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What is Maya or Ignorance in Hinduism? – From Advaita Bodha Deepika

Disciple: What is this ignorance?

Master: Listen. In the body appears a phantom, the ‘false-I’, to claim the body for itself and it is called jiva.



This jiva always outward bent, taking the world to be real and himself to be the doer and experiencer of pleasures and pains, desirous of this and that, undiscriminating, not once remembering his true nature, nor enquiring “Who am I?, What is this world?”, is but wandering in the samsara without knowing himself. Such forgetfulness of the Self is Ignorance.

Disciple: All the shastras proclaim that this samsara is the handiwork of Maya but you say it is of Ignorance. How are the two statements to be reconciled?

Master: This Ignorance is called by different names such as Maya, Pradhana, Avyakta (the unmanifest), Avidya, Nature, Darkness and so on. Therefore the samsara is but the result of Ignorance.

Advaita Bodha Deepika