The Chain Of Maya by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura
kṛṣṇera sevaka jīva kṛṣṇera mayaya
kṛṣṇa nā bhajile ei-mata duḥkha pāya
“Due to the actions of His illusory energy , the jiva who is constitutionally His servant suffers in this way if he does not worship his eternal master Lord Krishna.”
Every living entity is constitutionally a Vaisnava, an eternal servant of Krishna. As soon as he turns away from that service , he comes under the control of the covering and throwing potencies of Krishna’s deluding external energy. The mentality of measuring through one’s sensory knowledge every object under the shelter of that illusory energy is certainly deluded and born of the desire for material enjoyment; therefore it is the source of unlimited miseries.
In Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 20.117- 118, 120) it is stated: “Due to forgetting Him, the living entity has been attracted by Krishna’s external feature from time immemorial. Therefore the illusory energy [maya] gives him all kinds of misery in his material existence. In the material condition, the living entity is sometimes raised to higher planetary systems and enjoys material prosperity and sometimes he is drowned in a hellish situation. His state is exactly like that of a criminal whom a king punishes by forcibly submerging him in water repeatedly. If the conditioned soul becomes Krishna conscious by the mercy of saintly persons who voluntarily preach scriptural injunctions and help him to become Krishna conscious, he is liberated from the clutches of maya, who gives him up.”
It is further stated in Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 22.12-15, 24-25, 33, 35, 37, 41): “Apart from the ever-liberated devotees, there are the conditioned souls who always turn away from the service of the Lord. They are perpetually conditioned in this material world and are subjected to the material tribulations brought about by different bodily forms in various hellish conditions. Due to his being opposed to Krishna consciousness, the conditioned soul is punished by the witch of the external energy, maya. He is thus ready to suffer the threefold miseries—miseries brought about by the body and mind, the inimical behavior of other living entities and natural disturbances caused by the demigods. In this way the conditioned soul becomes the servant of material desires, and when these are not fulfilled, he becomes a servant of anger and continues to be kicked by the external energy, maya. Wandering aimlessly throughout the universe, he may by chance get the association of a devotee ‘physician’, whose instructions and hymns make the witch of the external energy flee. The conditioned soul thus gets into touch with the devotional service of Lord Krishna, and in this way he can gradually approach the Lord. The living entity is bound around the neck by the chains of maya because he has forgotten that he is eternally a servant of Krishna. If he engages in the service of the Lord and simultaneously carries out the orders of his spiritual master and serves him, the conditioned soul can get out of the clutches of maya and become eligible for shelter at Krishna’s lotus feet.
One is immediately freed from the clutches of maya if he seriously and sincerely says, ‘My dear Lord Krishna, although I have forgotten You for so many long years in the material world, today I am surrendering unto You. I am Your sincere and serious servant. Please engage me in Your service.’ Due to bad association, the living entity desires material happiness, liberation or merging into the impersonal aspect of the Lord, or he engages in mystic yoga for material power. If such a person actually becomes intelligent, he takes to Krishna consciousness by engaging himself in one pointed devotional service to Lord Śrī Krishna. If those who desire material enjoyment or merging into the existence of the Absolute Truth also engage in the Lord Krishna’s transcendental loving service, they will immediately attain shelter at His lotus feet, although they did not ask for it. Krishna is therefore understood to be very merciful. When someone engages in Lord Krishna’s devotional service for the satisfaction of the senses and instead acquires a taste to serve Krishna, he gives up his material desires and willingly offers himself as an eternal servant of Krishna.”
— Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata » Madhya-khaṇḍa 1.234 Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura. With English Translation of the Gauḍīya-bhāṣya Commentary and Chapter Summaries of His Divine Grace Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja Translated by Bhumipati Dāsa.