So we should be conscious in this way, that "I am Your eternal servitor. I am not the Lord." As soon as we make mistake that "I am the Lord, I am the Supreme," then this illusory energy entraps us. This is also illusion. This is the last snare of illusory energy, that "I am God." It is a long philosophy. Of course, there is a class of philosophers who proclaim that "I am God. I am God." This is, of course, due to imperfect knowledge of the Supreme Lord that people can claim that "I am God." How can I be God? What is the qualification of God? What are the symptoms of God? Are those symptoms present in me? So those things... There are so many things to be considered, and they are very nicely described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā and, as we make progress, we shall understand them, that we are simply infinitesimal parts of the Supreme Lord. Qualitatively, we have got all the qualities of God, but quantitatively, we are minute, simply minute. (break) ...minute. Just like the gold and a particle of gold. That particle of gold is also gold, but that particle of gold and the lump gold, quantitatively, there is difference. Just like fire and the spark of the fire. The spark of the fire is also fire, but the capacity, burning capacity of the spark, is very small in comparison to the whole fire. These are the position.
As soon as we make mistake that "I am the Lord, I am the Supreme," then this illusory energy entraps us. This is also illusion. This is the last snare of illusory energy, that "I am God"
"illusory energy in her last snare" |"last illusory snare of" |"last snare of illusion" |"last snare of illusory energy" |"last snare of the illusory energy" |"last snare of the illusory, external energy"
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 13 - 18
The constitutional position of a living entity, represented by Arjuna, is that he has to act according to the order of the Supreme Lord. He is meant for self-discipline. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that the actual position of the living entity is that of eternal servant of the Supreme Lord. Forgetting this principle, the living entity becomes conditioned by material nature, but in serving the Supreme Lord he becomes the liberated servant of God. The living entity's constitutional position is to be a servitor; he has to serve either the illusory māyā or the Supreme Lord. If he serves the Supreme Lord he is in his normal condition, but if he prefers to serve the illusory, external energy, then certainly he will be in bondage. In illusion the living entity is serving in this material world. He is bound by his lust and desires, yet he thinks of himself as the master of the world. This is called illusion. When a person is liberated, his illusion is over, and he voluntarily surrenders unto the Supreme to act according to His desires. The last illusion, the last snare of māyā to trap the living entity, is the proposition that he is God. The living entity thinks that he is no longer a conditioned soul, but God. He is so unintelligent that he does not think that if he were God, then how could he be in doubt? That he does not consider. So that is the last snare of illusion. Actually to become free from the illusory energy is to understand Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and agree to act according to His order.
SB Canto 2
Sometimes the Lord gives extraordinary powers to His devotee, but the devotee knows always that the power belongs to the Personality of Godhead and that the devotee is only an instrument. The pure devotee is never puffed up like the nondevotee class of men who falsely think that they are God. It is astonishing to see how a person who is being kicked by the laws of the Lord's illusory energy at every step can falsely think of becoming one with the Lord. Such thinking is the last snare of the illusory energy offered to the conditioned soul. The first illusion is that he wants to become Lord of the material world by accumulating wealth and power, but when he is frustrated in that attempt he wants to be one with the Lord. So both becoming the most powerful man in the material world and desiring to become one with the Lord are different illusory snares. And because the pure devotees of the Lord are surrendered souls, they are above the illusory snares of māyā. Because Lord Brahmā is a pure devotee, even though the first dominating deity in the material world and therefore able to do many wonderful things, he would never, like the nondevotee with a poor fund of knowledge, have the audacity to think of becoming one with the Lord. People with a poor fund of knowledge should take lessons from Brahmā when they are puffed up with the false notion of becoming God.
The example of the sky within the pot and the sky outside the pot may be helpful to the student for his realization of the all-pervading quality of the cosmic consciousness of the Absolute Truth. But that does not mean that the individual part and parcel of the Lord becomes the Supreme by a false claim. It means only that the conditioned soul is a victim of the illusory energy in her last snare. To claim to be one with the cosmic consciousness of the Lord is the last trap set by the illusory energy, or daivī māyā. Even in the impersonal existence of the Lord, as it is in the material creation, one should aspire for personal realization of the Lord, and that is the meaning of paścād ahaṁ yad etac ca yo 'vaśiṣyeta so 'smy aham.
