Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 3 - Chapter 1 - Verse 7


तदस्य संसृतिर्बन्ध: पारतन्‍त्र्यं च तत्कृतम् ।भवत्यकर्तुरीशस्य साक्षिणो निर्वृतात्मन: ॥ ७ ॥


tad asya saṁsṛtir bandhaḥpāra-tantryaṁ ca tat-kṛtambhavaty akartur īśasyasākṣiṇo nirvṛtātmanaḥ


Material consciousness is the cause of one’s conditional life, in which conditions are enforced upon the living entity by the material energy. Although the spirit soul does not do anything and is transcendental to such activities, he is thus affected by conditional life.


The Māyāvādī philosopher, who does not differentiate between the Supreme Spirit and the individual spirit, says that the conditional existence of the living entity is his līlā, or pastime. But the word “pastime” implies employment in the activities of the Lord. The Māyāvādīs misuse the word and say that even if the living entity has become a stool-eating hog, he is also enjoying his pastimes. This is a most dangerous interpretation. Actually the Supreme Lord is the leader and maintainer of all living entities. His pastimes are transcendental to any material activity. Such pastimes of the Lord cannot be dragged to the level of the conditional activities of the living entities. In conditional life the living entity actually remains as if a captive in the hands of material energy. Whatever the material energy dictates, the conditioned soul does. He has no responsibility; he is simply the witness of the action, but he is forced to act in that way due to his offense in his eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa therefore says in Bhagavad-gītā that māyā, His material energy, is so forceful that it is insurmountable. But if a living entity simply understands that his constitutional position is to serve Kṛṣṇa and he tries to act on this principle, then however conditioned he may be, the influence of māyā immediately vanishes. This is clearly stated in Bhagavad-gītā, Seventh Chapter: Kṛṣṇa takes charge of anyone who surrenders to Him in helplessness, and thus the influence of māyā, or conditional life, is removed. The spirit soul is actually sac-cid-ānanda — eternal, full of bliss and full of knowledge. Under the clutches of māyā, however, he suffers from continued birth, death, disease and old age. One has to be serious to cure this condition of material existence and transfer himself to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, for thus his long suffering may be mitigated without difficulty. In summary, the suffering of the conditioned soul is due to his attachment to material nature. This attachment should thus be transferred from matter to Kṛṣṇa.