Is the mind not the same as Maya? Both are mysterious powers of the Self that may be seen as either a veil or a distorting mirror, at the same time showing or reflecting Reality and hiding or distorting it. Thus the one Self appears as many, starting with the triad of God, the soul and the world. All divisions, time and becoming residing also in the mind. In a way the mind seems to be all, the locus of ignorance and also, in it or through it, of illumination. If so, the mind is a tool to be used to the maximum of its capacity in the way to knowledge, to the Truth. Is that not the first requirement if it ever is going to be transcended? (I am leaving aside the virtues and faith, not to speak of Grace).
The human mind is not the same as Maya, since Maya is universal and the mind is personal: under normal circumstances, your human mind doesn’t have access to other minds. Maya is the power of the Self that creates the world and the individual minds. It cannot be said either that Maya distorts Reality any more than it can be said that the movie distorts the screen onto which it is projected. The objects in the movie are many, one single screen supports them.
The mind can be said to be the locus of ignorance since ignorance is the identification of the Self with the limited body-mind. As a result of this identification, the mind, a simple tool, becomes the slave of ignorance and its powers are used to build up layers of belief systems and feeling systems consistent with this identification. At some point, as a result of grace, of an action of the sovereign freedom of the Self, the desire for liberation takes birth. The mind becomes from that moment on the servant of this liberation, using its powers to deconstruct the belief and feeling structures generated by ignorance.
The mind is not the locus of enlightenment, which is the direct experience of the Self, by the Self, through the Self, without any intermediary agent such as thoughts, body sensations or external sense perceptions. However, your statement " the mind is a tool to be used to the maximum of its capacity in the way to knowledge" is correct as shown in the previous paragraph.
In Truth and Love,