By Swami Harshananda
Śuddhamāyā literally means ‘pure māyā’.
In the Siddha system of medicine, śuddhamāyā is pure matter and aśuddha-māyā is impure matter. The aśuddha-māyā is corruptible whereas the śuddha-māyā is always incorruptible. When by a special method, the aśuddhamāyā is purified and brought into the line of śuddhamāyā, there will be no bodily death. However, the method has to be learnt from the expert Siddhas.
In Kāśmīr Śaivism, śuddhamāyā is the intrinsic power of Śiva to create the world, sustain it and withdraw it like the burning power of fire in its purest form. When it manifests itself in the form of the five kañcukas and apparently binds Śiva it becomes aśuddhamāyā or impure māyā.
- Kañcukas means sheaths.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore