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Mahamaya and Yogamaya

Mahamaya, the mother or source of this material world, and the delegated demigods are but diverse external energies or agencies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Under the direction of the Personality of Godhead, these agencies perform their respective functions in the administration of the universal laws. That is the information we have from the Bhagavad-gita, in which the Personality of Godhead declares that only under His direction does the material energy produce the material world, and the whole administration of the universes is thus controlled, ultimately by Him.

The internal energy of Godhead is different. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita—there is another permanent energy of Godhead that is never destroyed, even after the annihilation of the whole cosmic manifestation. That internal energy is different from mahamaya and she is called yogamaya.

The permanent universe is the creation of yogamaya. Those who want unalloyed loving service to the Personality of Godhead must ask for the mercy of yogamaya. Those who want to satisfy their own senses or those who desire to become one with the impersonal Brahman because of being baffled by the pursuit of sense gratification worship mahamaya or the predominating demigods respectively.

The damsels of Vraja worshiped yogamaya to get the son of the King of Vraja as their husband or lover, while others within the system of material varnasrama-dharma worship mahamaya, the superintending Deity of the material world, to alleviate distress. There is a gulf of difference between the results of these two varieties of worship, and the attempt to equalize such diametrically opposed activities is like the jaundiced eye seeing everything as yellow. Such is the vision of the diseased person in ignorance.

[Excerpted from the Bhaktivedanta VedaBase 2011.1]

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