We know that without the background of being, there can be no world…The real is one, yet we have two…As to how the primal reality in which the divine light (Īśwara) shines everlastingly can yet be the source and fount of all empirical being, we can only say it is a mystery, māyā 1….

The most modest course for philosophers would be to admit a mystery at the center of things. Ko ved…kuth iyam visriśtī : who knows whence this creation is born ? It is a mystery we cannot penetrate and a wise agnosticism is the only rational attitude.

  1. māyā2 : as Power of Self – Becoming : As the power of self-becoming māyā2 is that which measures out, molding forms in the formless. Māyā2 is closely related to theories of creation. Whereas māyā1 is an epistemological concept, māyā2 is a cosmogonic concept. It refers to the creative activity which R. identifies as poise two of reality – Īśwara…..”The power of self-becoming” is R’s translation of ātmavibhūti , a compound of ātman andbhū plus vi. Ātman cannot be translated into English adequately, but it is often rendered self. Monier Williams says the prefix vi plus the verbal root bhū in the Rg Veda means “to arise, be developed or manifested, expand, appear.” Therefore, ātmavibhūti means “the arising, developing, manifesting, expanding or appearing of the self “….

Theoretical philosophy, interested in deducing the world of being from the first principle of an Absolute self which has nothing contingent about it, is obliged, whether in East or West , to accept some principle of self-expression (māyā ), of objectivity…. The self limitation of the primal consciousness, or the rise of the obstacle against which the self breaks itself, has to be assumed, however incomprehensible it may be….