ko nu me ’titaren māyāṁ
viṣaktas tvad-ṛte pumān
tāṁs tān visṛjatīṁ bhāvān
kaḥ—what; nu—indeed; me—My; atitaret—can surpass; māyām—illusory energy; viṣaktaḥ—attached to material sense enjoyment; tvat-ṛte—except for you; pumān—person; tān—such conditions; tān—unto the materially attached persons; visṛjatīm—in surpassing; bhāvān—reactions of material activities; dustarām—very difficult to surmount; akṛta-ātmabhiḥ—by persons unable to control their senses.
My dear Lord Śambhu, who within this material world but you can surpass My illusory energy? People are generally attached to sense enjoyment and conquered by its influence. Indeed, the influence of material nature is very difficult for them to surmount.
Of the three chief demigods—Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara—all but Viṣṇu are under the influence of māyā. In Caitanya-caritāmṛta, they are described as māyī, which means “under māyā’s influence.” But even though Lord Śiva associates with māyā, he is not influenced. The living entities are affected by māyā, but although Lord Śiva apparently associates with māyā, he is not affected. In other words, all living entities within this material world except for Lord Śiva are swayed by māyā. Lord Śiva is therefore neither viṣṇu-tattva nor jīva-tattva. He is between the two.
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