Anandamayi Ma on Maya

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April 5, 2017

Shambhavi riffs on Anandamayi Ma’s teachings about impermanence and the nature of Maya. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi.


Some of you may have heard me talk about the concept of Maya. In Advaita Vedanta, and also in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which are very often the philosophical basis for a lot of the ways yoga is taught in this country, Maya is defined as illusion. We know this from the time of Abhinavagupta and before that. The difference between how Kashmir Shaivism interprets Maya and the way Vedanta, Advaita Vedanta, or Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras defines it, is one of the key ways of understanding why the Tantrik tradition is so different from mainstream Hinduism in its view.

So, in Kashmir Shaivism and by Abhinavagupta, Maya is defined as a Shakti, a creative power. That Shakti creates by covering certain aspects of reality and thereby creating different patterns. So, in other words, Maya is the shakti of diversity. If we just think of unconditioned Shiva Nature, then we think of something that is alive and aware and intelligent and brilliant – but formless. If we look at our world, of course, we’re experiencing all kinds of crazy forms. So how do you create a form out of the formless? You have to limit the formless in order to create form.

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Satsang with Shambhavi is a weekly podcast about spirituality, love, death, devotion and waking up while living in a messy world.