Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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Read about Maya at Wikipedia or the Urday website (Maya the architect).

MAYA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] A Daitya who was the architect and artificer of the Asuras, as Viswakarma was the artificer of the Suras or gods. He was son of Viprachitti and father of Vajrakama and Mandodari, wife of Ravana.

He dwelt in the Devagiri mountains not very far from Delhi, and his chief works were in the neighbourhood of that city, where he worked for men as well as Daityas.

The Mahabharata speaks of a palace he built for the Pandavas. In the Harivansa he appears frequently both as victor and vanquished in contests with the gods.

MAYA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] 'Illusion, deception.'

Illusion personified as a female form or celestial origin, created for the purpose of beguiling some individual. Sometimes identified with Durga as the source of spells, or as a personification of the unrealityof worldly things. In this character she is called Mayadevi or Mahamaya.

māyā [Source: from the Monier Williams Sanskrit Dictionary]
. art, wisdom, extraordinary or supernatural power (only in the earlier language)
. illusion, unreality, deception, fraud, trick, sorcery, witchcraft magic
. an unreal or illusory image, phantom, apparition
. duplicity (with Buddhists one of the 24 minor evil passions).
. one of the 4 Pāśas or snares which entangle the soul
. one of the 9 Śaktis or energies of Vishṇu

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM