It is a Godly power which (along with Kal Niranjan) has brought into existence the entire creation in its different forms and shapes and which regulates its entire working. We all are surrounded by this great power and its effect is visible in all phases of our activity. We are whirling round within the glossy sphere of Maya, clinging at times to one or the other of the objects in view thinking it to be Reality. Our senses, feelings and emotions give it a new colouring and mould our actions accordingly. We remain entangled within the snare of Maya, without any hope of emancipation until we divert our attention towards the unchanging Reality at the root. This vast circle of material manifestation, the direct result of Maya, is unlimited. In it we go round and round with ceaseless motion like the rim of a wheel, ever farther and farther away from the pivot.
Maya is also called Ignorance, which is a powerful force that turns truth to falsehood and falsehood to truth, unconscious to conscious and conscious to unconscious, happiness to sorrow and sorrow to happiness. It is capable of showing great illusions to those who are unaware of their own Saroop/True-Nature. This universe, objects, divisions of time, they are all mere fragments of imagination but appear real due to the power of ignorance. But there is no relation of Self with ignorance. Night, and everything that dwells under its shelter disappears when the sun rises; similarly, night of ignorance disappears when lamp of Knowledge is lit within, and with it end all vices, sorrows, and the cycle of life and death. The mind, which is home to all sorrows, is not a part of the Self but appears so due to ignorance. Even that illusion disappears when Self becomes apparent and the only Avastha that becomes is that of Parmanand, Oneness, the Smaadh Roop. Abhiyaas based on this thought is only way to liberation.
e.g [ Seeeing snake instead of rope, or water instead of desert; snake or water do not really exist but appear real because of ignorance. Similarly, the whole world appears real because of this force of Maya. ]
Basically, Maya has 3 powers. Once the following problems are overcome, we can meet God. Basically, Avaran's responsibility is to hide the original thing; Mal's job is to show something different; Vikshape's responsibility is create "change" in the thing that Mal showed so that mind feels happiness and sadness.
Avaran has hidden the truth (Atma/Soul) and Mal has showed this world and eventually Vikshape confirms this world is truth and creates happiness and sadness.
e.g [ Suppose in some dark, there is a rope but Avaran hides it. Mal confirms that it is Snake and Vikshape generates fear, and Dil dharkada ha. But when light came, all 3 things gets removed. i.e with light, rope is seen as rope; the illusion of snake is removed; the fear and its related things (like how to save myself, how to kill snake etc.) are removed and eventually mind is at peace. Same way, whenever Brahmgyan (Light of True Knowledge) came it removes the world created of the ignorance and eventually removes other things created because of world-thinking (like Dukh, Klesh, Asa, Trishna, Chinta etc). Sat-Chit-Anand is produced and we will see that the whole world is just God. ]
e.g [ Look at the following image. If your eyes follow the movement of the rotating pink dot, you will only see one color, pink. If you stare at the black + in the center, the moving dot turns to green. If you concentrate on the black + in the center of the picture; after a short period of time, all the pink dots will slowly disappear, and you will only see a green dot rotating if you're lucky! There really is no green dot, and the pink ones really don't disappear. This should be proof enough, we don't always see what we think we see and similarly our senses are also not reliable. ]
This world exists because of the above mentioned forces i.e because of Maya; it's just like dream nothing more than that.
Types of Maya
Chatan maya, Jar maya, Sukham maya.