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In Hindu mythology, Maya (मय), or Mayasura (मयासुर) was a great ancient king of the Asura, Daitya and Rakshasa races upon earth. He was also the chief architect of the peoples of the netherworlds.

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Tripura

He was the designer and king of the three flying cities, known as the Tripura. They were great cities of prosperity, power and dominance over the world, but due to their impious nature, Maya's cities were torched out of the sky by Lord Shiva. However, Maya escapes the destruction, as he is a devotee of Lord Shiva.

In the Ramayana

He built his capital and called it Maya Rashtra, now Meerut. Maya is the father of Mandodari, the beautiful wife of Ravana, the emperor of Lanka. Maya is also regarded as a hero and father-figure for many rakshasa, asura, and daitya heroes in Hindu epics.

In the Mahābhārata

Maya Sabha on the inaugural day, with Pandava king Yudhisthira on the throne

When his life is spared by Krishna and Arjuna during the destruction of the Khandava forest, Maya offers his services to them. Krishna instructs Maya to construct a fabulous palace hall for Arjuna's elder brother, king Yudhisthira, at Indraprastha, which becomes the Mayasabha, renowned, beautiful and the largest of its kind. It had many specialities such as highly reflective floors that were easily mistaken as the surface of a pool of still water. There was also at least one pool of water, the surface of which mimicked a decorated floor, into which Duryodhana fell, and was subsequently taunted and humiliated by Draupadi.

See also

External links

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