Under the spell of the material energy, represented by the threefold material qualities, the living entity is so entangled that he is not at all able to become free unless he is graced by the Supreme Lord

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"Under the spell of the material energy, represented by the threefold material qualities, the living entity is so entangled that he is not at all able to become free unless he is graced by the Supreme Lord"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Under the spell of the material energy, represented by the threefold material qualities, the living entity is so entangled that he is not at all able to become free unless he is graced by the Supreme Lord. The living entity cannot conquer the influence of the material modes of nature by his own endeavor, but because material nature is working under the control of the Supreme Lord, the Lord is beyond its jurisdiction.

“The Vedic reciters, or the personified Vedas, sing thus: ‘O unconquerable Lord, You are the Supreme Personality. No one is equal to You or greater than You. No one can be more glorious in his activities. All glories unto You! All glories unto You! By Your own transcendental nature You fully possess all six opulences. As such, You are able to deliver all conditioned souls from the clutches of māyā. O Lord, we fervently pray that You kindly do so. All the living entities, being Your parts and parcels, are naturally joyful, eternal and full of knowledge, but due to their own faults they imitate You by trying to become the supreme enjoyer. Thus they disobey Your supremacy and become offenders. And because of their offenses, Your material energy has taken charge of them. Thus their transcendental qualities of joyfulness, bliss and wisdom have been covered by the clouds of the three material qualities. This cosmic manifestation, made of the three material qualities, is just like a prison house for the conditioned souls. The conditioned souls are struggling very hard to escape from material bondage, and according to their different conditions of life they have been given different types of engagement. But since all engagements are based on knowledge supplied by You, the conditioned souls can execute pious activities only when You mercifully inspire them to do so. Therefore, without taking shelter at Your lotus feet one cannot surpass the influence of material energy. Actually, we, as personified Vedic knowledge, are always engaged in Your service by helping the conditioned souls understand You.’ ”

This prayer of the Vedas personified illustrates that the Vedas are meant for helping the conditioned souls to understand Kṛṣṇa. All the śrutis, or personified Vedas, offered glories to the Lord again and again, singing, “Jaya! Jaya!” This indicates that the Lord is the most glorious. Of all His glories, the most important is His causeless mercy upon the conditioned souls in reclaiming them from the clutches of māyā.

There are unlimited numbers of living entities in different varieties of bodies, some moving and some standing in one place, and the conditioned life of these living entities is due only to their forgetfulness of their eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When the living entity wants to lord it over the material energy by imitating the position of Kṛṣṇa, he is immediately captured by the material energy and, according to his desire, is offered one variety of the 8,400,000 different kinds of bodies. Although undergoing the threefold miseries of material existence, the illusioned living entity falsely thinks himself the master of all he surveys. Under the spell of the material energy, represented by the threefold material qualities, the living entity is so entangled that he is not at all able to become free unless he is graced by the Supreme Lord. The living entity cannot conquer the influence of the material modes of nature by his own endeavor, but because material nature is working under the control of the Supreme Lord, the Lord is beyond its jurisdiction. Except for Him, all living entities, from Brahmā down to the ant, are conquered by the contact of material nature.

Because the Lord possesses in full the six opulences of wealth, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation, He alone is beyond the spell of material nature. Unless the living entity is situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he cannot approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yet the Lord, by His omnipotency, can dictate from within as the Supersoul how a living entity can gradually come to Him even while performing his ordinary work. As the Lord advises in the Bhagavad-gītā, “Whatever you do, do it for Me; whatever you eat, first offer it to Me; whatever charity you want to give, first give it to Me; and whatever austerities and penances you want to perform, perform them for Me.” In this way the karmīs are directed gradually to develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa directs the philosophers to approach Him gradually by discriminating between Brahman and māyā, for at last, when one is mature in knowledge, he surrenders unto Kṛṣṇa. As Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, “After many, many births, the wise philosopher surrenders unto Me.” The yogīs are also directed to concentrate their meditation upon Kṛṣṇa within the heart, and by such a continued process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness they can also become free from the clutches of the material energy. The devotees, however, are engaged in devotional service with love and affection from the very beginning, and therefore the Lord personally directs them so that they can approach Him without difficulty or deviation. This is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Only by the grace of the Lord can the living entity understand the exact position of Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān.