.

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In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Kubjikāmata-tantra

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: Kashmir Saivism

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: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions

Māyā (माया) refers to a “māyā-natured woman”, according to the 13th-century Matsyendrasaṃhitā: a Kubjikā-Tripurā oriented Tantric Yoga text of the Ṣaḍanvayaśāmbhava tradition from South India.—Accordingly, “[Devī spoke]:—O God, what kind of a woman is a Yoginī? Who is Māyā and who is Pāśavī? Tell me, O Bhairava, the pros and cons of having sex with them. [Bhairava spoke]:—[...] A woman who possesses all favourable characteristics [but] has neither a [Yoginī] Clan/noble family nor a [human/material] form/beauty, and who is to be approached by empathic imagination, O Maheśānī, is called Māyā”.

Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

1) Māyā (माया) refers to “illusion”, according to the Netratantra of Kṣemarāja: a Śaiva text from the 9th century in which Śiva (Bhairava) teaches Pārvatī topics such as metaphysics, cosmology, and soteriology.—Accordingly, [verse 21.15-19]—“Ah! The question [you have] asked me is not answered elsewhere, [although] I declare it in all teachings. The foolish, [those] always concealed with illusion (māyā), do not know. It is not worship [if] you speak the mantra [devoid of] the three kinds of tattvas. Meanwhile, let it be. A world lacking the tattvas does not accomplish [anything]. [...]”.

2) Māyā (माया) refers to one of the Devīs associated with Nārāyaṇa.—Accordingly, [verse 13.1-9, while describing the appearance and worship of Viṣṇu, in the form of Nārāyaṇa]—“[...] [The Mantrin] places devīs at the four cardinal directions and members at the intermediate compass-points. Thus, he worships [the Devīs] Jayā, Lakṣmī, Kīrti, and Māyā at the cardinal directions, [where they] hold a noose and hook, hands [in the mudrās of] granting wishes and protection. He meditates [on them] before the eyes of the Deva, assuming the shape of [whichever] goddess is chosen. The members are similar to the Deva, [with] his color and hold [his same] weapons”.

Shaivism book cover
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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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

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: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

1) Māyā (माया) refers to “one who is deluded”, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, while describing the signs of one who is not a Siddha: “He is excessively tall, bald, deformed, short, dwarfish, his nose is ugly or he has black teeth and is wrathful . Some of his limbs are missing and is deceitful, cripple and deformed, foolish, inauspicious, envious, deluded [i.e., māyā], badly behaved, and violent; without any teacher, he is devoid of the rites, he maligns the Krama without cause, he is not devoted to the Siddhas, he (always) suffers and is without wisdom. [...]”.

2) Māyā (माया) refers to the Vidyā associated with Jālandhara, one of the eight Sacred Seats (pīṭha), according to the Yogakhaṇḍa (chapter 14) of the Manthānabhairavatantra.

3) Māyā (माया) or Kāla also refers to the Cremation Ground associated with Avyakta, another one of the eight Sacred Seats (pīṭha).

Source: Kamakoti Mandali: The Yoginis of Narasimha Vyuha

Māyā (माया) is the name of a Mātṛkā-Śakti created by Mahārudra in order to control the plague of demons created by Andhakāsura.—Accordingly, Andhaka-Asura tried to kidnap Umā (Devī Pārvatī), and was fiercely attacked by Mahārudra who shot arrows at him from his mahāpināka. when the arrows pierced the body of Andhakāsura, drops of blood fell to earth and from those drops, thousands of Andhakas arose. To control this plague of demons, Mahārudra created Mātṛkā-Śaktis [viz., Māyā] and ordered them to drink the blood of the demons and drain them dry.

Source: Kamakoti Mandali: Nrisimha matrika-mandala

Māyā (माया) refers to one of the various Mātṛkā-Śaktis created by Rudra in order to destroy the clones that spawned from Andhaka’s body.—Accordingly, [...] Andhakāsura attempted to abduct Girājanandinī (Pārvatī) and thus ensued a fierce battle between Andhakāsura and the great Rudra, the Lord of Umā. Like raktabīja, every drop of blood that fell from the body of Andhaka created another Asura like him and in no time, the entire world was filled with Andhakas. To destroy the growing number of Andhakas, Rudra created innumerable Mātṛkā-Śaktis [viz., Māyā]. These Śaktis of immense power at once began to drink every drop of blood that flowed from the body of Andhaka, but they could still not effectively contain the emergence of more and more demons.

