kartṛtvaṁ prakṛteḥ pumān
guṇair ātmani manyate
evam—in this way; para—other; abhidhyānena—by identification; kartṛtvam—the performance of activities; prakṛteḥ—of the material nature; pumān—the living entity; karmasu kriyamāṇeṣu—while the activities are being performed; guṇaiḥ—by the three modes; ātmani—to himself; manyate—he considers.
Because of his forgetfulness, the transcendental living entity accepts the influence of material energy as his field of activities, and thus actuated, he wrongly applies the activities to himself.
The forgetful living entity can be compared to a man who is under the influence of disease and has become mad or to a man haunted by ghosts, who acts without control and yet thinks himself to be in control. Under the influence of material nature, the conditioned soul becomes absorbed in material consciousness. In this consciousness, whatever is done under the influence of the material energy is accepted by the conditioned soul as self-actuated. Actually, the soul in his pure state of existence should be in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. When a person is not acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is understood to be acting in material consciousness. Consciousness cannot be killed, for the symptom of the living entity is consciousness. The material consciousness simply has to be purified. One becomes liberated by accepting Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Lord, as master and by changing the mode of consciousness from material consciousness to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
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