We the living entities always have two options. One option is to take shelter of Krishna. And the other option is to take shelter of Krishna’s illusory energy i.e. maya. If we are not with Krishna, then by default we are with maya.
And when our master is maya then we are in a dangerous situation because maya constantly subject us to many kinds of sufferings.
Maya is extremely powerful. It consists of three modes of material nature. With these three modes, maya shackles the living entities and imprisons them in this world. The miserable condition of all the living entities is best explained by Lord Chaitanya, “In the material condition, the living entity is sometimes raised to higher planetary systems and material prosperity and sometimes drowned in a hellish situation. His state is exactly like that of a criminal whom a king punishes by submerging him in water and then raising him again from the water.” Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya 20.118
Along with it maya also steals the intelligence of all her prisoners who start living in the illusion that he/she is enjoying here. For example, a hog eats stool and thinks he is happy. Bereft of intelligence we, the conditioned souls, begin to believe that suffering is part and parcel of our life. We start living with it. We all know we are going to die. But still we live as if we are never going to die. We become so ignorant that we don’t even question as why we are suffering in this world and why we are dying.
But Krishna is extremely merciful. He incarnates in this world to give us a chance to free ourselves from these never-ending suffering. If we choose Krishna we choose an eternal blissful life. But if we choose not to choose Krishna, we choose a life of suffering.
Because on our own we cannot free ourselves from the clutches of maya. Krishna says in BG 7.14, “This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.”
So, if we want freedom from pain and suffering then we need to choose Krishna.
The best way to take shelter of Krishna is to chant the holy names of Krishna like the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi, 7.76 says, “For spiritual progress in this Age of Kali, there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative to the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord.”
When we chant we awaken our dormant love for Krishna. We start getting closer and closer to Krishna. Just as sun appears darkness disappears. Similarly, as soon as we invite Krishna to reside in our heart by chanting his beautiful names all the sufferings begin disappearing from our heart. Krishna frees us from the clutches of maya. We no longer suffer from the vicious cycle of birth and death. We start leading a blissful life.
Krishna is the best master. He is our best well-wisher.
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(Purushottam Nitai Das is a member of congregation at Iskcon Kolkata. He works at IBM as an Advisory Consultant. He writes at https://discoverursupersoul.com/)[ choice ] [ free ] [ illusion ] [ maya ] [ will ]