Shaktism book cover
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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)

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Trinity

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.

Shilpashastra book cover
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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)

Source: Bharatiya vastu-sastra

Maya (मय) refers to the “Founder Architect Acharya” of the so called Dravidian Vāstuvidyā or school of Architecture. Maya is one of the eighteen professors of Architecture as mentioned in the Matsyapurāṇa. His position in the tradition is second only to Viśvakarmā. The Mānasāra, the most representative text of Dravidian architecture recounts the origin of Maya from one of the faces of the four-faced Viśvakarmā, which in the context of the accounts of Viśvakarmā representing both the cultures is perfectly in keeping with the traditions.

That Maya school of Architecture was certainly different and distinct a tradition is proved by the earliest datable (550 A.D.) work on Vāstuśāstra, the Bṛhatsaṃhitā of Varāhamihira where Maya and Viśvakarmā are quoted as authors whose seemingly different statements have the same meaning. The many names of eighteen chief preceptors (Ācāryas), seem to indicate an equal number of branches, or schools of Indian architecture prior to the sixth century A. D. and subsequently in Kiṣkindhā Kāṇḍa of Rāmāyaṇa (chapter 51) there is an interesting reference to Maya. It is told there how Maya acquired the knowledge of Śilpaśāstra, the Science of architecture, treasure Uśanas (auśanasam dhanam) from Brahma. This shows that the treatises of Maya and Uśanas i.e. Śukra were alike in character. And as both belong to Asuras they represented a school of their own.

Source: Digital Library of India: Bharatiya Vastu-sastra volume 1

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.”

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)

Source: Google Books: Manusmṛti with the Manubhāṣya

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)

Dharmashastra book cover
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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)

Source: Wisdom Library: The Matsya-purāṇa

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 (e.g., 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: Puranic Encyclopedia

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: Shiva Purana - English Translation

1) Māyā (माया) refers to one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus (i.e., Ayodhyā, Mathurā, Māyā, Kāśī, Kāñcī, Āvantikā and Dvārikā), according to a footnote at the Śivapurāṇa-māhātmya chapter 1. Accordingly, —“[...] the holy rivers, Gaṅgā and others, the seven sacred cities [viz., Māyā] and Gayā can never be equal to Śivapurāṇa. If one wishes for the greatest of goals (Liberation) one shall recite at least a stanza or even half of it from Śivapurāṇa. He who constantly listens to Śivapurāṇa fully comprehending its meaning or simply reads it with devotion is undoubtedly a meritorious soul”.

2) Māyā (माया) refers to the “power of illusion”, according to the Śivapurāṇa chapter 2.1.2 and Chapter 2.2.19.—Accordingly, as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“[...] Śiva’s power of illusion [Māyā] is inscrutable (durjñeyā). The whole universe (jagat), the mobile or immobile, is deluded [sammohita] by it, Devas and Asuras.”.

3) Māyā (माया) is another name for Śakti (prime cause, created from the body of Īśvara), according to Śivapurāṇa 2.1.6, while explaining the time of great dissolution (mahāpralaya):—“[...] this Śakti is called by various names. Pradhāna, Prakṛti, Māyā, Guṇavatī, Parā. The mother of Buddhi Tattva (The cosmic Intelligence), Vikṛtivarjitā (without modification). That Śakti is Ambikā, Prakṛti and the goddess of all. She is the prime cause and the mother of the three deities. [...]”.

4) Maya (मय) is name of an Asura Architect who build the three cities (Tripura), according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.5.1 (“Description of Tripura—the three cities”).—Accordingly, after the sons of Tāraka-Asura spoke to Brahmā: “On hearing their words, Brahmā, the grandfather and creator of the worlds remembered Śiva and told them ‘Let it be so’. He ordered Maya—‘O Maya, build three cities, one of gold, another of silver and a third one of steel’. After ordering directly like this, Brahmā returned to his abode in heaven even as the sons of Tāraka were watching”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

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.
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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

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.

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—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), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Vedanta (school of philosophy)

Source: WikiPedia: Vedanta

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: Advaita 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: Shodhganga: Siva Gita A Critical Study

Māyā (माया) refers to “she who measures”; or “mirific energy”. The substance emanated from Śiva through which the world of forms is manifested. Hence all creation is also termed wāyā.It is the cosmic creative force, the principle of manifestation, ever in the process of creation, preservation and dissolution.

