Mayadevi as we know, has four forms namely jeeva-maya, maha-maya, yoga-maya and leela-shakti. Out of these 4 types of maya, maha-maya is out of scope for human beings. Maha-maya is that which is experienced by devatas or demi-gods or even those humans who display god-like potencies while still on the material plane. Out of the other 3 types of maya, the most relevant are jeeva-maya and yoga-maya. Jeeva-maya is applicable to the materialists or people who are karmis, who do not surrender to the fact that Vishnu or Krishna is the Supreme personality of God-head. Yoga-maya is most relevant for devotees who have accepted Krishna or Vishnu as Supreme and then there is leela-shakti which is applicable to jeevas who have attained the platform of eternity, knowledge and bliss, where the Supreme Lord is well within their grasp.
Yoga-maya devi is that aspect of the “chit” aspect of the Lord which engages us in the eternal service of the Lord. However understanding Yoga-maya in its intricate forms makes it easy for a devotee to perform Krishna Bhajana well. The journey of the jeeva from the grip of yoga-maya to leela-shakti is interesting and intricate. Maya-devi of any kind is eternally engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord and life-times of jeevas is not a consideration when it comes to maya-devi’s eternal duty of cleansing jeevas and then handing them over to Bhagawan for His utility! During the process of consciousness transformation the jeeva first become aware of the Lord for the first time through the agent of jeeva-maya. Then Yoga-maya further cleanses the jeeva and finally leela-shakti engages the jeeva in both samsara-leela and then nitya leela. Samsara leela (earthly pastimes) represents that aspect of the life of the jeeva which is used in the service of the Lord through which other jeevas are “enabled” and then after Samsara leela , to enter the transcendental pastimes of the Lord in one’s attained eternal body which is beyond birth, death, disease and old-age.
Yoga-maya Devi is most intricate of all the forms of maya. Yoga-maya although engages one in the service of the Lord also opens up the jeeva’s consciousness which is an extremely deep-rooted aspect of the jeeva’s “swabhava” or the way of the jeeva’s conditioning, spanning millions of life-times. The conditioning referred to here is material consciousness. These are blind spots existing in the depths of the jeeva’s consciousness which is yet not suffused with the Lord’s brilliance. These are areas where still the six enemies of the jeeva namely lust, anger, greed, illusion, pride and envy rule in their most subtle forms. Yoga-maya achieves this task of exposing the jeeva through the most potent agent of another living entity firmly established in leela-shakti who is none other than the Sadhguru or the living spiritual master. Yoga-maya does not work deep enough on a devotee who has not personally surrendered to a living spiritual master. With the aid of the spiritual master, a devotee is then easily led by Yoga-Mayadevi to the domain of leela-shakti.