Misconceiving one thing for another thing is called illusion. For example, accepting a rope as a snake is illusion, but the rope is not false. The rope, as it exists in the front of the illusioned person, is not at all false, but the acceptance is illusory. Therefore the wrong conception of accepting this material manifestation as being divorced from the energy of the Lord is illusion, but it is not false. And this illusory conception is called the reflection of the reality in the darkness of ignorance. Anything that appears as apparently not being "produced out of My energy" is called māyā. The conception that the living entity is formless or that the Supreme Lord is formless is also illusion. In the Bhagavad-gītā (2.12) it was said by the Lord in the midst of the battlefield that the warriors standing in front of Arjuna, Arjuna himself, and even the Lord had all existed before, they were existing on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, and they would all continue to be individual personalities in the future also, even after the annihilation of the present body and even after being liberated from the bondage of material existence. In all circumstances, the Lord and the living entities are individual personalities, and the personal features of both the Lord and living beings are never abolished; only the influence of the illusory energy, the reflection of light in the darkness, can, by the mercy of the Lord, be removed. In the material world, the light of the sun is also not independent, nor is that of the moon. The real source of light is the brahmajyoti, which diffuses light from the transcendental body of the Lord, and the same light is reflected in varieties of light: the light of the sun, the light of the moon, the light of fire, or the light of electricity. So the identity of the self as being unconnected with the Supreme Self, the Lord, is also illusion, and the false claim "I am the Supreme" is the last illusory snare of the same māyā, or the external energy of the Lord.
The jīvas, the living entities, are mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā as the Lord's superior nature, or parā prakṛti, and so also it is mentioned in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa. Therefore the living entities are never the puruṣas, or the factual enjoyers. As such, the spirit of enjoyment by the living entity in the material world is false. In the spiritual world the living entities are pure in nature, and therefore they are associates in the enjoyment of the Supreme Lord. In the material world the spirit of enjoyment of the living entities by dint of their own actions (karma) gradually fades by the laws of nature, and thus the illusory energy dictates in the ears of the conditioned souls that they should become one with the Lord. This is the last snare of the illusory energy. When the last illusion is also cleared off by the mercy of the Lord, the living entity again becomes reinstated in his original position and thus becomes actually liberated. For this attainment of liberation from the material clutches, the Lord creates the material world, maintains it for some time (one thousand years of His measurement, as stated in the previous verse), and then again annihilates it by His will. The living entities are therefore completely dependent on the mercy of the Lord, and all their so-called enjoyments by scientific improvement are crushed into dust when the Lord desires.
SB Canto 3
The chief function of the false ego is godlessness. When a person forgets his constitutional position as an eternally subordinate part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and wants to be happy independently, he functions mainly in two ways. He first attempts to act fruitively for personal gain or sense gratification, and after attempting such fruitive activities for a considerable time, when he is frustrated he becomes a philosophical speculator and thinks himself to be on the same level as God. This false idea of becoming one with the Lord is the last snare of the illusory energy, which traps a living entity into the bondage of forgetfulness under the spell of false ego.
Thereafter the materialistic ego of the gigantic form separately manifested itself, and into it entered Rudra, the controller of false ego, with his own partial activities, by which the living entity transacts his objective actions.
The false ego of materialistic identity is controlled by the demigod Rudra, an incarnation of Lord Śiva. Rudra is the incarnation of the Supreme Lord who controls the mode of ignorance within material nature. The activities of the false ego are based on the objective of the body and mind. Most persons conducted by the false ego are controlled by Lord Śiva. When one reaches a finer version of ignorance, he falsely thinks of himself as the Supreme Lord. That egoistic conviction of the conditioned soul is the last snare of the illusory energy which controls the entire material world.
It is clearly said here that the principle of service was generated from the legs of the Lord for the sake of perfecting the religious process, but this transcendental service is different from the idea of service in the material world. In the material world, no one wants to be a servant; everyone wants to become the master because false mastership is the basic disease of the conditioned soul. The conditioned soul in the material world wants to lord it over others. Illusioned by the external energy of the Lord, he is forced to become a servant of the material world. That is the real position of the conditioned soul. The last snare of the illusory, external energy is the conception of becoming one with the Lord, and due to this conception the illusioned soul remains in the bondage of material energy, falsely thinking himself a liberated soul and "as good as Nārāyaṇa."