Vedanta book cover
context information

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)

Source: A History of Indian Philosophy (vaishnavism)

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: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Māyā (माया) refers to “literally, –‘not’, –‘this’. In other words ‘that which is not’; an illusion (See māyā-śakti)”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya - 2nd Edition

Māyā (माया) refers to:—Illusion; that which is not; Śrī Bhagavān’s external potency which influences the living entities to accept the false egoism of being independent enjoyers of this material world. (Also see Mahāmāyā, Māyā-śakti.). (cf. Glossary page from Bhajana-Rahasya).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Brhad Bhagavatamrtam

Māyā (माया) refers to:—The inferior energy of the Lord; material nature; illusion; the enchanting illusory potency; the state of forgetfulness of one’s relationship with the Lord. (cf. Glossary page from Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta).

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (vaishnavism)

Māyā (माया) refers to the “illusionary (darkness)” (of those with distorted views), according to the Vedānta Deśika’s Yatirājasaptati.—When we come to the poem’s understanding of the divinity of Rāmānuja we find a wide spectrum of meanings. [...] Verse 28 is particularly eloquent in describing and encapsulating all his nurturing and protecting qualities, which are compared to those present everywhere in nature itself—as the mountain from which originate all the streams of knowledge, the tree under which the weary traveler wandering in saṃsāra takes rest, the rising sun that keeps the illusionary darkness (māyā-śarvarī) of those with distorted views at bay and the full moon that brings to high tide the ocean of the Vedas.

Vaishnavism book cover
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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)

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of 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.

Vyakarana book cover
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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)

Source: Shodhganga: a concise history of Sanskrit Chanda literature

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 (e.g., māyā) refers to a type of classical Sanskrit metre depending on syllable count where the light-heavy patterns are fixed.

Chandas book cover
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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)

Source: Isvara Samhita Vol 1

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.

Pancaratra book cover
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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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Kavyashastra (science of poetry)

Source: Shodhganga: The Kavyavilasa of Ciranjiva Bhattacarya (kavyashastra)

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: Bhismacaritam a critical study

Māyā (माया) is the name of a Sanskrit metre (chandas) [defined as इ.उ.उ.इ] of the Upajāti type as employed in the Bhīṣmacarita (Bhishma Charitra) which is a mahākāvya (‘epic poem’) written by Hari Narayan Dikshit.—We find six examples of Māyā variety of Upajāti metre in the Bhīṣmacarita. The example of it is verse IV.4. [...] The other examples are as follows: IV.7, X.31, X.40, XI.32 and XIV.29.

Kavyashastra book cover
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Kavyashastra (काव्यशास्त्र, kāvyaśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian tradition of poetry (kavya). Canonical literature (shastra) of the includes encyclopedic manuals dealing with prosody, rhetoric and various other guidelines serving to teach the poet how to compose literature.

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Kavya (poetry)

Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

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.

Kavya book cover
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

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: WikiPedia: Hinduism

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.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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: Bulletin of the French School of the Far East (volume 5)

Maya (मय) is the name of a Kinnara appointed as one of the Divine protector deities of Pañcāla, according to chapter 17 of the Candragarbha: the 55th section of the Mahāsaṃnipāta-sūtra, a large compilation of Sūtras (texts) in Mahāyāna Buddhism partly available in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese.—In the Candragarbhasūtra, the Bhagavat invites all classes of Gods and Deities to protect the Law [dharma?] and the faithful in their respective kingdoms of Jambudvīpa [e.g., the Kinnara Maya in Pañcāla], resembling the time of the past Buddhas.

Source: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Māyā (माया) refers to an “illusion”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly as The Lord said: “Śāriputra, the Tathāgata Ekaratnavyūha, seating in the lion’s throne thus, explained the dharma-seal called Gaganapariśuddhi to these Bodhisattvas, which has thirty-two aspects of entrance. What is this Dharma-seal (dharmamudrā) called Gaganapariśuddhi which has thirty-two aspects of entrance? [...] 23) all dharmas are originally pure since they never turn back (avinivartana); 24) all dharmas never turn back since their essence has the characteristic of an illusion (māyā-lakṣaṇa-svabhāva); 25) all dharmas are like an illusion since they have no proper nature (niḥsvabhāva); 26) all dharmas have no proper nature since their essential characteristics are unconditioned (anabhisaṃskāra-lakṣaṇa); [...]”.

