Ignorance (maya) is like a ghost of a tribal woman, which once possessed a great pandit in a Himalayan hermitage. The unfortunate pandit sang and danced like any tribal damsel; he swore and cursed in the ghost dialect, and everyone in the hermitage became ashamed of his company. At last, when the ghost was exorcised and the pandit was freed, he became his original self. He remembered nothing of his pranks and blabberings. Humanity is similarly possessed by the ghost of ignorance (maya). The ghost has to be driven out. – Divine Discourse, July 17, 1962 What is maya? Maya comes from the Sanskrit meaning “that which is not” and there is ‘illusion’. Sages described it in different ways but common idea is that our body, mind, and intellect (“BMI”) can mislead our soul and entangle and entrap it into bondage. Frankly, the soul aspires to control and enjoy matter. However, the BMI complex builds the qualities such as desire, anger, greed, ego, attachment, and jealousy to create illusion. In Mahabharata, when Duryodhana enters the hall of illusion (Maya Sabha) at Indraprasth, built by the great master of illusion, he loses his way, becomes confused and envious. When Draupadi laughs at him, he becomes uncontrollably angry, feeling insulted, and vows to take revenge against the Pandava clan for their audacity to display their power and wealth to belittle him in the presence of women. The world is also not very different from the hall of illusions. We also live here enveloped by illusion, in a state of ignorance about ourselves, whereby we fail to discriminate between truth and falsehood, become confused, engaging ourselves in egoistic struggles and binding actions, and lose our connection with the supreme Divine Being which should be our destiny. Maya has three effects such as obscuring, projecting, and revealing. The obscuring or veiling effect cuts off our vision of perfect unity. This is how creation is made. Its projecting effect casts forth all these broken reflections that we see around us. This sustains the world. Maya’s revealing effect occurs only when we contemplate all these different forms with the idea that are in essence one with everything. This destroys our ego and makes the illusion disappear to break the cycle of birth and death. The deception of thoughts and associated happiness traps us into a never-ending phenomenon called life and cycle of birth and death. It is the desires and attachments that puts us in contact with the objects of our world. Once we experience it, we enter a trap of journeying for ever and stop thinking about going back. We become imprisoned into our thoughts and resultant desires, undergoing a series of births and deaths delaying our liberation. Bhagavad Gita teaches us that the true meaning of the word Moksha is not salvation but destruction of delusion that precedes salvation. To achieve this, correct understanding of the mechanism of maya is essential. That is the way to release ourselves from the bondage and the pair of opposites such as pain and pleasure or sorrow and happiness. Mahayana Buddhism explains maya with eight examples of illusion such as magic, a dream, a bubble, a rainbow, lightning, the moon reflected in water, a mirage, and a city of celestial musicians none of which is real. We get unshakable faith in our own mental phenomena, believing it is real. Mind is a cauldron of thoughts that develop into desires and attachments. We inquire about the outer world in which we live but we failed to ask the questions to get to the truth in our inner world. Paying attention only to the body is like paying attention to the gift wrapper, paying attention only to the mind is like viewing the gift and paying attention to the divine existence inside is like paying attention to the love inherent in the gift.