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apākraṣṭuṁ tvam arhasi
yo ’vagraho ’haṁ mametīty
etasmin yojitas tvayā
The false ego of identifying one’s body as one’s self and of claiming things possessed in relationship with this body is called māyā. In Bhagavad-gītā, Fifteenth Chapter, the Lord says, “I am sitting in everyone’s heart, and from Me come everyone’s remembrance and forgetfulness.” Devahūti has stated that false identification of the body with the self and attachment for possessions in relation to the body are also under the direction of the Lord. Does this mean that the Lord discriminates by engaging one in His devotional service and another in sense gratification? If that were true, it would be an incongruity on the part of the Supreme Lord, but that is not the actual fact. As soon as the living entity forgets his real, constitutional position of eternal servitorship to the Lord and wants instead to enjoy himself by sense gratification, he is captured by māyā. This capture by māyā is the consciousness of false identification with the body and attachment for the possessions of the body. These are the activities of māyā, and since māyā is also an agent of the Lord, it is indirectly the action of the Lord. The Lord is merciful; if anyone wants to forget Him and enjoy this material world, He gives him full facility, not directly but through the agency of His material potency. Therefore, since the material potency is the Lord’s energy, indirectly it is the Lord who gives the facility to forget Him. Devahūti therefore said, “My engagement in sense gratification was also due to You. Now kindly get me free from this entanglement.”
By the grace of the Lord one is allowed to enjoy this material world, but when one is disgusted with material enjoyment and is frustrated, and when one sincerely surrenders unto the lotus feet of the Lord, then the Lord is so kind that He frees one from entanglement. Kṛṣṇa therefore says in Bhagavad-gītā, “First of all surrender, and then I will take charge of you and free you from all reactions of sinful activities.” Sinful activities are those activities performed in forgetfulness of our relationship with the Lord. In this material world, activities for material enjoyment which are considered to be pious are also sinful. For example, one sometimes gives something in charity to a needy person with a view to getting back the money four times increased. Giving with the purpose of gaining something is called charity in the mode of passion. Everything done here is done in the modes of material nature, and therefore all activities but service to the Lord are sinful. Because of sinful activities we become attracted by the illusion of material attachment, and we think, “I am this body.” I think of the body as myself and of bodily possessions as “mine.” Devahūti requested Lord Kapila to free her from that entanglement of false identification and false possession.