Mahayana book cover
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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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

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 (e.g., 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: Google Books: The Fruits of True Monkhood

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

Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

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.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Wisdom Library: 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: Jaina Yoga

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: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

1a) Māyā (माया, “illusion”) refers to the “doctrine of Vedānta”, as mentioned in chapter 1.1 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.

Accordingly, as Mahāmati exposed the doctrine of Māyā to king Mahābala (i.e., previous incarnation of Ṛṣabha):—“It is illusion (māyā); nothing is real. The visible world is like a dream or a mirage. A teacher and a disciple; a father and a son; virtue and vice; one’s own and another’s; such things as appear, that is only a form of expression, not reality. Just as the jackal left meat, and ran after a fish on the bank, and the fish got in the water and a vulture got the meat, exactly so those men are deceived and deprive themselves of both, who abandon pleasures of this world and run after those of the next world. After they have heard the false teaching of heretics, fearing hell, they foolishly torment their own bodies, alas! by vows, etc. Just as a partridge dances on one foot, afraid that it will fall on the ground, so a man practices penance fearing a fall into hell”.

1b) Māyā (माया, “deceit”) refers to one of the four passions (kaṣāyas) of creatures, according to chapter 4.5 [dharmanātha-caritra].—Accordingly, as Dharma-nātha said in his sermon on the kaṣāyas:—“[...] Creatures’ passions are four-fold: anger (krodha), conceit (māna), deceit (māyā), and greed (lobha); and each of them is divided into sañjvalana, etc. [...] Deceit (māyā) is the mother of untruthfulness, the axe to the tree of good conduct, the birth-place of ignorance; the cause of a low condition of existence. Persons who are clever at crookedness, evil through deceit, hypocritical, deceiving the world, certainly deceive themselves also. Kings deceive the whole world by means of the deceitful six stratagems through trickery and destruction of trusting people because of greed for wealth. [...]”.

Note: The direct counterpart of Māyā is Ārjava or ‘sincerity’.

2) Maya (मय) is the name of a Vidyādhara-king from Surasaṅgīta, according to the Jain Ramayana and chapter 7.1 [origin of the rākṣasavaṃśa and vānaravaṃśa].—Accordingly, “Now, on Mount Vaitāḍhya in the city Surasaṅgīta, the ornament of the southern row, there was a Vidyādhara-lord, Maya. His wife was named Hemavatī, the abode of virtues, and their daughter, born of her womb, was named Mandodarī. When he had observed that she was grown, King Maya thought over the merits and defects of the princes of the Vidyādharas, seeking a husband for her. [...]”.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 6: Influx of karmas

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: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Māyā (माया) refers to “deception”, according to the 11th century Jñānārṇava, a treatise on Jain Yoga in roughly 2200 Sanskrit verses composed by Śubhacandra.—Accordingly, “Tolerance of anger and humility towards pride, moreover straightforwardness towards deception (māyā) [and] abandonment of attachment, these are the enemies of desire respectively. Yogis continually drive away desire and dislike through equanimity or through the state of non-attachment , and they drive away wrong faith through the application of right faith”

General definition book cover
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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 geography

Source: Wisdom Library: India History

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 (e.g., 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: The Chronological History of Ancient Sri Lanka

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.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, 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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Biology (plants and animals)

Source: Wisdom Library: Local Names of Plants and Drugs

Maya [माया] in the Nepali language is the name of a plant identified with Eriobotrya elliptica Lindl. from the Rosaceae (Rose) family having the following synonyms: Mespilus cuila. For the possible medicinal usage of maya, you can check this page for potential sources and references, although be aware that any some or none of the side-effects may not be mentioned here, wether they be harmful or beneficial to health.

Source: Google Books: CRC World Dictionary (Regional names)

1) Maya in Tanzania is the name of a plant defined with Treculia africana in various botanical sources. This page contains potential references in Ayurveda, modern medicine, and other folk traditions or local practices It has the synonym Myriopeltis edulis Welw. ex Hook.f. (among others).

