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desatah kalato yo ’sav
avasthatah svato ’nyatah
sa yujyetajaya katham
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
The pure soul is pure consciousness and is never out of consciousness, either due to circumstances, time, situations, dreams or other causes. How then does he become engaged in nescience?
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
The consciousness of the living being is always present and never changes under any circumstances, as above mentioned. When a living man moves from one place to another, he is conscious that he has changed his position. He is always present — in the past, present and future — like electricity. One can remember incidents from his past and can conjecture about his future also on the basis of past experience. He never forgets his personal identity, even though he is placed in awkward circumstances. How then can the living entity become forgetful of his real identity as pure spirit soul and identify with matter unless influenced by something beyond himself? The conclusion is that the living entity is influenced by the avidya potency, as confirmed in both the Visnu Purana and the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam. The living entity is mentioned in Bhagavad-gita (7.5) as para prakrti, and in the Visnu Purana he is mentioned as the para sakti. He is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord as potency and not as the potent. The potent can exhibit many potencies, but the potency cannot equal the potent at any stage. One potency may be overcome by another potency, but to the potent, all potencies are under control. The jiva potency, or the ksetrajña-sakti of the Lord, has the tendency to be overpowered by the external potency, avidya-karma-samjña, and in this way he is placed in the awkward circumstances of material existence. The living entity cannot be forgetful of his real identity unless influenced by the avidya potency. Because the living entity is prone to the influence of the avidya potency, he can never equal the supreme potent.