Vaiṣṇava Siddhānta Mālā Part 1 – Chapter Four
(The World is Real)
Question: Some say that the world is mithya (false), it is created by māyā (the material potency). What is the truth?
Answer: This world is real, but it is temporary. Satya (real) and nitya (eternal) – these two adjectives have different meanings. The world is not eternal because, according to the Lord’s will, at some time it will be destroyed. This world is a reality, it is not false. In some places the śāstra says that this world is false, but it is to be understood that this refers to its impermanence.
Question: What is māyā?
Answer: Bhagavān has His para-śakti, and amongst His unlimited powers, we can identify three potencies. These three potencies are – cid-vikrama (the spiritual energy), jīva-vikrama (the marginal energy) and māyā-vikrama (the material energy). Through the cid-vikrama, the bhagavat-tattva manifests His direct forms (sphūrti), and His expansions (prakāśa). From the jīva-vikrama, the unlimited finite conscious jīvas are manifested. Everything that manifests from the māyā-vikrama is temporary, and although maya creates it, still it is real.