What is Maya?
Maya is a Sanskrit word with no equivalent word in English.
Sanskrit māyā, from mā “not” and yā “this.
The nearest words can be an illusion, false belief, or mirage.
Fundamentally everything that has a finite lifetime that appears in the universe is a part of Maya, this may include our universe itself if it is having a finite lifetime, obviously, the derivatives of finite objects are also part of Maya like our emotions.
What is the purpose of the concept of “Maya“?
The existence of God is a fundamental and un-proven question, it is still in the realm of belief.
Whether you, believe it or not, is the way to go with the concept of God, to deal with this rationally, the concept of Maya is introduced.
First mentioned in Rigveda as a tool employed by gods to produce natural phenomena to sustain the world, for example, God Varuna produces rain.
Then as philosophy gets refined, the Maya is now is the cause of the phenomenal world emanated from ( God, Brahman, etc..)
as we go on the discussion is endless… and thus we are played by Maya.