Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 3 - Chapter 1 - Verse 4


अस्राक्षीद्भगवान् विश्वं गुणमय्यात्ममायया ।तया संस्थापयत्येतद्भूय: प्रत्यपिधास्यति ॥ ४ ॥


asrākṣīd bhagavān viśvaṁguṇa-mayyātma-māyayātayā saṁsthāpayaty etadbhūyaḥ pratyapidhāsyati


By His self-sheltered potency of the three modes of material nature, the Lord has caused the creation of this universe. By her He maintains the creation and conversely dissolves it, again and again.


This cosmic universe is created by the Lord for those living entities who are carried away by the illusory thought of becoming one with Him by imitation. The three modes of material nature are for the further bewilderment of the conditioned souls. The conditioned living entity, bewildered by the illusory energy, considers himself a part of the material creation due to forgetfulness of his spiritual identity, and thus he becomes entangled in material activities life after life. This material world is not for the purpose of the Lord Himself, but is for the conditioned souls who wanted to be controllers due to misuse of their God-gifted minute independence. Thus the conditioned souls are subjected to repeated birth and death.