“There is an infinite field stretching as far as the eye can see and beyond, but it is blocked by a large wall. In that wall there is a hole.”
This story, though obvious in its meaning to those who are familiar with Hindu stories, still warrants explanation. There is a field, a wall and the main object of the story, a hole in that wall. The import is as follows. Brahman, the Absolute, is the infinite stretch of landscape, spreading farther than the eye can see, or in this case, as the mind can comprehend. The wall is Maya, the obscuring and distorting power that limits, deludes and confuses living beings.
The meaning thus far is clear. Brahman is infinite, is everywhere and underlies everything. Due to an unexplainable power inherent in It called Maya, Its vast expanse gets apparently divided. Thus does the Absolute transform, as it were, into the relative, Its nameless, formless Essence metamorphosing into conceptualization and matter. Though unbelievable, Maya makes it possible somehow.
There is a hole in this impenetrable wall of Maya, however, a wall that none can cross over by themselves. This, of course, is Ishvara, the Lord or Divine Mother assuming an embodied condition to assist beings in transcending their delusion in order to see clearly once again. Struggling with this world of illusions and appearances, living beings wander, as it were, up and down the entire expanse of this miraculous wall of Maya with its many twists and turns and various hypnotic and colorful patterns. There is no way of seeing through it except this one.
The Lord and Divine Mother of the Universe, Shiva and Shakti, called Ishvara and Ishvari in this rendering, in Their mercy and compassion for embodied beings, force an opening in the wall of Maya from time to time, allowing beings a mind-transforming glimpse of the Ultimate Reality that lies beyond the universe, transcendent of nature and its multitudes of mystifying configurations and alluring appearances. However, this opening in the fabric of Maya does not exist for long in any given time or age. When this Divine Couple withdraws, an age of darkness ensues and beings are hard put to make any sense out of the confusion and chaos that follows. Nor do they recognize the divinity dwelling within themselves or in others at that time. This is a great mystery, but one that Ishvara makes sense out of. The Avatar, a manifestation of Ishvara, rends a hole in the wall of Maya, then, and affords aspirants a glimpse of Reality.