So it is to be understood that all living entities who have come to this material existence... This material existence means this is a life which is not permanent. Why it is not permanent? It is not permanent for this reason: that we are given a chance. This material manifestation, creation of this material world, and let loose the living entities. These are all statement in the Bhagavad-gītā. Mama yonir mahad-brahma tasmin garbhaṁ dadāmy aham. The history of creation, as we learn from the Vedic literature, that after creation of this material world, the living entities are impregnated... Just like a man constructs a nice house or takes a very nice apartment and begets children in the womb of his wife, similarly, the material nature is the mother, and the father is God, and we are all children. These are the Vedic literature description. So who are these children? These children are all criminals. All criminals. Beginning from Brahma, the highest living creature, down to the ant, a small insignificant ant, more or less, we are criminals, and we are suffering the consequences. We cannot deny. If we are sincere, if we actually believe in the śāstras, in the Vedic literature, then our sufferings are due to our mischievous activities.
So according to the mischievous activities, there are different kinds of suffering and there are different kinds of species of life. But māyā, the spell of māyā is so strong that one cannot understand that he is suffering. We understand that we are trying to be happy. Actually, this material world, there is no happiness, but to counteract the agency of distress, we accept, "That is happiness. That is happiness." Just like I have no apartment, but to counteract this inconvenience, if I try my utmost to get a good apartment I feel, "Oh, now I am happy. I am happy." What is this happiness? How long you shall remain in this apartment? Suppose you have got, purchased, now long you will live? So here happiness means to counteract the force of distress is called happiness. Actually there is no happiness. This is called māyā. Just like I am in distressed condition, puzzled, I take some intoxication. This is called happiness. I remain in the same condition. After my intoxication is over, I come back again into the same condition, but I am thinking (I am) happy. This is called māyā. Māyā means... Ma means "not," yā means "this." "You are thinking like this, but it is not this." This is called māyā. You are thinking that you are happy, but you are not happy. So we are seeing that a criminal is arrested by the police and he is put into the prisonhouse. We know that he is put into trouble, but still, in spite of seeing that "This kind of criminality will put me also into such kind of distress," but still, I commit that thing. This is the influence of māyā. This is the influence of māyā.