The Concept of Avidya & Maya

How can we explain the concept of Avidya and Maya? Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji (Founder of Art of Living) explaining the concept of Avidya and Maya in his own words…

Maya means all that can be measured. The English word measure comes from the Sanskrit wordMaya. ‘Miyate anaya iti maya

Miyate means to be measured. Everything that can be measured is Maya. The five elements can be measured: earth, water, fire, air, ether. They all can be measured. So the world which is made up of the five elements is all Maya, because they all can be measured. What cannot be measured? Compassion, love cannot be measured. You can’t say, ‘This person has three ounces of love, and that person has five ounces of love.’

Truth cannot be measured, beauty cannot be measured. You can’t say, ‘This lady has five units of beauty and that lady has three units of beauty.’ Beauty is immeasurable. Love, beauty, compassion, truth, integrity, honesty; all these qualities of the spirit are immeasurable. So, they are not Maya. They are Maheshvara – nature of the Self.

Maya also means all that is changing and that which can be measured; and measurements change. Everything in the world is subject to change.

So one meaning of Maya is, everything in the world is changing, and everything in the world can be measured, this is another meaning.

And that what is not changing, and what cannot be measured is consciousness, the Self, Bramhan or the Universal Energy.

Avidya means study of this change, measuring things.

There are two things: Vidya and AvidyaVidya means study of consciousness and Avidya means study of the world; smaller things.

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3 Comments

  1. Acsd says:

    Namaste , Maya means is not this,avidya kama karmabhir ,ignorance created scarcity through kama then the karmabhir the nature law make one to suffer the vikarma made by his karma,akarma is very far away like yoga Maya,the whole world is in maha Maya,chanting hare Krishna maha mantra is the yuga dharma for this age to get out from the great illusion of maha Maya, daso SMI acsd haribol

    • Acsd says:

      Jay Sri Sri Radha syam , it’s a very good service for the Vaishnava community, very nice newsletter but harenama Eva kevalam kalau nasty Eva…. Param vijayate Sri Krishna sankirtanam,daso SMI acsd haribol

  2. Acsd says:

    Pamho agtacbsp, avidya mean ignorance and vidya is the science of the soul,you can look in the Sanskrit book, thank you for the newsletter , all glories to Sri caitanya mahaprabhu the golden avatara HE explain all this in the caitanya mangala hare Krishna