Worshipping Maya

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Fri Sep 10 02:06:47 CDT 1999

On Thu, 2 Sep 1999, Vivek Anand Ganesan wrote:

> Hello :
>    Is there a tradition among Advaitins of worshipping Maya as a goddess?
> I have heard that there is a deity at ShrI Rangam in TN (the ShrI Vaishnava capital)
> called Maya. There are also stories of Vishnu acting like Maya etc.
> Thanks in advance,
> -Vivek.

I am reminded of the shloka from the Chandi Path (5:12):

ya devi sarvabhuteshu vishnumayeti shabdita |
namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namah ||

That Goddess who in all beings is  known as Vishnumaya
I bow down to again and again and again.

Shri Bhaskararaya quotes in his commentary on this verse a shloka from the
Kalika Purana stating that it is Shakti in the form of Vishnu Bhagawan's
maya which is responsible for sustaining the world.  Another commentary
the Damshoddhara makes a more explicitly Vedantic equation of Vishnumaya
with mula avidya--the external ignorance which is responsible for worldly

Maya is also mentioned as an Asura.  He is supposed to be the divine
architect and the author of the Shilpashastras and also the redactor of
the Surya Siddhanta and other astronomical works.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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