2) Maya is also identified with Treculia erinacea It has the synonym Antiaris toxicaria var. africana Scott-Elliot ex A. Chev. (etc.).

Example references for further research on medicinal uses or toxicity (see latin names for full list):

· Annales du muséum national d’histoire naturelle (1810)
· Annales des Sciences Naturelles; Botanique (1847)
· Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de l’Académie des Sciences (1920)
· Adansonia (1875)
· Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information Kew (1894)
· Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique (1977)

If you are looking for specific details regarding Maya, for example extract dosage, diet and recipes, side effects, pregnancy safety, chemical composition, health benefits, have a look at these references.

Biology book cover
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This sections includes definitions from the five kingdoms of living things: Animals, Plants, Fungi, Protists and Monera. It will include both the official binomial nomenclature (scientific names usually in Latin) as well as regional spellings and variants.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

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

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's 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 combined 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).

— 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)

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

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and 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 Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

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.

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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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Maya (मय).—a. (- f.) An affix used to indicate 'made of', 'consisting or composed of', 'full of'; कनकमय, काष्ठमय, तेजोमय, जलमय (kanakamaya, kāṣṭhamaya, tejomaya, jalamaya) &c.

-yaḥ 1 Name of a demon, the architect of the demons. (He built the 'three cities' for the demons; cf. tripura. He is also said to have built a splendid hall for the Pāṇḍavas); सानन्दं देवताभिर्मयपुरदहने धूर्जटिः पातु युष्मान् (sānandaṃ devatābhirmayapuradahane dhūrjaṭiḥ pātu yuṣmān) Ve.1.3.

2) A horse.

3) A camel.

4) A mule.

-yā Medical treatment.

-yī A mare.

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Māya (माय).—a. Possessing magical power; नमो विश्वाय मायाय चिन्त्याचिन्त्याय वै नमः (namo viśvāya māyāya cintyācintyāya vai namaḥ) Mahābhārata (Bombay) 13.14.316.

-yaḥ 1 A conjurer, juggler.

2) A demon, an evil spirit.

3) Name of Viṣṇu; L. D. B.

4) A garment; L. D. B.

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Māyā (माया).—[mā-yaḥ bā° netvam]

1) Deceit, fraud, trick, trickery; a device, an artifice; रथचर्यास्त्रमायाभिर्मोहयित्वा परंतप (rathacaryāstramāyābhirmohayitvā paraṃtapa) Mahābhārata (Bombay) 7.46.24; यो मायां कुरुते मूढः प्राणत्यागे धनादिके (yo māyāṃ kurute mūḍhaḥ prāṇatyāge dhanādike) Pañcatantra (Bombay) 1. 359.

2) Jugglery, witchcraft, enchantment, an illusion of magic; स्वप्नो नु माया नु मतिभ्रमो नु (svapno nu māyā nu matibhramo nu) Ś.6.1; मायायोगविदां चैव न स्वयं कोपकारणात् (māyāyogavidāṃ caiva na svayaṃ kopakāraṇāt) Kau. A.1.19.

3) (Hence) An unreal or illusory image, a phantom, illusion, unreal apparition; मायां मयोद्भाव्य परीक्षितोऽसि (māyāṃ mayodbhāvya parīkṣito'si) R.2.62; विकृतिः किं नु भवेदियं नु माया (vikṛtiḥ kiṃ nu bhavediyaṃ nu māyā) Kirātārjunīya 13.4; R.12.74; oft. as the first member of comp. in the sense of 'false', 'phantom', 'illusory'; e. g. मायावचनम् (māyāvacanam) false words; मायामृग (māyāmṛga) &c.

4) A political trick or artifice, diplomatic feat.

5) (In Vedānta phil.) Unreality, the illusion by virtue of which one considers the unreal universe as really existent and as distinct from the Supreme Spirit; मायां तु प्रकृतिं विद्यान्मायिनं तु महेश्वरम् (māyāṃ tu prakṛtiṃ vidyānmāyinaṃ tu maheśvaram) Śvet. Up.

6) (In Sāṅ. phil.) The Pradhāna or Prakṛti.

7) Wickedness.

8) Pity, compassion.

9) Name of the mother of Buddha.

1) Ved. Extraordinary power, wisdom (prajñā).

11) (With Śaivas) One of the four snares (pāśa) which entangle the soul.

12) Name of the city Gayā.

