This is a story regarding Maya casting a spell on Lord Vishnu himself when he came down to earth with a form. This story is told by Swami Ranganathananda, as one narrated by Sri Ramakrishna. In Varaha avatar, after killing Hiranyaksha, and restoring the earth to its proper place, Lord Vishnu continued to be in the boar’s body for some time and had a wife and children and was enjoying the boar’s life. The Devas were concerned with the prolonged absence of the Lord from Vaikuntha. So they went and prayed to Him to return to Vaikuntha casting off the boar’s body. But Lord was caught up by the spell of Maya in the boar’s form and so told them “Don’t trouble me. I am very happy here and I find this life pleasant and care-free. So go away without troubling me”. They then went to Lord Siva and prayed “Kindly talk Him out of this Maya and make Him return to Vaikuntha”. Lord Siva went and told Him “Your work is over, throw away this boar’s body and return to Vaikuntha”. But Lord Vishnu who had taken a liking to boar’s life, under the spell of Maya refused to leave the sow and piglets imagining them as His wife and children. Lord Siva, finding no other way, took His trident and pierced the boar’s body and out emerged Lord Vishnu with the spell of Maya broken. He thanked Lord Siva and laughingly remarked “Maya does not spare us also when We go down to earth and take an earthly form” and returned to Vaikuntha.
The above story illustrates the power of Maya, which is a reality of experience on earth and which cannot be overcome without the Grace of Supreme Brahman. It does not spare even Iswara under whose control it is, when He comes down to earth in an earthly form. It has two powerful allies, ego and mind in its role of keeping lives under its spell. Controlling mind through meditation and subduing ego through acceptance, called saranagathi, one can keep the Maya in check until one gets Athma-jnana. Athma-jnana, which is the firm unshakeable knowledge of one’s real Self as Brahman, breaks totally the spell of Maya, as the piercing of the boar’s body by Lord Siva’s trident, and liberates.