Maya is the external energy of the most ancient person, the Supreme Being from which the entire Creation sprang up. All forms of life big and small emerged by the Will of the Supreme Being. Maya appears in two forms. One is Yoga-Maya and the other is Jeev-Maya. Yoga-Maya appears in the world for emancipation of the embodied souls, the Jeevas while Jeev-Maya appears to be enjoyed by the Jeevas but it turns out that the Jeevas get consumed by this great energy of the Lord keeping the Jeevas coming back in circles on the earthly platform, without any respite.
For the good of the Jeevas, the Supreme Being who is also the Supreme Controller enters the hearts of all Jeevas as the Supreme Controller and witness. The same Controller then splits Himself as one (the mind) and then as ten (the ten senses). It is the Supreme Controller who makes the Jeevas enjoy the pleasure of sense through the senses. All this happens only because the senses are being illuminated by the Inner Controller. The enjoyment aspect occurs because of the power of Maya. But Maya cannot function without the light of the Supreme Being. As the soul or Jeeva enjoys with its senses, it gets identified with the senses and the sense objects. Since the enjoyment process proceeds through the body, the Jeeva identifies the body as its source. This happens because of the deep indulgence of the senses with the objects of the world. This misapprehension is caused by the power of Maya alone.
Performing various actions with the body and mind and thoroughly identifying oneself with the body-mind, the Jeeva cannot differentiate between body, mind, intellect and the senses. This is its misfortune. Maya, causes the Jeeva to perform actions through interested motives. Hence for a jeev identified with the body unless there is no “interested motive” and no “expected result”, no action can proceed. This is the sorry state of the jeev, under the influence of Maya. Because of “interested motives”, the jeev is made to perform both agreeable and disagreeable activities that produce agreeable and disagreeable consequences proceeding from current and past lives making the jeev revolve relentlessly in the whirligig called mundane life. The various forms that the jeev takes is dictated by the consequences that he has earned from past actions of many lifetimes. The jeev helplessly has to simply undergo repeated births and deaths till the final dissolution of creation.
When the final dissolution of the five gross elements become imminent, the Time-Spirit which is the energy behind creation, without beginning or end, actually withdraws the manifest universe consisting of gross and subtle matter which includes the universal mind, an aggregate of all individual minds as well as the Cosmic mind, which includes the ultra-subtle worlds of sound, towards the Unmanifest or primordial matter, the very source of matter. As this process starts happening, deadly droughts shall infest earth lasting for a hundred years. The sun shall heat up earth as a result of the drought. Thus as each of the five elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether get withdrawn, it shall cause a 100 years of devastation by each element as it goes back to the Cosmic source. Smell, if withdrawn from earth shall cause it to be drawn into water, causing a 100 years of floods. Taste is withdrawn from water and water draws into fire while the universe rages as a fire ball for a hundred years. When sight is withdrawn into its source, the fire merges into wind causing storms for a 100 years. The aspect of touch being withdrawn wind is absorbed by ether causing vacuum and endless space exposed, where once existed a lively earthly platform. Space then gets devoid of sound after a gap of 100 years and then space merges into the cosmic ego which is in the mode of ignorance. The Cosmic senses and intellect which belongs to the sum-total of all the Jeevas that once existed in physical form merge in the ego in the mode of passion and the mind with the deities born of the illuminated ego into the knowledge of the Self. The ego with its triple modification merges into the Mahat-tattva, the unmanifest aspect of Maya. Mahat tattva in turn merges with Prakriti or the elemental Nature and this ultimately merges into Brahman. This is the teaching available in the 11th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatham.