Goddess Maya (Goddess Māyā) is the Hindu Goddess of Illusion and dreams who always shows the true reality. Yes, that’s right.
She is depicted in Hinduism and Vedic Mythology as the force that created and maintains the physical universe. This physical universe was created by Lord Brahma who is the supreme cosmic power of every physical object.
The ego, the individual, “mine”, and “yours”, are considered illusory, belonging to Maya. It is only through this illusion created by the consciousness that we can reach the truth, the highest and enlightened state of reality.
Sounds complex? Yes, indeed it is.
You can watch the video below where I explain Maya and you also continue reading this post for more details.
Why is Maya the Hindu Goddess of Illusion?
Before we finally try to understand why Maya is the Hindu Goddess of Illusion and dreams, we have to make some things clear.
It is important to differentiate Maya and Māyā. While in the western world we will usually read “Maya” referring to “Illusion” and to this Goddess, her original name is Māyā (pronounced maYA).
Maya, on the other hand, is a demon who also created his own Māyā. As it is very common to read Maya for this Goddess and for Illusion itself, in this post I’ll also write Maya to talk about her.
So when we consider Maya as an illusion, or something related to our own perception, we can infer she doesn’t really exist.
Maya can’t be real if we consider Brahma as the absolute truth and the only reality, but she can’t be unreal because she is the base of the physical universe.
Hence, her existence involves her own understanding without denying her, as well as the understanding of nature itself.
I told you it was complex. But it’s not impossible to understand it!
It is just like the occult face of the Triple Goddess, we may never fully understand her, but we know she’s real.
- Attributes: Goddess of illusion, dreams and creation, the one who turns the Wheel of Fate
- Symbols: Spider, Fig Tree
- Place: India
Goddess Maya – Mother and creator of realities
Goddess Maya is considered to be the eternal form of Shakti, the supreme feminine power and the Divine Mother.
This way she assumes all the forms and illuminates all the places. As a Divine Mother, she is much like Goddess Durga.
Maya is also considered to be part of Lord Shiva. She’s the source of illusions and dreams, remember? Consequently, Goddess Maya is the one who blinds everything in illusion, but at the same time, she’s the one who shows the truth.
In the Puranas we read that Shiva enter his own Maya and finally crossed it, getting to know reality itself.
In Buddhism, Maya (also Māyā) is considered the mother of Buddha. She is also called as Mahāmāyā (Great Māyā).
She died on the earthly plane a few days after the birth of her son and was resurrected 7 days later in the Buddhist sky. They say when her son meditated under a fig tree, they were connected.
Maya and the universal web
It is said the Goddess Maya is responsible for turning the Wheel of Destiny, and she is often seen as a spider weaving her web. Therefore she represents the Weaver archetype, also seen in many other cultures.
The spider, Maya’s main symbol, is also a symbol of creativity. The spider is able to weave its own world around itself; The spider is able to thrive in any place and in any situation thanks to its formidable ability of adaptation.
In many cultures, the spider is seen as the weaver of the universe. By weaving its web a spider is able to give life to new worlds, always connecting one to each other.
Is it possible to fully understand Goddess Maya?
Well, it depends on how much you’re familiar with this type of subject.
Goddess Maya comprehends a complex, yet common, subject when we talk about reality and even how our mind works. If you’re into psychology, you probably know about Freud’s Ego, Superego and Id; or maybe Jung’s Animus/Anima, Shadow, and Self.
In the end, Maya is the absolute truth and at the same time the illusions that keep us distracted from it.
It’s hard work to unveil Maya and to reach her.
Let’s walk it together.