When one becomes unconscious due to being bitten by a snake, one cannot understand what is taking place outside the body. This unconscious condition is the condition of deep sleep. Similarly, the conditioned soul is actually sleeping on the lap of the illusory energy. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has sung, kota nidrā yāo māyā-piśācīra kole: "O living entity, how long will you sleep in this condition on the lap of the illusory energy?" People do not understand that they are actually sleeping in this material world, being devoid of knowledge of spiritual life. Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore says:
- enechi auṣadhi māyā nāśibāra lāgi'
- hari-nāma-mahā-mantra lao tumi māgi'
- (Jīv Jāgo from Gītāvalī)
"I have brought medicine to awaken every living being from perpetual sleep. Please receive the holy name of the Lord, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, and awaken." The Kaṭha Upaniṣad (1.3.14) also says, uttiṣṭha jāgrata prāpya varān nibodhata: "O living entity, you are sleeping in this material world. Please get up and take advantage of your human form of life." The sleeping condition means loss of all knowledge. In Bhagavad-gītā (BG 2.69) it is also said, yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāṁ tasyāṁ jāgarti saṁyamī: "What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled." Even in the higher planets, everyone is under the spell of the illusory energy. No one is really interested in the real values of life. The sleeping condition, called kāla-sarpa (the time factor), keeps the conditioned soul in a state of ignorance, and therefore pure consciousness is lost. In the forest there are many blind wells, and if one falls down in one there is no chance of being rescued. In a state of sleep, one remains perpetually bitten by some animals, especially snakes.