Maya’s Trap

Continuing our present­a­tion of the upcom­ing release Sharanagati, this post describes the effects of the Lord’s maya over the soul.



Song One: Verses Two and Three

        jananī-jaṭhare,            chhilāma yakhana,
                        viṣama bandhana-pāśe
        eka-bāra prabhu!            dekhā diyā more,
                        vañchile e dīna dāse [2]

jananī–of my mother; jaṭhare–in the womb; chhilāma–I was; yakhana–when; viṣama–terrible; bandhana–binding; pāśe–with the ropes; eka–one; bāra–time; prabhu!–oh Lord!; dekha–sight; diyā–giving; more–to me; vañchile–deprived; e–this; dīna–poor; dāse–to this servant. [2]

(2)   While I was bound in the terrible confines of my mother’s womb, You once revealed Yourself to me, oh Lord! Yet since then You have deprived this poor servant.

jananī-jaṭhare … e dīna dāse: “Oh Lord! … You have deprived this poor servant.” Only souls who, through divine fortune, ­directly meet the Lord while bound within the womb of their mother feel separation from Him (upon being born) and are able to say, “Oh Lord! You have deprived this poor servant.” This is not the case for all jivas. Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu has established this conclusion within his sandarbhas.

        takhana bhāvinu,            janama pāiyā,
                        kariba bhajana tava
        janama ha-ila,            paḍi’ māyā-jāle,
                        nā ha-ila jñāna-lava [3]

takhana–then; bhāvinu–I thought; janama–birth; pāiyā–obtaining; kariba–I will do; bhajana–service; tava–Your; janama–birth; ha-ila–happened; paḍi’–falling; māyā (māyāra)–of Māyā; jāle (phā̐de)–into the net (trap); –not; 
ha-ila–became; jñāna (jñānera)–of knowledge; lava (leśa)–a fraction (trace). [3]

(3)    At that moment I thought I would engage in Your service after taking birth. Yet when I was born I fell into mayas trap and not a trace of such consciousness remained.

māyā-jāle:Mayas trap.” Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur has described the function of maya as follows:

svarūpārthair hīnān nija-sukha-parān kṛṣṇa-vimukhān
harer māyā daṇḍyān guṇa-nigaḍa-jālaiḥ kalayati
tathā sthūlair liṅgair dvividha-varaṇaiḥ kleśa-nikarair
mahā-karmālānair nayati patitān svarga-nirayau
(Dasha-mula-shiksha: 6)

With the shackles of the modes of material nature, Sri Hari’s maya binds those who have turned away from Him, become intent upon selfish happiness, and forgotten the actual interest of their true selves. Covering them with gross and subtle material bodies, and subjecting them to all sorts of suffering, maya perpetually drags them by the heavy ropes of their karma throughout heavenly and hellish conditions.”

Also, in Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.1.4) ‘Maya’s trap’ is described as paribhūtaṁ kāla-jāla-bhiyaḥ, “The fearsome net of time (which is the cause of the continuous succession of miseries produced by the 
bondage of birth, death, and so forth).”

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