13) Name of Lakṣmī.

14) Name of Durgā; देवीं मायां तु श्रीकामः (devīṃ māyāṃ tu śrīkāmaḥ) Bhāgavata 2.3.3.

15) Skill, art; दधारैको रणे राजन् वृषसेनोऽस्त्रमायया (dadhāraiko raṇe rājan vṛṣaseno'stramāyayā) Mahābhārata (Bombay) 7.16.1.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Māyā (माया) or Mahāmāyā.—(1) 1: Divyāvadāna 390.2; Avadāna-śataka ii.44.6; (2) name of a sister of prec.: Mahāvastu i.355.17; (3) name of a deity: Sādhanamālā 434.4 etc., mother of guhyakas, 434.6; compare next.

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Māya (माय).—(1) nt. according to text, a high number: mahāvi-vāhas tathā dṛṣṭas, taddaśaṃ māyam ucyate (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 343.18 (verse); or understand māya(ḥ)-m-ucyate, with m. gender? In next line: taddaśamāyāṃ(!) mahāmāyaḥ; (2) ap- parently nt. for Sanskrit māyā, trick, wile: bahūni māyāni darśayati Mahāvastu ii.174.12 (prose; no v.l.).

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Māyā (माया).—(Pali id.), often Māyā-devī as [compound], also Ma- hāmāyā, q.v., (1) name of the wife of Śuddhodana and mother of Śākyamuni: Mahāvyutpatti 1069 (Māyādevī); her origin and history, Mahāvastu i.355.17 ff. (many other refs. to her, see Senart's Index); Lalitavistara 26.15; 28.8 ff.; 78.1; 252.13, 15; Suvarṇabhāsottamasūtra 239.5 (verse, Māya-devī, m.c.); Gaṇḍavyūha 375.1; in Gaṇḍavyūha, where Vairocana, q.v., seems blended with Śākyamuni, she is also Vairo- cana's mother (381.5; 338.25, compare 339.3) in all his existences (as a result of a praṇidhāna made ages ago, 444.20 ff., that she might always be the mother of a certain cakra- vartin who became Vairocana, 445.4); in Gaṇḍavyūha 426.11—12 she is called bodhisattva-janetrī and located bhagavato Vairocanasya pādamūle; in 438.8 she made a praṇidhāna to be the mother of all Bodhisattvas and Buddhas (sarva- bodhisattva-jina-janetrī-pra°); in 438.23 ff. she says that she has been the mother of all caramabhavika (q.v.) Bodhisattvas in all the lokadhātus of the Lord Vairocana, and then (439.1—2) that she gave birth to the Bodhisattva Siddhārtha, ‘in this very Bhāgavatī cāturdvīpikā’, in Kapilavastu, as Śuddhodana's wife; in 441.6 ff. she says that as she was the Buddha Vairocana's mother, so she was the mother of all past Buddhas, and will be of future Buddhas, Maitreya etc.; (2) name of a deity attendant on the four direction-rulers: Mahāsamājasūtra Waldschmidt, Kl. Sanskrit Texte 4, 173.9; = Pali id., Dīghanikāya (Pali) ii.258.9 (not in Malalasekara (Dictionary of Pali Proper Names)).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Maya (मय).—m.

(-yaḥ) 1. A camel. 2. A mule. 3. A demon, and the carpenter or architect of the Daityas. 4. Hurting, injuring. f.

(-yā) Administering remedies, the practice of physic. f. (-yī) Used as and affix in the sense of “consisting of” “Made of” Full of. E. may to go, or mi to scatter, or to hurt, affs. aca or khal and ṭāp .

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Māya (माय).—m.

(-yaḥ) 1. A mime, a juggler. 2. An Asura or evil spirit. f.

(-yā) 1. Fraud, trick, deceit, illusion. 2. A female juggler. 3. Understanding, human intellect. 4. Compassion. 5. Wickedness, villainy, villainous deception. 6. A name of Lakshmi. 7. Trick in negotiation, political fraud, diplomacy. 8. Philosophical illusion, idealism, unreality of all worldly existance; personified in mythology as a female, the consort of Brahma or God, and the immediate and active cause of creation. 9. The mother of Budd'Ha. 10. The Pradhana of the Sankhyas. 11. Illusion which makes one see the supreme spirit and the universe to be two distinct realities, (in Vedanta Phil.) E. to measure, Unadi aff. yat; the medium through which all things are seen, and by which they are estimated.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Maya (मय).—m. 1. A camel. 2. A mule.

