Maya means illusion, everyone knows that, or do they?

Maya as value.

Maya as illusion is an illusion, a simplification, and an incomplete spin. Maya, in my opinion, brings creative balance to a world of attributes that are necessary on the path to awakening.

Maya is a feminine characteristic that adds value to any experience or object. It is what makes the masculine dharma or work enjoyable and satisfying. It brings balance into our lives. It brings beauty into our world.

When my teacher mentioned this for the first time, I made a note; I couldn’t really believe what he was saying. Then I went to Wikipedia and found Maya early on did not mean illusion at all but implied Specific Knowledge. In the Vedas Maya as false knowledge or ignorance was never once, not even once mentioned.

I am not a Sanskrit scholar but I am a curious yoga teacher. How can a term, which we in the yoga world, across the board translate as illusion, be full of so much rich content?

Maya is the place of spiritual understanding, she is the life of the spiritual world, she is supernatural power, and she protects the earth.

Maya is not the stuff of work ethic and goal oriented living, it is not the place of class and careers. Maya balances work, she balances goals, she offers ritual, and she is metaphysical, epistemological, mythical and magical.

Strange if somewhere along the path of evolution we decided these qualities were unreal? If we relegated all that is feminine to the veil? If we decided that the realm of the imagination and the magical were not important and thereby irrelevant?

In my opinion the mythical is not false, it lives in a space where the vastness of reality is talked about, pointed to and humbly described. It is, in my opinion so important to keep Maya alive. We must make space for the wonder. In our world of data and apps we need room for (as Radhakrishnan describes her) the might and power that is Maya.

PS Maya was Buddha’s mother……duh.

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