What is the difference between Maya, Mahamaya and Yogamaya according to our holy scriptures?

  • curious to know the answer Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 9:43
  • In the following answer definitions of maya and mahamaya are given from the Tantras: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/21420
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 12:56
  • @Rickross thanks so much
    – user17294
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 12:57

1 Answer 1


Maya is a general word used for everything manifested aka Jada(unconscious matter)

As per Devi Bhagwatam, Mahamaya is the name of Shodashi or Tripura Sundari who governs the Maya(world and nature)

She is three-fold, furthermore, because she expresses herself in Brahma, Visnu, and Siva in her roles as creator, maintainer, and destroyer of the universe. She is threefold also because she represents the subject (maul), instrument (mina), and object (meya) of all things. Here again, she is identified with reality expressed in terms of speech, which involves a speaker, what is said, and objects to which the words refer.[12]

Tripura Sundari is also known by names as Ṣoḍaśī ("She who is the sixteenth"[13]), Lalitā, Kāmeśvarī, Śrīvidyā and Raj Rajeshwari.2 The Shodashi Tantra refers to Shodashi as the "Beauty of the Three Cities," or Tripurasundari.

She is Tripura because she is beyond the three Gunas. She dwells in the three worlds of manas, buddhi, and chitta. She is Trayi, the unified combination of the three gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. She is also known as Lalita (the graceful one) and Kameshwari (the desire principle of the Supreme).

The Vamakeshvara tantra says that Tripura-sundari dwells on the peaks of the Himalayas; is worshiped by sages and heavenly nymphs; has a body like pure crystal; wears a tiger skin, a snake as a garland around her neck, and her hair tied in a jata; holds a trident and drum; is decorated with jewels, flowers, and ashes; and has a large bull as a vehicle.

The Saundaryalahari and the Tantrasara describe her in detail from her hair to her feet. The Tantrasara dhyna mantra says that she is illuminated by the jewels of the crowns of Brahma and Vishnu, which fell at her feet when they bowed down to worship her.

Yogmaya is the specific name given to sister of Lord Vishnu/Krishna. There is temple dedicated to her, which clearly describes her to be Goddess Durga only.

It is believed that the main idol in the temple was that of Yogamaya, an incarnation of Durga, born as the sister of Krishna. Kansa, cousin of Devaki (mother of Krishna) and uncle of Yogamaya and Kansa attempted to kill Yogamaya on Krishna Janmastami day when Krishna was born. But Yogamaya, who was cleverly substituted for Krishna, vanished after predicting Kansa's death at the hands of her brother Krishna

In conclusion, same deity is known with different names.Mahamaya is the name used by Shaktas when Devi is seen as Brahman/God while Yogmaya(sister of Vishnu) is the name used by Vaishnavas when Vishnu is seen as Brahman/God while Parvati/Kaali is the name used by Shaivas when Shiva is seen as Brahman.

  • very interesting, thank you! Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 19:57

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