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Māya (माय).—i. e. man + ya, I. m. 1. A juggler. 2. An Asura. Ii. f. 1. Understanding. 2. Fraud, deceit, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 7, 104; [Hitopadeśa] i. [distich] 194, M. M. 3. Trick in negotiation, diplomacy, [Pañcatantra] i. [distich] 404 (yo māyāṃ kurute mūdhaḥ prāṇatyāge dhanādiṣu, The fool who uses tricks about wealth, etc., his life being in danger). 4. Wickedness. 5. Illusion, unreality, [Vedāntasāra, (in my Chrestomathy.)] in Chr. 205, 2. 6. Magical power, [Kathāsaritsāgara, (ed. Brockhaus.)] 25, 274. 7. Compassion. 8. The wife of a juggler.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Maya (मय).—1. [feminine] ī made or consisting of (only —°); [masculine] the Former, [Name] of an Asura.

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Maya (मय).—2. [masculine] horse, [feminine] mayī mare.

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Māyā (माया).—[feminine] art, supernatural or wonderful power, wile, trick, deceit, sorcery, illusion, phantom, unreality (ph.); °— being only in appearance, a feigned or phantom —(cf. seq.).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

1) Maya (मय) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—poet. [Subhāshitāvali by Vallabhadeva]

2) Maya (मय):—(?) astronomer. Quoted by Varāhamihira in Bṛhajjātaka Oxf. 329^a, in Kuṇḍakaumudī Oxf. 341^b.

3) Maya (मय):—Vāstuśāstra.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Maya (मय):—1. maya m. (√3. ) Name of an Asura (the artificer or architect of the Daityas, also versed in magic, astronomy and military science), [Mahābhārata; Kāvya literature] etc.

2) Name of various teachers and authors ([especially] of an astronomer and a poet), [Catalogue(s)]

3) Mayā (मया):—[from maya] f. medical treatment, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) Maya (मय):—2. maya m. ([probably] [from] √2. ) a horse, [Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā]

5) a camel, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

6) a mule, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

7) 3. maya m. (√1. ) hurting, injuring, [Horace H. Wilson]

8) Māya (माय):—mfn. (√3. ) measuring (See dhānya-m)

9) creating illusions (said of Viṣṇu), [Mahābhārata]

10) Māyā (माया):—[from māya] a f. See below.

11) [from māya] b f. art, wisdom, extraordinary or supernatural power (only in the earlier language)

12) [v.s. ...] illusion, unreality, deception, fraud, trick, sorcery, witchcraft magic, [Ṛg-veda] etc. etc.

13) [v.s. ...] an unreal or illusory image, phantom, apparition, [ib.] ([especially] [ibc.] = false, unreal, illusory; cf. [compound])

14) [v.s. ...] duplicity (with Buddhists one of the 24 minor evil passions), [Dharmasaṃgraha 69] (in [philosophy]) Illusion (identified in the Sāṃkhya with Prakṛti or Pradhāna and in that system, as well as in the Vedānta, regarded as the source of the visible universe), [Indian Wisdom, by Sir M. Monier-Williams 83; 108]

15) [v.s. ...] (with Śaivas) one of the 4 Pāśas or snares which entangle the soul, [Sarvadarśana-saṃgraha; Monier-Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary]

16) [v.s. ...] (with Vaiṣṇavas) one of the 9 Śaktis or energies of Viṣṇu, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

17) [v.s. ...] Illusion personified (sometimes identified with Durgā, sometimes regarded as a daughter of Anṛta and Nirṛti or Nikṛti and mother of Mṛtyu, or as a daughter of Adharma), [Purāṇa]

18) [v.s. ...] compassion, sympathy, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

19) [v.s. ...] Convolvulus Turpethum, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

20) [v.s. ...] Name of the mother of Gautama Buddha, [Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 24]

21) [v.s. ...] of Lakṣmī, [Horace H. Wilson]

22) [v.s. ...] of a city, [Catalogue(s)]

23) [v.s. ...] of 2 metres, [Colebrooke]

24) [v.s. ...] [dual number] (māye indrasya) Name of 2 Sāmans, [Ārṣeya-brāhmaṇa]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Maya (मय):—(yaḥ) 1. m. A camel; a mule; a demon. f. () Practice of physic.

