In Hinduism, a powerful force that creates the cosmic illusion that the phenomenal world is real. The word maya originally referred to the wizardry with which a god can make human beings believe in what turns out to be an illusion, and its philosophical sense is an extension of this meaning. The concept is especially important in the Advaita school of the orthodox system of Vedanta, which sees maya as the cosmic force that presents the infinite Brahman as the finite phenomenal world.
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