Generally Māyāvādī philosophers are perplexed before a learned Vaiṣṇava because the Māyāvādīs cannot explain the cause of bondage of the living entities. They simply say, "It is due to ignorance," but they cannot explain how the living entities can be covered by ignorance if they are supreme. The actual reason is that the living entities, although qualitatively one with the Supreme, are infinitesimal, not infinite. Had they been infinite, there would have been no possibility of their being covered by ignorance. Because the living entity is infinitesimal, he can be covered by an inferior energy. The foolishness and ignorance of the Māyāvādīs are revealed when they try to explain how the infinite can be covered by ignorance. It is offensive to attempt to qualify the infinite by arguing that He is subject to the spell of ignorance.
Although Śaṅkara attempted to cover the Supreme Lord by his Māyāvāda philosophy, he was simply following the order of the Supreme Lord. It should be understood that his teachings were a timely necessity but not a permanent fact. In the Vedānta-sūtra the distinction between the energy and the energetic is accepted from the very beginning. The second aphorism of the Vedānta-sūtra—janmādy asya yataḥ—-clearly states that the Supreme Absolute Truth is the source of all emanations. Thus the emanations are the energy of the Supreme, whereas the Supreme Himself is the energetic. Śaṅkara has falsely argued that if the transformation of energy is accepted, the Supreme Absolute Truth cannot remain immutable. But this is not true. Despite the fact that unlimited energy is always being generated, the Supreme Absolute Truth remains always the same. He is not affected by the emanation of unlimited energies. Śaṅkarācārya has therefore incorrectly established his theory of illusion.