The Material Nature - Part 4

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

This is in continuation of the previous topic "The Material Nature". In the previous offering we saw the below points,

1) The material world is an optional realm of existence for the living entities (jivas).
2) Purpose of creation of the material world.

We ended off asking how material nature can help us becoming detached from material desires. In order to fully understand this, we need to bring our view of material nature to a personal level. The Brahma-samhita nicely explains that material nature is in fact a personal devotee of Krishna by the name Durga or Maya, serving as a mistress of the prison house of this material world. 

sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir ekā
chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni bibharti durgā
icchānurūpam api yasya ca ceṣṭate sā
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

The external potency Maya who is of the nature of the shadow of the cit potency, is worshiped by all people as Durga, the creating, preserving and destroying agency of this mundane world. I adore the primeval Lord Govinda in accordance with whose will Durga conducts herself. (BS 5.44)

As we discussed earlier the cit potency or cit-śakti is the spiritual potency of the Lord, full of knowledge, eternality and bliss. His material potency (maya-śakti), works as a shadow in that it serves to cover the spiritual potency for the eyes of the wayward jivas. In his purport to above verse His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Thakur says, "Durga is possessed of durga, which means a prison house. When jivas begotten of the marginal potency (tathasta śakti) forget the service of Krishna they are confined in the mundane prison house, the citadel of Durga. The wheel of karma is the instrument of punishment at this place. The work of purifying these penalized jivas is the duty devolved upon Durga."

Jivas are also called tatastha-śakti because they are standing on the borderline (tata) between the spiritual service of the Lord and material illusion. The word "maya" means "that which is not". Whatever we try to do here for our own direct or indirect enjoyment, we are actually doing in service to Maya, the illusion. Because we are in fact not the body or anything related to the body we are now trying to satisfy, we, the soul inside the body, simply get cheated from having the expected satisfaction! 

Krishna willing we shall continue more on this topic in subsequent offering.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Amogha-drk Krishna das