In Sanskrit, maya means
“illusion.” And often, maya is
used to refer to material existence.
In the Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra writes: “Maya does not mean that the
world is an illusion, as is often wrongly stated. The illusion merely lies in our point of view. Maya is the illusion of mistaking or
relative perspective for reality, of confusing the map with the
territory.” One explanation is
that the material world exists, but it is only temporary. It is like a dream, having substance
for a short period of time.
Material existence, or matter, is not forever; it is limited and
measurable. Spiritual things, on
the other hand, are limitless. The
Demigoddess named Maya creates a situation where we live a life of illusion and
forgetfulness. Her spiritual
counterpart, Yogamaya, creates an atmosphere where we can penetrate the world’s
illusions and relish intimacy with the source of all existence.