Introduction to Maya
From Shiva emerges the kingdom of Maya, the manifestation of the differentiated world. Maya is often translated as illusion—but the idea of a Self created veil which conceals our true nature is more accurate (see Tattvas).
It makes universal Consciousness which is unity, appear as duality and multiplicity. Oneness and bliss become multiplicity and suffering. Shiva and Shakti enter the tunnel of maya and in all their cosmic glory, their freedom and joy, and come out the other end as the human subject and his objective world, bound and miserable.
Maya is Shakti, the mother of the universe, and her modes of creativity are the 3 gunas. Within her lies the three malas which prevent us from seeing our own true nature. She descends, the veil comes down, and we make mistakes.