In answering King Parīkṣit’s question, Śukadeva Gosvāmī replied that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has created the mind, senses and living force of the living entity for the purpose of sense gratification and transmigration from one kind of body to another, as well as for the purpose of allowing liberation from the material conditions. In other words, one can utilize the senses, mind and living force for sense gratification and transmigration from one body to another or for the matter of liberation. The Vedic injunctions are there just to give the conditioned souls the chance for sense gratification under regulative principles, and thereby also to give them the chance for promotion to higher conditions of life; ultimately, if the consciousness is purified, one comes to his original position and goes back home, back to Godhead.
The living entity is intelligent. One therefore has to utilize his intelligence over the mind and the senses. When the mind and senses are purified by the proper use of intelligence, then the conditioned soul is liberated; otherwise, if the intelligence is not properly utilized in controlling the senses and mind, the conditioned soul continues to transmigrate from one kind of body to another simply for sense gratification. Another point clearly stated in the answer of Śukadeva Gosvāmī is that it is the mind, senses and intelligence of the individual living entity that the Lord created. It is not stated that the living entities themselves were ever created. Just as the shining particles of the sun’s rays always exist with the sun, the living entities exist eternally as parts and parcels of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But just as the sun rays are sometimes covered by a cloud, which is created by the sun, so the conditioned souls, although eternally existing as parts of the Supreme Lord, are sometimes put within the cloud of the material concept of life, in the darkness of ignorance. The whole Vedic process is to alleviate that darkened condition. Ultimately, when the senses and mind of the conditioned being are fully purified, he comes to his original position, called Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and that is liberation.
In the Vedānta-sūtra, the first sūtra, or code, questions about the Absolute Truth. Athāto brahma jijñāsā: What is the nature of the Absolute Truth? The next sūtra answers that the nature of the Absolute Truth is that He is the origin of everything. Whatever we experience, even in this material condition of life, is but an emanation from Him. The Absolute Truth created the mind, senses and intelligence. This means that the Absolute Truth is not without mind, intelligence and senses. In other words, He is not impersonal. The very word created means that He has transcendental intelligence. For example, when a father begets a child, the child has senses because the father also has senses. The child is born with hands and legs because the father also has hands and legs. Sometimes it is said that man is made after the image of God. The Absolute Truth is therefore the Supreme Personality, with transcendental mind, senses and intelligence. When one’s mind, intelligence and senses are purified of material contamination, one can understand the original feature of the Absolute Truth as a person.
The Vedic process is to promote the conditioned soul gradually from the mode of ignorance to the mode of passion, and from the mode of passion to the mode of goodness. In the mode of goodness there is sufficient light for understanding things as they are. For example, from earth a tree grows, and from the wood of the tree, fire is ignited. In that igniting process we first of all find smoke, and the next stage is heat, and then fire. When there is actually fire, we can utilize it for various purposes; therefore, fire is the ultimate goal. Similarly, in the gross material stage of life the quality of ignorance is very prominent. Dissipation of this ignorance takes place in the gradual progress of civilization from the barbarian stage to civilized life, and when one comes to the stage of civilized life he is said to be in the mode of passion. In the barbarian stage, or in the mode of ignorance, the senses are gratified in a very crude way, whereas in the mode of passion, or in civilized life, the senses are gratified in a polished manner. But when one is promoted to the mode of goodness, one can understand that the senses and the mind are engaged in material activities only due to being covered by perverted consciousness. When this perverted consciousness is gradually transformed into Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then the path of liberation is opened. So it is not that one is unable to approach the Absolute Truth by the senses and the mind. The conclusion is, rather, that the senses, mind and intelligence in the gross stage of contamination cannot appreciate the nature of the Absolute Truth, but when purified, the senses, mind and intelligence can understand what the Absolute Truth is. The purifying process is called devotional service, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.