kvacit puman kvacic ca stri
kvacin nobhayam andha-dhih
devo manusyas tiryag va
kvacit—sometimes; puman—male; kvacit—sometimes; ca—also; stri—female; kvacit—sometimes; na—not; ubhayam—both; andha—blind; dhih—he whose intelligence; devah—demigod; manusyah—human being; tiryak—animal, bird, beast; va—or; yatha—according to; karma—of activities; gunam—the qualities; bhavah—birth.
Covered by the mode of ignorance in material nature, the living entity is sometimes a male, sometimes a female, sometimes a eunuch, sometimes a human being, sometimes a demigod, sometimes a bird, an animal, and so on. In this way he is wandering within the material world. His acceptance of different types of bodies is brought about by his activities under the influence of the modes of nature.
Actually the living entity is part and parcel of the Lord; therefore he is spiritual in quality. The living entity is never material, and his material conception is simply a mistake due to forgetfulness. He is as brilliant as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Both the sun and the sunshine are very brilliant. The Lord is like the full shining sun, and the living entities are like the small particles of that sun which constitute the all-pervasive sunshine. When these small particles are covered by the cloud of maya, they lose their shining capacity. When the cloud of maya is gone, the particles again become brilliant and shining. As soon as the living entity is covered by the ignorance of maya, or darkness, he cannot understand his relationship with the Supreme God. Somehow or other, if he comes before the Lord, he can see himself as shining as the Supreme Lord, although he is not as extensive as the Lord. Because the living entity desires to imitate the Supreme Lord, he is covered by maya. We cannot imitate the Lord, nor can we become the supreme enjoyer. This is not possible, and when we think it is, we become conditioned by maya. Thus the encagement of the living entity under the clutches of maya is brought about by forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme Lord.
Under the influence of maya, the living entity becomes exactly like a person haunted by a ghost. Such a person speaks all kinds of nonsense. When the living entity is covered by the influence of maya, he becomes a so-called scientist, philosopher, politician or socialist, and at every moment presents different plans for the benefit of human society. All these plans are ultimately failures because they are illusory. In this way the living entity forgets his position as an eternal servant of the Lord. He instead becomes a servant of maya. In any case he remains a servant. It is his misfortune that by forgetting his real contact with the Supreme Lord, he becomes a servant of maya. As servant of maya, he sometimes becomes a king, sometimes an ordinary citizen, sometimes a brahmana, a sudra, and so on. Sometimes he is a happy man, sometimes a prosperous man, sometimes a small insect. Sometimes he is in heaven and sometimes in hell. Sometimes he is a demigod, and sometimes he is a demon. Sometimes he is a servant, and sometimes he is a master. In this way the living entity wanders all over the universe. Only when he comes in contact with the bona fide spiritual master can he understand his real constitutional position. He then becomes disgusted with material existence. At that time, in full Krsna consciousness, he regrets his past experiences in material existence. This regret is very beneficial because it purifies the living entity of material, conditional life. He then prays to the Lord to engage in His service, and at that time, Krsna grants liberation from the clutches of maya. Lord Krsna explains this in Bhagavad-gita (7.14):
“This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.”
Only by the grace of Krsna can one get out of the clutches of maya. It is not possible to get out by mental speculation or other activities. When the living entity understands his real position by the grace of Krsna, he keeps himself always fit in Krsna consciousness and acts accordingly. Thus he gradually becomes completely free from the clutches of maya. When he is strong in Krsna consciousness, maya cannot touch him. In this way, in the association of Krsna conscious devotees, the living entity can get free from the contamination of material existence. In this connection, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami says:
“In the Krsna conscious state, the living entity engages in devotional service under the direction of the spiritual master. In this way he gets out of the clutches of maya and takes shelter under the lotus feet of Lord Krsna.” (Cc. Madhya 22.25)
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