2) Māya (माय):—(yaḥ) 1. m. A mime, a juggler; an Asura. f. () Illusion; female juggler; intellect; compassion; wickedness; idealism; Lakshmī.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Maya (मय) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit words: Maia, Maya, Māyā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Maya in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Hindi dictionary

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

1) Maya (मय) [Also spelled may]:——a sanskrit suffix imparting the meanings of abounding in, full of, comprised/composed of, etc. to the nouns they are appended to; along with; (nf) wine, liquor: ~[kadā/khānā] a bar; ~[parasta] a drunkard; ~[parastī] drinking; ~[pharośa] a wine merchant.

2) Māyā (माया):—(nf) illusion, delusion, unreality; trick; riches; earthly ignorance; phantasm; phantam; attachment; ~[jāla] phantasmagoria, the web of worldly illusion; ~[paṭu] delusive, illusive; ~[maya] phantasmal, full of illusion, illusory; -[mṛga] the illusive golden deer that misled Ram and helped thereby the abduction of Sita: in the Ramayan; any illusive object; -[moha] illusion and attachment; ~[vāda] the philosophical doctrine propounded by the great philosopher Shankaracharya that the world is nothing but unreal and illusory, illusionism; ~[vādī] one who believes in the doctrine of [māyāvāda], an illusionist; illusionistic; —[joḍanā] to accumulate wealth; —[kāṭanā] to undo the bonds of mundane attachments; —[meṃ phaṃsanā] to be overwhelmed by worldly attachments.

context information


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Prakrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary

1) Maya (मय) in the Prakrit language is related to the Sanskrit word: Mata.

2) Maya (मय) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Maya.

3) Maya (मय) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Mṛta.

4) Maya (मय) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Mada.

5) Maya (मय) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Mṛga.

6) Māya (माय) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Māta.

7) Māya (माय) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Māyāvat.

8) Māyā (माया) also relates to the Sanskrit word: Māyā.

context information

Prakrit is an ancient language closely associated with both Pali and Sanskrit. Jain literature is often composed in this language or sub-dialects, such as the Agamas and their commentaries which are written in Ardhamagadhi and Maharashtri Prakrit. The earliest extant texts can be dated to as early as the 4th century BCE although core portions might be older.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Maya (ಮಯ):—

1) [noun] a camel.

2) [noun] a horse.

3) [noun] a zebra.

4) [noun] a mythological architect, the architect and artificer of demons.

5) [noun] a brahminee kite (Haliastur indus).

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Maya (ಮಯ):—[noun] the state of being filled, covered with or pervaded by.

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Maya (ಮಯ):—[adjective] (in comp.) filled, covered or pervaded with.

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Māya (ಮಾಯ):—

1) [noun] the art of producing (by sleight of hand, optical illusion, etc.) apparently inexplicable phenomena; magic.

2) [noun] the supposed art of influencing the course of events and of producing supernatural phenomena by the occult control of nature or of spirits; sorcery, witchcraft.

3) [noun] The fact or condition of being deceived or deluded by appearances; a deception, a delusion; an illusion.

4) [noun] an act or instance of deception; a dishonest artifice or trick; a fraud.

5) [noun] the fact of being not seen; disappearance.

6) [noun] the attachment caused by love; infatuation.

7) [noun] an expert in producing baffling effects by tricks and sleight of hand; a magician.

8) [noun] Lakṣmi, the Goddess of Wealth.

9) [noun] Pārvati, the principal energy of nature.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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Tamil dictionary

Source: DDSA: University of Madras: Tamil Lexicon

Maya (மய) [mayattal] 4 transitive verb < மயர்-. [mayar-.] To mistake, misunderstand; மயங்குதல். மயந்துளே னுலகவாழ்க்கையை [mayanguthal. mayanthule nulagavazhkkaiyai] (திருவருட்பா [thiruvarudpa], vi, அபயத்திறன். [apayathiran.] 14).

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Māyā (மாயா) noun < māyā. See மாயை. [mayai.]

context information

Tamil is an ancient language of India from the Dravidian family spoken by roughly 250 million people mainly in southern India and Sri Lanka.

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In Sikkhism

General definition (in Sikkhism)

Source: WikiPedia: 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.

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